May 24, 2013
ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT’S WEEKLY COLUMN: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND THE NEED TO WAKE UP
“IRS officials have, of course, confessed that they inappropriately targeted conservative groups — especially those with ‘tea party’ or ‘patriot’ in their names — for extra scrutiny when they sought non-profit status. Allegations of abuse or harassment have since broadened to include groups conducting grassroots projects to ‘make America a better place to live,’ to promote classes about the U.S. Constitution or to raise support for Israel.
“However, it now appears the IRS also challenged some individuals and religious groups that, while defending key elements of their faith traditions, have criticized projects dear to the current White House, such as health-care reform, abortion rights and same-sex marriage.”
Terry Mattingly, director, Washington Journalism Center; weekly column, May 22
Let’s begin this week with a simple statement of fact. America’s Catholic bishops started pressing for adequate health-care coverage for all of our nation’s people decades before the current administration took office. In the Christian tradition, basic medical care is a matter of social justice and human dignity. Even now, even with the financial and structural flaws that critics believe undermine the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the bishops continue to share the goal of real health-care reform and affordable medical care for all Americans.
But health care has now morphed into a religious liberty issue provoked entirely – and needlessly — by the current White House. Despite a few small concessions under pressure, the administration refuses to withdraw or reasonably modify a Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate that violates the moral and religious convictions of many individuals, private employers and religiously affiliated and inspired organizations.
Coupled with the White House’s refusal to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and its astonishing disregard for the unique nature of religious freedom displayed by its arguments in a 9-0 defeat in the 2012 Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court decision, the HHS mandate can only be understood as a form of coercion. Access to inexpensive contraception is a problem nowhere in the United States. The mandate is thus an ideological statement; the imposition of a preferential option for infertility. And if millions of Americans disagree with it on principle – too bad.
The fraud at the heart of our nation’s “reproductive rights” vocabulary runs very deep and very high. In his April 26 remarks to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the president never once used the word “abortion,” despite the ongoing Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia and despite Planned Parenthood’s massive role in the abortion industry.
Likewise, as Anthony Esolen recently noted so well, NARAL Pro-Choice America’s public statement on the conviction of abortionist Gosnell was a masterpiece of corrupt and misleading language. Gosnell was found guilty of murdering three infants, but no such mention was made anywhere in the NARAL Pro-Choice America statement.
None of this is finally surprising. Christians concerned for the rights of unborn children, as well as for their mothers, have dealt with bias in the media and dishonesty from the nation’s abortion syndicate for 40 years. But there’s a special lesson in our current situation. Anyone who thinks that our country’s neuralgic sexuality issues can somehow be worked out respectfully in the public square in the years ahead, without a parallel and vigorous defense of religious freedom, had better think again.
As Mollie Hemingway, Stephen Krason and Wayne Laugesen have all pointed out, the current IRS scandal – involving IRS targeting of “conservative” organizations – also has a religious dimension. Selective IRS pressure on religious individuals and organizations has drawn very little media attention. Nor should we expect any, any time soon, for reasons Hemingway outlines for the Intercollegiate Review. But the latest IRS ugliness is a hint of the treatment disfavored religious groups may face in the future, if we sleep through the national discussion of religious liberty now.
The day when Americans could take the Founders’ understanding of religious freedom as a given is over. We need to wake up.
American Catholics are called to observe a second annual “Fortnight for Freedom” this June 21-July 4. For more information, see the website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Quote from Pope’s General Audience on Wednesday: http://en.romereports.com
The Pope continued his catechesis on the Year of Faith, by explaining that by definition, people are religious beings. Even though society often tends to discredit the Divine, the Pope explained that as part of their nature, humans seek to connect with God.
Click here: for the article: Leaked e-mail shows media campaign against US bishops :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).
The June 7 e-mail came from John Gehring, President Obama’s “Faith in Public Life“ Program Director.
(Memorize his face: and pray for him and for the failure of his evil plans).
A leaked e-mail shows that the Democratic-leaning organization “Faith in Public Life” is running a behind-the-scenes media effort to undercut the U.S. bishops and the “Fortnight for Freedom” events intended to rally opposition to the HHS mandate.
(Obama’s) “Faith in Public Life’s” recommended sources for interviews, as listed in Gehring’s e-mail, are John Gehring, Duquesne University law professor Nicholas Cafardi, Fordham University theology department chair Terrence W. Tilley, Boston College theology professor Lisa Sowle Cahill, Notre Dame Law School professor M. Cathleen Kaveny, Fairfield University religious studies professor Paul Lakeland, and Fr. Thomas Reese, S.J. of the Woodstock Theological Center.
The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue was critical of the media effort, saying “Gehring’s e-mail encouraged the media to “victimize the victim” and target those who refuse to compromise their principles.”
MY TWO CENTS WORTH
Interesting Note; that Democrats know which Catholic Democrats, like the liberal priest Fr. Thomas Reece are the ”GO TO CATHOLICS” who are On OBAMA’S SIDE …. So the Liberal News Outlets will try to make minced-meat, out of the Catholic Message of the Fortnight for Religious Freedom. Weak Catholics will therefore, be tempted to go against their Bishop’s direction. Pray for them.
NEVER let the ”LEFT” Control the THE TALKING POINTS.
Present Facts: They’ll have, to look up.
Counter Their Snarkiness, With Cunning.
Think, before you act.
PRAYER IS YOUR BEST – DEFENSE
“Fortnight For Religious Freedom.”
Start your own “Knee-Mail“ today!
Say “No” to Obama’s HHS Mandate!
Dreaming of teaching your daughters to fear their fertility?
Teaching your daughters that the Unborn Baby has no rights?
Teaching your daughters that Abortion isn’t murder?
Teaching your daughters that fornication, and homosexuality is okay?
Sound more like a nightmare, Mr. and Mrs. President Obama.
“The movie Hollywood wouldn’t make, a historical drama about the struggle for religious freedom, opened in theaters last Friday (June 1) and debuted in the top 10 in its opening weekend, beating out “The Hunger Games.”
“For Greater Glory,” a movie about Mexican freedom fighters rebelling against the Mexican President who sought to crush the Catholic Church by outlawing Mass and murdering and expelling Priests, cracked the top 10 grossing movies….
It took in the tenth highest weekend gross despite showing in only a little over half the number of theaters of any other film in the top 10. It was the only movie in the top 10 that was not shown in at least 1,000 theaters nationally (757, compared to the next-lowest theater count of 1,294 and the 2,500-4,300 enjoyed by other top-grossers).”