The Biden regime hates traditional religion and the Catholic Church in particular because of its strong stance against the centerpiece of the Left’s secular religion, abortion. However, Old Joe and his henchmen are not exactly marching confidently from victory to victory. In a tremendous indication that there is still hope for America, the Department of Health and Human Services has backed down from its demand that a Catholic hospital in Oklahoma put out its sanctuary candle, which signifies the Eucharistic presence of Christ in the Church. Biden’s handlers discovered, to their shock and sorrow, that there are still Americans who care about religious freedom and will defend it.
I reported here last Thursday about the initial order. The HHS claimed that the sanctuary candle at Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Okla. was a fire hazard, even though every last Catholic (and Orthodox) church in the entire world has a sanctuary candle, and they aren’t burning down with any notable frequency or regularity. The department also cited regulations prohibiting any “open flame within one foot of a nasal cannula and 15 feet of any other oxygen delivery equipment,” even though such regulations had no applicability to the sanctuary lamp; the hospital’s Catholic chapel was not in the middle of operating rooms or patient living quarters.
Under fire for this frontal assault on the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of religion and naked harassment of one of the principal institutions standing between the regime and its lust to sweep away all restrictions upon the sacrifice of children to Moloch, Biden’s HHS actually backed down. HHS magnanimously announced that it had decided to deign to allow the hospital to practice its religion unhindered after all.
General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Saint Francis Health System Michael Lissau wrote a letter Friday to Scott J. Cooper of the U.S. Public Health Service Division of Continuing & Acute Care Providers Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 7, as HHS was threatening to cut off Medicare and Medicaid funding for the hospital if the sanctuary candle stayed lit. Lissau reminded Cooper that the controversial candle was not just a light, but that its flame “we religiously believe represents the living presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.”
Lissau also reminded Cooper that during a Thursday conference call, “you articulated that CMS [that is, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] will not ask Saint Francis to extinguish the living flame and that CMS also understands that an electric or battery-operated lightbulb is not an option for Saint Francis due to the religious significance of the flame itself.” Lissau noted that during the conference call, they also discussed the fire hazard allegations in light of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
He pointed out the absurdity of the claims that were being made against the hospital: “The conference call also entailed factual inquiries into how the completely encased flame qualified as an open flame or how a concern even existed of a nasal cannula coming within one foot of the encased sanctuary flame mounted to the wall over six feet high.” Lissau also reminded Cooper that “we asked CMS for certain guarantees that the flame, which was not an issue before this year, would not be an issue in future years, provided Saint Francis continues to prudently maintain the flame with the already existing safety measures.”
It was not a complete victory. The hospital will have to put a silly sign outside of the chapel warning of the presence of the sanctuary candle and prohibiting unauthorized persons from getting too close to it. This plants the seed of the idea that this candle really is some sort of hazard. Nevertheless, this is a much better outcome than closing down the hospital altogether due to the withholding of Medicare and Medicaid funds.
The entire episode, in fact, is a tremendous source of hope for patriots, whether Catholic or non-Catholic. The Biden regime has a strong taste for authoritarianism and has worked to silence dissent from its sinister agenda. But America ain’t Venezuela just yet. Patriots who fight back and demand their Constitutional rights can prevail, as the early demise of the Disinformation Governance Board also demonstrates. The fight for the soul of America, as Old Joe Biden put it when he demonized and ruled out of acceptable bounds his principal opponent and half of the electorate, is far from over.