Little Sisters vs. big government

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As they say in politics, the optics are bad in this one.

A legal expert on my radio show this week said their firm, extensively involved in lawsuits against the administration’s HHS mandate, said they were frankly surprised that the administration continued to push forward on the unprecedented mandate after the 2012 election at all, much less pushing it vigorously and committing teams of lawyers to defending it in courts across the country in 91 different lawsuits representing institutions, corporations, small business owners and individuals. But they have.

It was always destined to go to the Supreme Court, and will in March, since the high court decided to hear two key cases involving what some call the ‘contraceptive mandate’ and others the ‘contraception delivery scheme mandate’. It’s stayed off the public radar for the most part, largely due to media ignoring it and Americans being inundated with so many other cases of big government… click here to read whole article and make comments


Justice Sotomayor’s New Year’s Eve surprise ruling

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Few knew she suddenly ruled against Obamacare’s HHS mandate. But they sure noticed her dancing in Times Square that night.

Nobody knew it was coming. So how odd it was to see the breaking news that Justice Sonia Sotomayor had just ruled to delay the Obamacare birth control mandate in th e waning hours of New Year’s Eve.

Sotomayor acted on a request from an organization of Catholic nuns in Denver, the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged. Its request for an emergency stay had been denied earlier in the day by a federal appeals court.

The government is “temporarily enjoined from enforcing against applicants the contraceptive coverage requirements imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” Sotomayor said in the order.

Sotomayor, who was in New York Tuesday night to lead the final 60-second countdown and push the ceremonial button to signal the… click here to read whole article and make comments


Terri Schiavo family fighting to save teen’s life

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“I just think it’s inhumane to not feed my child, to not refer to her by her name, and stop us in our tracks.”

Chilling. It’s happening again. As it has many times over since Terri Schiavo was starved and dehydrated to death on court order in March 2005 and plunged the issues of biomedical ethics, healthcare for the cognitively impaired, ‘living wills’ and advance directives and euthanasia straight into the headlines and center of many family conversations.

This time it’s teenager Jahi McMath, whose family is battling to save her “from doctor-ordered starvation after a routine tonsillectomy left her brain-damaged and unable to breathe on her own.”

Since then, the hospital has been fighting to remove the eighth-grader from all life support, even going so far as to persuade a judge to declare her “legally dead” in the eyes of the state of California, where the law defines death as… click here to read whole article and make comments


Top posts in Sheila Reports in 2013

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Sheila Liaugminas’s controversial, well-informed, and up-to-date posts have long been one of MercatorNet’s most popular features. Here are some of the top entries from 2013. 

The media are getting Pope Francis wrong, again 

Babies survive abortion, left to die

Pope Francis surprised media with candid presser

What Pope Francis said about gays and what people heard

Michael Schiavo seeks more attention

U.S. Vatican Ambassador forced to move?

Pope Francis provokes in Evangelii Gaudium

Obama, Gettysburg and God

Another senseless act of violence: Boston Marathon

They’re killing Christians

Big Abortion exposed

Father’s importance

click here to read whole article and make comments


Christmas presence

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Start with perspective.

I was driving somewhere one day last week and just buried in work and deadlines beyond the usual, and the usual are demanding enough. It was all overwhelming, and the thought hit with urgency ‘how will I ever be able to get Christmas together this year?’ There was not time nor opportunity to decorate our home, select gifts appropriate for each beloved family member as I’d like to do, send out greetings, gather and deliver items for the community outreach to families in need, and so on.

Stopped at a red light, thoughts cascaded. Starting with Wait….

Think of all those people who can’t afford the luxury of worrying about these things. The families who have lost their homes to terrible storms and natural disasters this year. They lost everything they had, in some cases even loved ones, and still face inestimable hardship. Just weeks ago the freakish day of storms in… click here to read whole article and make comments


Why Time chose Pope Francis for Person of the Year

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There’s nearly as much speculation about that as there is about who this man is.

Time explains their choice here, and it’s a lengthy article that reveals as much about Time’s editorial staff as it does the figure they chose to highlight this year for his impact on the world.

The papacy is mysterious and magical: it turns a septuagenarian into a superstar while revealing almost nothing about the man himself.

The term “superstar” just doesn’t fit, though that’s the language of pop culture used to pop theology.

But what makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all…

And behind his self-effacing facade, he is a very canny operator.

Another odd description of the humble man who sits in the Chair of Peter.

He makes… click here to read whole article and make comments


JPII to Mandela: one great human being to another

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Some people transcend tribe and nation, race and religion. They belong to all of us.

Here is a communication between two we have been blessed to know in our time. Let it suffice for now to be a placeholder for further consideration of the transcendent truths both men represented.

Remarks John Paul II made to President Nelson Mandela on his arrival in South Africa in 1995.

“I wish to pay tribute to you, Mr. President, who, after being a silent and suffering “witness” of your people’s yearning for true liberation, now shoulder the burden of inspiring and challenging everyone to succeed in the task of national reconciliation and reconstruction. I remember our meeting at the Vatican in June 1990, shortly after your release from prison. In your kind words of welcome today I recognize the same spirit which sustained you then in the ideal of achieving a better life for the peoples of this… click here to read whole article and make comments


Pope Francis: ‘Can you hear me now?’

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Though he didn’t say exactly that, he said that in so many words.

Pope Francis has been provoking and jabbing people on all sides of the political and ideological spectrum since he was elected to fill the Chair of Peter. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI dedicated their pontificates to implementing the rich teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Pope Francis comes along and says, more or less, ‘okay, let’s do this.’ He seems to have his sleeves perpetually rolled up (in a manner of speaking), and his worn shoe leather hitting the ground to reach everyone who comes across his path. In fact, he goes seeking the ones who aren’t on his path, as he did in Rio during World Youth Day week when he instructed his motorcade to stop abruptly so he could jump out and go visit a family living in a house he passed along the way. He… click here to read whole article and make comments


Pope Francis provokes in Evangelii Gaudium

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He’s done it again. Comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable.

The Pope intended his first Apostolic Exhortation to be clarifying. Reactions to it have been revealing. At least people are paying attention, which they’ve been doing since he was elected. But they’re not paying as much attention to the full content of his messages, much less its context. And both are important.

Francis has a way of jabbing everyone, dropping zingers in his daily homilies and the many addresses he’s given over the past nine months. So it’s interesting to see who is uncomfortable with which particular parts of his messages. His exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, is loaded with zingers. Loaded. Every paragraph calls for its own blog post. At least that. It will take time to unpack.

But the media jumped on it for one point, and they even got that one wrong in their zeal to spin… click here to read whole article and make comments


Thanksgiving: Acknowledging God, benefiting from gratitude

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Some people take this day for granted. Some never will. What’s the dividing line?

Determination to look at origins and meaning.

I had conversations on radio with two scholars at the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College about giving thanks as a nation on this designated occasion each year, why and how we do or should, and some life-changing benefits of gratitude. It was compelling.

Dr. Paul Kengor and I started with his article about giving thanks for great leaders in our nation’s history, and the conversation quickly turned to the nation’s leaders who acknowledged the blessings, rights and liberties that came not from government but from God, starting with President George Washington who proclaimed that a day should be set aside to give thanks, through President Abraham Lincoln designating the day in a formal proclamation to assure its continuation. Dr. Kengor, a presidential historian and best-selling author, made some important… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Sheila Reports promises a perspective here that you may not be getting in mainstream media and the politically charged blogosphere. Don’t expect political correctness, because politics doesn’t determine what’s correct. This space is grounded in the natural law and moral order. And it expects civility, goodwill and an openness to truth and reason.

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