The HHS mandate row is, as it is natural, very complicated; particularly for people, like me, who live the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and can’t spend their lives looking at the details. In particular, it is difficult for a European observer to immediately grasp the two profiles of contraception and abortion.
More in particular, things are complicated in that, as I could understand it, Hobby Lobby opposed a limited number of – medicaments officially considered – contraceptives because they deem them abortifacients. Which means, if I got it right, that at least as far as they are concerned the issue is abortion, not contraception. But the issue is at the same time also religious freedom, and I understand the Supreme Court decision was limited to a limited number of medicaments which, whilst abortifacients, are officially contraceptives. Therefore, whilst Hobby Lobby can be satisfied, we aren’t (yet).
Things are more complicated for Catholic organisations than for Hobby Lobby, as – if they are Catholics in more than name only – they must oppose both contraceptive and abortifacients of all sorts. Again, from what I gather the Supreme Court examined the cases under the aspect of religious freedom, which unavoidably must apply to contraceptives as well as abortifacients. Therefore, it would appear to me, unless I got it wrong, that whilst the issue has not been explicitly decided yet, there is a fairly good chance that the Supreme Court will upheld the right of every Catholic organisation (non-profit one, or for-profit if closely held) to deny every medicament going against Catholic teaching, contraceptives as well as abortifacients.
Some of my US American readers might perhaps provide me with easy and concise explanations, or with links helping with the matter.
I have found this here and this here, and will look at them more in detail as time allows. I am interested in particular in the chances of the contraception battle for nonprofit and closely held for-profit organisations, as it seems to me that concerning certain abortifacients things should be clear enough for both for-profit and non-profit ones.
Again, I am thankful for sober, digestible guidance in the intricacies of the law and the judicial decision.
This time, the exemption is broader than in the Hobby Lobby sentence, and it comprises organisations and istitutions not included in the “closely held” definition used in the Hobby Lobby sentence. A TV network, a Catholic Diocese, an orphanage (I think), a school and a college are among those exempted.
This is another punch in the nose for the HHS mandate. It will not kill it, but it’s very good news nevertheless.
Waiting now to see ho wmany Jesuit universities will offer contraception in their health plans even if not mandated.
And it came to pass the Dyke- and Liberal-plagued Supreme Court of the US ruled that if a company is “closely held” (which means that a maximum of 5 individuals control 50% of the shares) it does not have to comply with the contraception mandate.
I am awaiting further news, but I would say this is a lot of companies, not necessarily small (some, in fact, might well be very big). Good news, and actually the freshest breath of air I could draw in many months.
But I wonder whether this is not merely a blip, a short pause in the relentless assault of the Gaystapo to our freedoms and, more importantly, to Christianity.
This is, if I understand correctly, a 5-4 decision in a court already employing, for life, a scandalous dyke. What did not happen in 2014 could, then, well happen in 2024, or even in 2019. Actually, it could happen rather easily as long as the US electorate keeps giving to itself every four years the choice between a 100% cretin and his best imitator.
This time we got 5-4 lucky, at least in this matter, but unless there is a reverse in this damn “who am I to judge”-mentality and the Catholic clergy starts to bite already, it is only a matter of time until the tsunami of the heathenish,ignorant feel-good masses submerges everything on its way.
The battle is, first and foremost, a religious and cultural one. Without the deterioration of Christianity in the US in the last fifty years the contraception mandate would be unthinkable, as even those who are not Christian would share a set of value in the light of which they live and understand their own freedoms. Not so in a Country which sends a dyke to the Supreme Court, and perverts are allowed to “celebrate” their own perversion in the lewdest of ways (they are perverts, so what else can you expect?) without any problem from the public authorities or the police.
In order to effectively fight this battle, we need a hierarchy made of people who believe in God and are afraid of Judgment. It is obvious to me, from countless examples of their behaviour, that too many of our Bishops and Cardinals, starting from Mr “who am I to judge” himself, do not do either. To them, the clerical habit means a job for life, a life of privileges, and a huge stroke to their ego. They will, like Pope Leo X, “enjoy it” while it lasts. What happens after them – in 20, or 30, or 50 years – obviously does not concern them in the least. When they're gone they're gone, they think. So: stuff the church and the let me enjoy the limelight, or at least my quiet life of privileges.
