Ending Funding of Planned Parenthood

Ending Funding of Planned Parenthood
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

At a posh dinner gathering on May 16th, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights presented its annual Hubert H. Humphrey Civil and Human Rights Award to Planned Parenthood (PP) President Cecile Richards. In the numerous flattering comments extolling Richards’ accomplishments, Leadership Conference bigwigs said the PP mogul was “a nationally respected leader in women’s health and reproductive rights.” That’s a bit like designating Mao Tse-tung, history’s greatest mass murderer, as a premier guardian of life and liberty. PP terminates the life of many thousands each year.

Image from flickr by Fibonacci Blue CC BY 2.0.

What was the Leadership Conference praising? In its annual report for fiscal 2016, Planned Parenthood indicated it had performed 321,384 abortions in the United States. For this achievement, claimed the conference leaders, PP deserves thanks and congratulations for creating “a healthier and safer world for women….” Of course, half of the infants slaughtered in the womb by the Cecile Richards-led “health care providers” were females. PP didn’t create a “healthier and safer world” for them. The horrifying truth is that roughly 160,000 live female fetuses needed only to be left alone for a matter of weeks in order to become citizens of our free country.

The criminal act of terminating life in the womb costs money. Much of PP’s funding to continue its grisly practice comes from the federal government. During fiscal 2016 ending on June 30, 2017, PP’s annual report noted receiving $543,700,000 from federal “reimbursements and grants.” Which means that a singularly important financier of killing American human beings in the womb is the U.S. government. And all taxpayers, including a large number of anti-abortion citizens, are compelled to finance slaughtering unborn babes. There is no greater outrage being forced on the American people.

The Leadership Conference that chose to honor Cecile Richards is a coalition of liberal and left wing groups born in 1950 with 30 organizations as initial members. Its current list of 200 groups includes the following generally known organizations: AARP, ACLU, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, B’nai B’rith International, United Auto Workers, League of Woman Voters, NAACP, National Education Association, National Organization for Women, People For the American Way, and YWCA. The complete list of its 200 member organizations appears on the conference’s web site. Undoubtedly, there are opponents of slaughtering in the womb within many of the 200 Leadership Conference groups. Letting these people know that an organization to which they belong is heaping praise on PP’s leader and its featured despicable practice is recommended.

Insisting that abortion is a highly condemnable practice soiling the image of our nation ought to be “shouted from the housetops.” And compelling America’s taxpayers to finance the practice through taxation deserves to be labeled a “criminal act.” A realistic assessment of abortion should unabashedly term it “murder.” And compelling people to finance what they truly abhor is a cardinal practice of tyrannical governing.

During her acceptance speech at the Leadership Conference ceremony, Cecile Richards sought confirmation for what she has been doing by pointing to herself and PP and stating, “Nobody’s free until everyone’s free.” She and all Americans need to understand that babes in the womb slain by Planned Parenthood aren’t free to remain alive until they are born. Therefore, according to her own assessment, nobody else is free. At very least, or until legalized abortion is again deemed a high crime, the federal government should cease funding the murderous organization known as Planned Parenthood.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Planned Parenthood Should Be Targeted, Not Funded

Planned Parenthood Should Be Targeted, Not Funded
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in our nation. Launched from the Birth Control Federation in 1916 by eugenicist Margaret Sanger, the organization has taken the lives of well over 60 million unborn infants since the Supreme Court opened floodgates for the procedure in 1973. (There are no reliable figures for the number of abortions prior to the Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade but there were far fewer because the procedure was outlawed in almost all of the states.)

Planned Parenthood supporters. Image from Wikimedia Commons by The All-Nite Images CC BY-SA 2.0.

During Planned Parenthood’s sordid lifetime, its leaders expanded their “services” from killing the unborn to marketing the tiny body parts of their victims. If ever there was a blot of our nation’s reputation, Planned Parenthood (PP), the high court, and the political establishment that refuses to terminate the legality of the process have supplied one. What this organization does and is allowed to do amounts to the taking of innocent life – which happens to be the definition of murder.

For several decades, PP has been the recipient of as much as $500 million per year from the U.S. government. This means that every federal taxpayer is forced to contribute to a process that millions consider an abomination. Attempts to stop such payments continue to fail because too many Americans and a majority of their elected leaders have lost their moral compass.

