Register Radio: Court Decision on Obamacare & Fortnight Films

Attorney Hannah Smith and Film Critic Steven Greydanus

On today's fast-moving "Register Radio," Hannah Smith, senior counsel with the Becket Fund, and former clerk to Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, spoke about how the Supreme Court's decision on the "Affordable Care Act" will impact the many lawsuits filed against Health and Human Services, including one on behalf of EWTN.

Smith went through each of the three possible scenarios: the Court decides in favor of the Act; the Court rules that part of the Act is unconstitutional; or the Court rules against the Act. In the first two cases, Smith explained that the lawsuits against the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate would continue forward.

A total of 23 lawsuits in 14 states have presently been filed.

Smith said that, "If the Court rules against the Act and the entire statute is struck down, all of the HHS lawsuits are automatic winners."

She pointed out that the lawsuits, which have been filed by hospitals, universities, schools, charities, churches, dioceses, and individual states, represent that this is neither simply a Catholic nor a contraceptive issue. Some of the lawsuits are on behalf of evangelical or Protestant organizations that have no problem with contraception, but recognize that this is an issue of religious liberty and the government trying to force religious organizations to do something that goes against their beliefs.

Smith pointed out that the recent 9-0 decision in the Hosanna Tabor case demonstrates that religious organizations do have special protections inherent in the First Amendment.

Visit the Becket Fund's website for an interactive map that provides details on all of the litigation currently pending, and an infographic about how the Court's decision will impact the HHS lawsuits.

Fortnight for Freedom Films

In our second half, Steven Greydanus spoke about his recent article highlighting 14 films that families can watch during the Fortnight for Freedom, which began yesterday and culminates on the 4th of July.

Steven admitted that when he first began assembling the list he was worried that he wouldn't be able to come up with 14 films, but once he concentrated on the theme of religious freedom he had more films than he could use. The majority of the films focus on the lives of particular small "S" saints or official Saints.

"What makes a person a saint is often sanctity under pressure, and how they dealt with extraordinary situations," said Greydanus. "We look to them as models. We're in somewhat unprecedented waters for the Church in America. We need Saints as times get tough."

Greydanus pointed out that nearly all of the films are based on real events. Even "On the Waterfront," the most fictional of the films has some basis in reality. The priest character, played by actor Karl Malden, was based on an actual Jesuit priest whom the Jewish screenwriter followed around on the New Jersey shore as he worked with longshoremen. "Eighty percent of Karl Malden's famous dockside sermon came from the priest's actual words," said Greydanus.

Asked what single film he would recommend, if a family wasn't able to watch all of the films on the list, Greydanus pointed to "A Man for All Seasons," about St. Thomas More, and "Of Gods and Men."

Were there any films that he wanted to include on the list, but wasn't able to? Yes, but to find out which one, you'll have to listen to today's show.

To learn more, listen to today's show at 2 p.m. EASTERN Friday on any EWTN Radio affiliate. The program re-airs at 7 p.m. EASTERN on Saturday and 11 a.m. EASTERN on Sunday, and is also available on the Register Radio web page, and via podcast.