The trumpet is calling the troops to surrender. It's not easy to fight in these conditions.
When will this end? It will end, I think, when the Lord in his Justice decides that we have been punished enough for the insolence started in the Sixties, both from the laity who think they knew better and from the clergy who wanted to be their “friend”.
From where I stand, I see this insolence increasing within the Hierarchy, growing by leaps and bounds as the stupid headlines of last year become the Catechism Of Mercy of this year. With ugly regularity, bishops and Cardinals try to outdo each other in a mad race of Modernism, all of them regularly quoting Francis as their “”inspiration”.
The Instrumentum released in preparation of the October Synod contains phrases of open, proudly shouted Modernism; a Modernism that is now not even concealed, but dares to show itself in the open, fuelled by the many cretinous statements of a Pope so much in love with himself that he will not even stop three seconds to think of the implications of what he is about to say.
Do not think, therefore, that the good news from Washington is the beginning of a new phase. The Catholic hierarchy is still shooting at the Catholic troops, shelling them with their Modernist cannons like it's 1915.
As long as the hierarchy is so obviously making the work of the Devil, our efforts will be meritorious – and certainly a duty of every sincere Catholic – but they will not be able to stem the tide of madness. Things will only begin to change when the Lords causes good and sincere shepherds to get in the positions of influence replacing the atheist, prostituted generation of the Nicholses, the Dolans and the Bergoglios.
This 5-4 ruling is, in fact, no more than dusk that can be seen at the end of the tunnel. But in the times we are living, I'll be happy with whatever light I get.
Kathleen Sebelius' destiny appeared, to external observers like yours truly, sealed for a while already. It was evident to any halfway skilled observer that a mess like Obamacare would need for people very high in the chain of command to fall on his sword, so that the Emperor may go on living. The approaching mid-term elections also made it utterly unthinkable to continue for much longer without an Officially Sacrificed Scapegoat. Therefore, the female was clearly a goner. Today, it was announced she was finally ordered to fall on her sword. No, they didn't put it this way. But you and I can see through the usual spinmeisters' crap, that persuades only those who don't need persuading.
I now predict Obamacare will undergo the same fate of Communism: as the real existing one continues to wreak havoc in the lives of countless people, the die-hard fans will insist the problem is merely in the implementation, which could have been better, but clearly not in the product itself. Whose fault it is, that Sebelius did not realise the Obamian Utopia, we will never be told. The locusts, probably. The earthquake. Certainly not the godless madness of the Emperor, who is Divine and therefore above success and failure.
Sebelius' political demise marks the day the Obama administration openly – though still not officially – admits Obamacare is a huge liability, and the situation is now called “red alert”. The attempt starts today to say the mess is not Obama's fault. He was betrayed by people he trusted. Not because he is an idiot, but because he flies too high for the dirt and little miseries of this world, where Christians demand that their religious freedom is respected, companies are fed up with having additional costs burdened of them, simple citizens discover every day the same, and everyone realises whenever Barry tells you you can keep something, you had better start saying farewell to it now.
Obamacare is in shambles. The Biggest Possible Scapegoat has been slaughtered today. All the problems remain. Barry has nowhere to hide, though the army of boot lickers will shield him as they can. I don't think the midterm will be a great joy to him, making him even lamer than he is now, and with the party scrambling for a face saving castration of Obamacare before the 2016 elections care for it themselves. We shall see.
But it's good to see Kathleen meet the same end as her almost identical twin, depicted above.
It could have been better (not with this Pope, perhaps) but it could have been much worse, too.
In the reports of the papal visit there is no trace of the social justice love-in in which Barry Boy had certainly hoped. The Vatican communique is very short, and gives great relevance to the US internal issues. Certainly pretty much the biggest relevance that can be expected in a diplomatic setting.
We do not know what was said in private, but this is perfectly irrelevant as nobody can have a conversation with the Bishop of Rome and go away with three intelligible thoughts in a row.
There were the inevitable photo-ops, too, but they won’t help Barry Boy much. He makes the impression that he is trying to shine out of the reflected light of the Enemies Of Christ’s Most Beloved Pontiff, which isn’t much of a messianic statement.
