Our Calendar
June 2013
M T W T F S S
« May   Jul »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Archive for June 2013

Tell Your Assembly Member What You Think of His/Her Abortion Vote!

 

Tell Your Assembly Member What You Think Of His/Her Abortion Vote

Take Action Here!

On June 20, the New York State Assembly passed the so-called “Women’s Equality Act,” more accurately known as the Abortion Expansion Act. The bill, which died in the state Senate, would have expanded late-term abortion, opened the door for non-doctors to perform surgical abortions on women and girls, and removed abortion from the Penal Law, thereby decriminalizing even forced or coerced abortions. This bill will come back next year, and it is critical that you let your Assembly member know what you think of his or her vote. Our system will use your zip code to recognize your Assembly Member and send a thank you email if he/she voted against this bill, or an email of disappointment if he/she voted for it. You may edit it if you have any additional messages for your legislator regarding the vote. It takes less than a minute. Just go HERE to find your Assembly member and get the correct message based on his/her vote. Thank you for taking action and letting your Assembly Members know you are watching. We will follow up with a similar action for your state Senator in the coming days.

Hobby Lobby Prevails Against HHS Mandate!

Visit Our Website June 28, 2013
Dear Friends, 

I can’t tell you how excited we are here at the Becket Fund!

 

We have just heard from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, and they have recognized Hobby Lobby is likely to win its case against the HHS Mandate. They rejected the district court’s erroneous original ruling which would have forced the Christian owned-and-operated business to violate its deeply held religious beliefs or pay severe fines.      

 

Their ruling came just in time, too. Starting Monday, July 1st, Hobby Lobby would have been subject to government penalties. Which means time is ticking for the District Court to issue an injunction for immediate relief.

 

So, give yourself a pat on the back, because this great victory is thanks to the steadfast support you’ve shown the Becket Fund. We couldn’t have done it without you.

 

You know, this is a big win not just for Hobby Lobby and the Green family, who built this business from the ground up, but for all religious business owners. As the largest business to challenge this unconstitutional government mandate, the impact of this decision should be felt far and wide.

 

The Court has said loud and clear that you don’t need to check your faith at the door to make a living. And we hope the district court will take notice. Perhaps even the government might take heed!

 

But, we’ll see. We’ve gotten through this first step, but the government continues to wage the war against religious liberty. As long as the HHS Mandate is law, the Becket Fund will fight it.

STATEMENT ON ABORTION EXPANSION ACT

New York State

Catholic Conference

The Official Voice of the Catholic Church in the Empire State

Statement on Abortion Expansion Act

Published on June 21st, 2013

Following is a statement from the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the Bishops of New York State in public policy matters:

The failure of a last-ditch hostile amendment to try to effect passage of the Abortion Expansion Act is a remarkable victory for unborn children, as well as vulnerable women and girls who so often face unrelenting societal and family pressure to abort. The result is, quite literally, the answer to prayer. More accurately, it is the answer to millions of prayers by men, women and children of every faith from every section of the state who believe in the inalienable right to life of the baby in the womb.

We are grateful to Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) for his steadfast opposition to this bill, and to the members of his Republican conference who were united with him in that position, as well as to the two pro-life Democrats who denied the abortion proponents a majority in the Senate. We are grateful, too, for those courageous and principled Republicans and Democrats in the Assembly who voted against abortion expansion despite it being a losing cause in that chamber. This victory is shared with them as well, and they should know that pro-life New Yorkers will remember their vote.

The movement to pass this bill awoke a sleeping giant, a silent pro-life majority that had been discouraged and disheartened from living in the state with the highest abortion rate in the country. Facing the most radical expansion of abortion since the state legalized it in 1970, thousands of New Yorkers contacted their legislators and made repeat trips to Albany to be a pro-life presence at the Capitol.

In the meantime, positive legislation to enhance women’s dignity were long held hostage to the abortion expansion agenda. We are pleased that the Senate is now poised to pass the other nine planks of Gov. Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, and we call on the Assembly to do the same. These measures include protections for victims of sexual harassment, domestic violence and human trafficking, and should never have been used as a pawn to pass legislation that cannot stand on its own.

The powerful lobbyists for the abortion industry already are vowing to wage this battle again next year, and to punish legislators at the polls who dare stand up for both the dignity of women and the right to life of innocent children in the womb. We believe this effort will fall short too because the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers, including those who say they are “pro-choice,” are disgusted by late-term abortion and are shocked that abortion clinics would seek to employ non-doctors to perform surgical procedures on women and girls. We will continue to stand up for innocent human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and we continue to pray for our opponents that their eyes may be opened to the evil of abortion.

BECKET FUND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM SUCCESSES!

Visit Our Website June 17, 2013
Dear Friends, 

As I was packing my kids off to their last day of school last year, it suddenly hit me:  The year is practically half over!

 

We’ve been so busy here at the Becket Fund that time has flown right by.  At this pace, we ought to be announcing our annual Ebenezer Award to the biggest hyper-secular fuddy-duddy during the holidays any day now!

 

So, I wanted to make sure to send you this mid-year review right away.  It includes two petitions before the U.S. Supreme Court, the “case to watch” in the HHS Mandate challenge, three important wins for educational freedom, and more.

