Why would the Obama Administration target a group of nuns who have taken vows of poverty and run nationwide nursing homes for the poor?

“When the Obama administration picked a fight with Catholics and other religious groups over free birth control coverage for employees, sooner or later it was bound to end up doing battle with a group like the Little Sisters of the Poor,” writes the editorial board of USA Today. “And sure enough, the administration is now stuck arguing that it is justified in compelling nuns who care for the elderly poor to assist in offering health insurance that they say conflicts with their religious beliefs. Talk about a political loser.”


Little Sisters of the Poor

“This is the haves hammering the have-nots. Literally,” writes Deroy Murdock for the Washington Times. “The Little Sisters clutch the short end of the income-inequality stick. There is no economic justice in their abuse from Mr. Obama and the dapper despots at Eric Holder Jr.’s Justice Department.”

“The Little Sisters do their work for free,” says Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents these nuns. “They are not paid salaries,” he adds. “Each Little Sister takes a vow of poverty. They don’t personally own anything.”

“When it comes to public opinion, you can’t find a worse group to pick a fight with than the Little Sisters of the Poor,” writes Mary Ann Walsh in U.S. News and World Report. “They’re an order of nuns who attend to the frail and elderly. With longstanding generosity to those in need, the Little Sisters hold moral sway.

“Quality of life stands as their first concern and so the Little Sisters run low-cost, top-flight nursing homes. People trust grandma and grandpa to their care. Those who pass to their eternal reward in these homes do so in the arms of loving nuns who have become family. People have seen the work of these nuns all across the United States and around the world. There is nothing with which to pick a fight.


Little Sisters on the job in Denver

“Yet, that is what the Department of Justice did in January when it opposed Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s New Year’s Eve decision to grant the nuns a temporary reprieve from having to pay crippling fines for refusing to sign what the Justice Department has described as a meaningless government form.”

Rather than being left alone to concentrate fully on the destitute senior citizens whom they have served since 1888, the Little Sisters are being victimized by bureaucrats who have nothing to lose as they collect their big government paychecks. They are being distracted from their divine calling “by Team Obama’s insistence that they genuflect before Obamacare’s mandate to provide free contraceptives to all fertile women, regardless of income,” writes Murdock. “As serious Catholics, the sisters oppose birth control, especially in their own health plan.”

If they continue to resist, Obama’s bureaucrats plan to slam the sisters with crippling fines of $100 per day per employee – even though these “employes” work without pay. With 60 unpaid nuns on the staff of the Little Sisters of Denver, they stand to be fined $2.2 unless they permit Obamacare to provide contraceptives for these workers.

That’s right, the Obama Administration is threatening to fine nuns – who are unlikely to ever need contraceptives since they are celibate

and bound by religious vows not to violate the Catholic Church’s teachings, which includes a ban on contraceptives.

The cornerstone at one of the Sisters' nursing homes

The cornerstone at one of the Sisters’ nursing homes

Furthermore, the fines would come out of donated funds, not the coffers of some greedy corporation. “If the Little Sisters pay these fines, that money would not go to help elderly people who are dying and can’t care for themselves,” says Blomberg. “Instead, these funds would go to the IRS.”