Friday, March 12, 2010

Knights of Columbus wins Pledge of Allegiance case in Federal Appeals Court

Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds constitutionality of "under God" in Pledge

(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) -- The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that he words "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance "do not violate the Establishment Clause" of the First Amendment to the Constitution.

The Knights of Columbus led the campaign to add the words "under God" to the Pledge in the early 1950s, and the trial court agreed to allow the Knights of Columbus to join the present case as defendants when it was originally filed in 2005.

"This decision is a victory for common sense," Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said. "It is also a welcome reversal of the Ninth Circuit's 2002 decision in a similar case that was ultimately thrown out by the Supreme Court on technical grounds. Today, the Court got it absolutely right: recitation of the Pledge is a patriotic exercise, not a religious prayer. Best of all, the Court said that the words 'under God' add a 'note of importance which a Pledge to our Nation ought to have and which in our culture ceremonial references to God arouse.' Every reasonable person knows that, and today's decision is a breath of fresh air from a court system that has too often seemed to be almost allergic to public references to God. This is a very good day for America," Anderson concluded.

In today's ruling, the Court noted that, "Among the 'self-evident truths' the Framers believed was the concept that all people are entitled to certain inalienable rights given to them by the 'Laws of Nature and Nature's God' and that the purpose of government should be to "secure those rights.'" Such beliefs provide the context in which the words of the Pledge must be understood, the Court said.

The Knights of Columbus and several individual Knights and their families were defendant-intervenors in the case, and the court's 2-1 decision incorporates many of the arguments presented to the Court by The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a public interest law firm that represented the Knights in the case. Oral arguments before the Ninth Circuit panel had been heard in December 2007. Other defendants in the case included the United States government and a Sacramento-area school district.

Response from Kay Hagan on Health Care Bill

March 11, 2010
Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns about health care reform and the reconciliation process. I greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on these important issues.

Each year, costs associated with our current health care system increase. North Carolinians are struggling to afford insurance coverage, and the unprecedented economic crisis facing our nation has made it still more difficult for working families to manage medical costs while making ends meet. In North Carolina alone, the number of uninsured has risen to approximately 1.8 million, which represents 22 percent of the state's population.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, H.R. 3590, is a fiscally responsible plan that will reduce the deficit by nearly $118 billion in the next 10 years. I have heard from so many North Carolinians who are cut off from health care because of pre-existing conditions. Under this legislation, insurance companies will no longer be able to use 'pre-existing conditions' as an excuse to deny coverage. The bill expands coverage and lowers costs by focusing on prevention and cracking down on fraud and abuse in the system. Additionally, the legislation gives states the authority to form compacts to purchase health insurance across state lines and regionally.

When crafting the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Senate went to great lengths to ensure that if you have a health insurance plan that you like, you can keep it. Also, the Senate legislation would require Members of Congress and their congressional staff to participate in the Exchange, where the uninsured and other eligible Americans will be able to obtain affordable health coverage.

I understand that you also have concerns regarding the use of reconciliation to pass legislation. The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 created the optional procedure known as the budget reconciliation process, with the chief purpose of enhancing Congress' ability to change current law in order to more effectively control our federal deficit. Under the two-stage process, reconciliation instructions are included in the budget resolution, directing the appropriate committees to develop legislation achieving the desired budgetary outcomes. Under budget reconciliation procedures legislation cannot be filibustered, meaning it only needs 51 votes to pass the Senate. Under regular order, 60 votes are required to end a filibuster. Reconciliation has been used several times in recent years, including passing the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and the 2007 student loan interest rate reductions.

I believe that regular order is an effective tool to encourage and foster bipartisan cooperation in the consideration of legislation. It allows Senators to find common ground in solving problems facing our nation, through methodically developing and writing bills in committees, and vetting and amending legislation through spirited floor debates. For this reason, it is my strong preference that regular order be followed whenever possible and reconciliation should only be used as a last resort.

I will continue to work with my Senate colleagues and stakeholders throughout North Carolina to help pass pragmatic, comprehensive health care reform. To view the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I encourage you to visit
Again, thank you for contacting my office. It is truly an honor to represent North Carolina in the United States Senate, and I hope you will not hesitate to contact me in the future should you have any further questions or concerns.


Kay R. Hagan

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Response from Te Deum Foundation

Today I received a response from Te Deum Foundation, which says:

Greetings from Te Deum Foundation during this Holy Season of Lent. We appreciate you letter inquiring about the foundation and hope you were able to visit our web site for more information. We hope your council will participate in sending a card to a priest and thank him for the gift of his priesthood during this Year for Priests. Without his Yes we would not have Our Lord present with us today.

It is wonderful to know we have Catholic Knights so loyal to Holy Mother Church and we pray for your perseverance and increase in numbers for many years to come. There is much work to be done and God promises the Shepherds to lead us, if we remain firm in our faith and trust in His Divine Providence. On a personal note, I know well the "front lines" for the Traditional Mass. For several years I was in a leadership role in a Schola Cantorum traveling around North Carolina preserving and teaching Latin music traditions with the council of Father Robert Ferguson.

The mission of the Te Deum Foundation did not begin as a decision to build a seminary in the foothills of North Carolina but as a response to a signal grace which was tried and diserned. All of this was in connection with Our Lady of Fatima and Pope John Paul II. Sister Lucia, one of the three Fatima children, was aware of this project before she died and we often see her intercession working. Mother Angelica has also been a great supporter of this effort and because of our association, her nuns are moving to North Carolina and establishing The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration St. Joseph Monastery and will pray for our future priests. This is the foundations first fruits.

Pope John Paul II speaks in Pastores Dabo Vobis about seminaries and the environment necessary for men as they journey to the priesthood. This is what we searched for as a location. Our directive is to purchase the land as Phase I. We are in obedience to the will of Bishop Peter J. Jugus who supports the Traditional Latin Mass and as of now we have 9 plus priests in this diocese providing the Traditional Latin mass with more to come. Our future is one of hope and we are confident in the foundation of this project. As in all things, we are obedient to Holy Mother Church and it will be the Rector and Bishops who will direct the seminary.

I hope we have answered some of your questions and would be happy to talk with you and your council. We will be present at the Ignited by Truth conference in Raleigh on the 19th and20th of March and invite you to stop by our booth.

May God richly bless you, your council, and those you love,
Wilhelmina Silva Mobley, LCHS

National Right to Life: Reject Obama's Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

The Following are e-mails sent to Representative McIntyre, Senator Burr and
Senator Hagan.

I strongly urge you to oppose the health care bill passed by the Senate,
H.R. 3590. This bill contains numerous pro-abortion provisions. The
changes recommended by President Obama on February 22 would make the bill
even worse. The bill would allow direct federal funding of abortion on
demand in Community Health Centers, would provide federal subsidies (tax
credits) for purchase of private health plans that cover elective
abortions, and would authorize federal bureaucrats to order private health
plans to cover abortions, among other problems. I urge you to oppose this
bill no matter what assurances or promises are offered that the problems
will somehow be addressed at a later date. Every lawmaker must be
accountable for his or her vote on the bill as it is written.

To send Yours visit: