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Poor Little Sisters: Nuns Are Women Too

A true feminist should respect and protect the rights of all women - even nuns.

In this Jan. 2, 2014 file photo, Sister Mary Grace visits with a resident in the dining room at the Mullen Home for the Aged, run by Little Sisters of the Poor, in Denver, Colo. Denver nuns who operate nursing homes are poised to file a full federal court challenge to the national health care law's birth control rules. The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, said the full appeal would be filed Monday before the 10th Circuit. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

The National Organization for Women made headlines recently when they released a list of The Dirty 100: organizations that have “filed in opposition to the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act.”

Rest assured, ladies! NOW has vowed, “Attacks on reproductive rights keep coming. But NOW is fighting back.”

I could make the case that the list should be called, “Our War on the Catholic Church” (take a minute and read the list). But I won’t, because there is another issue I would like to address: their hypocrisy. They claim to be an organization for women, in reality they are anything but.

Megyn Kelly recently addressed the controversy on her show “The Kelly File” with former NOW President Patricia Ireland:

Ireland argued that there is an opt-out procedure in place for religious organizations, and that by not using that established procedure, The Little Sisters of the Poor (and apparently the other 99 organizations) think they are above the law.

Kelly argued that the opt-out procedure includes “signing a permission slip” for someone else to provide contraceptive coverage. She also argued that the nature of a law that would mandate a nun “sign a permission slip” for behavior she doesn’t condone should be called into question.

“They’re nuns. Are you Catholic? I am. We follow rules. It is not a religion for wusses. And the Little Sisters of the Poor know that,” said Kelly.

“Bless their hearts,” said Ireland condescendingly.

Watching this interview, I couldn’t stop asking myself a question:

Aren’t nuns… women?

And, as such, shouldn’t a feminist argue that they deserve respect; that they should be able to make their own choices – and live as they please?

I once had a mentor explain to me that “feminism is the radical idea that women are people.”

 In this Jan. 2, 2014 file photo, Sister Mary Grace visits with a resident in the dining room at the Mullen Home for the Aged, run by Little Sisters of the Poor, in Denver, Colo. Denver nuns who operate nursing homes are poised to file a full federal court challenge to the national health care law's birth control rules. The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, said the full appeal would be filed Monday before the 10th Circuit. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File) In this Jan. 2, 2014 file photo, Sister Mary Grace visits with a resident in the dining room at the Mullen Home for the Aged, run by Little Sisters of the Poor, in Denver, Colo. Denver nuns who operate nursing homes are poised to file a full federal court challenge to the national health care law's birth control rules. The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the Little Sisters of the Poor, said the full appeal would be filed Monday before the 10th Circuit. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Therefore, as people, women are entitled to the same rights as men; one of which is the free practice of religion. But to pseudo-feminists like Ireland, the ideology is limited to demanding not birth control, but free birth control.

The distinction is important: No one is suggesting birth control should be illegal or inaccessible. The Sisters merely don’t want to have to be the ones to pay for it, or be forced to formally condone someone else paying for it, or anything else that goes against Church teaching.

A nun does not give up her womanhood when she puts on a habit. Nor does she give up her humanity. Therefore as people, these nuns are entitled to the same rights as any other person; including the aforementioned free practice of religion.

You see, pseudo-feminists would have you believe that religion is the realm of men – a patriarchy hell-bent on oppressively keeping women in the stone ages.

Is it really so difficult to believe that there are women who want to exercise their right to practice their religion? Or that there are women who simply love Jesus?

In the Catholic Church, there are women who love Jesus so much that they choose (freely choose!) to become His bride; living a chaste, humble life of service and prayer.

Such as the Little Sisters of the Poor.

As they “impose their beliefs” on their employees, they operate 200 homes that serve over 13,000 elderly poor on five continents.

Said Sister Camille Rose:

“The unique mission of the Little Sisters of the Poor is the care of the elderly poor. We welcome them into homes and we care for them as we would like to care for Jesus Christ…. We celebrate the gift of life, the joy of living… we try to make them happy in whatever way we can, sometimes that’s through parties, good care, good food, love, attention….”

How despicable.

Take a minute and look at these nuns NOW has declared an enemy. Please.

Ironically, it is their commitment to the poor – all poor, not just Catholic poor – that puts the sisters in this situation. As Townhall.com reported [emphasis added]:

The Little Sisters of the Poor are not considered to be a "religious employer" and exempt from the mandate as they employ and care for people of all faith backgrounds.

A woman who has her right to the free practice of her religion taken away has suffered a violation of her human dignity. Forcing a nun to “sign a permission slip” for behavior she doesn’t condone is an unconscionable assault on this right.

I fail to see how an organization can be “for women” when they get their kicks bullying nuns.

True feminists should look out for all their sisters – even their little ones.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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