Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)
Two stories in major Pennsylvania newspapers illustrate so much of the problem with journalism today as they ignore two elephants in the room with the nuns.
A group of Catholic nuns who prefer to worship Mother Nature rather than Jesus Christ (the Person they pledged to serve) is suing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for approving the $3 billion, 198-mile Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project; because it will run through their cornfield. Perhaps the sisters consider themselves Sisters of the Corn? We previously told you about this small group of nuns who use the same natural gas that will flow through Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline to heat their own property.
The nuns, with the help of radical Big Green groups, plopped a couple of wooden park benches and portable flower trestle in the middle of the same corn field—clearing some of those precious stalks of corn—declaring the spot a “chapel.” What a joke.
What if you want to temporarily clear some corn to dig a trench and bury a pipeline? No, no, no. Now, that crosses the line for the Sisters of the Corn, according to this story from the Philadelphia Inquirer (a newspaper now propped up by the William Penn Foundation, we might add):
A group of Roman Catholic nuns is suing a federal agency, saying a buried natural gas pipeline approved to run through their rolling Lancaster County cornfield would violate their religious freedom.
The suit seeking to keep the pipeline off the property says the sisters from the Adorers of the Blood of Christ order “believe that God calls humans to treasure land as a gift of beauty and sustenance that should not be used in an excessive or harmful way.”
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s “decision to force the Adorers to use land they own to accommodate a fossil fuel pipeline is antithetical to the deeply held religious beliefs and convictions of the Adorers,” the suit states.
“This is a really deeply held and sincere religious belief of the Adorers,” the nuns’ attorney, J. Dwight Yoder, said. “What is being proposed by Transco just completely violates what they believe in. This isn’t just some landowner who suddenly found Jesus. These sisters live out their faith.”
“As women, we celebrate the rhythms of creation; with Mother Earth we live the Paschal mystery of life, death and new life and, with others, preserve and nurture creation,” states one part of the pact…
Carl H. Esbeck, an expert on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri, said the nuns could have a hard time proving their case but could succeed.
First, they must show sincerity of their beliefs, he said, which should not be difficult. But they then would have to demonstrate that the pipeline would place a substantial burden on their religious faith, which could be more difficult.
It seems the Sisters of the Corn began worshipping Mom Earth back in 2005, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News:
An order of Catholic nuns who believe in “the sacredness of Earth” is suing the federal agency that approved a natural gas pipeline that’s expected to cross its property for violating its religious freedom.
The nuns, who allowed the construction of an outdoor chapel in the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline’s path through Lancaster County, are in the midst of separate battle to block Williams’ seizure of the one-acre parcel via eminent domain.
“It’s clear they take seriously their belief that the Earth is God’s creation and it needs to be protected and preserved,” said J. Dwight Yoder, the attorney representing the Adorers of the Blood of Christ in its case against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission…
The nuns allowed a protest group, Lancaster Against Pipelines, to build the chapel in a cornfield on its land in West Hempfield Township, near a retirement community operated by the order. The chapel, which is comprised of a wooden arbor and pews, has since held several ceremonies there, garnering local and national media attention. The protest group has built several other structures in the pipeline’s path…
The Catholic order’s opposition is guided by a “land ethic” adopted in 2005. That means that the nuns honor the sacredness of creation, reveres Earth as a sanctuary for all life and treasures land as a “gift of beauty and sustenance and legacy for future generations.”
Editor’s Note: Jim’s disgust with these nuns is fully justified and as a Catholic, I’m simply embarrassed these leftist sisters suppose their mission is more about radical environmentalism than salvation. I’m also disgusted with the reporting as neither story addresses two simple facts that render everything else BS.
The first is what we reported here; that the leftist nuns have no problem using, and promoting the fact they’re using, natural gas in their retirement community. It seems fossil fuel use is not “antithetical to the deeply held religious beliefs and convictions of the Adorers”—only the delivery of the fuel. It has to fall out of the sky like manna from heaven I guess. How can a reporter who took the time to contact a law professor about the validity of the lawsuit (suggesting it’s uncertain when it’s obvious there is none) but ignore this fundamental flaw in the sisters’ logic? Unfortunately, we know the answer; it’s not part of the template or the agenda of modern journalism, which is one of editorial advocacy masquerading as reporting.
The second story at least notes the sisters operate a retirement center but the reporter, once again, never bothers to ask if they use the natural gas they propose to prevent others from having. Maybe I’m dreaming here, but isn’t that the first question an enterprising journalist would ask? The fact it’s ignored speaks volumes.
Both reporters also neglect to ask for an explanation from anyone as to how opposition to pipelines delivering gas one uses could possibly be a “deeply held religious belief.” Where does it say in the Bible, or any other religious text for that matter, that pipelines are on the “thou shalt not” list? How is anyone supposed to take this seriously? It’s a joke, just as Jim says it is, and a cruel one for those of us who do take religion seriously. Yet, neither reporter asks the obvious “how” question or consults a religious authority (say, Archbishop Chaput, for example) to ask if there’s a legitimate religious issue here. Instead, they just regurgitate the blather without addressing the question staring them in the face.
Such is journalism today. It is why journalists are the only group of professionals rated higher on the “very low” trust scale by Gallup consists of members of Congress.