The Corner

Law & the Courts

Why Is Obama Picking on Nuns?

A court of appeals has ruled against granting relief to the Little Sisters of the Poor from having to report their refusal to provide contraception to the government. From the Fox News story:

The court ruled that because the Little Sisters of the Poor had the option of signing a form that would transfer covering contraceptives to a third-party, they failed to show that the ObamaCare mandate placed a burden on their right to exercise freedom of religion.

The question of whether refusing to cover is sufficient complicity to pass the ”substantial burden” test of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act is, I think, a legally debatable proposition.

Why is the Obama administration — which shrugs off Sanctuary Cities’ blatant violations of statutory law — risking a political hit by implacably pursuing nuns who do wonderful and charitable work over birth control? 

I believe that the Obamacarians are playing a longer game, that these cases are about abortion and assisted suicide as much as they are contraception.

Here’s my thinking: Using the uncontroversial-for-the-majority issue of contraception will allow courts to establish principles and parameters on when and how the government can violate religious beliefs in the health insurance context.  

Once those decisions are safely in place–and once the Left gains control of the government as it did in 2009 — Obamacare will be revised to require that abortion be provided free, in the same manner as it does contraception now. That is, after all, a huge agenda item for the feminist Left.

After that, should many of the states legalize assisted suicide, we will see the same kind of mandate.

In summary, Obama is picking on nuns now so that more-objectionable-to-more-people coverage mandates can be imposed on religious objectors later.

But Wesley, what happens if the nuns shut down their work rather than yield their consciences to the government?

Win, win: The Left will howl at the supposed ”hatred,” but won’t mind a bit. They don’t want principled orthodox religious folk in the public square competing for hearts and minds. 

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