President Obama met with Pope Francis at the White House Wednesday morning and claimed that his administration stands in defense of religious liberty.
"We stand with you in defense of religious freedom," Obama said. "You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely."
Except when of course:
1) The Obama administration is suing the nuns of Little Sisters of the Poor and forcing them into contraception mandates, violating their faith and taking away their religious freedom.
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Little Sisters of the Poor must comply with the Obamacare mandate that requires their health insurance carriers to subsidize contraceptive and some abortion services for employees or face fines from the IRS.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver is a setback for the Little Sisters, a global Catholic order with U.S. headquarters in Catonsville that has cared for the elderly poor here since 1868.
The order argued that the so-called HHS Mandate, a provision of the Affordable Care Act, infringes on its First Amendment rights by compelling it to support practices that violate its core religious beliefs.
"Today the 10th Circuit ruled that government can force the Little Sisters to either violate their faith or pay massive IRS penalties," lead attorney Mark Rienzi said in a statement. "We're disappointed in today's decision."
2) Failing to stand for and defend thousands of Christians in Iraq and Syria who have been slaughtered and run out of the regions where their families have been living for centuries.
In Syria and Iraq, there continues to develop a horrific human-rights crisis that evokes the darkest episodes of World War II. ISIS and other Islamist extremists are waging genocide, the most egregious of all human-rights atrocities, against Christians, Yazidis, Mandaeans, and other defenseless religious minorities, whom the administration, apart from last year’s airstrikes to help the Yazidis, has failed. This religious genocide is distinct from but simultaneous with the region’s wars. Similar to Jews under Nazi domination during World War II, the Christians and other minorities in the Middle East today are facing, in addition to the wartime privations suffered by the general population, a relentless and deliberate extermination campaign being carried out in the name of Islamic purification.
In the summer of 2014, ISIS launched its caliphate from Mosul by marking Christian homes with the red letter “N,” for “Nazarene,” before confiscating them and exiling their owners. Since then, it has pursued Christians and the other minorities with a systematic intensity intended to delete every trace of their ancient presence. Solely for their religion, Christians and Yazidis have been beheaded, enslaved, abducted and sold, forcibly converted to Islam, and stripped of all their property. Their houses of worship and their cultural artifacts have been expropriated or demolished, including the fifth-century monastery in Qaraytain and Nineveh’s fourth-century Mar Behnam monastery.
On a separate topic, I'm curious to know if the Pope is aware of President Obama's pro-infanticide, extreme abortion stance, or is he too focused on climate change to notice?