|NY Archbishop Timothy Dolan|
Appreciating the First Amendment is particularly poignant as there are so many challenges to religious liberty and the freedom of conscience, such as the HHS Qualified Health Plan Mandate (a.k.a. the Contraception, Sterilization and Abortifacient rider), the exclusion of non-compliant adoption organizations who will not service same-sex couples, states which have approved , states co-ercing traditional marriage believers to conform to same-sex so called marriage, the military labeling Catholics and Evangelicals as extremist groups for upholding their moral beliefs, military chaplains being forced out of service if they did not tow the new Politically Correct line on homosexuality.
When President Obama marked Religious Freedom Day in 2013, he framed religious liberty as the “freedom to worship as we choose.” That might have been acceptable public policy shorthand, but such a charitable assessment is not borne out by the actions of the Obama Administration. This is especially exemplified in the HHS contraception mandate.
Secular society has been championing a concept that America was founded on a separation of church and state and that religion was ancillary to education of the times. While it is true that there is not a state religion, history shows the profound motivation of our founders to pursue religious liberty. The Fortnight for Freedom should remind us of our proud history of religious liberty and point out how state incursions are strangling this fundamental freedom. Part of this education about religious liberty should include how sweeping state regulation of secular values will end vital social services in adoption, immigration, adoption, feeding the destitute and health care by religious groups which are serious about their core beliefs.
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