DOJ to SCOTUS: Nuns Must Violate Faith or Pay Fines

Washington, D.C. – The Department of Justice filed their response this morning to Justice Sotomayor’s 11th hour emergency injunction protecting the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order of nuns who take care of the needy and dying elderly (see video), against the controversial HHS mandate.    The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the nuns, issues the following statement, and will held a press conference at 1:30pm EST to discuss the legal issues and take questions from members of the media:

“The government demands that the Little Sisters of the Poor sign a permission slip for abortion drugs and contraceptives, or pay of millions in fines. The Sisters believe that doing that violates their faith, and that they shouldn’t be forced to divert funds from the poor elderly and dying people they’ve devoted their lives to serve.”  — Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Lead Counsel for the Little Sisters  (see full statement below) 

The following statement can be attributed to Mark Rienzi, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Lead Counsel for the Little Sisters:

“Unfortunately, the federal government has started the new year the same way that it ended the old one: trying to bully nuns into violating their religious beliefs.

“The government demands that the Little Sisters of the Poor sign a permission slip for abortion drugs and contraceptives, or pay of millions in fines. The Sisters believe that doing that violates their faith, and that they shouldn’t be forced to divert funds from the elderly poor they serve to the IRS.

“The government now asks the Supreme Court to believe that the very thing it is forcing the nuns to do—signing the permission slip—is a meaningless act.  But why on earth would the government be fighting the Little Sisters all the way to the Supreme Court if it did not think its own form had any effect?  The government’s brief offers no explanation for its surprising insistence on making the Little Sisters sign a form the government now says is meaningless.

“And now the government is asking the Supreme Court to look the other way while it coerces the Little Sisters.  If the administration believed its contraceptive mandate was valid, it would join the Little Sisters’ request for Supreme Court review because the government has lost almost all of the cases in the lower courts.  Instead, its brief today is devoted to trying to keep the Court out of the issue, which would leave hundreds of religious organizations subject to massive fines for following their religion.

“All of this is sad and unnecessary.  Our federal government is massive and powerful.  It can obviously find ways to distribute contraceptives and abortion pills without forcing nuns to be involved.”

To date, there are currently 91 lawsuits challenging the unconstitutional HHS mandate. The Becket Fund represents: Hobby LobbyLittle Sisters of the PoorGuidestoneWheaton CollegeEast Texas Baptist UniversityHouston Baptist UniversityColorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network,Ave Maria University, and Belmont Abbey College.

 

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Bob & Chuck Talk Ducks

The FAMiLY LEADER invites you to join us in supporting Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, with the likes of Mike Huckabee, Family Research Council, National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom, and many others!

Even strong leaders like Phil need others to stand with them.  When you partner with TFL, you give us support when we stand for marriage and family in the public square.  Here’s how you can make a difference:

1. Email A&E’s executives through NOM’s online petition.

2. Commit to joining TLF as a card-carrying FAMiLY LEADER Member today for just $20.16 a month!  You will be linking arms with TFL and thousands like yourself who want to see Biblical values defended and advanced in today’s culture.

Watch Bob and Chuck discuss recent current events, their stand with Phil, and how you can make a difference!




ENDA Threatens Fundamental Civil Liberties

Anderson_RyanRyan T. Anderson at The Heritage Foundation wrote an extensive piece on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, and how it threatens fundamental First Amendment rights.  The Abstract is below, click here to see the article…

Abstract

All citizens should oppose unjust discrimination, but the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 is not the way to achieve that goal. ENDA threatens fundamental First Amendment rights. It creates new, subjective protected classes that will expose employers to unimaginable liability. Furthermore, ENDA would increase government interference in labor markets in ways that could harm the economy. Yet ENDA’s damage is not only economic: It would further weaken the marriage culture and the freedom of citizens and their associations to affirm their religious or moral convictions, such as that marriage is the union of one man and one woman and that maleness and femaleness are not arbitrary constructs but objective ways of being human. ENDA would treat expressing these beliefs in an employment context as actionable discrimination.

 

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IRS Caught on Tape

By Todd Starnes at Fox News

An Internal Revenue Service agent was recorded on audiotape telling a pro-life organization that they had to remain neutral on the issue of abortion and lectured the group’s president about forcing its religious beliefs on others.

“You have to know your boundaries,” IRS agent Sherry Wan can be heard telling Ania Joseph, president of the Pro-Life Revolution. “You have to know your limits. You have to respect other people’s beliefs.”

The Alliance Defending Freedom said Joseph recorded the March 8, 2012 conversation during a two-year battle with the IRS to obtain tax-exempt status.

“You have the religious freedom; the freedom of speech,” Wan told the pro-life president. “And other people also have the civil rights; human rights. You cannot, you know, use your religious belief to tell other people you don’t have a belief. So I don’t believe you need the right to do this.”

ADF attorney Erik Stanley said the actions of the IRS are simply unconstitutional. Read entire article…

IRS Caught on Tape from ADF Media Relations on Vimeo.

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“Shocking” Vatican Report: 100,000 Christians Killed Every Year

A top Vatican official has released a “shocking” report to the U.N. estimating that over 100,000 Christians are killed every year for reasons relating to their faith.

“Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year. Other Christians and other believers are subjected to forced displacement, to the destruction of their places of worship, to rape and to the abduction of their leaders – as it recently happened in the case of Bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, in Aleppo,” Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi said in his U.N. report, according to Vatican Radioread more…

 

What does this news cause you to do?  Shrink back and be afraid of your faith, or does it cause you to be bolder?  You need to be a leader in your local church by sharing your faith and teaching others in your church to do the same.  As Paul wrote in Romans 8,

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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DMACC’s “Free Speech Table” Folds

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Area Community College has agreed to no longer enforce its policy of limiting its approved student speech zone to a table in the student center. It has also agreed to no longer require students to get permission to distribute fliers 10 school days in advance.

The agreement is enshrined in an agreed-upon court order issued Monday in a lawsuit Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed last month on behalf of a student. The college prohibited him from distributing fliers that protested the use of college funds for a conference on sexuality.

DavidHacker_tn“Colleges should be the marketplace of ideas. The college has done the right thing in recognizing this by agreeing to end its problematic policy concerning the free speech of students,” said Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. “Free speech should not be censored or limited to a tiny area on campus, and college students should not need permission to hand out fliers–a classic exercise in constitutionally protected free speech.”

In March, college officials barred Jacob Dagel, a Christian student at Des Moines Area Community College, from distributing fliers containing religious and political messages in the open-air quad on campus. The fliers protested the allocation of college funds to subsidize student tickets to the Iowa Governor’s Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth. A campus security officer informed Dagel that students must use the speech zone and obtain a permit 10 school days prior to the activity.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Dagel filed suit against the college on April 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The suit argued that the college’s speech policy unconstitutionally prohibited students from speaking spontaneously in reaction to news and current events on the public sidewalks and open spaces of the campus. In response to the suit, college officials agreed to a permanent injunction against the bad speech policies while a settlement of the case is finalized.

Timm W. Reid, one of more than 2,200 allied attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom, is serving as local counsel in the case, Dagel v. Des Moines Area Community College.

Source: Alliance Defending Freedom

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