Fortnight for Freedom Issue #7: Why Fortnight for Freedom is necessary.

Under President Obama, religious freedom has been directly attacked when it has not been simply neglected or disregarded. This, after all, is the administration:

  • whose State Department has largely put on ice its statutory obligations under the International Religious Freedom Act;
  • in which we have heard the phrase “freedom of worship” increasingly supplant the broader “free exercise of religion”;
  • that opposes statutory conscience protections for chaplains and other personnel in the military in the wake of repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” while it also undermines the continued enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act;
  • that has frozen out the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services agency from federal contracting, despite its proven track record of success and efficiency in dealing with the scourge of human trafficking, because the Catholic agency will not refer victims for abortions or contraceptive services;
  • that has argued, with a straight face, that the First Amendment offers no shelter for religious institutions to enjoy a “ministerial exception” to federal employment statutes—and subsequently suffered a forceful 9-0 rejection of its view by the Supreme Court;
  • that promulgated the infamous Health and Human Services mandate for no-cost coverage of contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacients under every employer health plan except those offered by the most narrowly defined “religious institutions”—a definition so narrow that 23 lawsuits have been filed against HHS on behalf of 56 plaintiffs, including Catholic dioceses, charities, health-care institutions, fraternal and missionary organizations, universities, and broadcasters, and some non-Catholic religious institutions as well.

The Obama administration, especially with its HHS mandate, poses the largest and most immediate threat to religious freedom in America today. But in the Easter week statement of their Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, titled “Our First, Most Cherished Liberty,” the bishops also notice other threats to which we should be alert.

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Participate in Fortnight for Freedom activities near you

Participate in the Virtual Vigil for Religious Freedom

Common sense Catholic family education

“Religious education” can sound intimidating and far worse is “catechesis.” Neither term came to mind as I washed some dishes in the sink and my 6-year-old grandson wandered into the kitchen. He’s used to the fact I tend to whistle, hum or sing absentmindedly, unaware I’m making any noise at all.

“I know that song!” he said, interrupting me mid-whistle. “We have it at church.”

Hmmm . . .  I wasn’t aware of what I was whistling. Since I presumed his parish Mass didn’t feature anything by Creedence Clearwater Revival or show tunes, then it was . . . Of course. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

My grandson was pleased he recognized the melody. I was happy he was going someplace where it was sung – religiously.

That’s part of the ABCs, too. We leave Mass, we’re sent, but we take something with us. And we share it. That Advent song — whistled in a kitchen — led easily to a short conversation about Mass, Advent and . . . naturally . . . Christmas.

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Islam: Authentic Religion or merely a Hate Crime In Progress?

I marched into the courtroom every day for nine months and proved that there was an undeniable nexus between Islamic doctrine and terrorism committed by Muslims.

The Blind Sheikh, the jury was allowed to learn, was not a fringe lunatic; he was a globally renowned scholar of sharia whose influence over a spate of international jihadist organizations was based on his doctorate from al-Azhar University, the world’s most influential center of Islamic thought.

And when I demonstrated the straight-line, undeniable logic of the evidence — that scripture informed the Blind Sheikh’s directives; that those directives informed his terrorist subordinates; and that those subordinates then committed atrocities — the government gave me the Justice Department’s highest award.

Today, I’d be ostracized. No longer is the government content to be willfully blind. Today, it is defiantly, coercively, extortionately blind.

Read more from Andrew C. McCarthy/NRO

Truth or friction?

The Catholic Church, since the time of the apostles, has preached the faith as the truth.  I have already quoted St. Peter to the effect that the apostles and their converts “were not following fictitious tales.”  Jesus Christ proved the truth of his assertions about himself by rising from the dead.  As St. Paul explains in Chapter 15 of his first epistle to the Corinthians, the resurrection of Christ was a matter that could be verified with eyewitnesses, not only the apostles, but many others, as well (cf. CCC 641-44).  In addition, the many prophecies that our Lord fulfilled by his birth, life and death, give further proof of the truth of the revelation committed by him to his Church (cf. CCC 156 and 522).  It is with arguments of this kind that we must defend the doctrines of the Catholic Church, not by seeking to prove that the Catholic religion is more useful than any other.

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Obama admin’s idea of “freedom of religion” gets curiouser and curiouser

Minister Told He Will Face Potential Arrest for Reading Christmas Story from the Bible at Capitol Christmas Tree

John Paul II’s left of center approach to Islam was controversial. Still is.

He expressed this with strong gestures, at times questioned, at times questionable: the meeting with Yasser Arafat (March 2000 in Palestine and October 29, 2001 in the Vatican), his kissing the Koran (May 14, 1999), the visit to Turkey ( November 1979), his speech to 80 thousand young people at Casablanca (August 19, 1985), entering the great Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (May 6, 2001). His support for the construction of a mosque in Rome, and suggestion that the municipality provide the land.

But above all he launched the idea of a meeting of leaders of all the great world religions, which took place October 27, 1986 and brought together 130 religious leaders from throughout the world. It was followed by two other gatherings in Assisi, and we are waiting for another still in October 2011 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first. Many Catholics have criticized this “ambiguous gesture.”

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Related earlier post

The goal of the New World Order is to create a generation of polymorphous perverts.

JV — Alright then, how does homosexuality fit into the NWO scheme?

RE — Well, first let me state that there have always been two natural enemies of totalitarianism of any stripe — the family and religion. The advancement of homosexuality and other forms of deviant sexual behavior, as we have seen from the current battle over “gay marriage,” is designed to undermine both marriage and family, as well as the natural law and traditional morality. The goal of the NWO is to create a generation of polymorphous perverts — narcissistic, isolated and rootless individuals who, being enslaved by their own unnatural passions, will not present any serious opposition to their new slave masters.

JV — Once this goal is achieved, will rank-and-file homosexuals continue to play a special role in the NWO?

RE — No. This is highly unlikely. As Dr. Day made quite clear, the NWO prides itself on stability and loyalty to the New Order and homosexuals are notoriously unstable and unreliable. So, having served their purpose, when the time comes, rank-and-file homosexuals will be systematically eliminated as enemies of the state. Elite “gays” within the NWO will probably remain.

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