Fortnight for Freedom: A Faith and Flag Fight

“THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.” (Preamble to the Bill of Rights; Amendments 1 -10 of the original Constitution of the United States of America)

Amendment I

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Another civil war is under way in the United States.  Now, don’t get too excited, this is not Syria nor the Palestinian territories.  And likely the term ‘civil war’ will not be something others will characterize this fight as.  It is a not-so-quiet fight being conducted in the court rooms of our country and out of the lime-light of the media.  I don’t know why.  It’s way outside of my circle of influence, yet I’m close enough to know that it is going on.

You see, most people don’t realize it took us seven years to fight our revolution and then another ten years to iron out the laws we would follow to keep ourselves together.  And still it took a real War Between the States constituting our Country to resolve some of those Constitutional issues.  And again, near the end of our second century (we ARE so YOUNG) yet another war of civil rights began.  Some were bloodied at the beginning of this conflict about race.  A model was built in that fight that has been adopted and continues to be used today for all sorts of ‘human rights’ and ‘issues’.  But these fights have caused more division than unity and the one that is most deadly and at the same time most silent is the fight over religious freedom, one of the primary causes of the colonization of this land we now share.

Our First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” And yet in our military today those soldiers and sailors professing their faith to others may suffer punitive action by their commands.  The Federal Government has written laws requiring all organizations conducting business to provide abortion and contraceptive insurance to all those they employ.  Courts are requiring Churches to permit use of and marriages in their facilities that are contrary to Christian doctrine.  Building permits for mosques are delayed over and over using building codes, inspections, and zoning laws regardless of previously approved plans and permits.  Catholic adoption agencies have had their licenses revoked, so even if they wanted to operate without government funding they are not authorized to do so.  The list goes on.

As I am a Catholic I am aware of resources available if you doubt my comments.  Some simple web searches for religious arguments in the courts or over health care will give plural results.  I’ll offer the Bishops’ website as a starting point if you’d care to take time and look.

The United States has been a beacon of hope for people around the world for just about a century now.  Our Statue of Liberty still stands in New York’s Harbor.  Our military still provides emergency aid around the world on a moment’s notice.  Our non-government organizations, including Catholic Charities, still provide emergency aid aside of Red Cross/Crescent and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  But what would happen if 40% of the health care providers in the U.S. suddenly could not conduct business.  Like the adoption agencies, what if they lose their licenses to operate?

The Fortnight for Freedom is about praying for insight and resolution to the growing problem of government setting limits on the conduct of religious charity and practice.  Join with us to pray and learn more about how we can stop this new civil war that is cracking the foundations of our Constitution.

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