Whose love wins?
The City of Brotherly Love in April banished Catholic Social Services from Philadelphia’s pool of 26 foster care and adoption agencies. Last week, city attorneys spent three days in court defending that decision and the devastating effect it had on one little boy.
For decades, Catholic Social Services worked with the city to facilitate adoptions and foster care while openly operating by its Biblical convictions about marriage by not placing children with same-sex couples. But after discovering the Catholic charity’s operating standards, Philadelphia Councilwoman Cindy Bass demanded the city severe ties with the agency.
Religious liberty law firm Becket filed a lawsuit June 5 on behalf of Catholic Social Services asking the U.S. District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania to reinstate the contract. Bethany Christian Services, which the city also banned, did not join the lawsuit.
Lead plaintiff Sharonell Fulton has fostered 14 children and adopted two through the agency. In October 2016, Fulton took into her home an autistic boy who thrived in her care, according to the lawsuit.
Fulton reluctantly relinquished care of the boy when another family agreed to adopt him. That arrangement fell through, and when Fulton’s social worker asked if she would take the boy back, she happily agreed. But the city refused to place him back in her home because of her affiliation with Catholic Social Services.
Fulton said the city’s Department of Human Services “has not provided me with any reason—other than its dispute with Catholic Social Services—for refusing to let me care for Doe Foster Child #1. I say prayers for his return throughout the day and look at Doe Foster Child #1’s pictures every night.”
Becket attorneys said the hearing went well and they expect a ruling shortly after filing their final brief on Thursday. —B.P.
Other than honorable
“Communism will win,” declared U.S. Military Academy graduate Spenser Rapone. But it appears the U.S. Army has had the last word.
Rapone, a second lieutenant, received an “other than honorable discharge” from the Army, according to Army Times. Photos taken the day of Rapone’s 2016 graduation from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and posted last year revealed his pro-communist views and the Che Guevara T-shirt he wore under his uniform. That, paired with his vitriolic tweets condemning his commanders earned the self-avowed “revolutionary socialist” a military investigation and eventual discharge.
Short of a dishonorable discharge, an “other than honorable” (OTH) discharge “is the worst possible characterization of military service one can receive,” Mike Berry, a former Marine judge advocate general and attorney for First Liberty, told me.
“OTHs are not common, and they carry some of the same consequences as a dishonorable discharge, such as loss of many veteran benefits and healthcare,” Berry said. “And yes, there is a possibility Rapone may owe money to the Army, depending on the terms of his enlistment contract and his West Point appointment.”
The “revolutionary” might have better used his time at the nation’s elite military academy researching the murderous acts of Guevara before calling Vice President Mike Pence a “[obscenity] medieval, cold-blooded killer.” —B.P.