Tuesday, January 14, 2014


“When the whip that's keeping you in line doesn't make him jump
Say he's hard-of-hearing, say that he's a chump
Say he's out of step with reality as you try to test his nerve
Because he doesn't pay tribute to the king that you serve.
He's the property of Jesus
Resent him to the bone
You got something better
You've got a heart of stone.”
-          Bob Dylan (Property of Jesus), 1981

Some college football powerhouses add a “cupcake” game to their schedules every year. Loyal fans are treated to the likes of Wake Forest dismantling the overmatched “Blue Hose” from Presbyterian or the spectacle of Miami slapping the Florida A&M “Rattlers” from one end zone to the other.

The day after the games, sportswriters often wryly suggest that Alabama or Notre Dame should start adding the Little Sisters of the Poor to their respective schedules. Thankfully, Alabama and Notre Dame have always rejected the suggestion. They’ve got too much respect for themselves or the Little Sisters.

Unfortunately, that kind of respect doesn’t apply to our government. The Obama justice department, at the behest of Kathleen Sebelius, is going after the Little Sisters of the Poor with a vengeance.

What have the Little Sisters done to provoke such wrath? They’ve said that they cannot in good conscience comply with the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that all employers provide birth control medications, including abortifacients, to their employees.

What other sins have the Little Sisters committed? I’m hard pressed to find them; unless standing up to government bullies or the failure to fear Kathleen Sebelius’s hobnailed boots constitute sins.

As things stand right now, the Little Sisters’ case is in limbo, thanks to an injunction filed by Supreme Court justice Sonya Sotomayor. The next step might be a hearing before the full Supreme Court.

How did it come to this? This isn’t a conflict the Little Sisters of the Poor want. All they want to do is minister to the poor and dying.  Kathleen Sebelius, however, is itching for a fight. The Affordable Care Act and its mandate are her babies and she means to squelch any opposition. In 2011, for example, she boldly declared that opponents of the mandate “want to roll back the last 50 years in progress women have made in comprehensive health care in America. We've come a long way in women's health over the last few decades, but we are in a war (my emphasis added).”

Sebelius and the justice department could find it in their hearts to leave the Little Sisters alone, but they’ve refused. After all, this is war.  Scorched earth is sometimes necessary to ensure the victory.

The administration has told the Little Sisters that all they need to do is “sign the form” and everything will be hunky dory. The Little Sisters are begging to differ. They seem to know what a lot of us already know about the Obama administration. The President’s underlings tend to prevaricate and they do it with great skill. This is the same administration that has trotted I.R.S., H.H.S., N.S.A., and State Department bigwigs up to Capitol Hill to practice their deceit in front of congressional committees. Even the President has gotten into the act by telling us tall tales about keeping our insurance plans and doctors. The Little Sisters are admittedly gentle, trusting souls, but they’re not fools. They aren’t going to sign that paper and that’s that.

The next month or so is going to be very interesting. Will the Little Sisters win their case? Or, more importantly, what might happen if they don’t? Will the government bloodhounds still pursue the Little Sisters? You know they will! Will the Little Sisters remain faithful to their vows of “chastity, poverty, hospitality, and obedience?” You know they will!

Just what would government justice look like if the Little Sisters lost their case? Can the girls be thrown in jail for non-compliance? No. The law doesn’t allow for that, but even if it did, I don’t think the Little Sisters would mind. They’d just turn making license plates and bustin’ rock into labors of love. I guess the government could start sending them threatening letters. The government could even threaten to seize assets, but the Little Sisters have few worldly possessions. Could our government be crass enough to seize their habits? I wouldn't put it past them. Ah, but, there other assets. Surely our government bureaucrats wouldn't consider taking food, medicine, housing, bedding, and nurture from the dying. Would they?

The odds seem to be stacked against the Little Sisters, but I’m not betting against them. They’re laboring under the assumption that their lives belong to a higher power. Kathleen Sebelius has no weapons in her arsenal that can overcome that. In fact, this whole affair has exposed her for what she really is – a ruthless bureaucrat with a heart of stone!