by Thomas More Law Center
The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, late yesterday, filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court asking for review of the HHS Mandate Challenge filed by the Law Center on behalf of Michael Potter and his natural food company, Eden Foods.
In late October, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Potter’s request for a preliminary injunction against the Mandate which requires employers to provide health insurance for their employees which covers 100% of the cost of contraception and abortifacients, as well as related education or pay draconian fines which, in the case of Eden Foods, would amount to over $4.5 million dollars.
The petition specifically asks the court to review the lower court’s decision concerning whether the choice forced on religious employers by the HHS Mandate between subjecting to fines for providing health insurance pursuant to their religious beliefs or violating the tenets of their religious beliefs violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment.… Read the rest
by Lisa Correnti (Turtle Bay and Beyond)
Next week family planning and abortion advocates will come out in force for an International Family Planning conference co-hosted by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health and Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population.
The 3-day conference opens in Addis Ababa with the theme “Full Access—Full Choice.” Stakeholders will present on greater access to abortion and how to scale up delivery of the harmful injectable contraceptive Depo Provera to women of color – with a new push to adolescent girls.
These confabs are now occurring annually due to the big money Melinda Gates, the U.S., and European governments have committed to international family planning which has siphoned money from maternal and child heath programs. Abortion groups like International Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes now receive millions to distribute this dangerous contraceptive in less developed countries.
This so-called contraceptive of “choice” promoted by population control enthusiasts carries a “black-box warning” issued by the manufacturer after million dollar lawsuits were brought against Pfizer in the U.S.… Read the rest
By CNA/EWTN News
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, urged his fellow bishops to be advocates of Christians persecuted for their faith around the world, encouraging prayers as well as action on their behalf.
“We bishops, as shepherds of one of the most richly blessed communities of faith on the planet, as pastors who have spoken with enthusiastic unity in defense of our own religious freedom, must become advocates and champions for these Christians whose lives hang in the balance, as we dare not allow our laudable battles over religious freedom at home to obscure the actual violence being inflicted on Christians elsewhere,” Cardinal Dolan told the bishops’ assembly Nov. 11.
The U.S. bishops’ conference is holding its fall assembly Nov. 11-14 in Baltimore. On Nov. 12, the assembly will elect the successor to Cardinal Dolan, who has served as conference president for the last three years, in addition to serving as Archbishop of New York.… Read the rest
By Adelaide Mena (CNA/EWTN News)
A bill to prohibit workplace discrimination against homosexual and transgender persons poses serious threats to religious freedom and undermines the biological basis of gender, say its critics as it heads to a crucial Senate vote.
“All Americans should oppose unjust discrimination, but ENDA does not advance that goal. In fact, it moves us in the wrong direction,” said scholar and author Ryan T. Anderson.
He told CNA on Nov. 5 that the proposed law “creates new, subjective protected classes that would expose employers to unimaginable liability.”
“No doubt these are difficult and delicate issues, and that is why they are best left to those closest to the decision – not a one-size-fits-all rule from Washington.”
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and the employee’s stated gender identity by all larger non-religious, civilian employers.
Religious organizations, non-profit membership-only clubs, and employers with fewer than 15 employees would be exempt from the legislation.… Read the rest
Fr. Michael P. Orsi recently gave an invocation at the American Spectator’s Robert L. Bartley dinner. His prayer is one that will reverberate in the hearts of Christians throughout America:
Please keep in mind these words of Mother Teresa of Calcutta as we pray together this evening:
“We do not have to be successful, but we must remain faithful.”
Let us pray:
God, our Father, this great country of ours is going through a time of trial. Our identity as a virtuous people; hard working, creative, thrifty and free is now being undermined.
Like the prophets of old, new prophets who love this exceptional nation are challenging the false gods who are trying to enslave us by forcing on us those things we do not want and those things we believe to be immoral.
These new prophets warn us, your almost chosen people”, that our rights are being jeopardized and that the American dream must be built on solid rock – and not on sand, or else our children will inherit the wind.… Read the rest
From Catholic News Agency
Four Iranian Christians were sentenced last week to 80 lashes each for drinking communion wine during a communion service at a house church.
