Wednesday 16th April 2014

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

The Nuns And The President

January 17, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO

When the Framers were putting together the Constitution in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, they knew the states would not adopt it without written guarantees that the new central government would respect natural rights. The supporters of the Constitution promised political leaders in the states that the written guarantees would soon be added as amendments, and they were. By late 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified and added to the new Constitution.
The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to assure all in America that their natural rights — areas of human choices for which a permission slip from the government cannot be required and in which the government cannot coerce compliance with its wishes — would not be impaired by the federal government.
Since the ratification of the 14th Amendment, the natural rights protected in the Bill of Rights generally have been insulated from interference by the states, as well.
All natural rights are of paramount importance to all persons. They are individualized personal gifts from the Creator and have been recognized as such in American law since Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed with them by Him.
One of those rights guarantees the free exercise of religion. Indeed, the Free Exercise Clause in the First Amendment was written to ensure that the new government could not coerce persons to behave differently than their religious views informed their consciences or punish them for not conforming to a government-mandated religious orthodoxy.
Generally, for almost 230 years, the federal government left us alone to choose freely our religious practices and to worship as we believe. Until now.
Today, the free exercise of religion is under attack by the government. When Congress enacted the Affordable Health Care Act — I prefer to call it Obamacare because it is President Obama’s brainchild, his signature legislation, and because there is nothing affordable about it — members of Congress must have known that the law would impose obligations upon persons that would force them to engage in behavior in violation of their religious beliefs.
Obamacare, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court under a superficial and novel theory that permits the feds to regulate natural rights by taxing us when we do not do as they have commanded, requires all employers of 50 or more persons to obtain health insurance coverage for all of their employees that pays for birth control via contraception, sterilization, and abortion.
The Little Sisters of the Poor are an order of Roman Catholic nuns who have taken vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They operate nursing homes for those who cannot afford them and employ more than 50 persons. The sisters have objected to the requirement that they must pay for health insurance coverage that provides for birth control, as those payments directly violate Catholic teachings and beliefs.
In a pluralistic society, one would expect that the government would accommodate the sisters. In a free society in which everyone who works for the government takes an oath to uphold the Constitution, the feds have a legal obligation to accommodate them. In a political society in which many Catholics are Democrats who elected the Congress that gave us Obamacare, one would expect an accommodation.
But we expect in vain, as the federal government has resisted the sisters mightily and asked the courts to turn down their pleas.
What is wrong with Obama that he would employ lawyers to do this? For starters, he does not believe in natural rights. He accepts the perverse view — known as positivism — that our rights come not from God, but from the government.
This is not an academic argument, as, in the president’s world, if the government is the source of freedom, then the government can restrict it. This is, of course, the opposite view from that of Judeo-Christian values, the Framers, the Constitution and American law; thus it violates the oath of office the president took.
But just as troubling as his attitude about the origin of personal freedoms is the president’s attitude about the exercise of personal freedoms. Throughout his presidency, he has taken the position that he, and he alone, possesses the power to dispense with the obligations of federal laws when they are too burdensome and even to ignore them.
He has bombed other countries without congressional approval, spied on all Americans without lawful warrants specifying any of them, enforced environmental regulations that Congress declined to enact, and declined to enforce or delayed the onset of sections of Obamacare that offend his friends. He has done this for political reasons when his colleagues and supporters have asked it of him.
So, what about the nuns? Nuns who own no personal property, nuns who spend their lives ministering to the poor, nuns who will never have the need for contraceptive or sterilization or abortion services, nuns not involved in politics but deeply committed to well-formed consciences? Can he give them a break, too?
In a word: No. His Department of (political) Justice has vigorously resisted the nuns and even mocked them. It has demanded that they assert in writing what their religious beliefs are and that they permit others to pay for the contraceptive, sterilization, and abortion services they do not want, cannot use, and profoundly condemn.
Our post-Obamacare world is dangerous for people informed by conscience and presupposing respect for natural rights. Where are the Catholic Democrats in Congress who voted for this monstrosity? Why are they silent or tacitly with the president? Where are all good people of conscience in this great clash between the nuns faithful to God and the president to politics?
If the government can tax you and me and selfless nuns for fidelity to long-held religious beliefs while exempting others because of their fleeting political beliefs, then the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment is meaningless.
And our rights are in the hands of a congressionally enabled tyrant.

