Brad Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute

Justice Roberts will forever wear mantle of judicial activist Obamacare ruling

Brad Mattes, Executive Director, Life Issues Institute
By Brad Mattes Executive Director Life Issues Institute

July 4, 2012 ( – I don’t have to tell you the US Supreme Court decision on Obamacare was a disaster. What makes it doubly tragic is that Chief Justice John Roberts, perceived as “one of our own,” threw every American under the bus, because we’ll all be impacted in some way by this federal legislation.

While writing the majority opinion, Roberts said that Congress could force Obamacare on the American people—complete with its mandatory participation in abortion, healthcare rationing and euthanasia. The mandate was declared constitutional with a legal sleight of hand—provided the price for disobeying the mandate is called a “tax” and not a “penalty”.

Some pundits complimented Roberts’ intellect, saying he was “playing chess” to ensure that the Supreme Court wasn’t viewed as being political under his leadership as chief justice. But the tragic reality is that while Roberts fiddles with the court’s image, Rome burns. During his “chess match” with the Obama administration, our religious rights and basic freedoms were discarded like yesterday’s trash.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his opinion, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” At first glance, that has a ring of truth to it, but only until one considers that every law the US Supreme Court considers is the consequence of those the voters have elected. If Roberts is abdicating his court’s responsibility, why do we even need them?

All of this, Roberts claims, was done in the name of judicial restraint—that the Court only interpret the constitution, not legislate from the bench. But that becomes an impossible sell when in the Obamacare decision Roberts first said the mandate wasn’t a tax. This enabled Obamacare to get past the Anti-Injunction Act which would’ve required a citizen be actually taxed and claim damages before it could be brought before the Court. But paragraphs later, the Chief Justice did a complete about-face and declared the mandate could be considered a tax, making it within the powers of congress and thus constitutional.

Roberts’ judicial activism is especially egregious because from the very beginning Congress went out of its way to avoid calling it a tax so they could garner enough votes to pass it. A version of the bill calling it a tax was actually voted down. If Roberts’ judicial version of the bill would’ve been known earlier, Obamacare would have never seen the light of day.

The dissenting opinion, co-written by justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy, shows they know judicial activism when they see it. “To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute, but to rewrite it. Judicial tax-writing is particularly troubling.”

The Court ruling has thrown us to the wolves of a vast government bureaucracy. This is a government entity that has at times demonstrated an outright hatred of Christianity, morality and the right to life.

An encouraging piece of this judicial disaster was that Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the dissenting opinion denouncing all of Obamacare as unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy’s stand against the legislation underscores what my colleague, Dr. Willke, has been saying about the chances of him siding with us against Roe v. Wade. This gives credibility to his theory.

President George W. Bush must be grieving the Court’s ruling more than anyone. One of his greatest legacies was his impact on the Supreme Court. That legacy is now in tatters—much like our constitution.

Just as Justice Harry Blackmun is notorious for Roe v. Wade, Chief Justice John Roberts will forever wear the mantle of Obamacare, going down in history for imposing anti-life bureaucratic mandates on our nation.

The redeeming news is that the end of this story has yet to be written. We can undo Obamacare if pro-life voters become educated on where every candidate stands on this legislation. This is not the time to sit out the election because a candidate on your ballot is “less than perfect.” This philosophy is partially responsible for the dire straight we’re in now.

If Americans stand in unison and say no to Obamacare and all of its embedded anti-life measures this November, newly elected officials can repeal this tragic behemoth. Electing candidates who will say no to Obamacare should be job one of all pro-life citizens.

It’s not too early to start. Tell everyone you know to support candidates who value innocent human life from fertilization to natural death, and who will walk the talk by repealing Obamacare.

This article has been re-published with permission from the Life Issues Institute.

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Today’s chuckle: Rubio, Fiorina and Carson pardon a Thanksgiving turkey

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By Steve Jalsevac

A little bit of humour now and then is a good thing.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our American readers.

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Building of the European Court of Human Rights.
Lianne Laurence


BREAKING: Europe’s top human rights court slaps down German ban on pro-life leafletting

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

STRASBOURG, France, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that a German regional court violated a pro-life activist’s freedom of expression when it barred him from leafleting in front of an abortion center.

It further ruled the German court’s order that Klaus Gunter Annen not list the names of two abortion doctors on his website likewise violated the 64-year-old pro-life advocate’s right to freedom of expression.

The court’s November 26 decision is “a real moral victory,” says Gregor Puppinck, director of the Strasbourg-based European Center for Law and Justice, which intervened in Annen’s case. “It really upholds the freedom of speech for pro-life activists in Europe.”

Annen, a father of two from Weinam, a mid-sized city in the Rhine-Neckar triangle, has appealed to the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights at least two times before, Puppinck told LifeSiteNews.

“This is the first time he made it,” he said, noting that this time around, Annen had support from the ECLJ and Alliance Defense Fund and the German Pro-life Federation (BVL). “I think he got more support, better arguments and so I think this helped.”

The court also ordered the German government to pay Annen costs of 13,696.87 EUR, or 14,530 USD.

Annen started distributing pamphlets outside a German abortion center ten years ago, ECLJ stated in a press release.

His leaflets contained the names and addresses of the two abortionists at the center, declared they were doing “unlawful abortions,” and stated in smaller print that, “the abortions were allowed by the German legislators and were not subject to criminal liability.”

Annen’s leaflets also stated that, “The murder of human beings in Auschwitz was unlawful, but the morally degraded NS State allowed the murder of innocent people and did not make it subject to criminal liability.” They referred to Annen’s website,, which listed a number of abortionists, including the two at the site he was leafleting.

