Most people only hear of the Little Sisters of the Poor in jokes to illustrate the ineptitude of a football team. It usually goes something like, “Hey, the Browns might have a chance if they play the Little Sisters of the Poor.” Well sports fans, the Little Sisters of the Poor are real and the joke is on them and the people they serve.
The Little Sisters of the Poor is a Catholic order of nuns founded in France around the year 1842. They operate homes for low-income senior citizens in 31 countries including 30 homes in the United States.
Providing heroic services to the frailest of our society with love and humility, the Little Sisters of the Poor are literally a life saving blessing to the over 2,500 residents they serve in this country.
In addition to the necessities of food and shelter, the Sisters show their residents love and dignity every day. Perhaps the best example of their vocation is their effort to ensure that when the time comes, no resident dies alone. Someone is there to care for and hold the hand of someone in their final hours.
So what’s the joke? They give this compassion, love and care to everyone. Ha, ha, ha, ha, what?
That’s right. Because they provide services without regard to race, creed, or religion, the Little Sisters of the Poor do not qualify as a religious institution/employer under the HHS mandate. Even after the recent refining of the February 2012 accommodation, it is most likely that the Sisters will be forced to provide insurance that covers abortion and contraception. It is impossible for the Sisters to comply with Obama administration’s HHS mandate — betray their faith or pay fines of $2,000 per employee plus, a $100 per day per employee fine totaling approximately $2,000,000 annually.
Born in the aftermath of the French Revolution, the Little Sisters of the Poor are familiar with religious intolerance and bigotry. To date, the Sisters have been forced to leave other countries including Hungary, China, and Myanmar. As things stand today, it appears that the Obama administration is hell-bent on adding the United States to the list of countries where the Little Sisters of the Poor are not allowed to operate. According to the Little Sisters of the Poor website, “We would like to assure those we serve and their families, as well as our employees, friends and supporters, that we have absolutely no plans to leave the United States and cannot envision doing so unless given no other alternative.” Unfortunately, no other alternatives seem to be forthcoming. The Obama administration continues to deny organizations like the Little Sisters of the Poor their basic right of being religious. By HHS mandate standards, Jesus Himself would not be considered religious because he would provide care to Jews, Gentiles, sinners, and saints.
So, instead of football jokes, people will begin hearing more of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Not as the Browns opponent, but as yet another sad and dark punch line to the joke that is Obamacare. The Sisters will be forced to start closing their homes in January 2014 when the mandate extensions expire. Lucky for them, because the Cleveland Browns will be in the Super Bowl.
Please consider visiting a local Little Sisters of the Poor home for yourself to see what a remarkable service they provide or a donation: http://www.littlesistersofthepoor.org/donate
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