Archive for the ‘Religious Freedom’ Category

Religious Freedom is a Civil and Human Right!

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014





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“There is a difference between killing the poor and serving the poor.” Father Frank Pavone, Priests for Life

UPDATE

Monday I did an interview on Airing the Addisons with Wil and Meeke discussing the HHS Mandate and Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Click HERE to listen to that show.

This week at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) involves the lives of every American: yet many are unaware.

Yesterday the SCOTUS heard arguments for two cases, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, regarding their lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, led prayers with other pro-life leaders and religious freedom advocates at a rally in front of the Supreme Court Building in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Planned Parenthood and others they will be bussing in to rally in favor of the HHS Mandate.

The irony now is that during the oral arguments in the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday on whether the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act violates the free exercise of religion, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan suggested that employers who have moral objections to birth control should not provide health care coverage for their employees. They even recommended that employers opt to pay taxes to avoid the mandate and even give employees a $2K raise to buy their own insurance. Does this sound like a socialist agenda?

This is an important question for human and civil rights advocates because much is at stake regarding the Constitutional rights of religious freedom for every American.

Yet another case deals with infringement against religious freedom of non-profit companies. In our Priests for Life case, I join Fr. Frank Pavone, and Janet Morana as parties to our HHS lawsuit; actually the third in a series filed against the HHS Mandate. The irony is the HHS Mandate seeks to force Priests for Life, an organization that teaches that contraception and abortions are dangerous, life threatening and immoral, to pay for, directly or indirectly, the very injustice that we are fighting against.

Our case is in the appeals process in the DC Circuit court. While the appeal works its way through the appeals process, which can be a lengthy undertaking, we have petitioned the SCOTUS to take up the case because of its “imperative public importance.” That petition will be heard later this week, on Friday, March 28.

Please pray that the SCOTUS will make the right decisions and rule in favor of the Hobby Lobby/Conestga Woods case; that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional and pray that the SCOTUS agrees that our PFL case is of such “imperative public importance” that it decides to take up the case and give a favorable ruling.

These legal matters raise civil and human rights issue. It is an injustice to rule on the side of death dealing agents such as carcinogenic fertility blockers. My Uncle M.L. fought for civil rights over 50 years ago and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is coming up later this year. Yet, in 2014 our government is working against our liberties.

May God have mercy and help us, because: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!






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CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014





Yesterday I did an interview on Airing the Addisons with Wil and Meeke discussing the HHS Mandate and Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Click HERE to listen to that show.

Supreme-court-building

This week is a busy one for the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and it involves every American: yet many are unaware.

Today the SCOTUS will hear arguments on two cases, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods, regarding their lawsuits against the HHS Mandate. Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, is gathering with other pro-life leaders and religious freedom advocates for a rally from 10:00-11:30 am in front of the Supreme Court Building in support of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods. Gathered there as well will be Planned Parenthood and others they will be bussing in to rally in favor of the HHS Mandate.

This is an important day for human and civil rights because much is at stake regarding the Constitutional rights of religious freedom for every American.

Yet another case deals with infringement against religious freedom of non-profit companies. In our Priests for Life case, I join Fr. Frank Pavone, and Janet Morana as parties of our HHS lawsuit; actually the third in a series filed against the HHS Mandate. The irony is the HHS Mandate seeks to force Priests for Life, an organization that teaches that contraception and abortions are dangerous, life threatening and immoral, to pay for, directly or indirectly, the very injustice that we are fighting against.

Our case is in the appeals process in the DC Circuit court. While the appeal works its way through the appeals process, which can be a lengthy undertaking, we have petitioned the SCOTUS to take up the case because of its “imperative public importance.” That petition will be heard later this week, on Friday, March 28.

Please pray that the SCOTUS will make the right decisions and rule in favor of the Hobby Lobby/Conestga Woods case; that the HHS Mandate is unconstitutional and pray that the SCOTUS agrees that our case is of such “imperative public importance” that it decides to take up the case and give a favorable ruling.

These legal matters raise civil and human rights issue. It is an injustice to rule on the side of death dealing agents such as carcinogenic fertility blockers. My Uncle M.L. fought for civil rights over 50 years ago and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is coming up later this year. Yet, in 2014 our government is working against our liberties.