In 2007, a German regional court barred Annen from pamphleteering in the vicinity of the abortion center, and ordered him to drop the name of the two abortion doctors from his website.

But the European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that the German courts had "failed to strike a fair balance between [Annen’s] right to freedom of expression and the doctor’s personality rights.”

The Court stated that, “there can be no doubt as to the acute sensitivity of the moral and ethical issues raised by the question of abortion or as to the importance of the public interest at stake.”

That means, stated ECLJ, that “freedom of expression in regard to abortion shall enjoy a full protection.”

ECLJ stated that the court noted Annen’s leaflets “made clear that the abortions performed in the clinic were not subject to criminal liability. Therefore, the statement that ‘unlawful abortions’ were being performed in the clinic was correct from a legal point of view.”

As for the Holocaust reference, the court stated that, “the applicant did not – at least not explicitly – equate abortion with the Holocaust.”  Rather, the reference was “a way of creating awareness of the more general fact that law might diverge from morality.”

The November 26 decision “is a quite good level of protection of freedom of speech for pro-life people,” observed Puppinck.

First, the European Court of Human Rights has permitted leafleting “in the direct proximate vicinity of the clinic, so there is no issue of zoning,” he told LifeSiteNews. “And second, the leaflets were mentioning the names of the doctors, and moreover, were mentioning the issue of the Holocaust, which made them quite strong leaflets.”

“And the court protected that.”

Annen has persevered in his pro-life awareness campaign through the years despite the restraints on his freedom.

“He did continue, and he did adapt,” Puppinck told LifeSiteNews. “He kept his freedom of speech as much as he could, but he continued to be sanctioned by the German authorities, and each time he went to the court of human rights. And this time, he won.”

ECLJ’s statement notes that “any party” has three months to appeal the November 26 decision.

However, as it stands, the European Court of Human Rights’s ruling affects “all the national courts,” noted Puppinck, and these will now “have to protect freedom of speech, recognize the freedom of speech for pro-lifers.”

“In the past, the courts have not always been very supportive of the freedom of speech of pro-life,” he said, so the ruling is “significant.”

As for Annen’s pro-life ministry, Pubbinck added: “He can continue to go and do, and I’m sure that he does, because he always did.”  

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A vibrant church in Africa. Pierre-Yves Babelon /
Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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‘Soft racism’: German Bishops’ website attributes African Catholics’ strong faith to simplemindedness

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By Pete Baklinski

GERMANY, November 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) --  The only reason the Catholic Church is growing in Africa is because the people have a “rather low level” of education and accept “simple answers to difficult questions” involving marriage and sexuality, posited an article on the official website of the German Bishops' Conference posted yesterday. The article targeted particularly Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea, the Vatican's prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and ardent defender of Catholic tradition.

First Things blogger Leroy Huizenga, who translated a portion of the article, criticized the article's view as “soft racism.”

In his article, titled “The Romantic, Poor Church,” editor Björn Odendahl writes: 

So also in Africa. Of course the Church is growing there. It grows because the people are socially dependent and often have nothing else but their faith. It grows because the educational situation there is on average at a rather low level and the people accept simple answers to difficult questions (of faith) [sic]. Answers like those that Cardinal Sarah of Guinea provides. And even the growing number of priests is a result not only of missionary power but also a result of the fact that the priesthood is one of the few possibilities for social security on the dark continent.

Huizenga said that such an article has no place on a bishops’ conference website. 

“We all know that the German Bishops' Conference is one of the most progressive in the world. But it nevertheless beggars belief that such a statement would appear on the Conference's official website, with its lazy slander of African Christians and priests as poor and uneducated (Odendahl might as well have added ‘easy to command’) and its gratuitous swipe at Cardinal Sarah,” he wrote. 

“Natürlich progressives could never be guilty of such a sin and crime, but these words sure do suggest soft racism, the racism of elite white Western paternalism,” he added. 

African prelates have gained a solid reputation for being strong defenders of Catholic sexual morality because of their unwavering orthodox input into the recently concluded Synod on the Family in Rome. 

At one point during the Synod, Cardinal Robert Sarah urged Catholic leaders to recognize as the greatest modern enemies of the family what he called the twin “demonic” “apocalyptic beasts” of “the idolatry of Western freedom” and “Islamic fundamentalism.”

STORY: Cardinal Danneels warns African bishops to avoid ‘triumphalism’

“What Nazi-Fascism and Communism were in the 20th century, Western homosexual and abortion ideologies and Islamic fanaticism are today,” he said during his speech at the Synod last month. 

But African prelates’ adherence to orthodoxy has earned them enemies, especially from the camp of Western prelates bent on forming the Catholic Church in their own image and likeness, not according to Scripture, tradition, and the teaching magisterium of the Church. 

During last year’s Synod, German Cardinal Walter Kasper went as far as stating that the voice of African Catholics in the area of Church teaching on homosexuality should simply be dismissed.

African cardinals “should not tell us too much what we have to do,” he said in an October 2014 interview with ZENIT, adding that African countries are "very different, especially about gays.” 

Earlier this month Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels, instead of praising Africa for its vibrant and flourishing Catholicism, said that African prelates will one day have to look to Europe to get what he called “useful tips” on how to deal with “secularization” and “individualism.” 

The statement was criticized by one pro-family advocate as “patronizing of the worst kind” in light of the facts that numerous European churches are practically empty, vocations to the priesthood and religious life are stagnant, and the Catholic faith in Europe, especially in Belgium, is overall in decline.

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