As if we didn’t have enough on our plate with the battle over forced contraception coverage, the Obama administration is currently embroiled in another religious fight, this time with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over federal aid money for sex-trafficking victims.The Trafficking Victims Protection Act provides money to fund medical and mental health services for victims of sex trafficking, and since 2006, the bishops have been allowed to limit the money they receive to contractors who are uninvolved in abortion. But in its infinite wisdom and compassion, the current administration has decided to revoke the bishops’ grant money entirely rather than keep funding their charitable work. Now a federal judge has ruled against the bishops:
Although the nation’s Catholic bishops said the ACLU lawsuit is “without merit and an affront to religious liberty,” U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns ruled on March 23 that the government’s accommodation of the decision not to make abortion referrals is unconstitutional. Stearns, a Massachusetts judge, said the government violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment “insofar as they delegated authority to a religious organization to impose religiously based restrictions on the expenditure of taxpayer funds, and thereby impliedly endorsed the religious beliefs of the USCCB and the Catholic Church.”
Stearns also said is not about forcing the bishops to violate their pro-life views but about “the limits of the government’s ability to delegate to a religious institution the right to use taxpayer money to impose its beliefs on others (who may or may not share them).”As a matter of policy, HHS’s decision is indefensible. It’s disgusting enough when the government funds abortion directly, but to throw out all of an organization’s charitable work, which is achieving the stated goal of helping sex-trafficking victims, simply because that organization’s members don’t want to be complicit in abortion?
Scott Walker’s detractors are just trying to protect teachers, right?
[I]n June 2010, long before Scott Walker was elected, Milwaukee Public Schools fired 482 teachers–including Megan Sampson, a young educator named an “outstanding first year teacher” by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English.
Sampson and 481 other teachers were laid off for two reasons having to do with collective bargaining: First, the collective bargaining agreement allowed the teachers’ union to choose between small reductions in health care benefits and layoffs. “Given the opportunity, of course I would switch to a different [health care] plan to save my job, or the jobs of 10 other teachers,” Sampson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The teachers’ union felt differently. It chose layoffs.
Second, the collective bargaining agreement guaranteed that teachers would be laid off on the basis of seniority rather than merit (or lack thereof). Therefore, Sampson, and likely a lot of other promising young educators got the axe, while the rest of the teachers, good and bad alike, were protected simply by the amount of time they’d put in.
And “for the children”? That’s crap, too:
A 2004 study by Hofstra University scholar Charol Shakeshaft on the sexual misconduct of public school teachers is a shocking wake-up call that was widely ignored by the public union-friendly press. And even worse, the public teachers unions protected many of the offending teachers and allowed them to quietly transfer to other schools where they victimized more children. “Examples include touching breasts or genitals of students; oral, anal, and vaginal penetration; showing students pictures of a sexual nature; and sexually-related conversations, jokes, or questions directed at students.”
Everyone agrees that the sex scandal in the Catholic Church is a tragedy of immense proportions and the media has done a good job at uncovering the network of cover-ups and lies that harmed children irreparably. But what would you say if I told you that the public school system, which is about the same size as the Catholic Church in America with a school in every parish, has more sexual abuse cases in ten years than the Catholic Church has had in fifty?
My latest NewsRealBlog post:
This weekend at NewsRealBlog, we had quite the brawl over the sexual-assault charges against WikiLeaks’ anarchic head honcho, Julian Assange. Today, let’s look at the arrest at a different angle: regardless of whether or not he assaulted anyone, is it right to use these charges as an excuse to punish his cyber terrorism?
Child abuse and sex crime victims’ advocate Wendy Murphy isn’t so sure. At the Daily Beast, she says the charges, if true, would be worth pursuing, but the prosecutors’ motives don’t pass the smell test:
[I]f Assange were any other guy, he would not be sitting in a British jail and there would have been no international manhunt, no matter how may times his condom broke during sex.
Because the public understands this, they also understand that the timing of Assange’s arrest on sex charges is suspicious. The charges are either a substitute for a lack of evidence in conjuction with a WikiLeaks indictment, or they’re “holding charges” meant to keep the guy penned up while the world figures out where, if anywhere, Assange might actually be prosecutable for the release of government files.
Either way, when prosecutors use the public’s money to pursue a criminal case as a pretext for some other agenda, people become cynical and mistrustful of the rule of law. During impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton for his lie about Monica Lewinsky, the public was plenty offended by Clinton’s behavior, but the impeachment proceedings were so over the top, many came to believe the process was nothing but a contrived show trial, generated by people who couldn’t have cared less about presidential lying but who hoped to seize the moment for political gain.
Is WikiLeaks an agent of liberty? No way, says Janet Daley.
Another powerhouse from my NRB colleague, Megan Fox: 28 Revolting Quotes That Define the Pro-Abortion Left.
The Other McCain has the scoop on a lefty academic and commentator who’s been charged with carrying on a sexual relationship with his own daughter.
Check out this priceless takedown of Andrew Sullivan’s never-ending dishonesty.
Doug Powers slaps down Bernie Sanders’ class-warfare demagoguery.
Has the Republican Party learned nothing? (That’s a rhetorical question, by the way).
Investors’ Business Daily has more on the not-so-dreamy effects of ObamaCare on the medical profession.
And in Iran, Stuxnet, the world’s early Christmas gift, keeps on giving.
No, not this one. This one. [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT AT LINK.] My NewsRealBlog colleagues David Swindle and Jenn Public have compiled an absolutely stunning, sickening array of evidence exposing the pedophile tendencies and sympathies of former NRB contributor – and current FrumForum contributor – Alex Knepper. Knepper, you may recall, got canned from NRB and retaliated with a persecution story that didn’t hold water. At this point, it goes without saying that this should be the final nail in Knepper’s career, and if the reaction of Breitbart and NewsBusters is any indication, it may very well be.
But ultimately, Knepper’s a punk of limited significance. More importantly, this post should be the final proof that David Frum has hit rock-bottom, that he doesn’t care about the degeneracy of those who prove useful to him, and is therefore as unprincipled as they come and deserves to be ejected from the few remaining corners of the conservative movement in which he somehow isn’t seen as a disgrace. Frum apologists and lapdogs like John Guardiano – at least, the ones who still claim to have scruples – can no longer ignore the evidence of Frum’s indecency. Those who refuse to abandon this sinking moral ship deserve to go down with it.
UPDATE: Predictably, the pro-dishonesty Guardiano has chosen the sinking ship. That he accuses David Swindle – a socially-liberal blogger with a clear record of supporting not only gay rights, but also (some) gay political causes – of homophobia should be all the proof we need that Guardiano simply does not believe in holding himself to any meaningful standards of honesty and ethics.