+    +    +

(Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written seven books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Theodore and Woodrow: How Two American Presidents Destroyed Constitutional Freedom. Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.)

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Catholic League’s Donohue: Church’s Pedophilia Crisis Is Over

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 06:14 PM By Bill Hoffmann The Catholic Church has far less of a problem with the sexual abuse of minors than other major institutions, says Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil…Continue Reading

Catholic Malta Legalizes Same-sex Civil Unions

Staunchly Catholic Malta has legalized same-sex civil unions and has given gay couples the right to adopt children. The vote comes nearly three years after the Mediterranean island nation legalized divorce. The Maltese parliament legalized same-sex unions and gay adoption…Continue Reading

Remembering Terri Schiavo:

April 13, 2014 Remembering Terri Schiavo: Bobby Schindler comments on Pope Francis, Bishop Robert Lynch, and working on behalf of the severely disabled By Matt C. Abbott The following is an email interview I recently conducted with Bobby Schindler, brother of…Continue Reading

Parents Protest Speaker’s Talk On Morality At Another Catholic High School

For the 2nd time in recent weeks, parents of students at a Catholic high school are protesting that a speaker’s presentation on Catholic morality was harsh and insensitive. Parents of students at the Prout School in Rhode Island have expressed…Continue Reading

‘Pay for it yourself’: Canadian Catholics fighting renewed push for single publicly funded school system

Sarah Boesveld | April 12, 2014 When Leonard Baak’s son hit kindergarten age, his local public school in Stittsville, Ont., was so full it couldn’t even add any portables. So all the other parents in his neighbourhood did the natural thing and…Continue Reading

What Bishop Jugis did NOT say about Sister Jane Dominic’s talk

By Phil Lawler  April 10, 2014 5:05 PM Charlotte’s Bishop Peter Jugis has finally issued a statementregarding the unseemly controversy at Charlotte Catholic High School. In that statement the bishop clearly affirms the teachings of the Catholic Church. But he does not affirm…Continue Reading

Pope Francis Calls Abortion An ‘Abominable Crime’ In Strongest Remarks To Date

by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent Fri Apr 11, 2014 08:11 EST VATICAN CITY, April 11, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Human life is “sacred and inviolable” and “every civil law is based on the recognition of the first and most fundamental right,…Continue Reading

Jesuit Priest Championed Conservative Catholic Values In Era Of Change

By Jan Uebelherr of the Journal Sentinel The Rev. Cletus Healy warned about the evils of communism, presided over annual vigils at the gravesite of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and wrote “Stations of the Cross for the Victims of Abortion.” These were the passions of…Continue Reading

Fr. Dwight Longenecker on The Absurdity of Evil

By Fr Dwight Longenecker 4/8/2014 Catholic Online (www.catholic.org) This is the frightful absurdity of evil. This absurdity and rage is the demonic poison of hatred and pride, and the only antidote, I have come to accept-the only antidote for which…Continue Reading

Charlotte Diocese Backs Nun Who Gave School Talk Promoting Church Teaching On Homosexuality

BY KIRSTEN ANDERSEN Mon Apr 07, 2014 18:27 EST CHARLOTTE, NC, April 7, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The bishop of Charlotte is backing a Dominican nun who has been at the center of a fiery controversy since last month when she gave a…Continue Reading

Catholics, Methodists, & Deportations

Moral certainties and uncertainty on parade. By Mark Tooley – 4.6.14 Last Tuesday some Catholic bishops hosted a mass at the Arizona border with Mexico that largely was a plea for legalizing the 11 million or so illegal immigrants in the U.S. They…Continue Reading

Resisting The New Blacklist

nozilla

April 4, 2014 By Rebecca Hamilton There’s a new blacklist. Its members are anyone who dares to oppose gay marriage, or gay behavior of any sort. The punishment, even for icons of the tech industry, is to have their careers…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to subscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.

