New USCCB Website Launched to Inform the Culture on the Importance of Religious Liberty

One of the salient points critics of our bishops’ stance on the HHS Mandate fail to notice is the solidarity of the group. Do you know how many of the bishops have broken away and decided that the HHS Mandate is really not a big deal?

None.

They are resolute in standing firm in fighting this odious mandate. No matter who wins the Presidential Election on November 6th, the Church will not back down from attempts of government to bend the Church’s teachings to suit the will of mere politicians.

And so less than five days from election day, the bishops launched a website that is called exactly what it plans to help protect: Our First American Freedom

Here’s an example of what you’ll find at the website, launched this evening via the USCCB Facebook page.

Religious freedom is our first American freedom. It is a founding principle of our country, protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights. It’s a fundamental human right, rooted in the dignity of every human person—people of any faith or no faith at all. It’s not a Catholic, Jewish, Orthodox, Mormon or Muslim issue—it’s an American issue, a civil rights issue.

Religious liberty includes your freedom of belief, speech, and worship. But it also protects action—the freedom to serve the common good in accordance with your faith. It means that you and your community—not the government—define your faith. It means the freedom to help the needy in accordance with the principles of your faith. It means the freedom to participate fully and equally in public life, regardless of your faith. It means the freedom to work in business without checking your faith at the door.

In short, it means that nobody should be forced to act in a manner contrary to their own religious beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, unless it is necessary to keep public order.

Handy tools to share messages like these via social media are included, as well as a way for you to receive updates via text message too.

Head on over to the website, FirstAmericanFreedom.com, and sign up to stay informed. Then bookmark it, share it on Facebook, Tweet it, and e-mail it to everyone you know and help share the message with your neighbors.

We won’t stand idly by and let anyone rewrite our faith. Not now, and not ever.

Semper Fidelis.

Our One True King

  • Mary S

    The concern here is America not only as a place of freedom OF religion, but also freedom FROM religion. Both must be honored in a true democracy.

    • Frank Weathers

      As long as the one doesn’t trample the other, nor the one exclude the other from the public square, that is the concern.

      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.

      More nuanced thoughts on this are here.

      Unlike many faiths, the Catholic Church has embraced its mission to help the poor, heal the sick, and comfort the orphan, without regard to the faith (or unbelief) of those she helps, heals, or comforts. Atheists can start their own hospitals and other institutions to help humankind as well.

    • jy

      What part of the text of the first amendment specifically illustrates the principle of “freedom from religion”? To me, the text (as quoted) protects the freedom of religious groups to “assemble”, and to “exercise” and to “speak” their religion in public, with freedom FROM CONGRESS, i.e., the government, inasmuch as the government might abridge that freedom. The first amendment does not guarantee freedom “from” religion; the phrase is nonsensical and only useful for the abridgment of religious groups to “exercise” &c. in public.

      “Freedom from religion” is a club invented by the enemies of religion.

      • rosmarie robertson

        well put .so true

  • http://www.coloradomusing.blogspot.com Ron Moffat

    Frank
    If I were to quibble with the statement quoted above, I would say the bishops have it just wrong. The right to religious freedom doesn’t come from the 14th Amendment, it is a God given right. Many of the Founding Fathers were right in saying that if such a right can be given by the government, it can be taken away by the government. I realize you could say the bishops are trying to make the enormity and perversity of the stance taken by BOs administration understood by Christians and non-Christians alike, yet the point, for Catholics, or any Christian, isn’t a subtle one, it’s foundational to what makes us fully human. I think to frame it politically could be something the bishops will regret.

    • Frank Weathers

      I think that the bishops’ statement recognizes that truth, Ron. And the founders recognized this as well, which is why they jotted it down in the First Amendment.

      As for the Church, she notes the following.

      The freedom of faith

      160 To be human, “man’s response to God by faith must be free, and… therefore nobody is to be forced to embrace the faith against his will. The act of faith is of its very nature a free act.” “God calls men to serve him in spirit and in truth. Consequently they are bound to him in conscience, but not coerced… This fact received its fullest manifestation in Christ Jesus.” Indeed, Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them. “For he bore witness to the truth but refused to use force to impose it on those who spoke against it. His kingdom… grows by the love with which Christ, lifted up on the cross, draws men to himself.”

      It’s pretty clear who is being coercive regarding the HHS Mandate, and it is not the Church.

  • tz

    You might want to ask the Muslims in Joplin MO who had their Mosque burned down about “religious liberty”. Or is it merely not paying for contraception? Or does it really include a second issue of illegal aliens, maybe terrorists since that is how they treat anyone who is “undocumented” at airports, or if they refuse to appear naked on scanners or be raped. They use the word “undocumented” in the same way Planned Parenthood calls a baby a “blob of tissue”? If our Bishops cannot call things by their correct names, how can they teach? Is this time for PR Hype or should the truth appear naked instead of air passengers?

    Can I get any help from ANY Catholic agency while remaining “undocumented”? Or is my Baptismal certificate the ONLY thing they won’t ask me for, but insist on social security number, and an address to send the debt-collector thugs to if my insurance denies the claim?

    Bishop Sample denied Bishop Thomas Gumbleton entry to his diocese. If he went in anyway, would he be an “undocumented” Bishop?

    It would help their arguments if they would purge it of hypocrisy.

  • TheInformer

    Neat! Now if only our priests would preach about something substantial during the Mass then we’d have more well-informed Catholics who actually give a dag!

    But really……is it almost time for confronting this dying Western Civ?

    • Frank Weathers
      • TheInformer

        Thank you, Mr. W, for your response! Of course, there are (saintly) examples of solid Catholic teaching among priests, bishops, popes, but with very rare exception, these ideas and clear statements are not filtering down to the parish level. How many truly informed Catholics are there around you at any given Mass? I don’t mean to gripe, but hopefully to spur admirable and solid priests to be fearless proclaiming the Gospel and solid Catholic Doctrine in this dangerous time.

        WE NEED LEADERSHIP!

  • Katherine

    How nice, that the Bishops got together on an issue of some importance. Importance to whom is the quesiton. There have been several discussions on NEW ADVENT that stated Many Catholics are ignoring the Bishops opinions and voting for Obama as they did in the last Presidential election.
    Perhaps, if they had been brave enough and loving enough to stand up and be counted during th sexual abuse scandals more of the flock would be paying attention now. Instead there was a deafening silence.

  • Ted Seeber

    I think it has been “too little, too late”. We seem to be hoisted on our own love for the poor into secular humanist’s version of love for the poor: Killing their children.


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