Religious Freedom and Voter Guides
June 8, 2012
Below is my latest column, Religious Freedom and Voter Guides
before we get to that, let me give you some other important updates.
Priests for Life has helped coordinate the rallies for religious freedom
that are taking place across the Country today, June 8 at 12 noon. I hope
you will be able to participate in your area. Go to
to find a rally near you. Today ends
the nine day novena for religious freedom but we invite you to continue
praying with us everyday with the prayers found at
On a related note, in preparation for our Nation’s Independence we will have
a special novena from June 26-July4 also found at prayercampaign.org. Time
is running out to order your prayer cards to get them in time for the start
of the Novena.
Additionally, we are trying to gather a team of social networking advocates
to help get the pro-life message out beyond our sphere of influence and into
the general public. The pro-abortion movement uses social networking very
well and we have to do the same. With an important election coming up, we
can’t let Planned Parenthood's army of social network advocates turn this
election in favor of abortion. With our team we will register voters,
activate volunteers for distribution of voters' guides, counteract
misrepresentations of Church teaching, and get voters to the polls!
You can team up with me by "connecting" with me on Facebook in a few easy
1. Click this link:
2. If you aren't already logged into Facebook, log into Facebook when
3. Click the "Go to App" button so that you will be connected with us!
Once you join the team, I'll e-mail you alerts about critical information
that needs to be spread far and wide on social networks – and this is where
you come in. In these e-mails I'll ask you to share some links and stories
on Facebook – visit the page provided in these messages and then click on
the "Like" button to share the page on your wall. It's that simple!
And in the process of signing up, you'll be the first to receive the
e-booklet that I just released yesterday, "How to Keep the Fire Burning!"
This is being sold on our store, but if you respond to me today or tomorrow,
you will be able to download it free of charge!
Finally, July 1st is Voter Registration Sunday, a day when Churches are
encouraged to conduct non-partisan voter registration drives. Non-partisan
voter registration is both legal and appropriate for Churches to do, and
they are simple to do. Find all the information you need at
and ask you Pastor to let you do this in
Fr. Frank Pavone
Praise for Our Work
Fr. Scott Daniels: On behalf of the women we serve, the babies we
welcome into this world, our staff and Board of Directors, I wish to thank
you for your service to Mary’s Mantle and to our local community. You left
many people inspired through your Gospel message of Life. Thank you for
committing your life to preserving and cherish the dignity of each life. May
the Lord continue to move your Spirit for His glory. It was a pleasure
spending time with you...
Religious Freedom and Voter Guides
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life
Priests for Life is proud to have assisted the process by which Americans
from coast to coast organized rallies for religious freedom on Friday, June
8. These rallies, along with our lawsuit (and 22 others) against the HHS
mandate, will bring about a change.
In making that change, we have to be clear that our religious freedom must
, rather than selective. It
applies across the board. The US bishops have written in their recent
statement on religious liberty,
"Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday
or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution
to the common good of all Americans. Can we do the good works our faith
calls us to do, without having to compromise that very same faith?"
When I read this, one of the things I think about are the spiritual works of
mercy, among which is to "instruct the uninformed." We share information
that will help our brothers and sisters carry out their God-given mission in
And one of the ways we do that in an election year is to share
information about the candidates and where they stand on the issues
That is why this year, once again, Priests for Life has produced a voters'
guide for the Presidential race, and we are organizing teams of people
nationwide to distribute these guides everywhere: on the street corners of
their communities, in their organizational meetings, at the workplace,
through social networking, and more. (You can sign up at
The bishops have also said in their document, "We need, therefore, to
speak frankly with each other when our freedoms are threatened."
Let me, then, speak frankly right here and now, and say that when citizens
are intimidated from sharing voter guides with their fellow citizens, that
is an infringement of their religious liberty. After all, spreading this
information should not be understood only as a partisan activity. It is also
an activity motivated by faith
, by the awareness
that we have a responsibility to the common good
information that will help others fulfill what the bishops have identified
as a moral and spiritual responsibility
, namely, " to see
beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to
choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation
or mere self-interest"
(US Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, n. 34)
We cannot do that unless we know where the candidates stand on the issues,
and there is no moral or legal reason not to spread that information.
Among the attorneys who advise us at Priests for Life are James Bopp, Jr.
and Barry Bostrom, who are among the nation's leading experts on tax law and
on what Churches are allowed to do regarding elections. In a letter (full
), they advised us as
"…[T]he distribution of campaign material by others in the church
parking lot will not jeopardize the church's tax exempt status. The mere
permission of distribution of campaign materials by others in the church
parking lot is not regulated by the Internal Revenue Code. The Code and its
regulations are designed to limit only the activities and expenditures of
non-profit organizations. Distribution of campaign materials by others
outdoors, in a public parking lot, is not an activity or expenditure of the
Let us, indeed, defend our religious freedom, first and foremost by
exercising it, by speaking freely and boldly, and by making a difference in
this year's elections!
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