May God have mercy and help us, because: CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, LIKE CIVIL RIGHTS, ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR!






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Fr. Frank Pavone Announces National Christian Voter Registration Sundays

Thursday, March 13th, 2014





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 13, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, today called on all believers to participate in National Voter Registration Sundays to be held on June 29, July 6, and September 7 this year.

“Citizens do not have the luxury of ‘sitting out’ elections,” said Fr. Pavone. “When human life is at stake, when our very ability to freely practice our faith is under attack, we need to defend life and faith. God has given us an opportunity to do exactly that by voting. That’s why this year’s Voter Registration Sundays are crucial.”

Voter Registration Sundays are promoted by Priests for Life and other national pro-life and pro-family organizations to encourage pastors and church attendees to do what they are legally entitled to do – conduct non-partisan voter registration drives. While the official days of these registration efforts this year are the Sundays before and after Independence Day and the Sunday before 9/11, churches, prayer groups, and Bible studies can register voters on any day of their choosing.

“Priests for Life has a wealth of material at PoliticalResponsibility.com that explains how to have a voter registration day in your church, spelling out the activities that all churches and charitable non-profit groups are legally permitted to do,” added Fr. Pavone. “There is no legal reason for pastors or churchgoers to refrain from having registration drives at church. On the contrary, we should feel impelled to do so.”

Alveda King, Director of African American Outreach for Priests for Life, observed that there is a historical connection to this year’s registration drives.

“This is the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act,” she said. “We have seen in these last five decades how the right to vote has helped guarantee the civil rights of all Americans of any color. Our right to vote today can help restore and protect the civil rights of all Americans of any stage of life.”

The Family Research Council, a chief sponsor of the National Voter Registration Sundays, states on its website, “Christians can have a positive impact on elections and ultimately our nation’s future….Yet every election millions of Christians fail to exercise their rights and responsibilities as citizens. We can help our people obey Christ’s command to participate in government (Matt. 22:21) by encouraging voter registration and voting Christian values.”

Priests for Life has formed a national “Vote Pro-life Coalition” (VoteProLifeCoalition.com) to foster joint non-partisan efforts among national groups. Members of the Coalition are promoting the Voter Registration Sundays. For instance, Chris Slattery, founder and President of Expectant Mother Care/EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers, said, “Getting ourselves, our family, friends, church and pro-life contacts to register to vote is more important than ever. Let’s take the time to get involved with voter registration drives, especially on the dates promoted here.”

Jo Tolck, Executive Director of the Human Life Alliance, simply declared, “Speak up for those who can’t speak for themselves. Remember to register! Remember to vote!”

More information on the National Christian Voter Registration Sundays is available from Priests for Life at http://www.priestsforlife.org/vote/.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.






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Priests for Life Takes HHS Mandate to Supreme Court!

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 11, 2014

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, made the following announcement today:

“Priests for Life has taken the next step in our appeal to the US Supreme Court regarding the HHS mandate. Our response to the government’s objection to our appeal has been sent to the Court, and the Justices will decide, likely in a matter of days, whether to hear our case.

“Our lawsuit is still on appeal in the Circuit Court in Washington DC, but in matters of particular public urgency, the law permits an appeal to the Supreme Court, even before the lower courts have finished hearing the case.

“Our reply brief was submitted through the American Freedom Law Center, and we are grateful to our attorneys, Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi, for their expertise and their continued commitment to this cause.

“As our reply brief states,

‘To ignore the gravity of the moral dilemma caused by the mandate, which is affecting countless lives (and souls), the uncertainty surrounding its enforcement, and the costs and burdens caused by this uncertainty is to ignore reality.’

“The Supreme Court has already agreed to hear arguments regarding the HHS mandate as applied to businesses, like Hobby Lobby. Inevitably, the court will also have to resolve the problem the mandate presents to religious groups, whose rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act are even less disputed. Therefore, we are asking them to resolve that issue now.

“As our brief also points out,

‘Moreover, what makes review of this case particularly compelling is the fact that this challenge goes to the very core of Priests for Life’s reason for existing as an organization. Consequently, Petitioners are well situated—and perhaps best suited—to challenge the mandate and its application to non-exempt, nonprofit religious organizations.’

“We continue to join in prayer and solidarity with the many other plaintiffs who have lawsuits against the mandate, and with all our supporters, on whose help we continue to rely. We will celebrate the victory together!”

