Archive for the ‘Religious Freedom’ Category

Today’s Pro-Life Reflection

Monday, September 10th, 2012





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This reflection is taken from my book Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day, which is available for purchase at: ProLifeReflectionsForEveryDay.org.

“In this way democracy, contradicting its own principles effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the “common home” where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless members” (John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, n.20).

Reflection: Some see laws permitting abortion as a minor flaw; the Pope is saying here that they change the very nature of the state.

Prayer: Lord, free us from the tyranny of governments that think they can dispose of human life. Amen.

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What Kind of Religious Freedom Do We Want?

Monday, August 6th, 2012





We are living at a time when the Church in the United States must vigorously defend herself against attacks on religious freedom. In particular, the government is trying to force believers to violate their consciences when it comes to what kind of services their companies’ health insurance policies will cover. Priests for Life is proud to have launched one of the first lawsuits against this unjust mandate of our government, and we are confident we will prevail.

Yet part of defending religious freedom is defending a clear understanding of what it is. We don’t only have to defend it against the government; we have to defend it from misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

And one of the most dangerous misunderstandings is to confuse religious freedom with relativism — to think, in other words, that it’s simply the idea that “you can practice your religion if you let me practice mine,” because, after all, one religion is as good as the next.

But it’s not. There is such a thing as religious truth, and moral truth, and we are capable of knowing them.

At the core of authentic religious freedom is the conviction that human persons, because of their dignity, must seek the truth and embrace it freely — not the idea that such truth does not exist or is a product of one’s own making.

Put another way, freedom does not create truth; it is meant to lead to truth.

Professor Janet Smith wrote recently,

“Bishop William Lori argued that making Catholics fund contraceptives, abortifacient contraception and sterilizations is like making kosher delis serve pork. Actually, it is more like making all of us, and particularly the Anti-Smoking League, fund cigarettes.

“Jews do not argue that eating pork is something no one should do, but Catholics do argue that using contraception is something no one should do; among other reasons, the Church condemns it as against the natural law; it is against the health of women, the health of relationships and the health of society.”  (National Catholic Register, March 12, 2012)

This is a critically important point. Many are fond of saying that this fight isn’t about the issues of contraception and abortion. On the other hand, it cannot be disconnected from them. The other side doesn’t disconnect them.

Abortion advocate Patricia Baird Windle declared that abortion is part of her religion. ” You practice your religion and let me practice mine. My religion is a holy ritual of child sacrifice,” she has declared. Ginette Paris wrote the book The Sacrament of Abortion. And when the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances law was passed in 1994, it included not only abortion clinics but also houses of worship. In the days of Operation Rescue, when pro-life activists blockaded abortion clinics, some abortion advocates retaliated by blockading Churches. They were returning insult for insult, for to them, the clinic is their place of worship.

So let’s be sure we’re clear about what kind of religious liberty we want to defend: one that serves the truth about life!

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Stand Up for Freedom at NYC site where Bill of Rights was adopted

Thursday, June 7th, 2012





NEW YORK, NY — Students of American history know that on April 30, 1789, at the site of what is now the Federal Hall National Memorial, George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States. But this Wall Street monument to liberty is famous for much more.

In 1735, newspaper editor John Peter Zenger was tried and acquitted there on charges of sedition after exposing government corruption in his paper, the New York Weekly Journal.

In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress was assembled there to protest taxation without representation.

And on Sept. 25, 1789, the First Congress met there to adopt the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

On Friday, June 8, a cross-section of Americans who cherish their First Amendment rights will gather at noon outside Federal Hall to protest a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to curtail religious liberty.

The Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will be one of 150 such rallies to take place simultaneously across the country in protest of a Health and Human Services mandate that would force employers to include coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs in the health insurance plans they offer. The mandate is in direct violation of the moral law.

“This is an assault on the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech granted to all Americans by the First Amendment,” said Father Frank Pavone. The Staten Island-based ministry is organizing the New York City event.

“The Administration is offering some groups a year to ‘adapt’ to the rule. But you don’t ‘adapt’ to injustice. You oppose it. We are opposing it in the courts, because Priests for Life launched the fourth lawsuit against this mandate back in February,” Father Pavone said. “This Friday, we will oppose it also in the streets, as we help to organize and promote these rallies nationwide.”

Friday’s NY City rally is the second one at the site. More than 1,200 people attended the first Stand up Rally on March 23.

Speakers on Friday will include Dr. Alveda King, full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.; Father Agustino Torres of the Franciscan Friars; Chris Bell, founder of Good Counsel Homes, and Dr. Anne Nolte of the St. Gianna Center for Women’s Health.

“Anyone who cares about the rights that my Uncle Martin died for should make time to come to this rally,” Dr. King said. “What’s at stake here goes way beyond contraception.”

Federal Hall National Memorial is at 26 Wall Street. To find a rally elsewhere in the country, please send an email to rally@priestsforlife.org or call 347-286-7250.

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