March 25, 2016
White House Indicates No Concern For Abridging Religious Freedom
As LifeSite News reported on Wednesday’s hearing:
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a 175-year-old religious order of women who have vowed their lives to care for the elderly poor.
At the hearing, the justices pressed the government with hard questions on why it is trying to force the Sisters to violate their religious beliefs when it has chosen to exempt so many other employers from the mandate. Justice Ginsburg noted that “no one doubts for a moment” the sincerity of the Little Sisters’ beliefs. And other justices expressed concern the government was, in fact, “hijacking” the Little Sisters’ health plan and making them “subsidiz[e] conduct which they believe to be immoral.” Yet the government specifically stated that it not only believes it can force its scheme on the Little Sisters, but also on churches and other houses of worship -- making them help provide “seamless” coverage for services like the week-after pill.
[. . .]
Sister Loraine Marie McGuire, Mother Provincial for the Little Sisters of the Poor, who on Wednesday said in a statement:
…now we find ourselves in a situation where the government is requiring us to include services in our religious health care plan that violate some of our deepest held religious beliefs as Little Sisters.
We don’t understand why the government is doing this when there is an easy solution that doesn’t involve us -- it can provide these services on the exchanges. It’s also hard to understand why the government is doing this when 1/3 of all Americans aren’t even covered by this mandate, and large corporations like Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi are fully exempt, yet the government threatens us with fines of 70 million dollars per year if we don’t comply.
[. . .]
The Obama administration’s hostility to the free exercise of region was seen in the Hobby Lobby case in which the government argued that acting on your religious beliefs in your personal and business life was illegal. The courts ruled otherwise and that in the Hobby Lobby case agreed that this was an attempted infringement of the free exercise of religion:
[. . .]
As the late Francis Cardinal George of Chicago, former head of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, once observed, President Obama’s idea of religious liberty differs little from Josef Stalin’s:
“Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union," Chicago's Francis Cardinal George recently wrote.
"You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship -- no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. We fought a long Cold War to defeat that vision of society."
March 25, 2016
Little Sisters' Religious Liberty Goes on Trial
By Daniel John Sobieski