If asked if they support Nazi Germany’s killing of unwanted citizens deemed unworthy of living, most abortion supporters would respond with emphatic negativity. But PP founder Margaret Sanger supported the Nazi plan as a way to purify the race. If you pressed an elected official to explain how he or she could oppose what Hitler’s government did while supporting what the U.S. government does by legalizing murder and supplying funds to kill millions, you’ll see a bit of squirming. But you might also become the recipient of downright venomous snarling or an explosion of scurrilous invective.

During the recent presidential election, candidate Hillary Clinton repeated her endorsement of PP. “I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood,” she boasted. Tens of millions of Americans voted for her. They too have lost their moral compass.

Besides being an admirer of Hitler, PP’s founder was an adulteress, a racist, a bigot, and a champion of selective breeding. She believed in measures that would lead to exterminating the “unfit,” those she and her cohorts deemed to be a blot on mankind. Yet she is still looked upon as a praiseworthy trailblazer by Mrs. Clinton, a host of political figures, and countless numbers who share totalitarian views.

There are, however, some decent Americans who can’t be persuaded to reject what their consciences tells them is terribly wrong. In June 2017, after Hillary’s bid for the White House had failed, the state of Georgia held an election for an open seat in Congress. Abortion wasn’t the main issue separating the two candidates even though it should have been because PP delivered an astounding $734,760 to the Democratic Party’s eventual loser. The nation’s leading abortion provider obviously saw a chance to add to the number of federal politicians who support its ghastly programs. PP’s failure in that contest was good news.

And there is other good news amidst PP’s continuing carnage and the American public’s deteriorating moral fiber. President Trump’s appointment of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, and in the U.S. Senate’s confirming him may lead to a reversal of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision and the beginning of an end to legal killing of babes in the womb. If it happens, it would be an event well worth celebrating.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Guatemala Takes a Stand that Others Should Follow

Guatemala Takes a Stand that Others Should Follow
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Early last December, the Supreme Court of Guatemala, in a very important and welcome decision, dealt a deserved rebuke to domestic and worldwide pro-abortion forces and to the United Nations.

Image from flickr by Elvert Barnes, CC BY 2.0.

Having discovered that a pro-abortion manual was being circulated through the country, opponents of abortion went to court to have it banned. The small Central American nation’s laws bar abortion from the moment of conception. Its pro-life forces pointed to the manual’s promotion of abortion as a “right,” and its employment of such phrases as the “right to safe abortion” and “pregnancy termination” as clear evidence of what the manual countenanced.

In its ruling, the high court refused to be swayed by arguments based on the widespread and growing liberalization of abortion laws in other nations. Guatemala’s judges insisted that pointing to abortion being practiced elsewhere shouldn’t matter when “annihilating the life of the innocent” is the issue. Calling the pro-abortion attitude a “perversion,” the jurists suggested that real progress could be made by helping women in pregnancies, not assisting them to abort infants in the womb.

Attorney Astrid Rios of the Associacion la Familia Importa that instituted the challenge before the Court jubilantly stated that the ruling “surpassed all our expectations in defending the protection of life from conception.”

As reported by the American Center for Family and Human Rights, a leading pro-life group, the judges further contended that abortion “fundamentally transforms society, in the sense of making it progressively insensitive to human suffering and the piecemeal destruction of human life.” Also, they claimed that countenancing abortion “leads to the exclusion of those most needy of protection, such as the unborn, the sick, and the elderly.” The judges then pointed to “assisted suicide and euthanasia, even for children” as a logical next step in countries where abortion has been legalized.

In its decision, the Court pointed to Article 3 of Guatemala’s Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, and the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights that Guatemala has signed. The Inter-American Convention clearly supports protection of life from the moment of conception.

Unsurprisingly, what the Manual found unlawful by the Court was brought into existence with help from the United Nations Population Fund. Sandra Moran, a proud lesbian advocate of abortion and a member of the Guatemala congress, has instituted a challenge to the high court’s ruling. MTM Guatemala, a woman’s group favoring abortion that is a foe of the Court’s ruling receives financial assistance from the Open Society Foundation led by America-based George Soros and the pro-abortion giant Planned Parenthood. No surprises there!

The Court’s reliance on the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights for its decision likely occurred without realization that every right mentioned in the UN document can easily be cancelled via the provisions contained in its Article 29. This portion of the UN Declaration states: “In the exercise of rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law….” That means that the UN retains power to cancel any right, even those listed in its Declaration. According to the UN, rights are granted by law (see the Declaration’s Article 3). Further, the Declaration’s Article 8 tells us that God is not the granter of rights government is. A right granted by the UN or any law can easily be voided.

