Caught between their Catechism and Caesar, the Little Sisters of the Poor must either pay crippling fines or defy their church’s teaching and comply with the Obama Administration’s contraception and abortifacient mandate. It’s fair to say that you’ve surrendered any claims to pragmatism when your policies force those who have taken a vow of chastity to buy birth control. When my grandchildren ask me if there was a point when I knew for certain that the United States was going down the tubes, I’m going to say, “Yes, it was when we made the nuns buy condoms. That’s when I knew.”
The Little Sisters won’t be able to afford the fines for refusing to comply, and since all of their older siblings are Poor, they can’t expect much financial help there either. As a result, they’ve announced that they may be forced to move their order out of the country due to the religious intolerance. If that happened, the United States would join a prestigious list of Little Sister religious oppressors that includes the Chinese communists and Myanmar military junta. That’s like the Brazilian national soccer team suddenly joining an NFL division that included the Oakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens, only incredibly sad instead of absolutely fascinating.
But no real harm will be done by the Sisters closing up shop, right? Don’t nuns just kneel around all day, praying rosaries to pass the times when they aren’t beating school kids with rulers? Not the Little Sisters of the Poor. They provide shelter and care to elderly who have nowhere else to go, and accomplish all this despite taking a pledge of poverty and procuring most of their resources through begging. They’re kind of like Social Security and Medicare mixed together, only financially sustainable and loving, and minus the inefficiency and fraud.
This may explain why the Obama administration is going after them, as the Little Sisters’ business model runs counter to Democrat’s wasteful government worldview of coercive funding and soul-sucking dependence on the all-powerful welfare state. Not to mention, it’s hard for Obama to claim the mantle of empathy champion when there are people out there literally giving up everything they own in order to serve the poor (while he takes a private jet to a Hawaiian resort for a multi-million dollar vacation at taxpayer expense). Can you really blame Obama for asserting the brute force of government power against these do-gooders? We’ve all been put to shame at one time or another. Are you really sure how you’d react if you had the presidential power to make your shamer’s existence illegal? C’mon, you’d at least be tempted.
Hopefully everything will turn out okay, especially for the sake of the desperate elderly who the Little Sisters serve. It’s still possible that the HHS Secretary will grant an exemption, giving the Sisters a reprieve. Although, it is a bit unseemly to pledge to God that you’ll serve the poor and then have to ask Barack Obama for permission to.
If not, perhaps Justice Sonia Sotomayor will join Justices Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and Kennedy in declaring the HHS mandate an unconstitutional infringement upon religious freedom. After all, I’ve been hearing lately that every Hispanic is a natural conservative just waiting to come out.
Or maybe Whoopi Goldberg will join the Little Sisters for a bit, revive their choir, and they can win a big cash prize at a singing competition, saving the order! And why not? That scenario certainly wouldn’t be any crazier than the United States government making a bunch of Catholic nuns buy morning-after pills.
UPDATE: The saga continues.