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Archive for January 2017

On the Front Lines – Check Out This Grassroots Movement

Dear Brother Knight,

The national March for Life is this Friday in Washington, D.C.

As you prepare to head to the march, take a moment to check out a daring grassroots movement that is on the front lines of the battle for the culture of life. For more powerful pro-life stories, check out the latest issue of Columbia and also see our newest poll.

For live coverage of the march, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Also, keep an eye on kofc.org for a feature story about this year’s march that you can share with your local media.

Take Action Today To End Taxpayer Funded Abortions

Dear brother Knight,

Your action is needed to end taxpayer funded abortions!

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to permanently ban all taxpayer funding of abortion. We urge you to contact your member of Congress to express your support for this important legislation.

In 1976, our brother Knight Congressman Henry Hyde introduced a provision which prohibits any funds from Medicaid being used to pay for abortions. In the last 40 years, the Hyde Amendment has been renewed annually and has saved more than two million lives!

The important legislation that needs your support will make the Hyde Amendment permanent and will apply it across the federal government, not just to Medicaid. This will save even more innocent lives!

At our 134th Supreme Convention, we resolved “to speak out to our elected representatives about the need to enact legislation protecting human life.” I urge you to take that action today by contacting your member of Congress and telling them to vote YES on H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.

Fraternally,
Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight

HUGH HEFNER AND RELIGIOUS LIBERTY?

A Message from Becket’s Executive Director
January 5, 2017
Dear Friends, Happy New Year!

The start of 2017 at Becket brings with it the unveiling of our new logo and updated name, Becket Law. We are excited about this change, which continues to honor our namesake, who had the courage to stand between the King and God, and also better communicates to the world who we are: a law firm.

Becket’s fresh new logo reflects our creative approach to the defense of religious liberty. But make no mistake. Even with a modern logo, our mission remains as classic and relevant as the Constitution.

With these changes, we are launching into 2017 ready to continue our mission to defend religious liberty for all. And frankly, we have a lot of work to do.

Right now we are seeing the results of years of erosion of religious liberty. The new year brings with it new opportunities, but there is a lot of cleanup to be done for progress to be made.

At Becket, we spent our Christmas and New Year’s “break” fighting to dismantle the transgender regulation, which would force virtually every private doctor to perform procedures on children—yes, children—against their medical judgment. I am relieved and pleased to report that we won a huge victory, in the nick of time, just as the regulation was to be applied to our clients at Franciscan Alliance.

The Court got it right. Religious liberty is not a privilege that extends only to people with “modern” or “acceptable” views of the world in which we live. It is not a right that bends to pressure from activists or politicians. We do not need to prove our “cool” factor to claim the basic right of religious liberty.

This is a truth that I reflected on over Christmas when the Newseum, a museum in D.C. dedicated to the defense of the five freedoms of the First Amendment and known across the political spectrum for its compelling exhibits, called to tell me I was to be honored for my work on religious freedom. Then I was told I would be receiving recognition at an event hosted by Bret Baier alongside other individuals the Newseum had chosen as advocates of the different First Amendment freedoms: civil rights champion Congressman John Lewis, ABC reporter Martha Raddatz, and, ahem, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner.

For a dizzying moment, all I could think about was standing on stage with Hugh Hefner, a man with whom I have nothing in common—our values are total opposites!

What would my late father say? My mother? My kids? My husband? Becket’s friends?

But, after hanging up and reflecting some, perhaps it shouldn’t be as suprising as I thought at first blush.

Mr. Hefner is being honored for his philanthropic work to facilitate individual rights like freedom of expression.

Different as we are, and though I deeply disagree with Mr. Hefner on what expression is appropriate for society and healthy for women and children, we all share the right to these fundamental liberties. Americans have spent over two hundred years working out what this means through the Constitution and our laws. So maybe Mr. Hefner and I do have one thing in common.

That, and the fact that the Supreme Court relied on Mr. Hefner’s free
speech case United States v. Playboy to unanimously rule in favor of protecting the free expression of pro-life sidewalk counselors.

That later Supreme Court case, McCullen v. Coakley, was successfully argued by Becket’s Mark Rienzi. You see, protecting freedom of expression for one person protects it for everyone.

The bottom line is this: Religious liberty is not for conservatives. It is not for liberals. It is not for modest people, or eloquent people, or thoughtful people. It is not a political wedge issue. It is for everyone.

We at Becket believe in a universal claim to religious liberty. This applies to doctors who do not wish to perform transgender procedures. It applies to the Little Sisters when they do not want to provide the week-after pill in their health insurance policies. It applies to a Sikh Bronze Star Medal Recipient who wants to wear the symbols of his faith while serving in the Army, as well as to Native American Pastor Robert Soto, who wants to use eagle feathers in his religious ceremonies. It even applies to those separated from most of the population by prison walls.

So, on April 18, I will stand alongside the others to receive the Newseum Award and celebrate what makes this such a great country: our shared right to free expression and religious liberty.