Nor will this, I think, be much of a media coup for Francis. He certainly prefers the cover of Rolling Stone, or anything remotely stinking of favela, than a duet in which he has – wisely, I think, for once – followed the counsel of his advisors, not to help Obama in his social-justice-cum-abortion-and-oppression-of-Christians crusade.
Pretty much of a non-event, then, from what I could read up to now.
And in the times in which we are living, every non-event can only be good news.
By the Grace of God I am no Obama, but if I were I would start being rather worried about the ultimate outcome of the HHS mandate.
We are now informed the count now is at eleven decisions to three in favour of decent Christians. It is also to be noticed all decisions to date concern “for profit” organisations.
It is already clear this will be a very difficult childbirth.
Let’s hope in a late-term abortion.
And so Cardinal Dolan is now trying to recover face after the shameless electoral help given to Obama, certainly in the hope that he will guffaw his way out of an utter loss of face with a couple of edifying exhortations, like the one to go to confession.
All very fine of course, if to the cynical eyes of yours truly this wouldn’t smell of a smoke screen aimed at letting us forget what a sell-out the Cardinal was until some days ago.
After his shameless betrayal of every pro-life decency (and make no mistake, he did it to stay in the graces of the man he thought would win; that’s why he did it; he is the kind of man who doesn’t refuse to help… the winner…) the very minimum the Cardinal can do now is to signal that he will defy a jail sentence (like some of his colleagues are already starting to do; Archbishop Lori of Baltimore comes to mind, and Bishop Conley of Lincoln) rather than bow to the HHS mandate.
Cardinal Dolan is the Numero Uno of the US Catholics, and a successor of the Apostles; he should remember his duty to fight the good fight, and the consequences he must be able to bear in consideration of the habit he wears. It now behoves him to stop guffawing already and start showing whether he is, as the immortal Alessandro Manzoni would say, an iron or an earthen vase.
I for myself am not ready to give sell outs any credit, unless and until they start to deserve it. Even if they happen to wear a red hat.
Enough of whitened sepulchres.
You may have noticed that I very seldom post about some speech of the Pope. The reason for this is that I rarely (nay: almost never) find them of any relevance whatsoever in dealing with the concrete, everyday problems of the life of Catholics.
I do not mean here that a Pope should thunder every Monday against Obama and every Tuesday against Cameron, though that would be good, too (A Pope is a head of State, but a Pope first; strong Popes of the past never had a problem in confronting Kings and Emperors). I also do not mean to say that a Pope should not talk about peace, love, and other Christian subjects.
What I mean is that by reading the Pope’s messages you wonder whether the news from Planet Earth manage to enter the offices of the Vatican.
There is almost no day without some new attack on the Christian society, perpetrated by heads of governments, parliaments, judiciary, down to universities, Cardinals, Bishops, and even parish priests. One would expect the Pope to become very stern and very vocal in the defence of Catholicism, and to take the lead in the battle.
Instead, the typical fare coming from the Vatican is the kind of generic waffle which either doesn’t criticise anyone or, if it does, does it in a way that no one needs to feel criticised.
The United Kingdom’s PM might be thinking of launching a same-sex initiative in parliament against the majority of his own party, obviously relying on the Labour votes to make a favour to his girlfriend Clegg and, it is increasingly suspected, keep getting sex at home. Popes of the past would have made his life very difficult.
The US elections showed the Church has almost no grip on the “catholic” electorate, and even her US leader thinks it smart to rub oneself against the president, just in case he should win. I remember reading that in England the entire country was excluded from communion in the XVI century at some stage of the conflict with Henry VIII. Let us say this again: A Pope took away communion from an entire country. In the US, we are probably going to hear another lecture about the importance of “encountering another”.
The HHS mandate threatens the freedom of not only Catholics, but every American. In the past, when the freedom of Catholics was threatened Popes started organising wars, and certainly weren’t shy in saying who was a friend and who was an enemy.
These are just few examples taken out of three seconds of reflection; every one of you can add countless other issues, big and small.
Now let us move on to the Catholic News Agency, and let us see what weapons the Pontiff is using against the deterioration of everything Christian all over the West. As per today I find the following:
“Pope reflects on finding faith in a secular world”: the talk is about “experience of God”, “encountering another”, and such like.
“Pope Calls faith, reason essential to human freedom”: 70 scientists are lectured about “a new vision of the unity of the sciences.” Expressions like “participated being” rear their ugly head.
