This Time, Obama, It’s Personal…

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In 1918, a pitifully frightened and mentally challenged Irish immigrant named Mary McLoughlin died at age 68, in the Little Sisters of the Poor Home For The Aged in Brooklyn. Mary came to America with her family in 1870, but had to live with them all her life because she needed almost constant attention.

She never married and was always just a sweet loving aunt who spoke English heavily laced with a County Mayo accent.  In 1918, during the height of the Great Flu Epidemic, the family she lived with had to make a painful decision. Since the breadwinner, who was my grandfather, was a stevedore who had thus far escaped becoming sick (by living in a warehouse with other dockworkers doing the same thing), my pregnant grandmother was unable to care for her three children and her Aunt Mary by herself.  With nowhere else to turn, the family brought Mary to the Little Sisters Of The Poor and asked them to care for her.  These selfless Catholic Nuns took Mary in as if she were their own aunt. No one who has had any contact with these wonderful women of God would be surprised to hear of this.

Now here we are almost 100 years later; and because of changing demographics, the Little Sister’s home in Brooklyn has closed. The Sisters have adapted and moved on. They have continued their work with no direct help from the government, which is as they want it. Nevertheless, those wonderful women who took Mary in a century ago would be shocked to hear their Order is now under attack from an anti-religion (and more to the point, anti-Catholic) Department of Justice.

The Little Sister’s focus is on the value and dignity of each person’s life. Yet the American government, under the guise of a law that we had to “pass to find out what was in it,” seeks to compel the Sisters to provide contraception and abortion services in their employee health insurance plans.  More than this, despicable creatures of the Left have started referring to the Sisters as “weasels.” They cavalierly dismiss their defense against having to violate Catholic doctrine to satisfy a secular government as “absurd.” These creatures hate the Sisters for having the courage to fight back where so many others have just smiled and given in to the threats. The Department of Justice is claiming that the Little Sisters of The Poor are not entitled to an exemption because they are not religious enough.

The Sisters have won a stay of this edict granted on Dec. 31 by Justice Sotomayor. This fight is sure to go to the full Supreme Court. How it will be decided is uncertain, but what is clear is that this attack on Christian religious freedoms is unquestionably a glimpse of what Democrats will do once amnesty gives them total control of our government.

Watch this brief video from the Megyn Kelly show, then please donate to help support the work of the Little Sisters of The Poor.

Obamacare Going Back To Supreme Court

Photo Credit: Laura Padgett Creative Commons

As countless peripheral debates continue regarding ObamaCare, one of the law’s very first criticisms will be the topic of an upcoming Supreme Court decision. The nation’s highest court announced Tuesday it will hear evidence from two cases regarding the healthcare mandate requiring religious business owners to provide birth control to employees.

An effort by retail chain Hobby Lobby to reverse the mandate was successful at a lower level court; and Supreme Court justices will have the final say in that case. Another company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., initiated a similar case that was rejected by a lower court.

The high court will consider both of these cases simultaneously early next year. A decision is expected by next summer.

Both of the companies are owned by religious families who say that ObamaCare violates their First Amendment rights. In light of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that corporations can express political opinions with the same liberty as individuals, the arguments against the contraception mandate appear to be well-grounded.

In the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in favor of Hobby Lobby, the court also found that a 1993 law broadly defining freedom of religion has bearing in this ongoing debate. In the case of Conestoga, however, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the same law did not offer protection to the company.

The Supreme Court, which earned the scorn of many conservatives upon upholding the healthcare law last year, will now decide how intrusive it may be. Instead of seeking refuge in our unambiguous constitutional rights, we now live in a society that can force individuals to violate their sacred beliefs in the name of big government.

More than half a century ago, Ronald Reagan decried government-mandated healthcare, calling it one of “the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people….”

Even he likely never imagined how prophetic his words would prove within the U.S.

–B. Christopher Agee

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Court Strikes Contraception Mandate


One aspect of the unpopular ObamaCare law that has resulted in widespread backlash from the religious community has been struck down by the nation’s second-highest court.

In a decision issued Friday morning, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that companies should not be forced to cover birth control in insurance policies if doing so would violate their religious beliefs.

“The burden on religious exercise does not occur at the point of contraceptive purchase,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote in the court’s opinion; “instead, it occurs when a company’s owners fill the basket of goods and services that constitute a healthcare plan.”

