Little Sisters of the Poor

One listener, Russ Rooney, called in to the Voicemail Feedback Hotline with two topic suggestions. That’s what I talk about this time out.

He asks a question about cities that have declared themselves sanctuaries for illegal immigrants, yet have a huge homelessness problem. How can cities bring in more people when they are already failing their current residents?

The Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns ministering the elderly poor, got a unanimous Supreme Court decision in their favor to have nothing to do with abortion coverage for their employees. But that’s apparently not good enough for 13 states and DC from suing the nuns separately.

Russ wrote a letter to the editor of 2 of his local papers to get this lawsuit some coverage because they are totally ignoring it, even though his state is joining in this lawsuit. Where’s the journalistic integrity? See below the show transcript for his letter.

Mentioned links:

Russ Rooney’s E-book “Be a Friend for Life”. Vignettes about the abortion issue from (literally) A to Z. [PDF]

Also visit Human Life Alliance, where Russ is an adviser, to see all the ways they are supporting the pro-life mission.

Seattle Under Siege


Episode 82: The Supreme Court “Hobby Lobby” Case [Consider This]

What the Hobby Lobby Decision Means for the Little Sisters of the Poor

Little Sisters of the Poor v. Azar

Democrats yet again sue Little Sisters of the Poor for contraception coverage

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Show transcript

We’ll open this voicemail episode with the audio from Russ Rooney. He called the voicemail feedback hotline and had a couple of suggestions for topics to cover. Take it away, Russ.

Hello. I was thinking that it would be a good idea to have a segment, if you haven’t already, on the Little Sisters of the Poor being sued by thirteen states. I live in Minnesota and unfortunately we’re one of the states that have joined California in that lawsuit. And then also, states like California, that want to bring more immigrants in, take a serious look at their homelessness problem. I think it’s close to 60,000 people are living in squalor, and they’re worried about disease and so forth. So a couple thoughts there.

Let me start with the second one first because I’ve heard people look at the same situation – a huge homelessness problem – and come up with very different reasons for it.

Liberal friends of mine have looked at the homelessness problem and thought that government should fix it. “There, but for the grace of God, go I”, is the thought process, and I agree with that, partially. But the thing is, with all the money governments pour into the homelessness problem, very little comes of it. Seattle, for example, spends about a billion dollars every year fighting homelessness, but they could just give each homeless man, woman, and child $100,000 for that kind of cash. Clearly whatever they’re spending it on is not helping. Maybe the reason we continue to have this problem is government itself, and maybe the solution to the problem can’t be found in money alone.

I have a link in the show notes to a rather long but quite good essay on the problems with the government solutions to the Seattle issue. The author has a suggestion for really solving the problem, and it comes, not from the government, but from us. He notes that “The best way to prevent homelessness isn’t to build new apartment complexes or pass new tax levies but to rebuild the family, community, and social bonds that once held communities together.” He quotes a recovered addict and current outreach worker for the Union Gospel Mission who said, “There are 6,000 people on the streets in Seattle. I know 3,000 of them by name and know their stories. It’s not a resource issue in this city, it’s a relational issue. The biggest problem is broken relationships.” I would also add that this sort of sense of community used to come primarily from houses of worship. As our government attacks them, is it any wonder we’re losing the ties that bind us together? Government can’t replace that.

And so places like Seattle and many places in California that declare themselves Sanctuary Cities do little for their homeless population, and then figure they have plenty of room for illegal immigrants to pour into. This is completely irresponsible, but even though they’ve made the problem worse, they’ll blame you, the taxpayer, or capitalism, or eeevil corporations, because you complain when they raise taxes to pay for programs that are failing.

They have the right intentions, dontcha’ know. It’s just a matter of a liiitle bit more cash. From you.

As to Russ’ first suggestion, I had not heard at all about states suing the nuns from The Little Sisters of the Poor. So first, some background for the rest of us.

Anybody remember the Supreme Court “Hobby Lobby” case? It decided that a “closely-held” corporation could be exempted from the ObamaCare requirement to provide abortion drugs in its health insurance. No matter that the Hobby Lobby insurance policy covered 16 of the 20 mandated contraceptive methods, that wasn’t enough for Leftists trying to ensure that their orthodoxy was followed to the letter by all.

Around the same time was another, similar case involving a group of nuns called “The Little Sisters of the Poor” whose ministry was to elderly poor people. The Hobby Lobby case worked in their favor. The Obama administration was going to accommodate their religious beliefs, but in a way that the nuns still thought made them complicit in something they found morally objectionable. Health and Humans Services wanted them to sign a letter that would allow the organization’s employees to obtain the birth control coverage. The nuns understood that the government could provide other ways for their employees to get abortions; they just didn’t want to be involved with it. Ultimately, the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court rulings, ordered the government not to fine the Little Sisters, and instructed the lower courts to provide the government an opportunity to find a way to provide services to the women who want them without involving the nuns.

But the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision at the federal level wasn’t good enough for 13 states and the District of Columbia. They decided to sue the Little Sisters themselves to force the issue, because there’s nothing worse than nuns who help the poor and elderly who won’t pay for abortions. That’s the kind of humanitarian crisis our state attorneys general need to be busy with. That case is currently working its way through the courts.

But in an email exchange with Russ, he noted that two local papers, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, are making sure the locals know nothing about it even though their state is involved with it. He wrote a letter to the editor at the Strib, but they passed on it, so he’s sent it to the Pioneer Press. We’ll see if there’s any journalistic integrity left in Minneapolis / St. Paul.

Russ’ letter to the editor:

Most people in Minnesota, I believe, are against bullying.

It is heart breaking when bullying is from our MN Attorney General.  Mr. Ellison has joined California and is suing the Little Sisters of the Poor.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are not involved in politics and don’t try to force anyone to do something against their religious beliefs.  They simply want to live out their lives helping the elderly poor as stated on their website: “Continuing the work of Saint Jeanne Jugan, our MISSION is to offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to himself.”

The fact that Keith Ellison has joined Minnesota in a lawsuit against the Little Sisters of the Poor is a disgrace and misuse of our tax dollars. Shouldn’t Ellison be focused on domestic violence, sex trafficking, gangs and corruption instead of suing a group of people who are committed to serving the elderly poor?

Our Attorney General has on his website “ We want to hear from you.” If enough people call and tell him to stop harassing the Little Sisters of the Poor maybe he will understand it is wrong to pick on women who are helping the poor.  Please call Mr. Ellison at 651-296-3353 and let him know that he was not elected to be our top bully attorney.


Russ Rooney

Filed under: AbortionImmigrationReligion