“Pope reflects on the power of love”. Love is this, love is that. All fine of course, but there’s nothing against Obama, or Cameron.
It’s all like this. If it’s not love is charity, if it’s not charity is understanding, if it’s not understanding is dialogue. All very edifying, no doubt (apart form the “dialogue”), but when it comes to what can make a difference, that is: taking a hard stance on the modern world’s controversies and the battlefields that are shaping the world of the future generations, the Pontiff is utterly and absolutely nowhere to be seen, and rather makes the same impression as the photo above.
In past times, far lesser attacks to Christianity than what is currently going on in countries like the US, Canada and the United Kingdom would have caused prominent excommunications and a promise of cold or – perhaps – warm war.
Nowadays, Joe Biden has just been reelected Vice President, and all we will probably hear is some common place who does not say he is wrong, let aloe punish him. You are unlikely to ever hear from the Pontiff anything even remotely similar to this , and the man who has the gut to talk so beautifully and openly is not some agit-prop, but a Bishop of the Church; one of those who seem to be appointed by the Pope only by mistake, or fortunate coincidence.
The Vatican is fast asleep. What happens outside seems not to concern them and if it does, it is as if Pope and Cardinals thought they are the last one called to vocal and concrete opposition, as opposed to generic waffle.
Sleep, Vatican, sleep.
One day you’ll wake up to jail and persecution, and it will be your fault.
After the election, it is perhaps useful to take stand and see where we are on a couple of things. These are only short reflections I throw in the field now and will be developed in the future:
The evil, satanic man has won against the tepid opportunist so many did not want as a candidate. I’d have preferred it if the race had gone the other way, but I think those who have picked Romney as candidate have only to blame themselves for this defeat, and have absolutely no right to demand everyone votes for the bad candidate just because the opponent is worse. This is the GOP-establishment, Rove thinking which has given us two very mediocre candidates in two elections and would give us mediocre candidates in all eternity, then this thinking condemns us to mediocre candidates. I hope Rove goes for good, and his mentality with him.
2) HHS mandate
At this point, unless the bishops wet their cassocks this is going to become a huge legal fight, and if that goes wrong hopefully a social mess big enough as to force “change”. I doubt the Church in the US has the right personnel to pick up such a fight in a hard way. Again, they reap what they saw, and they get what they deserve. Their bones and skulls will pave the ways in Hell.
3) Catholic vote
I still have to find the exact information. The Latinos have voted for Obama in scaring percentages, but I do not know how many of them defines themselves as atheists or protestants. I suspect the protestants were more opposed to the President than the Catholics on average. Still, it shows the utter failure of the American clergy – collectively seen – in this matter.
I do not have the data of those who define themselves as Catholic Church goers, or as Catholic of Italian, or Irish descent. I suspect the thing goes together with income cohorts. Which shows how ineffective the Church has been.
The Guffawing Cardinal determined to please the President in case the latter should win is (literally) the picture itself of what must change but as always, the change must come whence all change is originated: Rome.
4) The country
I do NOT think the country has become more “liberal”. It has merely become more polarised. The House is not only safely Republican, but these Republicans are as conservative as this was not seen in a long time.
They have not failed, nor has the Country failed them. Romney has failed.
5) The vote
The same electorate sending in the House an encouragingly conservative troop has given McCain less support than the one it had given McCain under the wave of “Obamania”. There is way more brutally eloquent to describe the extent of Romney’s failure to get the conservative vote.
The GOP got another slap in the face, and I think it is a well-deserved one. The age of RINO candidates must end, than it is clear with this strategy the Republican party cannot even win against an atheist Nazi madman who has driven the country to the wall economically and morally.
6) The future
I would like to be able to personally cane those who now write on this blog saying that the battle is lost, we have to live with legalised abortion, we have to live with institutionalised sodomy, or we have to live with Obamacare, or we have to live with everything else. Whatever has been done can be undone. It might be more difficult and more long a process, but life was never supposed to be as easy as we wish. In the absence, I will delete defeatist comments. You want to work for the devil, do it elsewhere.
