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  • Catholic Bishops: 'Constant Vigilance and Protection' Required for Religious Liberty

    This morning, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) published a document titled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty.”

    To Americans who care about and work for religious freedom, the bishops’ statement is a powerful message of solidarity.

    The bishops argue that, in America, religious freedom is our first and most cherished freedom and, without it, “all other freedoms are fragile.”

    In giving this important principle due consideration, it is also important to recognize that one of the greatest threats to religious freedom today is the loss of freedom more generally.

    Increased threats to religious freedom should come as no surprise in any society that tolerates ever-increasing intrusions into freedom of private action in general. This is true even if such intrusions are carried out with good intentions in the name of the most noble and humanitarian causes.

    Because religious freedom goes hand-in-hand with freedom more generally, those who would protect religious freedom in the age of the administrative state must be prepared to protect freedom in general.

    Today’s statement was developed by the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty and comes at a time when threats to religious freedom continue to grow.

    In America, many threats to religious freedom today involve one or more of three main problems:

    1. The extremist view that religion should be banished from every nook and cranny of public life,
    2. The erroneous understanding that “freedom of religion” means nothing more than “freedom of worship,” and
    3. The ever-growing number of laws and regulations that govern private individuals and institutions and, incidentally or by design, burden the free exercise of religious or moral conscience in the process.

    Examples of such threats include:

    • The rule in New York City that would deny churches from renting public schools on weekends for worship services even though private groups may rent the schools for scores of other uses;
    • The Obamacare rule that forces employers—including many religious employers—to provide health care plans that include abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization services, and contraception, even if doing so violates religious or moral conscience;
    • Discrimination by public universities against Christian student groups that require leaders to be Christian; and
    • Sexual orientation policies that have forced Catholic charity organizations to stop providing adoption and foster care services because they would not place children with same-sex couples.

    “[L]ike any freedom,” write the bishops, “religious liberty requires constant vigilance and protection, or it will disappear.”

    This timely reminder will hearten advocates of religious freedom in America and throughout the world.

    Posted in Featured, First Principles, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Catholic Bishops: 'Constant Vigilance and Protection' Required for Religious Liberty

    1. Bobbie says:

      Why does the unconstitutional government get to impose their authority regarding members of government intolerances when the intolerances of members in government are irrelevant to government authority?

      Get unconstitutional government rule out of ALL personal matters, business and faiths where personal matters, business and faiths are by choice with no negative intent not even at government's childish level of intolerance and government members' false sense of empowerment.

      it's none of the business of government to run the business of others that govern their own. and to force personal provisions at the expense and infringement of peoples' work, money and faith is unconstitutional, insensitive and pathetic by government members to deprive self initiative.

    2. Religious freedoms

    3. allen says:

      It's about time the Church came forward and take a stand on this Adm.

    4. O2BMe says:

      I pray we will get to keep our religious freedom. We have lost so many of our freedoms already. Farmers aren't allowed to farm what they want and how much. In some states you can't decide for yourself if you want to join a union. The courts have allowed shopping centers to confiscate private property. You have to have expensive permits to do almost everything with your own property. Taxes are oppressive when you combine local city and county along with state and federal government and they all want to make them higher When you purchase a gallon of gas for your vehicle the biggest cost is not the gas, it is the taxes piled on top. How can anyone say we have all that much freedom!

    5. tmbarbier says:

      A step in the right direction, but the Church needs to have a stronger stance on these issues and publicly criticize the administration for all these abominations!

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