Left Comes for Religious Hospitals with Surgical Precision

Left Comes for Religious Hospitals with Surgical Precision

July 20, 2020

The justices predicted a war -- and almost one month to the day of their Bostock ruling, they got one. The first shot was fired last Thursday, when the ACLU decided to sue Maryland's St. Joseph Medical Center for refusing to take out a woman's perfectly healthy uterus just because she wanted to live as a man. It goes against the hospital's religious beliefs, St. Joseph argued. But now, thanks to the Supreme Court, it might go against six justices' ridiculous definition of "sex" too.

The last thing anyone should want right now is fewer hospitals. And yet, that may very well be the outcome of lawsuits like this one. If people are worried about the health care system being overwhelmed today -- just wait until liberals force the religiously-affiliated groups entirely out of business. Because that's what'll happen if the Left insists on forcing religious facilities to embrace their radical views. Catholic nonprofits have told the country before -- in adoption and abortion debates -- that choosing between their faith and ministry is no choice at all. They'd rather shut their doors than bend an inch on biblical teachings.

The ACLU, on the other hand, is more than willing to blow a gaping hole in America's medical care just to advance their political goals. And that's all this is about. It's certainly not about justice for Jesse Hammons -- she already got her surgery somewhere else. It's about making the nonconformists pay. St. Joseph's refusal, the liberal attorneys insist, was a "discriminatory and unconstitutional application of Catholic religious doctrine." Worse, Jesse said, "I felt like this hospital didn't see any worth in my life and the care that I needed."

On the contrary, St. Joseph's might have been the only one who did see the worth in Jesse -- because it, unlike the attorneys exploiting her story -- refused to mistake bodily harm for medical "care." Either way, a spokesman insisted, the hospital's decision had nothing to do with Jesse or animus toward people struggling with their gender. It has to do with the hospital's religious code. St. Joseph's has been under the umbrella of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops since it became a hospital in 1864. And those directives are clear: there are limits on the "removal of healthy organs."

At the end of the day, Wesley Smith argues at NRO, the denial actually has nothing to do with Jesse identifying as transgender. If she'd had a cancerous uterus, surgery wouldn't have been a problem. But this procedure would have sterilized her, Wesley explains, and the church has very strong feelings about that. It's their right to say they won't destroy a womb. Just as it was Jesse's right to go elsewhere -- which she did, nine days after the Bostock ruling -- and have her body changed.

By all accounts, everyone should have been satisfied. Jesse got the surgery she wanted, and the hospital didn't have to violate its conscience. But the ACLU sued anyway -- proving, once again, that this debate has never been about co-existence or compromise. Maybe those are possible in a civil society where everyone is adult enough to put aside their hostility and see the value in respecting different viewpoints. If instead of suing people like Aaron and Melissa Klein out of business, couples simply found another bakery. If instead of jeopardizing care for everyone else, Jesse was content with an alternate location and moved on. If instead of preaching tolerance, activists practiced it.

But unfortunately, all of that became even more of a pipe dream once the Supreme Court stepped in to redefine the word "sex," deciding for everyone that millennia of biology, history, and morality no longer applied. Justice Samuel Alito tried to warn where this would lead, but six of his colleagues were too busy legislating to listen. "Healthcare," he wrote in his Bostock dissent, "...may emerge as an intense battleground under the Court's holding." Workers are already suing for sex reassignment surgery under their insurance, Alito pointed out. This sets up another major conflict, since, as he points out, "requiring them to pay for or to perform these procedures will have a severe impact on their ability to honor their deeply held religious beliefs."

The battle that Alito worried about is here. "It is open season on Catholic hospitals," Wesley writes, and anyone else with a biblical view of gender. "Medicine is becoming a major front in the accelerating attacks on religious liberty in this country. The assault against medical conscience can only exacerbate our bitter cultural divisions already at the ripping point."

Six activists on the Supreme Court think they've done Jesse a favor by ordering America to help her live as a man. But what about the hospitals that want to live as Christians? We need justices who will stand up and protect them. And this election is the only way to guarantee we'll get them -- or any freedom at all.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Church Attacks Explode with 'an Unbridled, Roaring Fury'

July 20, 2020

One of the last times people saw flames in France's Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul church was during the Allied bombing in 1944. What's happening now isn't World War III, but it certainly feels like it, as things get increasingly violent on every continent. While believers around the world pray for an end to the chaos, arsonists, knife-wielders, and vandalizers are taking the battle to them.

