The Department of Health and Human Services has rescinded its effective demand that a Catholic hospital snuff out a candle it keeps burning in the chapel, a candle that HHS called a threat to hospital safety.
“The game was simply not worth the candle for HHS,” Lori Windham, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, the religious freedom law firm representing the hospital, told The Daily Signal in a written statement Friday. “It realized it would be playing with fire in court if it stood by its absurd demand, so it chose wisely. We are glad Saint Francis’s can continue to serve those most in need while keeping the faith.”
Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sent a letter to the Saint Francis Health System in Tulsa, Oklahoma, recommending that the hospital snuff out the candle to comply with “life safety from fire requirements,” or lose its accreditation.
According to the hospital, the candle is encased in glass and covered on top, and the local government and fire marshal repeatedly have approved the display for fire safety. CMS threatened to revoke Saint Francis’ ability to see patients under Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program if it did not snuff out the candle. The Catholic hospital system asked the federal government for a waiver four times.
“Saint Francis… pointed out that this is a religious liberty issue at length, and they still got a denial. It was after Becket got involved and it became public that they backed down,” she noted. “They knew about the religious liberty problem all along….”
Full story on LifeNews.
Just another instance of the government climbing into the handbasket going to you know where.
This is more a case of generalized cultural cluelessness on the part of the federal medical bureaucracy than any nefarious intent. To receive Medicare funding, hospitals must submit to periodic on site inspections by CMS (Center for Medicare Services) inspectors. These people are doctors and nurses and others that go around looking for ‘violations’ like this. It started a couple of decades ago and when they identify a violation (ie a wall mounted alcohol based hand sanitizer dispenser too close to a light switch) they warn, cite and move on. The problem is that they run out of things to cite when all of the hospitals comply with their minutia and they have to manufacture new violations that were somehow not a problem on the last inspection. I could just imaging how the inspectors would go after an open flame in a hospital like junk yard dogs after a dead squirrel.
Nice to see they backed off on this. Next thing you know they’ll be having us put 2 locks on fire extinguishers. They could fall off their brackets and hurt someone.
It’s a lesson Trump taught us – Fight Back! Don’t let bullies push us around.
don’t think for a minute
that you live in a free country
I am so very thankful to be an American and to live in this country! God Bless America!
Could the candle be electric or battery?
If it is electric, then it is not a candle.
Better for the environment anyway.
So how many govt officials does it take to light a candle?
Clinton: That all depends on what you mean by “candle”.
Obama: We are the light, so we don’t need a candle.
Hilary: So it’s dark! What differences does that make?
Trump: There’s a conspiracy to deny me matches.
Biden: Candle? Is there a birthday cake and ice cream?
If this is in fact an electric candle its proves that the government representative was both incompetent and a moron
Another attack by this democratic administration against Catholics and their faith