Via the Anchoress:
The Little Sisters of the Poor are heroic social servants: they serve the indigent poor and go begging on their behalf. They are tremendous women offering companionship, love and hospitality to people who often have no one else in their lives willing to see and affirm their dignity and worth, and they don’t ask “are you a Catholic” before they make that offer: it is for all.
Likewise, in their many facilities across the nation, the Little Sisters employ nurses, and aides and helpers, and they do not ask, “are you a Catholic” before they hire them.
And because the Sisters do not discriminate in their service or their hiring, they, and their ministry, and the aged population they serve, are all begin imperiled by the United States Government, specifically by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Obama Administration.
How can that be? How can these religious Sisters, living in a country where the first amendment to its constitution insists upon a free expression of religion and the exercise thereof be in peril? Because the HHS and the Obama Administration say that if the Sisters do not deny their own consciences and offer insurance policies to their employees that include free coverage for sterilization procedures, artificial contraceptives and abortifacients, these vowed-to-poverty women will have to pay approximately a million dollars in IRS fines, effectively making their work near-to-impossible.
Yes, they’ll be punished and perhaps driven from serving the poor in America — the poor of every race and creed — for the sin of not prostrating themselves before a secularist culture that has made an idol of preventing the conception and growth of human life — a strange god endowed with so much power that the government believes it can and must stomp on fundamental human freedoms of conscience in order to serve it.
She has additional information on the lawsuit on their behalf by the The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty that the Little Sisters did not want to have to pursue.
Really, what is the Obama Administration thinking? What is the HHS thinking? Do they really want these optics: the government forcing dedicated sisters to abandon their work with the elderly and the poor?
This could be a real head-scratcher if you don’t consider just how ideologically bound the Obama administration is. It would have been so easy for them to make the standard exemptions, but that doesn’t advance the agenda as much as they wanted. You will be assimilated by this borg-like administration and dissenters will be punished. Elitists do our thinking for us, conscience-exemptions be damned.
On the other hand partly I am glad they went this route since this at leaves gives a chance for secular businesses to also have a chance to also have a religious exemption. If the Obama administration had gone the normal path with exemptions than likely businesses like Hobby Lobby and others would have had a much tougher battle. It is no surprised that what is happening Little Sisters of the Poor is making headlines all the way up to the Drudge Report. It is so ridiculous on every level they don’t qualify under a religious conscience clause.
Under the Obama administration getting a religious exemption the way is narrow and I am just surprised that the qualification for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle was not part of the HHS regulation.