 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Pope Francis . . .

Pope to seminarians: Be shepherds like the Good Shepherd

2014-04-14 Vatican Radio (Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday met with members of the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, a regional seminary for several of the Diocese around the city of Rome. The College was founded by Pope Leo XIII in 1897. In his address, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of forming seminarians in “a climate of prayer and…Continue Reading

Featured Today

Politically Correct Hypocrisy On Parade

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK I have met liberal Democrats who insist that the inclusion of liberal Democrats Alan Colmes and Bob Beckel on the Fox News Network cannot be taken as proof that the network is, as advertised, “fair and balanced.” They insist that Beckel and Colmes are chosen to make liberals look bad, as…Continue Reading

Rome Media Symposium . . . Shine The Light Of True Religious Liberty

By ALAN SEARS (Editor’s Note: Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom [www.adfmedia.org], offered the following welcoming remarks to those attending the ADF’s March 24-27 Catholic Media Symposium in Rome. Raymond Cardinal Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, also spoke at the event.) +    +    + Good evening friends. It is an honor to…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… The Justina Pelletier Case And The Abusive Child Protective System

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Will “Health Care” Kill American Medicine?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY My mother, a doctor’s daughter who became a doctor herself, sometimes accompanied her father when he made house calls in the Livermore Valley of California during the Great Depression. Her job was to open and close the gates at the ranches and farms they visited. In those tenuous times, as she…Continue Reading

A Government Admission Of Wrongdoing

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Last week, National Intelligence Director Gen. James R. Clapper sent a brief letter to Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he admitted that agents of the National Security Agency (NSA) have been reading innocent Americans’ e-mails and text messages and listening to digital…Continue Reading

Reminder

Your Prayers Are Requested . . .

We sadly report that our longtime news editor, Paul Likoudis, has been diagnosed with colon cancer. He will be incapacitated for about six months as he undergoes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. His From the Mail column will be suspended. We ask your prayers for Paul’s full recovery. If you would like to help Paul with his overwhelming medical expenses, a…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Pope Benedict … On Wisdom

VATICAN CITY (ZENIT) — Here is the translation of the Holy Father’s new catechetical series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, given during his weekly general audience on April 9. Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning! We begin today a series of catecheses on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You know that the Holy Spirit constitutes the soul,…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Parents Must Teach Chastity As Does Pope Francis

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Recently Pope Francis urged chastity for prevention of HIV as Pope Benedict was also known to do, and, as a result of which, opprobrium and vituperation were rained down upon him. The two Vicars of Christ agree in this matter because the teaching comes not from men nor from them but from God. The chastity…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity… Who Were Jesus’ Brothers?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Just as Jesus came not to destroy but to fulfill (Matt. 5:17), the New Testament is consistent with the Old, and in Jesus’ time brother had also a variety of meanings. For instance: In Matt. 5:22 (Sermon on the Mount), brother means a fellow man, purely and simply, because of our common origin…Continue Reading

Catechesis In The Twenty-First Century

By Don Fier “In order to arrive at a systematic knowledge of the content of the faith, all can find in the Catechism of the Catholic Church a precious and indispensable tool. It is one of the most important fruits of the Second Vatican Council.” With these words in his apostolic letter Porta Fidei announcing the upcoming Year of Faith…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. When was it decided that Sunday is the Sabbath and not Saturday? Is it in the Bible? — R.E.G., Nevada. A. Yes, it’s in the Acts of the Apostles where it says that “on the first day of the week when we gathered to break bread [i.e., celebrate Mass], Paul spoke to them because he was going to leave…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bernadette Soubirous

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of mankind, God has chosen the lesser person to be His messenger, prophet, or king. He chose, Moses, the stutterer, to lead the Jewish people out of the slavery of the Egyptians. He chose Ruth, the pagan Moabite, to be an ancestor of Jesus. He chose King David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons, to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Julie Billiart

By CAROLE BRESLIN Across North America there are churches and schools named after St. Julie Billiart. They carry on the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur founded by Julie and her friends during the turbulent years of the late 18th and early 19th century of the French nation when Catholics were being persecuted. Throughout the history of…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading