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  • The Victims of Obamacare's Disregard for Freedom

    Amber McGrath was 9 years old and living with her drug-addicted mother at the Queen of Peace Center in St. Louis when police showed up to remove her and her brother. While her mother spent nights on the street doing drugs, Amber resorted to stealing food to feed her family. She told police she had been raped more than once.

    That’s when Catholic Charities stepped in to help. Amber spent six years at Marygrove, a home for children who are traumatized from abuse and neglect. She graduated with honors from high school and today is a police officer in the St. Louis area.

    Amber’s story is not unlike countless others who have been touched by the work of Catholic Charities. Hers was featured in a video marking 100 years of service in St. Louis.

    Today, however, Catholic Charities of St. Louis faces an uncertain future. The Obama administration’s anti-conscience mandate, finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services earlier this year, would force the organization to violate conscience or face hefty fines. That prompted both Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of St. Louis to join a lawsuit against the government.

    Marygrove, the home where Amber lived, serves 700 to 800 children per year. It is one of eight agencies that are at the core of Catholic Charities’ work in St. Louis. The organization offers more than 100 programs to benefit an estimated 157,000 poor and impoverished people each year. That makes it one of the largest private providers of social services in Missouri.

    “Catholic Charities is the way the church serves those in need,” said the Rev. Robert J. Carlson, archbishop of St. Louis. “It is a major ministry of the church where we carry out Christ’s mission to help others and we call on others to do the same. Yet most of the people we serve are not Catholic. We help those in need not because they’re Catholic, but because we are Catholic.”

    Because many of them aren’t Catholic, the organization would be forced to adapt to the government’s mandate. Carlson noted that the government’s definition of a “religious employer” includes only Catholic organizations that primarily serve Catholics. Carlson said the threat to religious liberty gave the archdiocese and Catholic Charities little choice, even after the Obama administration announced its supposed “accommodation.”

    “It fails to protect the religious liberties of those Catholic institutions that reach out to non-Catholics, like our St. Louis area Catholic hospitals and universities, and Catholic Charities of St. Louis,” Carlson wrote in a letter last month.

    For a century, Catholic Charities has played a vital role serving a community of non-Catholics. One example dates to 1975 when the organization began helping refugees after the Vietnam War.

    “People come to our agencies at the worst time of their lives, really having everything stripped from them sometimes,” said Karen Wallensak of Catholic Charities Community Services. “People don’t call Catholic Charities because things are going well. They call when they’re in their most desperate hour.”

    According to statistics provided by Catholic Charities, the need in the St. Louis area is significant:

    • 157,041 meals were served to homeless people.
    • 28,853 calls were made to the Homeless Hotline seeking emergency shelter.
    • 29,475 seniors were housed, fed, counseled, or received some other services.
    • 17,979 children served directly through foster care, residential placements, day care, after school and summer programs.
    • 15,617 instances of basic needs assistance services i.e. clothing, prescriptions, and other vital services.
    • 1,373 people received legal assistance.
    • 4,432 adults received assistance with job searches or training.
    • 114 refugees were re-settled.

    That’s all the more reason the archdiocese and Catholic Charities are fighting for their ability to carry out this mission without interference from the government.

    “Right now the future is unclear, and any scenario that forces us to violate our moral convictions is unacceptable. At the same time, any scenario that forces our St. Louis area hospitals, schools, and charities to close would be devastating to the many people employed and served by these institutions,” Carlson said.

    Posted in Featured, Obamacare, Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to The Victims of Obamacare's Disregard for Freedom

    1. Bobbie says:

      Catholic charities are sincere in their work. Government intrusion is sinister. Catholic charities lead by principle. Obama leads by abuse of authority, unconstitutional acts and disrespect for the good deeds of institutes that promote inner strength. Obama's government continues to jeopardize areas that are a threat to government dependency…

    2. Anne Willey says:

      Excellent article, Rob! As a resident of St. Louis and a Catholic, I know the good work of CC. The loss to the community if they are forced to close up to protect their religious freedom would be devastating. No one else would be able to do what they do.

    3. Clive says:

      The Catholic Church is the #1 institution in America standing in the way of the Obama Administration's drive to increase every American's dependence on government and to reconfigure our communal notions of right and wrong. The Church will always stand for the dignity of the human person and the idea that there is such a thing as good an evil in the world. The Obama Administration and those who support them WANT Catholic Charities to withdraw from society. If they can separate the Church from society, then the Church will lose Her voice. If the DHHS anti-conscience mandate is allowed to stand, the Church must not voluntarily close Her universities, hospitals and charitable outreach organizations and must not voluntarily pay the fines the government will try to impose. Make the government act to impose its will on the Church!

      • Is this is the same Catholic Church that systematically hid the abuse of children? The same Church that consistently enabled known pedophiles to have access to children? Their own internal corruption aside, don't use them as
        Conservatives take notice: As compromised as the Catholic Church is, it is quite publicly and fervently in favor of healthcare for all! Check out Peace on Earth, Pope John XXIII, (April 1963) if you doubt it. The fact is, except on certain issues pertaining to antiquated traditions (kind of like their treatment of Galileo and Copernicus), the Church is as liberal as they come. America has been Exceptionally (pun intended) good at deluding themselves that we are a 1st world country. If Repubs are victorious in the fall, look forward to falling even farther behind the rest of the world as ever-increasing multinational corporations, beholden to no one but their shareholders, consolidate evermore power and influence to the detriment of those you are so eager to hold up as victims of "Obamacare." 2nd world here we come!!

        • Bobbie says:

          churches consist of peoples. people are individuals. people control their own. no one but the individual controls ones' individuality no matter his title. it doesn't take away the principle or faith from anyone that holds it true. The church is charity it's their job to be liberal in it's truest sense. Churches don't turn away or direct troubled people to government dependency a sound reason for their tax exemption. If the church is true to God it doesn't access government for anyones' favor. Separation of church and state. People contribute, donate, give to charities and churches by choice not government force who divides and puts money into their own charities without peoples consent who are with less when obligated by force to give government more. Unless a religion or it's institutes promote inhumanities, the government has no reason to burden when churches have nothing but advise government.

          It's the leaders of countries that respect to lead 1st world countries with the dignity of her peoples' freedom that shows it to be true and proud to say it. I agree America has lost that 1st world title through manipulative, corrupt leadership and through people that follow and live the attitude of her leadership. You're not a 1st world country if it's filled with government dependents! Government authority expresses clear intention to oppress people dropping America down to 3rd world, then in all cases government tyranny. In America, through her freedom and respectful leaders, her history shows the people of all origins make the country a 1st world!! Should be even stronger today!
          "Not no more" says you! Socialized medicine, government control is not reflective of a 1st world. You're mindset is deluded from misguidance. Witness and records show Obama's easy fall for his selective rich elite why are you spinning it on republicans. oh I'm sorry, you're deluded mindset…

    4. Dana says:

      Catholics SO WHAT if we do not agree with on portion of the Romney/Obama care law. As a devote catholic the abortion or contraceptive issue are two (2). A devote catholic will adhere to the principles laid down by our religion. The message is being preached but if your message only gets to 50% of our members then we fail.
      I remember when families were in church 4-5 children the whole family took up a pew. now maybe 1 or 2 children per family. Tell me that is not a case use of contraceptives. Wouldn't it be great if there were no Teen pregnancy's.
      If the challenge is now to repeal this Health care mandate and the issue is abortion/contraceptives and collection of monies to repeal will go down the drain to support lobbyists as we have with Roe/Wade the statement is always if you give one more time it will be repealed well it won't happen. Take this money educate families and help children, there are an awful lot of competing religions, comp-eating for the dwindling dollar in these economic times we are not the 1%

    5. Religious organizations are a threat to their socialist propaganda that government provide everything.
      Good forces overcome the evil ones is Gods law and they hate God.
      Divide and conquer their method of operation or separate and destroy.
      They will leave no stone unturned in their quest for control.

    6. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      How many people will not be fed, clothed and sheltered due to the redirection of these funds to fight legal battles? Another windfall to the trial lawyers and another despicable side-effect of Obamacare.

      I wonder if SS, Medicare and Medicaid, the largest financial liabilities facing this government, would have come to fruition if church and charity had fought them like they now seem to be fighting Obamacare? No conservative even speaks of eliminating these programs anymore; simply broaching the subject of sustainable reform, as Congressman Paul Ryan has done, is nearly political suicide.

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