 

Thanks to your generous support, we’ve been able to amp up our legal department, adding two new stellar attorneys to the team.  We’re able to field more questions, draft more briefs, testify at more hearings, make more media appearances, and – of course – take on more clients.

 

And, this increased capability couldn’t come at a better time because the threats to religious liberty are coming fast and furious.

 

Can we continue to count on your support?  Will you recommit yourself to the defense of religious liberty right now with a generous donation of $25, $50, $100, $150, $250, $500, or $1000?

 

One “Case to Watch” on the HHS Mandate:

 

The Administration took another stab at the HHS Mandate with its long-awaited religious liberty “accommodation.”  But, as the Chicago Tribune said of it, “The ‘accommodation’ is not a true accommodation; it’s merely a convenient fiction.”  So, our legal challenges against what remains one of the top threats to religious liberty continue.

 

The Becket Fund was granted the rare opportunity to take our Hobby Lobby case directly to the full panel of judges for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Opportunities like this are only granted for cases of true significance.  If answering the question of whether entering for-profit business negates the right to religious liberty isn’t a significant matter, I don’t know what is.

 

Reuters called this the “case to watch.”  We expect the judges to hand down their decision any day now, and as our General Counsel Kyle Duncan said following the hearing, “We are encouraged.”  You can read more about the case, as well as some of the press coverage here.

 

Our other cases against the HHS Mandate are proceeding as well.  You may recall from earlier emails that in some instances, the courts had told our clients to hold tight since the government wasn’t enforcing the HHS Mandate until August 2013.  Well, August 1, 2013 is right around the corner now and the Administration isn’t showing any signs of backing off.  So, we expect some new activity in those cases soon, too.  NBC called the Becket Fund “a big thorn in the side for the Obama Administration” when it comes to the HHS Mandate.  We fully intend to continue to be prickly.

 

Two Supreme Court Petitions:

 

Asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear one case is a big deal.  Asking them to hear two, well, you can imagine how much work we put into crafting those petitions!

 

In one case, we’re defending a Wisconsin school board that was using a local church for its high school graduation ceremonies.  It’s entirely undisputed that the ceremonies were completely secular and that the school officials chose the venue for a completely secular reason – better handicapped accessibility, more comfortable seats, air conditioning, more parking, better audio-visual capabilities.  But, the schools were hauled into court anyway.

 

We’re asking the Supreme Court to affirm that government does not need to treat religion as something toxic that needs to be avoided at all costs.  Read more here.

 

In the other case, we’re defending the Hutterites of Big Sky Colony in Montana.  They take a vow of poverty, renounce private property, live communally, and own all possessions in common.  They provide all their members with comprehensive, no-fault health insurance.  But, the Montana Legislature, under pressure from lobbyists, is forcing them to provide workers compensation to their members as well, in violation of several tenets of the Hutterite faith.

 

We’re asking the Supreme Court to make clear that you don’t have to show that a government had discrimination in mind to violate religious liberty.  It’s enough to show that government is treating religious and non-religious groups differently.

 

Three Victories over the Anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments:

 

As you may recall, the Becket Fund has been working hard to expose the lingering bigotry in state constitutions all over the country.  The Blaine Amendments were added in many states at the height of the anti-Catholic “Know Nothing” movement.  They are used today to keep families of all religions from using school choice and voucher programs to get their children the education they need.

 

In February, the Colorado Court of Appeals overturned a lower court’s ruling and let the Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program stand.  In fact, the court of appeals held that “the inquiry in which the district court engaged – into the degree to which religious tents and beliefs are included in participating private schools’ educational programs – is no longer constitutionally acceptable.”  The Becket Fund filed an amicus brief in support of the program.

 

Just a month later, in March, the Indiana Supreme Court upheld the state’s Choice Scholarship Program.  The Becket Fund had provided an amicus brief in that case, detailing the history of the state’s Blaine Amendment.  And, the court took note of that history in its opinion upholding the program.

 

And, then in May, a state district judge upheld a New Mexico law that allows the state Public Education Department to pay for textbooks used by private school students, even when they go to religious schools.  The Becket Fund represented some Catholic and other private schools in the case.  Again, we pointed out the bigoted history of the state’s Blaine Amendment.

 

The Becket Fund relies on the generosity of supporters like you to keep fighting for religious liberty.  Please recommit yourself to the fight today with a financial gift of $25, $50, $100, $150, $250, $500, or $1000.

 

And, So Much More:

 

While the cases above stand-out, they are certainly not the only work we’ve done in the past six months.  We’ve been doing some other really important work, including:

 

  •      Providing substantial support to Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) in drafting legislation to help synagogues, churches, and other houses of worship access federal aid for rebuilding following Hurricane Sandy.

 

  •          Getting the federal government to reverse course and allow kirpans, one of five Sikh articles of faith required to be worn, into federal buildings.  Our client, an IRS accountant, was fired for wearing this small, blunt instrument, meant to remind Sikhs of their commitment to a just and humane society, beneath her shirt at work.