Find out more details about the Priests for Life case at www.priestsforlife.org/HHSMandate.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.






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Priests for Life Wins Emergency Relief From the Unjust HHS Mandate

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 31, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. –4:58 pm An emergency injunction granted just moments ago in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit means that Priests for Life will not have to obey the contraception mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act as its appeal is being heard. It also means that, the day after tomorrow, Priests for Life will not have to cancel health insurance for its employees.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, said he is grateful his organization is free, temporarily at least, from having to comply with the unjust mandate or face steep fines by failing to comply when the ministry’s new insurance policy goes into effect on Wednesday.

“We would not have complied with this mandate in any case, as it promotes the very culture of death that Priests for Life works to combat,” Father Pavone said. “We are grateful for this temporary relief and look forward to a permanent injunction once the appeal is fully heard.”

“Our lawsuit was among the very first ones in the country and the necessity to launch it shows that religious freedom in America is in grave danger. We have to take action.”

On Dec. 19, Priests for Life learned that the judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia had ruled in favor of the government. Within an hour Priests for Life filed for the emergency injunction that was granted today.

Father Pavone said that what the Obama administration has tried to do through the HHS mandate – which he called a “blatant act of tyranny” – is to give the federal government the power to determine what is and what isn’t important in an individual’s religion; that is not the government’s role.

Father Pavone concluded, “There have already been significant victories in the courts against the HHS mandate, and we have no doubt that Priests for Life ultimately will prevail in this historic fight.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.






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Fr. Pavone: ‘We will not obey this mandate’ Priests for Life files appeal after Obamacare lawsuit dismissed

Thursday, December 19th, 2013





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 19, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement today after learning that Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the HHS contraception mandate was dismissed by a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

“Today, the judge in our case in District Court in Washington D.C. ruled against us regarding the HHS mandate. Because the mandate would go into effect for us on January 1, we filed, within an hour of the judge’s decision, an emergency request with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit, to provide an injunction to maintain the status quo, protecting us from the mandate until our appeal to the same court can be heard and decided.

“The judge’s decision today is a complete contradiction to Judge Cogan’s decision of just a few days ago in New York for organizations situated similarly to us and using exactly the same arguments.

“The New York decision recognized that the religious nonprofits were being forced to cooperate with evil. Our judge, instead, claims that we are not being forced to cooperate with evil. Our judge’s decision is wrong, and we are confident of victory in our appeal.

“Meanwhile, injunction or not, we will absolutely not obey, cooperate with, or tolerate in any way this unjust mandate. As Scripture says, we will obey God rather than men.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.






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Fr. Pavone: “We, too, are confident of victory”

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 17, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

NEW YORK — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, issued the following statement after learning that Catholic groups in New York have won their battle against Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

“This is a victory for religious freedom and all people of faith,” said Father Pavone. “The fact that the judge found that the ‘coercive pressure’ to make these Catholic employers violate their foundational beliefs was ‘substantial’ should not be overlooked. This battle is not about contraception. It’s about the government trying to deny citizens the right to practice their faith, in violation of the very principles on which this country stands.”

Father Pavone noted that a decision in Priests for Life’s lawsuit against the mandate is expected any day. The Priests for Life case was heard Dec. 9 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Priests for Life filed the fourth of dozens of lawsuits filed to challenge the government’s overt violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“We, too, are confident of victory,” Father Pavone said

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.






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HHS Mandate Offense Hits Home in a Personal Way

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013





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Yesterday was International Human Rights Day, and yet Priests for Life is embroiled in a legal battle to end a serious infraction against the human rights of women and babies. The Priests for Life HHS Mandate lawsuit which includes plaintiffs Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, and myself is timely, and it’s necessary. The Mandate is personally offensive because my own constitutional rights are being violated. It’s unfair to require that PFL, the company that I work for pay into a program that will subsidize abortion, easy access to abortion, as well as harmful chemical contraceptives and surgical contraceptive procedures.

I personally am a victim of Planned Parenthood and abortion. I was tricked. I believed the propaganda through Planned Parenthood that a baby was just a blob of tissue and that it was the safest procedure for a woman, even safer than giving birth. When I was a young woman I believed that.

I also believed that it was a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body and I still believe that. But I know now, today, that the baby is not her body.

And so I ended up with severe medical conditions based upon the abortions and the harmful contraceptive process that I partook of during my younger years. I have experiences a condition called phlebitis which involves blood clotting from the hormonal manipulations of the birth control process. And I had problems with my breasts, or mammary system based upon complications of the abortions and contraceptives as well. Which is why it is so offensive to inadvertently face being forced to end up paying into an insurance program that can harm other women. It is very stressful to me, very disturbing to me, very offensive to me.

Co-defendants Fr. Frank Pavone and Janet Morana were in District Court in Washington, DC yesterday for a hearing on our case. We are now awaiting a ruling from the judge. Shannon Bream of Fox News Channel covered the hearing and her report ran on Special Report with Bret Baier. Click HERE to watch and read the report.

We know that this horrible HHS Mandate is an enemy to the human rights of all Americans and indeed all human beings. As my colleague Bryan Kemper said:

“Today, Dec 10th, is International Human Rights Day. If you support the systematic slaughter of innocent human persons in their mother’s womb then you have no right celebrating this day. Human rights are not something a court or governing body has the right to arbitrarily give and take away, they are endowed upon us by our creator. To take part in human rights day, you must stand against the holocaust that is filling the streets of our world with the blood of the most vulnerable and innocent humans of all: our pre-born human children.”

Finally, I agree with my colleague and co-plaintiff Janet Morana, who along with Father Pavone demands that we RECALL ABORTION and say no to the HHS Mandate.






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Priests for Life expecting decision on challenge to HHS mandate

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 9, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Priests for Life case against the HHS mandate was heard today in U.S. District Court here. Father Frank Pavone, National Director, and Janet Morana, Executive Director, were present in the courtroom. Upon leaving court, they issued the following statement:

“We expect a decision in this case very soon, possibly by the end of this week. Whatever the outcome, this much is clear: The government under this administration is trampling upon the rights of the Church. They are trying to tell us what does or does not constitute a burden on our faith. We ask all to pray along with us that the judge will do the right thing.”

Dr. Alveda King, full-time pastoral associate of Priests for Life and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is also a plaintiff in this case.

With a ruling imminent, Priests for Life’s will be among the first cases to receive a ruling on the merits of the arguments as applied to religious groups.

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.






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Priests for Life to Have its Day in Court!

Thursday, December 5th, 2013





Priests for Life

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2013

Contact: Leslie Palma
347-286-7277

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Priest for Life’s legal challenge to the HHS mandate will be on the docket Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Priests for Life’s attorneys from the American Freedom Law Center and attorneys for the Obama administration are asking the court to decide on the constitutionality of the HHS mandate.

Plaintiffs in the case are Priests for Life as well as individual plaintiffs Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, and Dr. Alveda King, niece of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Priests for Life contends that forcing the ministry to authorize coverage for contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization services to the participants and beneficiaries of its healthcare plan is a violation of its constitutional right to religious freedom and of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

“With this mandate contained in the Affordable Care Act, the government is not only violating our religious beliefs; they are also taking it upon themselves to tell us what the boundaries of those religious beliefs are. It is not up to the government to tell us when our conscience hurts; on the contrary, it’s up to us as believers to tell the government.”

Father Pavone is confident in the outcome of this case, and the judgment, which is expected before January 1, when the Priests for Life insurance plan is renewed, could be among the very first judgments rendered for religious non-profits on the merits of the arguments.

According to Robert Muise, American Freedom Law Center co-founder and senior counsel, “The question for the court on Monday is not whether compliance with the contraception mandate can be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church. That’s a question of religious conscience for the plaintiffs, and they have concluded that their legal and religious obligations are incompatible. Consequently, the contraception mandate forces them to do what their religion tells them they must not do in direct violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

Father Pavone and Janet Morana, Executive Director of Priests for Life, will travel to D.C. Monday to be in the courtroom and will be available for comment.

As he has said since filing the initial lawsuit in February 2012 – the fourth to be filed against the mandate – Father Pavone reiterated that, regardless of the judge’s findings, “We will not obey this mandate. We do not adapt to injustice. We oppose it.”

Priests for Life is the nation’s largest Catholic pro-life organization dedicated to ending abortion and euthanasia. For more information, visit www.priestsforlife.org.






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