Leave it to the Fighting Irish to vanquish the sheepish, the snobbish and the priggish. This month, the University of Notre Dame (UND) re-filed its lawsuit “for relief against” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate which is set to take effect January 1, 2014.
Forget the Audacity of Hope. There’s nothing audacious or courageous about a president who flits about, attacking religious freedom, while he poses for selfies during funeral ceremonies. Let’s come together under the Courage of Catholics at the University of Notre Dame.
Certainly, the Catholic Church and some of her leaders have stumbled. Notre Dame made the blunder of bestowing pro-abortion President Obama with an honorary degree and inviting him to deliver the May, 2009 commencement keynote address. Recently, the Pope tried to play economist and made statements that seemed to bless anti-Catholic and anti-logic economics. (In truth, capitalism glorifies God.) Nevertheless, Catholics are learning from their mistakes, especially at the University of Notre Dame, and reassuming a role of public leadership.
You and your friends should know the full story of how we found ourselves in a position where a pre-eminent Catholic institution is compelled to sue the federal government in order to defend its First Amendment rights to free speech and free expression of faith.
You may recall my column from last year (Catholics! Fight! Fight! Fight!) where I told you about UND’s first lawsuit against the federal government. On May 21, 2012, UND filed suit over the HHS mandate requiring religious organizations to offer contraceptives, sterilization methods and abortion-generating prescriptions in their private insurance plans.
On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2012, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Miller Jr. dismissed UND’s first lawsuit on grounds that the plaintiff’s complaint was “unripe.” Judge Miller said that the “present regulatory requirement isn’t sufficiently final for review to be ripe” since the federal government had “announced [the mandate] will be modified.” (If you ever receive an invitation to a New Year’s party at Judge Miller’s house, don’t go. He probably won’t let you celebrate the New Year because it’s “unripe,” and instead you’ll be entertained by his rulings against freedom.)