22 June 2012

Fortnight for Religious Freedom: dispatches from the field!

Archbishop Charles Chaput, OFM:  "First, religious freedom is a cornerstone of the American experience [. . .] Second point: Freedom of religion is more than freedom of worship [. . .]Third point: Threats against religious freedom in our country are not imaginary. They’re happening right now. They’re immediate, serious, and real [. . .] Fourth point: Unless we work hard to keep our religious liberty, we’ll lose it [. . .] Fifth and final point: Politics and the courts are important. But our religious freedom ultimately depends on the vividness of our own Christian faith–in other words, how deeply we believe it, and how honestly we live it [. . .]

George Weigel:  "As the Catholic Church in the United States begins a Fortnight for Freedom to strengthen Catholics’ resolve to defend religious freedom for all, it’s good to remember that, from the Founding, the Catholic embrace of the First Amendment’s guarantee of the 'free exercise of religion' has been unhesitating—and it has been principled" [. . .]

Time Drake:  "To fire people up, CatholicVote created the attached video for the Fortnight. Take a look at the listing of dioceses at the USCCB web page or the EWTN resource page to find out what is happening near you, and make plans for you and your family to attend. Use it as a teachable moment to talk about the founding of our nation and the unique freedoms we possess [. . .]

Archbishop William Lori: “Across America, our right to live out our faith is being threatened — from Washington’s forcing Catholic institutions to provide services that contradict their beliefs, to state governments’ prohibiting religious charities from serving the most vulnerable [. . .] We encourage all supporters around the country to text the simple, meaningful word ‘Freedom’ (for English) or ‘Libertad’ (for Spanish) to 377377 to join the movement.”

Archbishop Jose Gomez:  "In recent years, many have observed that our American consensus on religious liberty, conscience protection, and religion’s public role has been eroding. There are many causes for this. The first is the reality of religious indifferentism or 'practical atheism'—the fact that growing numbers of people in our society are living as if God doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter. There’s no reason to care about religious freedom if you don’t care about being religious.

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