Saturday 5th September 2015

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:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Head of CDF, Cardinal Müller warns of a split as big as the Reformation

The Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has criticized in Regensburg on Tuesday a “climate of the German claim to leadership for the whole universal Church”. At a book presentation, he pointed out the high number of people leaving…Continue Reading

When Defiance of Marriage Law Was Hailed as Heroic

Kim Davis, the county clerk in Kentucky who will not issue marriage licenses to anyone because, she says, she cannot in good conscience issue them to same-sex couples is being sharply criticized for lawlessness and abuse of her office. Consider…Continue Reading

Good News . . . Brief update on Father John Corapi

A bit of good news to share: A reliable source has informed me that Father John Corapi, a popular priest among orthodox Catholics who departed public life after a tumultuous period a few years ago, remains in the priesthood and…Continue Reading

9th Shocking Video: Planned Parenthood Sells Intact Aborted Babies, One “Just Fell Out” of the Womb

The Center for Medical Progress released a new video this morning — the 9th in its series of videos catching the Planned Parenthood abortion business selling aborted babies and their body parts. This latest video catches a Planned Parenthood medical…Continue Reading

All priests will be able to forgive sin of abortion during Jubilee for Mercy

September 1, 2015 7:33 AM Vatican City, Sep 1, 2015 / 06:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In a new set of pastoral guidelines for the upcoming Holy Year of Mercy Pope Francis has made some significant moves, allowing all priests to…Continue Reading

Cardinal Francis Arinze: 50 years as a Bishop

Yesterday Saturday 29 August 2015, Francis Cardinal Arinze, 82, marked fifty years as a Bishop. In an interview with Vatican Radio’s English Africa Service to mark to the milestone, Cardinal Arinze was in high spirits. Although now retired and living…Continue Reading

Russians to construct ‘the tallest statue of Jesus Christ in the world’

Towering 80 meters monument to ‘Christ the Teacher’ by Zurab Tsereteli to find home in Vladivostok, Christian Telegraph reports according to RISU. The statue was cast in 2013 by Tsereteli, the famous Georgian-Russian sculptor, known for his gigantic projects such…Continue Reading

If You Still Support Planned Parenthood, You Are Simply Not A Decent Person

Another Planned Parenthood video has been released. I promised I would write about every new video that comes out, so here is my write up on the latest. Please read and share. I don’t usually ask you to share things…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Group Sends Cakes to Thank Planned Parenthood Staff After It Sells Aborted Babies

Apparently, Catholics for Choice want their friends at Planned Parenthood to know how appreciated they are since they will be “harassed” tomorrow at the protests across the country regarding their organ harvesting business.  As LifeNews previously reported, tens of thousands…Continue Reading

Facebook’s very (very) suspicious ‘trending’ Planned Parenthood story

Update Aug. 20, ’15 at 7:54 AM EST: I woke up this morning, and lo and behold, the “trending” news topic had changed. It now reads, “7th video critical of organization released by anti-abortion group.” That’s more like it. I…Continue Reading

Questions raised after pro-life activist Twitter accounts suspended without warning: one now restored

ONTARIO, August 20, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — A pro-life activist campaigning against Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s abortion extremism as well as a pro-life organization on a mission to show the violent reality of abortion through large graphic billboards had their Twitter…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone thankful for San Francisco teacher contract agreement

San Francisco, Calif., Aug 23, 2015 / 06:07 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Efforts to promote Catholic culture in the San Francisco archdiocese’s high schools and to agree on a contract acceptable for the schools’ teachers concluded on Wednesday with a new…Continue Reading

Newsmax

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 su
bscribe 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

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis: Sowing divisions is a sickness in the Church

pope893

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says sowing divisions and discord is a sickness within the Church and described a person who indulges in gossip as like a terrorist who throws bombs. His comments came during his homily at his Friday (4th September) Mass in the Santa Marta residence. Taking his inspiration from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians where the Apostle spoke of how Christ was sent by God to sow reconciliation and peace among humanity,…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: The astonishment at the encounter with Jesus

(Vatican Radio) The capacity to recognize ourselves as sinners opens us to the astonishment at the encounter with Jesus: that was the message of Pope Francis Thursday morning during Mass for the feast of Saint Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church. Pope Francis’ homily focused on the day’s Gospel reading which tells the story of the miraculous catch of fish. After working throughout the night without catching anything, Peter, trusting in Jesus,…Continue Reading

