Tom Purcell

Their vow is to advance the dignity of life for every person, no matter how weak or unwanted. They can never support any program that runs contrary to their beliefs — they can never fund insurance policies that cover the cost of contraception, abortive drugs and sterilization.

Our federal government has a different notion, however. It has mandated that these things must be covered by law. It has made some exceptions for religious organizations, but to become exempt, the Little Sisters must submit a waiver form to the government.

That is, they can only be exempt from the law at the pleasure of the federal government — until the federal government one day arbitrarily changes the rule, as it is doing now with so many other rules and regulations.

So the Little Sisters sued.

They argue that their constitutional right to freely practice their faith is being obstructed by our ever-growing government. They are right. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor recently issued an injunction siding with them.

As I said, this is really just a story about freedom. This is what it looks like when the state disagrees with the religious convictions of a private organization and slowly takes that freedom away.

If you want to experience real freedom while you still can, visit the Little Sisters of the Poor retirement home nearest you.

You will be moved by the experience.

Tom Purcell

Tom Purcell, author of "Comical Sense: A Lone Conservative Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!" and "Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood," is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist syndicated nationally by Cagle Cartoons. Visit him on the web at