"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Obama's Feds Target Catholic Priest

"I shall punish those who I see as weak, and who dare to defy my will."

More Obama thuggery. Remember you've got to punish your enemies-- people like Catholic priests who believe they should be able to perform mass during Obama's "make it hurt" campaign.

From The Washington Free Beacon article by Mary Lou Byrd:

A Catholic Navy chaplain barred from practicing his religion during the recent government shutdown is now the target of retaliation by the federal government, according to an amended complaint filed by his attorneys. 
Rev. Ray Leonard filed a lawsuit in October against the Department of Defense and the Navy after he was threatened with arrest if he performed mass, administered the sacraments, or entered the chapel at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia during the shutdown. 
Three DOJ attorneys contacted Erin Mersino, his attorney at the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), which is handling the case, a day after the suit was filed and indicated Leonard could resume all religious duties and the chapel would be reopened for Catholic services. 
A week later, on Oct. 21, he was told his DOD contract would no longer be considered valid. 
The government has withheld the priest’s pay ever since and it is also asking Leonard to sign another contract with additional pages that include “onerous terms,” according to the TMLC. 
His original contract serving as Navy chaplain is valid from October 2013 through September 2014, and it was signed and agreed upon by both parties. 
Mersino said his contract is “the only one being reviewed at this time.” 
“No other military chaplain contracts were under review or subjected to the same scrutiny as Father Leonard’s,” Mersino said the Archdiocese for the Military Service confirmed. 
Leonard was denied pay for the last two months and suffered financial hardship. After multiple requests by TMLC, he was paid on Dec. 23 for his work performed for November. 
Leonard serves approximately 300 Catholics on the base who were also shut out from practicing their faith.
Services of other Christian denominations on the base were allowed to continue during the shutdown. 
Leonard explained his situation in an affidavit. 
“I am called to serve the military. Our brave servicemen and women face great stresses,” said Leonard. He cited higher rates of depression and suicide amongst the military and also higher rates of divorce compared with the general population. 
“I wish to offer spiritual encouragement, prayer, help, and assistance to our military. There is a need to support the military with a religious and faithful community,” Leonard said. 
Leonard offered to work without pay during the shutdown on a volunteer basis but was told he would face arrest if he attempted to enter the chapel.  
Leonard could not be reached for comment as of press time, but his sworn statements detail his struggles with religious freedom while serving in China and now in the United States. 
“I spent the last 10 years in China serving the Tibetans and the world’s most poor,” Leonard said. “I have tried to help those in poverty with my acts of kindness and by trying to do good deeds for others.” 
“In China, I was disallowed from performing public religious services due to the lack of religious freedom in. I never imagined that when I returned home to the United States, that I would be forbidden from practicing my religious beliefs as I am called to do, and would be forbidden from helping and serving my faith community,” Leonard said.

Believe it. The Left just love China for their ability to get things done-- like denying priests the ability to perform religious services.

This is the kind of crap that the "free exercise" clause in the First Amendment was meant to stop. Part of the purpose of the First Amendment was to stop government strong-arming people by way of their religious beliefs. You know, I can just see Obama arguing that the "free exercise" clause only applies to Congress. He's that low.

It's good to see Constitutional scholar Obama's DOD is busy with more unconstitutional behavior.

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