 

  •         Launching the nation’s only Religious Liberty legal clinic at the prestigious Stanford Law School.  Students there are already busy defending the right of a church to minister to the homeless, the right of two Seventh Day Adventists to not work on their Sabbath, and so much more.

 

  •          And, successfully defending the right of Jewish inmates to follow the centuries-old commands of Judaism with a kosher diet.  At least 35 states and the federal government provide kosher food for observant Jews while incarcerated, and we’ve won the case in four states now.

 

This is only a sampling of what your support helps us to accomplish.  Your generous contributions help us defend the right to religious liberty for all faith traditions.  With your continued support, we will ensure that our First Freedom is secure for generations to come.

New York State’s “Women’s Equality Bill” Defeated!

CATHOLIC LEAGUEFOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Women’s Coalition Subverts Women’s Rights

June 18, 2013

Bill Donohue comments on reaction to the defeat of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Women’s Equality Bill”:   If ever there was concrete evidence that pro-women’s organizations have never been interested in women’s rights—save for the right to kill unborn babies—it is the decision by the New York Women’s Coalition to pull its support for Governor Cuomo’s women’s rights bill after it became clear that reference to abortion would be deleted.   As reported in today’s New York Times, Cuomo admitted that the Women’s Coalition “concluded that if the abortion component was not included, they did not want a scaled-down proposal.” Furthermore, Democratic lawmakers “also said they would only support a package that included the abortion language.”   The New York Women’s Coalition is not a rag-tag group that represents a few extremist organizations: 850 organizations belong to the coalition. They are now on record of intentionally subverting the rights of women. To be specific, Cuomo’s bill dealt with such issues as pay equity, domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, pregnancy discrimination, and human trafficking; all total, the bill enumerated ten women’s rights.   In other words, women who are beaten by men, discriminated against on the job, sexually harassed in the workforce, and are victimized by modern-day slaveholders, can all take a walk. Unless killing kids shortly before birth is a slam dunk, there is no need to be concerned about so-called women’s rights.   Glad to know the mask is off, once and for all.

Phone: 212-371-3191 E-mail: pr@catholicleague.org

Copyright © 2013 CATHOLIC LEAGUE, All rights reserved. To subscribe to our mailng list go to CatholicLeague.org Our mailing address is:
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
450 7TH AVE 34TH FL

New York, NY  10123

YANKEE BASEBALL GAME FUNDRAISER

8-20-2013_Fundraiser_FLYER

FORTNIGHT OF FREEDOM – EUCHARISTIC ADORATION!

Once again the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has requested the observation of a “Fortnight of Freedom” beginning on June 21 and concluding on July 4.
We still face many challenges. The August 1 deadline for religous organizations to comply with the immoral HHS Mandates still looms over us. We are watching for potential Supreme Court Rulings that could redefine marrige. Attacks on the dignity of the human person are more frequent and more virulent.
Brooklyn 60 invites our brothers to join us on June 21 for Nocturnal Eucharistic Adoration at Our Lady of Perpetual Help’s Lower Church. A Pro-Life Mass will be celebrated at 7:30 PM. After Mass the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed and will remain on the altar until the 8:45 AM Mass on Saturday Morning. The Rosary will be recited hourly beginning at 9PM.  Please try to join us in spending some time, even if only an hour, in the presence of Jesus as we ask for the graces necessary to face our uncertain future.

Vivat Jesus
Charlie Buckley

PS. OLPH is located at 5th Avenue and 60th Street. Use the 60th street side entrance for entry to this event.

CATHOLIC LEAGUE COMMENTS ON GOVERNOR CUOMO’S ABORTION BILL

From: Catholic League <pr@catholicleague.org>
To: kofc
Subject: Cuomo’s Presidency Bid Aborted
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2013 18:08:05 +0000

 

CATHOLIC LEAGUE
FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Cuomo’s Presidency Bid Aborted

June 3, 2013

Bill Donohue comments on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s abortion bill:

Andrew Cuomo’s lust for abortion rights has effectively killed his chances of ever becoming president of the United States. Tomorrow, he will unveil his proposal to allow abortions in New York through term. This is an act of political suicide.

Not since Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in 1973 have more Americans identified themselves as pro-life. And what is Cuomo doing? He’s going the other way.

Last year, a Gallup poll found that a majority of Americans (52%) want abortion legal under certain circumstances; 25% want it legal in all cases; and 20% want it illegal in all cases. Cuomo is laying anchor with the 25%.

All the survey data in the last decade show that Americans want abortion to be legal but limited: they want it limited to exceptional cases (e.g., they oppose abortions for the sake of convenience), and they want it limited to the early stages of pregnancy. There is absolutely no demand for late abortions—the evidence is just the opposite—yet this is exactly what Cuomo champions.

Cuomo may not pay a big price in New York for his extremism, but once he ventures outside the Empire State he will find out—the way his father Mario did—just how out of touch he is with public sentiment on this life and death issue.

Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail: pr@catholicleague.org
Copyright © 2013 CATHOLIC LEAGUE, All rights reserved.
To subscribe to our mailng list go to CatholicLeague.org
Our mailing address is:
CATHOLIC LEAGUE
450 7TH AVE 34TH FL

New York, NY 10123