From Tulsa, Oklahoma comes one of the worst attacks on religious liberty I’ve seen in quite some time. And that’s saying a lot for those of you who’ve read my book, “Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation.”
Saint Francis Hospital was ordered by the Biden Administration to extinguish an eternal flame in the hospital’s chapel. If they refused to comply, the government said the Catholic hospital would be stripped of all federal funding.
The eternal flame has been flickering inside the chapel for more than 60 years without any issues. But now a federal agency under the Dept. of Health and Human Services says the candle is a safety hazard.
As you will see in the photograph below, the candle is encased in glass and covered on top. And it’s been repeatedly been approved by the government and the local fire marshal.
If the hospital does not extinguish the flame, the Biden Administration will revoke Saint Francis’ ability to see Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP patients, cutting off critical healthcare access for thousands of people in Oklahoma.
“The cornerstone of Saint Francis is love for God and man. To this day, the Saint Francis torch insignia indicates a space of hope: a place where the medical and spiritual stand as one,” chief operating officer Barry Steichen said.
“We’re being asked to choose between serving those in need and worshipping God in the chapel, but they go hand in hand,” he added. “To share a quotation of Saint Francis Xavier that is familiar to many Saint Francis staff, ‘it is not the actual physical exertion that counts towards one’s progress, nor the nature of the task, but by the spirit of faith with which it is undertaken.’ Our work depends upon our faith in the living God, and the sanctuary candle represents this to us.”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty is representing the Catholic hospital and they sent a tersely worded letter to the government.
“The government’s demand is absurd and unlawful—it is targeting Saint Francis’s sincere beliefs without any good reason,” said Lori Windham, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “The government has a simple choice: either stop this attack on Saint Francis’s faith or expect a legal firestorm.”
Over the past two years President Biden has ordered a crackdown on Catholics. Walter Reed Medical Center actually banned priests from ministering to patients. And most recently, the FBI was accused of infiltrating Catholic churches in Richmond, Virginia – to root out religious extremists.
Sounds to me like the Biden Administration won’t stop at snuffing out that hospital candle. They also want to snuff out Catholics.
When I was a child growing up in a Baptist church in the Deep South, we used to sing a song admonishing us not to hide our light under a bushel. No! I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
And that’s exactly what Saint Francis Hospital should do. Let their light shine in the face of Dark Biden.