What the Guatemala court has done, however, is strike a blow for infants in the womb while exposing George Soros, his Open Society Foundation, and the United Nations as the enemies of innocent unborn infants. For that all pro-life partisans should be very grateful.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Socialism: Sanders Compared to Lenin

Socialism: Sanders Compared to Lenin
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Vladimir Lenin is likely found in any listing of mass-murdering criminals. He is also the founder of Soviet Communism, although he should more correctly be labeled a socialist. The founder of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Lenin knew that establishing socialism, which is government ownership and control of the major industries in any nation, is the surest way to gaining control of any nation.

Image from Pixabay, Open Clipart Vectors, Creative Commons CCO.

Lenin employed both persuasion and terror as his method of gaining power. Along the way, he frankly admitted a major element of his plan. It was that “socialized medicine is the keystone in the arch of the socialist state.” Impose socialized medicine on a population, he believed, and the path to total control has been irrevocably created.

For many years, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been considered a bit of a harmless gadfly, an outsider who affiliated with neither of America’s major political parties. That he represented tiny Vermont made that state the butt of a string of jokes. Some Americans believed Vermonters had lost their minds in sending an avowed Socialist to represent them in the national government. But that’s what they did, first electing Sanders as their lone member of the House of Representatives beginning in 1991, and since 2008, as one of their two senators.

Sanders became nationally well-known  during the 2016 campaign he waged for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President. His capability at presenting his views without rancor and with a degree of folksiness endeared him to many Americans who seem to have no idea how far from traditional Americanism are the now favorite socialistic preferences.

Beaten for the Democrat nomination by Hillary Clinton, Sanders has hardly returned to his former gadfly status. He is now a leader with millions of followers who like the sounds of his promise of more powerful and paternalistic government. On August 1st of this year, the energetic 75-year-old Vermonter (born and raised in Brooklyn, New York) made clear his intention to have Congress approve “a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system.”

Sanders indicated that what he proposes will “require a political revolution.” In saying that, he is completely correct. The single payer that he didn’t identify in his August 1st announcement would be the federal government. If Sanders succeeds in getting his proposal enacted by Congress, the U.S. government would totally control 1/6th of the nation’s economy – a huge step toward Lenin-style socialism that would be nearly impossible to reverse.

Cleverly appealing for support among the American people, the Vermont socialist directed his remarks toward “men and women, gay and straight, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American … and the elderly, sick and poor.” He identifies the enemy of his proposal as “Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the corporate media, the Republican Party, and the Establishment wing of the democratic Party.” A typically socialist appeal? Absolutely.

The proposal he offers is not unlike one crafted during the administration of John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) though it would have covered only Americans of Social Security age. It was an undeniable step toward gaining the kind of control envisaged today by Sanders. But the American Medical Association (AMA) mounted opposition and it was aided in part by a commercial featuring then-actor Ronald Reagan who called the proposal “an imminent threat.”  The AMA issued a widely-distributed pamphlet warning: “Would socialized medicine lead to socialization of other phases of American life? Lenin thought so. He declared socialization of medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.”

That was more than a half century ago. The AMA has become so heavily entwined with government involvement in medicine that the alternative Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) arose several decades ago. The AAPS is dead set against socialized medicine and socialism in general. It would be helpful in the fight to retain American free enterprise if the AMA would speak out as before, and if a Hollywood favorite would give the American people a warning about socialized medicine just as Ronald Reagan did almost 60 years ago.

Let’s not let socialized medicine bring America down. Support a clean repeal of ObamaCare with no replacement today!

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


After A Century, Planned Parenthood Needs to be Shut Down

After A Century, Planned Parenthood Needs to be Shut Down
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood, one of its greatest cheerleaders sent five separate messages to celebrate the significant milestone. Interrupting her election campaign, Hillary Clinton sent out several tweets that either praised or defended the organization that has slaughtered 59 million babies in the womb since 1973.

The trend of murdering innocent babies in the womb will continue to grow worse if the very prominent cheerleader for Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton, becomes America's next president. Photo from Wikipedia.

The trend of murdering innocent babies in the womb will continue to grow worse if the very prominent cheerleader for Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton, becomes America’s next president. (Photo by Lorie Shaull (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons).

One of those messages sent via her computer (a non-secured instrument this time!) stated as follows: “I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood. I’ll never stop fighting to protect the ability of every woman in this country to make her own health decisions.” She conveniently avoided the fact that half of the victims of abortion are females needing only time and nourishment to be able to reach womanhood in a few years. They won’t enjoy the protection she mentioned. Mrs. Clinton also equated terminating life in the womb with otherwise normal health decisions. Abortion surely doesn’t allow the victim a choice, and it surely isn’t good for his or her health.

Started a century ago as the American Birth Control League, Planned Parenthood is the legacy of Margaret Sanger (1879-1966). A prominent eugenicist (the word comes from the Greek meaning “wellborn”), she sought to rid the nation of the “unfit” by which she initially meant Negroes, Hispanics, and Jews. Her goal would be achieved by forcing down the birth rate of the unwanted classes. One of her tactics included the use of deception. She told a financial supporter of her plan to recruit “colored minsters” to do her work. Explaining, she stated, “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs….” (See Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right, a 1974 book by rabid pro-abortionist Linda Gordon.)

As late as November 1939 (two months after Germany launched World War II and several years after its campaign against Jews had begun, Sanger’s Birth Control Review was still commending the Nazi campaign. Almost simultaneously, the Sanger campaign began to target Catholic immigrants to the United States, another group deemed “unfit.”

Beginning in 1970, Planned Parenthood started receiving federal grants, now totaling more than $500 million per year. The organization claims that none of the taxpayer dollars it receives are used to perform abortions. Even if that claim is accurate, the government funding it receives makes easier the use of other funding to kill babes in the womb. In 2015, some determined anti-abortion crusaders videotaped admissions by Planned Parenthood officials that they were selling the body parts of recently aborted babies. An uproar over that grisly practice led to a congressional attempt to defund the organization, a failed effort due to President Obama’s veto and the congressional inability to override it. Similar congressional moves to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that opened the floodgates for abortion have also failed.

Over its history, besides being pro-Nazi, Planned Parenthood has shown itself to be anti-black, anti-Hispanic, anti-Catholic, and anti-Jewish. Yet within these groups of Americans are millions who support the Clinton candidacy. Meanwhile, the mass media that refuses to report the truth about Planned Parenthood and its Sanger-inspired efforts chooses to paint her opponent with unsavory labels, many of which are unfounded.

One reason why the murder of innocent babes in the womb continues is that the practice has now involved millions of women and men. There is a wide lessening of disgust for a practice that, prior to 1973, was almost universally deemed abhorrent in America. This trend will only grow worse if the very prominent cheerleader for Planned Parenthood, Hillary Clinton, becomes America’s next president.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Does Zika Warrant Bringing Back DDT?

Does Zika Warrant Bringing Back DDT?  
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

Jane Orient, M.D., serves as the Executive Director of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). This Arizona-based organization attracts conservative-thinking doctors and frequently finds itself in disagreement with the well-known American Medical Association.

Dr. Orient has issued a call to start using DDT in the fight against the Zika virus. Her stand places her in marked contrast to an assortment of leftist environmentalists and their political allies. To them, DDT is harmful. But examination of the claims that DDT adversely affects people, plant life, and fish shows the worries to be unreasonable if not completely false.

Created in 1874 by a German chemist, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane wasn’t found to be an effective insecticide until 1939 when Swiss chemist Paul Muller started publicizing its usefulness as an eradicator of mosquitoes and various vermin. Muller justifiably won the 1948 Nobel Prize “for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a contact poison against several anthropods.”

Soon after the acknowledgement of Muller’s work, use of DDT became widespread. Typhus that had ravaged U.S. forces during World War II was largely eliminated. In the United States, sickness and death caused by malaria shrank from 15,000 cases in 1947 to compete eradication by 1951. The use of DDT in Africa and elsewhere proved sensationally effective against malaria and other mosquito borne diseases. The use of DDT, says Dr. Orient, probably saved 500,000,000 lives without killing anyone.”

In 1962, however, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring gave birth to a campaign against DDT that has led to the substance being banned for use in the United States and much of the world. Carson predicted that vegetation would disappear, fish would no longer be found in rivers and streams, birds would no longer be found, and people would face grave dangers. DDT became Enemy Number One and its use became illegal in 1972 via an EPA mandate. Soon, the United Nations joined the U.S. in condemning DDT and using it ceased in many parts of the world.

In Florida today, frantic efforts to eradicate the Zika virus have dominated our nation’s print and electronic media. Numerous athletes have declined to participate in the Olympic Games over fear of mosquito bites transmitting the Zika virus and more. To combat the threat, medical authorities are turning to everything but DDT.

“If we do nothing,” says Dr. Orient, “a lot of people will get Zika [and] some will get Guillain Barre Syndrome which causes a potentially fatal paralysis.” Labeling as a “step above nothing” the current strategy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – don’t get pregnant, wear long sleeve clothing, and apply a mosquito repellent – she laments the refusal to employ DDT to deal with the problem. Everything offered by the CDC and others isn’t working very well according to the AAPS leader. What would work? With a willingness to stick her neck out, Dr. Orient says it may be “the height of political incorrectness to suggest trying DDT.” But that’s what she believes would be effective.

Why did the ban on DDT develop and become virtually mandatory? Population control seems to be the hidden goal of some. In the 1960s, Environmental Defense Fund leader Dr. Charles Wurster claimed there were already too many people on earth. He proposed banning DDT “as a way to get rid of them.” In his syndicated column, Walter Williams noted that Malthusian Club founder Alexander King had written in 1990: “So my chief quarrel with DDT, in hindsight, is that it has greatly added to the population problem.” In November 1991, the Paris-based UNESCO Courier, published the proposal of famed oceanographer Jacques Cousteau who called for action to “eliminate 350,000 people per day” as the way to counter population growth. Others claiming to be environmentalists have issued similarly outrageous statements.

The existing ban on DDT should be terminated. Perhaps the current scare presented by the Zika virus will lead again to the use of this remarkable and safe substance.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.


Little Sisters of the Poor Fighting for Religious Liberty

Little Sisters of the Poor Fighting for Religious Liberty
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus

On March 23rd, the plight of the Little Sisters of the Poor will be heard once again by the U.S. Supreme Court. Having had a favorable though temporary ruling rendered by the Court in January 2014, the religious order must now seek a final judgment on their plea to be exempted from provisions of Obamacare that conflict with their religion.

One cartoon from a series on how the federal government has treated the Sisters. (image from their site).

The Sisters, whose self-appointed mission involves care for elderly persons who cannot fend for themselves, employ numerous lay people in their selfless work. But ObamaCare requires them to pay for a health-care program that includes supplying abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception for any of their lay employees. Since doing so would violate the tenets of their Catholic Faith, the Sisters have sought relief from the government’s mandates.

Founded in France in 1839 by Sister Jeanne Jugan who later was designated a saint by the Church, the order serves the elderly in 31 countries. In 2014, the 2,372 members of their order operated 234 houses. Of these, 31 are in the United States. The nuns all make vows of poverty, chastity, obedience, and hospitality.

Before the Supreme Court’s ruling last year, lawyers for the Sisters went before a panel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. Their plea to be excused from the health care requirements they opposed was rebuffed. But the full Court of Appeals in that district later ruled in their favor though leaving open a possible appeal by the government. It was then that the Obama administration did appeal, and this appeal is what will be heard by the nation’s highest court in March. A final decision on the matter isn’t expected until later this year.

The Sisters are represented by the Washington-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a group founded in 1994 by Kevin Hasson who previously worked at the Justice Department and a Washington law firm. The name “Becket” stems from their admiration of Saint Thomas Becket who, as Archbishop of Canterbury in the 12th century, tangled with King Henry II and was murdered in the Canterbury Cathedral.

Hasson stepped aside in 2011 and the Fund is now led by President William P. Mumma and Executive Director Kristina Arriaga. Becket Fund‘s clients have included advocates of a variety of religions ranging, as they say, from “A to Z” (Anglicans to Zoroastrians). A previous client, Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., did receive an exemption from an Obamacare dictate mandating that the company supply abortifacients to employees. Supreme Court justices voted 5-4 in that 2014 ruling.

The issue propelling the Little Sisters is religious liberty – the right to practice religion unimpeded by overreaching government. Therefore, there’s a lot at stake here. Believers in the Bill of Rights and its guarantee that “the free exercise” of religion shall be maintained will surely be watching for the high court’s eventual decision.

The death of Justice Antonin Scalia throws another consideration into the Court’s eventual action. Without doubt, he would have sided with the Sisters. There are four likely supporters of the Sisters and four likely opponents of their plea to be excluded from the requirement to ignore the tenets of the Faith. Should the Court split 4-4, the customary practice calls for reverting to the previous ruling – the one in which the Sisters were granted a pass. Of course, at this point no one knows for sure what will happen.

In any case, the Obama administration has demonstrated by its decision to appeal the previous ruling that it doesn’t believe in religious liberty – even for a group known as The Little Sisters of the Poor.

Are you receiving our free weekly e-newsletter? Sign up today! Be sure to also get our free Top Daily Headlines from The New American.


McManus_2Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.