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Religious Liberty
Sunday, June 24 2012

Fortnight for Freedom...

Our freedom is a precious gift, and let no man take away our liberty:

For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.  -Galatians 5:1, NAB

Catholics across the United States are making bold statements about the government infringing on our religious liberties.  Are we really being persecuted?  Is it really that serious?  Are we making a bigger deal about it than it really is?  Why do we feel as if our freedom is in jeopardy?
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The charge, led by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), is an effort to stop laws that violate our moral conscience.  As Catholics, we hold a certain moral standard.  Laws recently passed are in direct contradiction to our beliefs and force us to violate our conscience.  For that reason, the USCCB has decided to unite us together in the Fortnight for Freedom.

The Fortnight for Freedom is a two week period of standing up for our rights.  Through prayer, we hope to change the world around us.  Through public outcry, we hope to make our voice heard.  We want to let the country know, and the world, that we will not just accept their laws that violate our rights.

Is this a political campaign against one party or another?  No.  The goal of the Fortnight for Freedom does not involve political lines.  We care less whether a politician is a Democrat, Republican, or independent candidate.  We want all politicians to understand our pleas, and we hope that they will all stand up for us.

What's at stake?  What are the main issues that have caused us to stand up in solidarity?  Most recently, the HHS Mandate was passed, and it forces Catholic institutions to provide "preventative health care," such as birth control, sterilization, and abortifacients, in their insurance programs.  Preventative healthcare?  Prevent what? Usually, preventative healthcare is provided to stop a disease or illness before it happens.  Since when is pregnancy a disease?

Other issues that have come up include laws that force Catholic institutions to allow unwed couples and same-sex couples to adopt.  We are not asking for the practice to be made illegal; we are simply asking for lawmakers to not force us to participate in ways that violate our beliefs.  Other attempts have been made to violate our religious liberties; we are simply speaking about the tip of the iceberg.

Some will say that the government has made exceptions to the rules.  For instance, one exception states that a religious group can be exempt; however, that same exemption states that the religous group must only employ people of its own faith and cannot serve people outside of that community.  That means that great organizations that help their communities at large, including the poor, hungry, and those seeking faith, cannot be assisted by a Catholic organization because they are not Catholic.  It makes no sense.

Are we over-reacting?  No.  Some of these topics may not seem like a big deal to some, but it's only the beginning.  Freedom does not usually die in one large event; it usually erodes away.  Bit by bit, law by law, we will continue to lose our liberties.  If we do not stand up now, if we wait too long, we may never stop what's coming.  Make no doubt about it, right now, we are fighting for insurance coverage and adoption agencies, but, one day, we will be fighting for a lot more than that.

Will you stand up for your liberty?  Will you join the USSCB and support the Fortnight for Freedom?


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