The 2-1 ruling is a major victory for business owners Francis and Philip Gilardi, whose opposition to the mandate was the basis of the case. Experts report that the U.S. Supreme Court will likely have the final say in this debate, however.

The Gilardi brothers, along with countless business owners across the nation, have adamantly opposed being forced to choose between adhering to their faith or paying steep penalties for violating the mandate.

Brown addressed that very concern in her written decision, saying that the law would either “cripple the companies they have spent a lifetime building” or force them to “become complicit in a grave moral wrong.”

While supporters say that contraception is a vital aspect of the law, equating it with the larger concept of women’s rights, the court ruling questioned that stance.

According to the decision, “the government has failed to demonstrate how such a right – whether described as noninterference, privacy, or autonomy – can extend to the compelled subsidization of a woman’s procreative practices.”

The bottom line, Brown wrote, is that “even without the contraceptive mandate,” the law still “fulfills the statutory command for insurers to provide gender-specific preventive care.”

Though plenty of criticisms yet remain regarding ObamaCare, an impartial ruling on this aspect gives detractors hope that the other troubling mandates – or the law altogether – might one day be overturned.

–B. Christopher Agee

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Senate Republicans Block Obama Nominees


Republicans in the U.S. Senate, often collectively scolded by conservatives for their weak-willed response to Barack Obama, were active Thursday in delaying the confirmation of two high-level nominees.

While senators voted 56-42 to approve the nomination of Congressman Melvin Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, members of the GOP blocked the process based on the opinion he is too driven by his political ideology.

Slated to lead the agency in charge of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is no wonder Republicans were wary of injecting the troubled lenders with even more leftist influence. Watt has been criticized in the past for his belief in more government intrusion into the housing market.

Democrats need at least 60 votes to curtail the GOP’s efforts to stall nominations, a threshold they also failed to reach in the approval process of a prospective U.S. Court of Appeals judge. Obama picked Patricia Millett to join the District of Columbia circuit court, which is the second most powerful court in the U.S. behind the Supreme Court.

Following a 55-38 vote in favor of Millett’s nomination, Republicans once again engaged in procedural tactics designed to delay the process. In this case, members of the GOP explained that they do not want to give the court a 5 to 4 majority of Democrat-appointed judges.

Though these and other Obama nominees might yet ascend to the positions for which they have been slated, Americans can at least look at Thursday’s action as a sign some of our representatives are indeed working on our behalf.

Hopefully, the leadership of young conservative senators such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee, combined with the treacherous policies of the Obama administration, will inject some much-needed backbone into the establishment Republicans so willing to capitulate.

–Western Journalism staff writer

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Judge Rules Texas Abortion Restrictions Unconstitutional

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Since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a woman’s right to murder her own child in the womb more than 40 years ago, leftists have relentlessly sought to expand that right in any way possible.

When Texas legislators voted earlier this year to impose very moderate restrictions on the barbaric practice, the pro-abortion crowd naturally cried foul. Those activists, it seems, have scored a recent victory with a U.S. district judge’s ruling that at least some aspects of the law are unconstitutional.

According to an order released Monday, Judge Lee Yeakel determined that the requirement of abortion providers to have hospital admitting privileges “does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the State in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health,” adding it “places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion….”

In his opinion, the judge concluded that “admitting privileges have no rational relationship to improved patient outcomes” and called the requirement “an undue burden” to women who want such procedures.

Along with another provision, the new condition was set to go into effect Tuesday.

Yeakel, a George W. Bush appointee, did not strike down restrictions on abortifacient drugs, though only because pro-abortion advocates have not yet made a strong enough case.

“At some point, the totality of incidental effects may become an undue burden,” he wrote, though “that threshold has not been met.”

The fact is that America has some of the most permissive laws on the planet regarding abortion. In California, for example, pregnant women can have their children ripped from their bodies by individuals who are not even doctors.

Texas legislators merely wanted to add a few safeguards to the process, not outlaw abortion whatsoever as some leftists have insinuated, and leftists celebrate the defeat.

Commenting on Yeakel’s decision, though, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced his intention to continue fighting for what he called “commonsense legislation to protect the health of women and their unborn children.”

The lawyer and favorite among Tea Party conservatives concluded that the restrictions are “constitutional and consistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent protecting the life and health of the mother and child,” adding that he hopes “the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will uphold Texas’ reasonable law.”

–Western Journalism staff writer

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