Find consolation in the thought you live in an age allowing true Christians to strenghten their faith. Never be defeatist. Victory is ours already, though we may never see it in this life. This life is supposed to be a vale of tears, not a walk in the park. The day we die we will be away from all this, and hopefully on our way to complete victory. Let us work on this every day without being distracted or depressed by the world around us.
I will personally pray more, and fight harder. As far as I am concerned, I want Obama to become a mean to my spiritual progress, not to my destruction.
God works in mysterious ways. Pray, and be in good spirits.
I will try to make it (rather) snappy.
I don’t like Romney. I don’t like him, I don’t trust him, and I think he is a weak candidate who will be – for a Republican – an even weaker President.
I think that he will, like Cameron, do whatever he can do to shift to the left (socially, rather than in what concerns the economy) from the very day he is elected. I do not think he has a political spine, or morals, going beyond his own electoral interest.
I think that if he wins, we (as in: the Western world) will be stuck with Cameron’s smarter and richer cousin for the next eight years.
Finally, I think that if the conservative voters succumb to the logic of the lesser evil, they will in all eternity be stuck with candidates who are just a tad less evil than their democratic opponent; because if this is the logic, where will it stop? One will apply this reasoning every time and will vote for the candidate just a bit less evil, every time…
Still, if I lived in the United States I would, after a rather tormented reflection, vote for Romney.
The reason for this is that, upon reflection, I think that this 2012 election might, in fact, be rather unique. The unprecedented attack on religious freedom perpetrated by the Obama troops is not likely to be repeated, particularly if he loses, then the unavoidable awakening of the Church would make such a game more dangerous in four and even more in eight years’ time. This is, I think, the moment of greatest emergency, and one which might not be seen again for a long time.
Mind, I have no illusion Romney will make every effort to deliver as little as he can. He’ll start to repeal Obamacare as little as he can get away with, push for economic reforms as little as he can get away with, protect “civil partnerships” (and, if the occasion is given, so-called “gay marriage”) as much as he can, from day one. He will do this and much more than this because, like every flip-flopper, he does not see principles, but votes. If he is elected, his march toward the Democratic electorate will begin on Wednesday. I have seen all this happening with Cameron, and I assure you it is not a pretty sight. Cameron is, admittedly, more liberal than Romney, but so is the country at large: the way of thinking and the art they will operate once in power is, I think, the same.
Still, there is no denying that even a flip-flopping Romney will have great difficulties in getting much nearer to the Democratic positions, and in the end I’d prefer to have one scared of conservatives in power than one not caring two straws, because he does not even have to be reelected.
Also, the advantage with the flip-floppers is that they can, well, “flop” as well as “flip”: scare them enough into a socially conservative politics and this is what they will deliver, as once again our now serially humiliated Prime Minister is slowly trying to do (too late, I am not afraid…). If the election of a tepid centrist in love with electoral consensus like Romney is strengthened and sharpened by a vocally conservative electorate, you’ll see him with his nose on the trail like a good old hound, and like a good hound he won’t miss the trail.
And then, there is all the rest: from the economy to Israel to the defense forces. All things which would not persuade me to vote for him if he actively promoted intrinsic evil; but hey, he doesn’t do it (very vocally) yet, and Obama does it every day, without any shame, and gagging for more when he is free from the pressure of re-election. I have not yet heard Romney take a hard stance against, say, homosexuality; but hey, for a flip-flopper it’s par for the course.
The other one, though, reminds me rather of the Antichrist. At that point, even I would choose the flip-flopping Mormon.
Therefore, my – rather hard – decision is that it does make sense to vote for Romney; that the probable burying of a suitable candidate for the next eight years might be a price worth paying to kick out the rather satanic tool in power now; and that in the end this is one of those occasions where one can at least pick tomorrow’s enemy; and if this is so, he should do it wisely.
This is why, if I were an American Citizen, I would still vote for Romney on Tuesday.
Let us examine again the reason brought forward to justify the invitation: it is better to talk than to criticise from far away.
Is it? Really? Are Satanists invited to the dinner? What about militant atheists and rabid “homosexualists”? Will a chosen selection of Church-persecuting Chinese leaders be of the party? Oh well…
You don’t say, Your grace? This is an astonishing, revolutionary thought indeed! What might have occasioned such a profound conclusion?
Joe Biden doesn’t know what he is talking about, or he is a liar.
Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:
“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.