General Audience: love of family combats city desertification

(Vatican Radio) An estimated 15 thousand people were in St Peter’s Square for the Pope’s General audience on Wednesday, as he continued his catechesis on the family, which this week focused on the importance of families in spreading the faith. The Holy Father underlined that by creating the foundations of a solid faith in the home, the fruits are revealed in a more humane society. The Pope said that the alliance of the family with…Continue Reading

Saints Will Welcome Families, Pope to Philadelphia

St. John Neumann Was Bishop of the City and St. Katharine Drexel Was Born Here United States of America, August 31, 2015 (ZENIT.org) Staff Reporter When Pope Francis and thousands of families arrive next month to Philadelphia, they are sure to be welcomed by two saints with ties to the city. Fr. Thomas Rosica, English-language assistant for the Vatican press office, has compiled the following biographies: * * * ST. JOHN NEPOMUCENE NEUMANN, C.SS.R. (1811-1860)…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… A Champion of Fitting Worship

By JAMES MONTI On a recent visit to the chapel of a Catholic nursing facility I observed an elderly resident arriving with her walker to spend time in the presence of the Lord. With her infirmity she obviously could not be expected to offer anything more than a gentle nod toward the Tabernacle before transferring…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . This Belongs On Every Catholic Pro-Lifer’s Bookshelf

By REY FLORES Redeemed by Grace — A Catholic Woman’s Journey to Planned Parenthood and Back by Ramona Trevino with Roxane Salonen. Ignatius Press: 2015; hardcover, $17.95; 157 pages. To order, visit ignatius.com or call 1-800-651-1531. Almost anyone who is either Catholic or involved in the pro-life cause has heard of Abby Johnson. Johnson, of…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . The Sabbatine Privilege

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY We recently celebrated, on July 16, the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which, according to tradition, is associated with the giving of the Brown Scapular to St. Simon Stock on that date in 1251. The Blessed Virgin appeared to him with the scapular saying, “This will be for you…Continue Reading

Is Trumpism The New Nationalism?

By PATRICK BUCHANAN Since China devalued its currency 3 percent, global markets have gone into a tailspin. Why should this be? After all, 3 percent devaluation in China could be countered by a U.S. tariff of 3 percent on all goods made in China, and the tariff revenue used to cut U.S. corporate taxes. The…Continue Reading

The Family Synod’s Instrumentum Laboris Presents Many Grave Problems

By MAIKE HICKSON After reading the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the upcoming October 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, when it was first published in June, the author of this short article was somewhat stunned and increasingly troubled. Yet I was soon helped by others to acquire a better understanding. It is…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. The Supreme Court has a history of immoral decisions, such as declaring black slaves as property, permitting credit card companies to charge usurious interest rates, allowing the public sale of contraceptives, okaying the killing of unborn babies, and approving sodomy. What’s next? Polygamy? Incestuous “marriage”? Person-animal “marriage”? It would appear that we are on a par with Sodom of…Continue Reading

Take Up Your Cross

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fourth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 50:5-9a James 2:14-18 Mark 8:27-35 Faith is a great gift and, given the times in which we live, it is more necessary than ever that we have our faith. However, in the second reading today St. James says that faith without works is dead. He then gives…Continue Reading

Communiqué Issued at the end of the Pro-Life Conference In Accra, Ghana (August 8-9

Preamble In response to the increasing violation of the sanctity and dignity of human life and the continuing culture of death in Ghana and around the world, and in line with Pope Francis’ call for the need to sustain and support marriage and family life, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the priests, religious and laity of the Catholic Church in…Continue Reading

End Media Blackout On Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Scandal

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The baby parts sale scandal at Planned Parenthood is being aided and abetted by another scandal: the refusal of vast portions of the mainstream media to cover the issue. The release of numerous videos that detail the brutal and criminal killing and dismembering even of babies outside of the womb in order to obtain body…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… The Man Jesus — Humanity At Its Perfection

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 17 What was Jesus like, as a Man? We know about His divinity, we believe in it, but what was He like in His daily life with people in general? We call this topic investigating the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, or, more simply, Jesus the Man. In an obscure province of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Aidan

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Church names many saints as patrons of certain professions, troubles, or countries. St. Benedict is the patron saint of Europe. As the father of Western monasticism, he is credited with building Western civilization. St. Catherine of Siena is also a patron of Europe since she played important roles in settling both civil and ecclesiastical disputes. St.…Continue Reading