“Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty-to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.”
Abraham Lincoln, letter to Joshua Speed, August 24, 1855
Jamie Stiehm is a journalist and a bigot. Her bigotry of choice is anti-Catholicism. Go here to see one of her anti-Catholic screeds at US News & World Report. She is getting 15 minutes of fame currently for a diatribe against Catholics on the Supreme Court which appears this week at US News & World Report, charmingly entitled The Catholic Supreme Court’s War on Women. My fisk of her post follows:
Et tu, Justice Sonia Sotomayor? Really, we can’t trust you on women’s health and human rights? The lady from the Bronx just dropped the ball on American women and girls as surely as she did the sparkling ball at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Or maybe she’s just a good Catholic girl.
This is in reference to Sotomayor granting a temporary injunction to The Little Sisters of the Poor in reference to the contraceptive mandate. Since Ms. Stiehm is obviously as bone ignorant of the law as she is of Catholicism I will explain for her benefit that this is a fairly routine matter. The country is divided up into areas between the Justices of the Supreme Court. After a case has been ruled upon by a federal appellate circuit court, it is not unusual for the losing party to attempt to gain a stay from the Supreme Court justice overseeing that circuit. Injunctions are often granted if, as in this case, it is obvious that the case will ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court. Granting a temporary injunction is no indication of how the Court, or the individual Justice, will rule on the case, assuming the Supreme Court agrees to take the appeal.
The Supreme Court is now best understood as the Extreme Court. One big reason why is that six out of nine Justices are Catholic. Let’s be forthright about that. (The other three are Jewish.) Sotomayor, appointed by President Obama, is a Catholic who put her religion ahead of her jurisprudence. What a surprise, but that is no small thing.
This of course is vastly amusing. Over the years many Catholics have served on the Supreme Court, and I defy anyone to establish any consistent pattern of voting that distinguishes Catholic justices from non-Catholic justices. Of course facts and logic are a small matter to a true bigot like Ms. Stiehm. The fact that someone is a Catholic is all she needs to know, and she will listen to nothing else. Like an anti-Semite who will not care that Isaac and Rebekah differ on much, to the anti-Semite they are just, and only, Jews, just as to a true anti-Catholic, Catholics are not individuals but merely Catholics, the locus of evil in this world.
“In a stay order applying to an appeal by a Colorado nunnery, the Little Sisters of the Poor, Justice Sotomayor undermined the new Affordable Care Act’s sensible policy on contraception. She blocked the most simple of rules – lenient rules – that required the Little Sisters to affirm their religious beliefs against making contraception available to its members. They objected to filling out a one-page form. What could be easier than nuns claiming they don’t believe in contraception?”
Ms. Stiehm has no concern for the violation of the religious freedom of the sisters. Rich Lowry at National Review Online explains what is at stake:
When the contraception mandate first caused an uproar, the administration contrived a so-called accommodation for religiously oriented groups (actual churches have always been exempt). But whoever crafted it had a sick sense of humor. The very same document by which a group registers its moral objection to contraceptives and abortifacients also authorizes the insurer to cover them for the group’s employees. What the accommodation gives with one hand, it takes away with the other.
The Little Sisters refuse to sign such a document. They happen to be in an unusual situation because they get their insurance from another religiously affiliated organization opposed to contraceptives and abortifacients, so it may be that these drugs don’t get covered no matter what. But the Little Sisters can’t be sure of this — the regulations are complicated and subject to change.
Regardless, they don’t want to sign. They want no part in authorizing coverage of contraceptive or abortive drugs. Enthusiasts for the mandate scoff. What the nuns are objecting to, they insist, is just a piece of paper.
Just a piece of paper? So is a mortgage. So is a wedding certificate. So is a will. How would the board of directors of NARAL react if the government forced them to sign a “piece of paper” tacitly condemning contraception or abortion? Would they shrug it off as a mere formality?
Sotomayor’s blow brings us to confront an uncomfortable reality. More than WASPS, Methodists, Jews, Quakers or Baptists, Catholics often try to impose their beliefs on you, me, public discourse and institutions. Especially if “you” are female. This is not true of all Catholics – just look at House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. But right now, the climate is so cold when it comes to defending our settled legal ground that Sotomayor’s stay is tantamount to selling out the sisterhood. And sisterhood is not as powerful as it used to be, ladies.
Nancy Pelosi has not spent her career seeking to impose her views on others? Hilarious! Ms. Stiehm has no problem with people imposing their views on others apparently, so long as Ms. Stiehm agrees with the views being imposed. Raising this argument about imposition of views in regard to the Contraceptive Mandate imposed by the government is truly an Orwellian touch by Ms. Stiehm.
Catholics in high places of power have the most trouble, I’ve noticed, practicing the separation of church and state. The pugnacious Catholic Justice, Antonin Scalia, is the most aggressive offender on the Court, but not the only one. Of course, we can’t know for sure what Sotomayor was thinking, but it seems she has joined the ranks of the five Republican Catholic men on the John Roberts Court in showing a clear religious bias when it comes to women’s rights and liberties. We can no longer be silent about this. Thomas Jefferson, the principal champion of the separation between state and church, was thinking particularly of pernicious Rome in his writings. He deeply distrusted the narrowness of Vatican hegemony.
This woman is truly delusional. Catholics in the Democrat party have been notable for the past 40 years in defying the teachings of the Church on any number of issues. Evangelical Protestants, as a group, have been much closer to the teachings of the Church in Congress than Catholic Democrats. However, as stated earlier, reason and logic are so many pearls before a swine when it comes to a true bigot like Ms. Stiehm. In regard to Thomas Jefferson, in reference to the separation of Church and State he was primarily thinking of the Anglican Church, Catholics being about two percent of the population of the United States in his time.
The seemingly innocent Little Sisters likely were likely not acting alone in their trouble-making. Their big brothers, the meddlesome American Roman Catholic Archbishops are bound to be involved. They seek and wield tremendous power and influence in the political sphere. Big city mayors know their penchant for control all too well. Their principal target for years on end has been squelching women and girls – even when they should have focused on their own men and boys.
Scratch a bigot and you will always find a conspiracy monger. People cannot disagree with a bigot on rational grounds. It always has to be a result of a grand conspiracy.
In one stroke with ominous implications, there’s no such thing as Catholic justice or mercy for women on the Supreme Court, not even from a woman. The rock of Rome refuses to budge on women’s reproductive rights and the Supreme Court is getting good and ready to strike down Roe v. Wade, which became the law of the land 40 years ago. President Clinton had it exactly right in his formulation: abortion should be safe, legal and rare.
Ah, if only she were correct in this analysis. Actually Roe is quite safe, thanks to the almost certain votes of two of the six Catholics on the Court.
Meanwhile, the forces arrayed against women’s right to self-determination have been busy taking their campaign to the statehouses. In roughly half of them, women’s human rights have been eroded. On the airwaves, the anti-woman conspiracy goes on, with Rush Limbaugh leading the pack of thousands of men. He uses the Obamacare contraception mandate to say, just about every workaday, that young women are just using the government to get sex, or some such thing. He wins the prize for virulently infecting the public dis-coarse.
Too bad, eh Ms. Stiehm, that Limbaugh is not Catholic. Or maybe, wink, wink, he is a secret convert! If you had made such an allegation you could have kept on theme, and such a charge would have been just as sane as everything else you wrote.
With friends like Sonia, we don’t need opponents like Rush.
With “liberals” like you Ms. Stiehm, who needs the Klan?