The four men were charged in court with drinking alcohol and possessing a receiver and satellite antenna in Rasht, a city 200 miles northwest of Tehran, on Oct. 6. The verdict was delivered to the men Oct. 20, and they have been given ten days to appeal the sentence, the group Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports.
Iran is an Islamic Republic, and Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol. Non-Muslims account for less than one percent of Iran’s population.
The charged men are members of the Church of Iran, a Protestant ecclesial community. Two of the men were arrested Dec. 31, 2012, during the government’s crackdown on house churches.
Mervyn Thomas, head of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, criticized the sentence.
“The sentences handed down to these members of the Church of Iran effectively criminalize the Christian sacrament of sharing in the Lord’s Supper and constitute an unacceptable infringement on the right to practice faith freely and peaceably,” he said Oct.… Read the rest
‘The government should not be in the business of forcing people to violate their religious convictions,’ said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.
BY JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND (NCRegister)
On Oct. 28, with just months to go before federal law requires its compliance with the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate, EWTN Global Catholic Network filed a new legal challenge in federal court against the controversial law.
Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced that the state would join EWTN as a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, which asks the court both to halt the government from imposing the HHS mandate and to find that the law is unconstitutional. The lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama, names the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
“EWTN has no other option but to continue our legal challenge to the mandate,” said EWTN chairman and CEO Michael Warsaw, in a statement released on Oct.… Read the rest
by GAIL FINKE (Catholic Exchange)
The Thomas more Society announced Tuesday that it will petition the Supreme Court to hear a case by a Catholic-owned company against the U.S. government.
Calling the requirement that Catholic and other business owners pay for insurance coverage of drugs and operations they object to on religious grounds “a mockery of the very notion of religious freedom,” TMS President Tom Brejcha said the law “cannot be tolerated in a society that professes to honor fundamental civil liberties.”
John Kennedy, CEO of two family-owned equipment manufacturing companies (the Autocam Corp. and Autocam Medical) in Michigan, is a devout Catholic. Autocam has always contracted with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan for a specifically designed a health insurance plan excluding contraception, sterilization, abortion, and abortion-inducing drugs.
In the original suit, the attorneys claimed that the family’s religious liberty rights, as guaranteed by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), were violated by the mandate.… Read the rest
By Dr. Gerard Nadal (Catholic Lane)
Groucho Marx used to tell of a man who went to see a psychiatrist:
So you see, doctor, the problem is that my brother thinks he’s a chicken.
Well, have you told him he’s not a chicken?
Because we need the eggs!
As the implosion of Western Civilization accelerates, the once unthinkable becomes part of mainstream medicine. In truth a book could be written on the mainstreaming of human perversion, and if such a book were to be written one its darkest chapters would be the transgendering of children with gender dysphoria. From the Daily Mail comes the story of an eleven-year old boy, adopted son of lesbian parents, who began transitioning hormonally to a “female” at age eight. Read the stomach-churning story here.
There are several dimensions of the story that are noteworthy, and while the lesbian angle could be further explored, there are doubtless many lesbian couples who would never countenance what this couple has done.… Read the rest
Abortion, public prayer and HHS mandate cases are under review.
BY JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND (NCRegister)
The U.S. Supreme Court is diving into a new term, with several cases threatening court precedents dealing with abortion and public prayer.
Church leaders and religious-freedom advocates are also waiting to see whether the high court will agree to hear one or more appeals in legal challenges to the Health and Human Services’ contraception mandate filed by for-profit employers who oppose the federal law on moral grounds.
While the justices are not slated to hear blockbuster cases like recent challenges to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, or the federal Defense of Marriage Act, The Washington Post noted that the high court has increasingly become the “uneasy arbiter of America’s intractable social conflicts.”
Indeed, for John Kennedy, the Catholic CEO of Autocam, a Michigan-based manufacturing company and one of 30 for-profit employers who have sued Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius over the federal contraception mandate, the high court now offers his last hope, after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against him.… Read the rest