On Tuesday, Wheaton College and Belmont Abbey College won a legal round against the HHS contraceptive mandate not only for themselves, **but for all fellow plaintiffs ** as a D.C. appeals court prompted the Obama administration to promise not to enforce the mandate (as currently written) and—on top of that—regularly report on its progress toward new rules that better protect religious freedom.
Good… We must* kill* this beast of a Law…
Good. I knew there was no way this law would stand up in court!
In a statement released to The Cardinal Newman Society concerning an appellate court’s decision to reinstate Belmont Abbey College’s case against the HHS mandate, College President Dr. William Thierfelder said:
Christmas came early this year! The D.C. Circuit Federal Court of Appeals’ ruling is a major victory for Belmont Abbey College in its challenge to the HHS mandate. The two concessions made by the government lawyers in court to never enforce the current mandate against Belmont Abbey College and to publish a proposed new rule by the end of the first quarter in 2013, are the answers to our prayers. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty has done an extrodinary job in defending us and I most grateful for Kyle Duncan’s masterful presentation to the court.
The court not only reinstated Belmont Abbey’s lawsuit but is also holding the government to promises it made in court to “never enforce [the mandate] in its current form” against Belmont Abbey College as well as publish a proposed new rule in the first quarter of 2013.
Wheaton College, an evangelical institution, is a co-plaintiff on the case.
A big step in the right direction. Part of me wants to just see the government cave on this across the board. Part of me wants to see it go to the Supreme Court, but I am scared at the potential results of such a hearing. The SCOTUS has not exactly been acting in a predictable manner as of late.
Two major points of victory:
The court based its decision on two concessions that government lawyers made in open court. First, the government promised “it would never enforce [the mandate] in its current form” against Wheaton, Belmont Abbey or other similarly situated religious groups. Second, the government promised it would publish a proposed new rule “in the first quarter of 2013” and would finalize it by next August. The administration made both concessions under intense questioning by the appellate judges. The court deemed the concessions a “binding commitment” and has retained jurisdiction over the case to ensure the government follows through.
We should follow closely the career and events around Justice Brian Cogan, who has taken a personal interest in seeing the Administration held to this commitment:
“There is no ‘Trust us changes are coming’ clause in the Constitution,” wrote judge Brian Cogan.
Pray constantly, and make preparations.
A way to go but this is a big victory for religious liberty. Court said to protect religious freedom the Obama admin has to rewrite the HHS mandate. Mainstream media is barely covering this
Ruling from the court
This brings to mind the radio essay by Paul Harvey “If I were the Devil”. He featured it on his program in 1965. As some would say, very prophetic. I think FOX has a link to it. Worth hearing.
Here is the text:
“If I were the devil, I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree — Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first — I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: ‘Do as you please. Do as you please.’
“To the young, I would whisper, ‘The Bible is a myth.’ I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is ‘square.’ And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’
“And then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.
“If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches that war with themselves, and nations that war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flames. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions — just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.
“Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography — soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.
“If I were the devil I’d take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were to devil I’d keep on doing on what he’s doing. Paul Harvey, good day.”
Bishops urged to imitate St. Thomas More in mandate fight
Have I mentioned how much I love Archbishop Chaput lately? Thank God for men like him in the Church!
Yay Protestants! Thanks Wheaton College for helping to say that at least once in my lifetime.
Hope it’s not the last … Allies? (ALLIES!)
After all … how many Jesuses were there.
I mean … Divine ones. Sorry for the plural.
Never a doubt. Unless they’re talking about the one in Massachuset, the college is only a few miles from my house. It’s in a nice and friendly location west of Chicago. Used to go there to watch the Chicago Bulls practice.
I’m pretty sure now the administration is going to lose or change it’s mind about the whole mandate thing. It seems like it was just a bone thrown to the base, but in the bigger picture it just seems it isn’t that important to Obama. The government lawyer even said they had no intention of actually enforcing the mandate (for Wheaton College), I’m guessing the administration will give in and say “well, we did what we could” to placate the base, shrug it’s shoulders and move on without giving it anymore thought.
Obama admin has a record of loyalty towards abortion and Planned Parenthood before it does before religious freedom so I do not agree. If they intended on backing down on the mandate then why some money on attorneys to argue in favour of the mandate in court in these numerous cases?
I think they have to put up a semblance of a fight, but it seems half-hearted at best at this point. And really to most Americans, this issue is way down the list on importance. So I don’t think it will be that big of hit for the administration to lose interest or shrug its shoulders if they lose the fight.
You are probably right. The whole thing seemed to have been conjured to appease those who were threatening with discrimination lawsuits. This way he can tell his base he tried as you say, but in the overall scheme of things, it won’t matter. I don’t see Obama losing too much sleep over it.
So very sad that we have to count our victories in piece-meal fashion. Catholic votes for Obama have left us to pick our battles and decide which religious freedoms we choose to defend.
I’m glad to see a number of us concerned and commenting on here. Perhaps we should mark this fellowship with a prayer. Would you be willing to pray this daily for the next week, from today (1/3) to next Thursday (1/10)? It’s from 1791, ascribed to Archbishop John Carrol, SJ.
[size=]We pray you, O God of might, wisdom, and justice, through whom authority is rightly administered,
laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with your Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the
President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be
eminently useful to your people, over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and
religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.
Let the light of your divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the
proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of
peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and
may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.
We recommend likewise, to your unbounded mercy, all our fellow citizens throughout the United States,
that we may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of your most holy law; that
we may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the
blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal. Amen.[/size]