From June 21st to July 4th, millions around the nation will make their voices heard for religious liberty. Though principally kicked off by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Christians and other religious denominations have quickly signed on to particpate in the July 4th bell ringing from every parish in America:
The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country have scheduled special events that support a great national campaign of teaching and witness for religious liberty.
Of course, standing up for religious freedom seems to be interpreted by the Washington Post as opposing the Obama administration (imagine that!), or so the liberals at the WaPo would have us believe...
In response, I’d ask Melinda this question: Who picked this fight? It certainly wasn’t the Catholic bishops, who tried working with Barack Obama in crafting the scope of the religious exemption to the HHS contraception mandate. They didn’t pick the timing, either. It was Obama and Kathleen Sebelius who decided to promulgate a new rule in an election year that claimed the authority to define religious practice as restricted to onlywhat happens inside a church.
Here’s another question: why would the USCCB want to unseat Obama at all, absent this attack on religious expression? Although the bishops ended up opposing ObamaCare because of insufficient bars on abortion, their policy positions align more with liberals than conservatives. Until the HHS mandate, the bishops wouldn’t have had anything to say at all about the federal government’s actions during Obama’s term.
Good points well made.
More importantly, as the Hot Air article goes on to state, is the question as to whether a religious organization forfeits their First Amendment rights by claiming tax-exempt status? Decidedly not... and so long as the federal government presumes to impose its secular prescrpitions upon the rights of conscience and religious liberty of Christians, then men and women of faith have a duty and obligation to resist.