After a string of attacks rocked U.S. churches last week, Americans gathered this Sunday with the hope that things might finally calm down. They didn't. If anything, the insurgents expanded their campaign to the global scene. Arson in Paris, excrement along church walls in southern France, statues defaced in Calgary, it all points to a dangerous turning point in this mob mentality. "I don't like to use the word too lightly," Eric Metaxas said, "but there's something Satanic about it."

Here at home, churches from Queens to Chattanooga fell victim to the forces of anarchism and anti-Americanism gripping this country since George Floyd's death. In New Haven, Connecticut, parishioners of St. Joseph's Church woke up to satanic symbols sprayed across the doors. "It was certainly shocking and disturbing," Rev. John Paul Walker told reporters.

But even that was minor compared to what happened at Virginia's Grace Covenant Church right outside of Washington, D.C., where a man walked into a Bible study Saturday and viciously stabbed the pastor leading it. Miraculously, local police chief Ed Roessler was in the class, and together with another churchgoer, subdued the man -- but not before being injured themselves. "We are grateful for the courage exhibited that prevented worse from happening," Pastor Brett Fuller said in a statement.

It was the latest episode in what's becoming a growing wave of domestic terrorism. "There is something about it that is an unbridled, roaring fury," Metaxas insisted, "and if you don't treat it in the way that it needs to be treated, if you don't deal with it with some force, really then you are allowing other people to be harmed." He ticked off examples throughout history of rebels wanting to overthrow authority and then turned their attention to the church -- people in France, Russia, China. They all "found themselves swept up in a rage that had no bounds and that could never be satisfied."

On "Washington Watch" with Sarah Perry, Eric cautioned that they don't even know what they want. "If we give them anything, we're fools. This is about revolution... Even if we [try], they'll say, 'It's not good enough.' They want to be victims. They want to destroy everything." This is, quite frankly, "a rage against God and all authority. They want to burn down Western civilization." Maybe some of them don't realize that consciously, but many do.

"You have to know that by promoting the truth and not giving a millimeter to these monsters... that's the only way you can fight. And people need to find a voice of courage and not give in. Don't get confused that this is about George Floyd, about racial justice. This is a Marxist, anti-American organization that is cynically using the incident of George Floyd and other things to promote things that are going to crush America."

What can we do about it? Pray, he urged. "I'm convinced that unless good people and people of faith especially stand up and boldly denounce what they see without fear of being called a racist or whatever the nom de guerre is today we will continue to see innocent people victimized in my own city of New York and in other cities and towns across the country. This is a deep spiritual ugliness that has hijacked what began as a legitimate grievance against an abuse of police power. It's time we spoke up and prayed hard that God would restore order."

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

And the Award Goes to... FRC's Cathy Ruse!

July 20, 2020

It's not easy to expose radical sex ed in America, but it can be rewarding. As a mom, FRC's Cathy Ruse has a personal stake in making classrooms safe for kids -- and, after years of work, she's managed to convince other parents they do too. It's that hard work and dedication that earned Cathy a special honor over the weekend as the Ruth Institute's 2020 Activist of the Year.

A few years ago, the news that Planned Parenthood would be expanding its tentacles into some of America's biggest public school districts sent Cathy on a mission: uncover the extreme, pro-LGBT curriculum that's passing as "sex ed." In Fairfax County, she fought with other parents to try to stop schools from becoming "laboratories" for their radical policies on gender identity, abortion, and sexual orientation. Ultimately, that led her to author a publication that's giving parents all across the country the courage to stand up and speak out on what's going on in their child's classrooms: "Sex Education in Public Schools: Sexualization of Children and LGBT Indoctrination."

To honor her contribution to this important debate, the Ruth Institute celebrated Cathy as one of their heroes at the Summit for Survivors of the Sexual Revolution this past weekend in Louisiana. Asked what advice she has for parents, Cathy said it's simple: get involved. "It's time to get into the arena! Justice demands it, but wisdom too. Because the vast majority of our governors, teachers, sheriffs, doctors, and lawyers will come from our nation's public schools. We cannot let the sexual nihilists shape them in their own image."

Congratulations, Cathy! And thank you, on behalf of parents everywhere who can celebrate better accountability, transparency, and sex ed alternatives because of your work!

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

More Wrongs about Pompeo's Unalienable Rights

July 20, 2020

Our founding principles, "weird?" Or worse, "partisan," "discriminatory," and "harmful?" Peter Berkowitz, the executive secretary of the Commission on Unalienable Rights, was just as surprised by the pushback to Secretary Mike Pompeo's report as anyone. He joined "Washington Watch" Friday to set these critics straight -- and explain why the mobs don't want us returning to the roots of American values.