Courage, friends!

Well, of course I am writing about this. Most of you probably already know about it, but just in case you’ve been out of the loop living under a rock for the last few months…

Freedom of religion is well, it’s damn important and it’s under attack. Of course it’s not the first time in the history of our Church that we’ve been attacked, and it certainly won’t be the last. We all know that. However, this time it seems we’re standing on some kind of precipce, and for the first time in America, in the “land of the free” we might be forced, against the dictates of our consciences to provide products which are immoral to people who have freely chosen to work for us, knowing we hold these products immoral. For the first time in the history of our country, we as a people of faith might be forced by the government to give something immoral away for free, even though we know it’s wrong.

I don’t care who you are, that’s some heavy shit. Sit with it a while. Any organization that refuses compliance with this unjust law faces the probability of being forced to close due to fines intended to force either compliance or closure.

Say goodbye to Catholic Charities (and all their services to the poor), say farewell to the myriad of Catholic hospitals and doctors serving the people of our country (I hope your hospitals are ready for the influx), say sayonara to Notre Dame, Fransciscan University, Mount St. Mary’s and thousands of other Catholic schools which are educating (much better than public schools in many areas) many children in our nation.

This is not about contraception. This is about conscience. No one is forced to work for the Catholic Church. No one is forced to attend Catholic universities against their will. This is about dismantling the false notion that we only have the rights the State wants to give us.

No. My right to not be forced to violate my conscience comes from God, not the State.

We render what belongs to Caesar, but our consciences belong to God.

SO….

The Bishops are actually doing something, which is cool. There’s this Fortnight for Freedom which begins tomorrow, the vigil of the feast of my man, T. More, and ending on July 4th. It’s two weeks of prayer, education, and activism. Its lineup of feast days includes the powerhouse of St. John Fisher and Thomas More, St. John the baptist, Ss. Peter and Paul, and the first martyrs of the Church of Rome. Just sayin’.

Instead of yammering on about it here, I am going dark from tomorrow until July 4th so I can pray about it. If you’re interested in joining me, the USCCB has a site with resources for making the most of this time.

There’s also a pretty sweet prayer for religious freedom that I’ll leave as my parting words. Pray them, live them. Take courage friends!

O God our Creator,

Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,

you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,

bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel

to every corner of society.

We ask you to bless us

in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.

Give us the strength of mind and heart

to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;

give us courage in making our voices heard

on behalf of the rights of your Church

and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.

Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,

a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters

gathered in your Church

in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,

so that, with every trial withstood

and every danger overcome—

for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,

and all who come after us—

this great land will always be “one nation, under God,

indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

I’ve turned comments off on this post so that if you feel inspired to comment, you can say a prayer instead!

  • Pat

    There was not a way to leave a comment at your most recent post, and so I will leave a comment here.

    Thank you for the reminder about the special kind of writing in the Gospel of John. And for the reminder that we can be thankful for air conditioning and swimming pools.