Monday, September 17, 2012

Religious Liberty & Anti-Christian Totalitarianism

Catholic and Evangelical leaders alike are framing the elections as a choice between the first freedom upon which America was founded, versus an ever-increasing, controlling government hell-bent on secularizing the nation with its companion hostility toward religion, absent any freedom of conscience.

For background, read Atheists Attack Prayer Across America via Government and also read City Finds Family Guilty of Home Bible Studies as well as Pro-life Pharmacists Battle Government in Court and read how Homosexualists and Foreigners Bash Christian Baker

-- From "Dolan Defends Religious Liberty" by Julianne Dudley, Weekly Standard 9/11/12

[Cardinal Timothy] Dolan, who recently attended both the Republican and Democratic conventions (“as a pastor [and] not to endorse any party, platform, or candidate”), has so far avoided taking an overtly partisan stance this election season. He has, however, been at the forefront of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ criticism of President Obama’s Health and Human Services mandate requiring many Catholic institutions to provide insurance plans to their employees that would cover contraceptives and abortifacients.

Addressing a largely Catholic audience Monday night at an event sponsored by the John Carroll Society in Washington, D.C., Cardinal Timothy Dolan . . . did not mention the president or the upcoming election once during his remarks, he did express his growing concern over the administration’s lack of protection of religious liberties. America is “the teacher to the world,” he stated. If her government cannot protect democracy’s “first and most cherished liberty,” who will?

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

For background, read
Bishops Throw Down Gauntlet: Obama War on Christianity

From "Cardinal Dolan: That ‘Conscience Thing’ Is ‘Ennobling,’ ‘Enlightened’" by Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review 9/11/12

“The threats to [that] freedom are abundant,” [Cardinal Dolan] said. He focused on two timely ones: First, a secularist drive that “will tolerate religion as long as it’s just considered some eccentric private hobby for superstitious, unenlightened folks, limited to an hour on the Sabbath, with no claim to any voice in the public square.” This “is hardly ‘free exercise,’” he countered, and quoted the first lady speaking at the African Methodist Episcopal Church Conference, where she seemed to understand this: “Our faith just isn’t about showing up on Sunday . . . it’s about what we do on Monday through Saturday.”

And then “America’s shepherd,” as Speaker of the House John Boehner introduced him for the final prayer at the Republican convention in Tampa, highlighted the HHS contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing-drug mandate that currently has his New York archdiocese suing the federal government, calling it “a direct intrusion of the government into the very definition of a church’s minister, ministries, message, and meaning.” The HHS mandate controversy, he repeated, is about “the raw presumption of a bureau of the federal government to define a church’s minister, ministry, message, and meaning.”

“The defense of religious freedom is not some Evangelical Christian polemic, or wily strategy of discredited Catholic bishops,” the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said, countering the media narrative, “but the quintessential American cause, the first line in the defense of and protection of human rights.”

“Freedom of religion,” he said, “has been the driving force of almost every enlightened, unshackling, noble cause in American history,” the cause of some of our most “liberating, ennobling” movements, including the civil-rights movement, he said. In defending religious liberty today, he said, we are “protecting America. We act not as sectarians, but as responsible citizens. We act on behalf of the truth about the human person.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Conservative groups release survey on religious hostility" by Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service - posted at Washington Post 8/22/12

“America today would be unrecognizable to our Founders,” according to the report [“Survey of Religious Hostility in America”], unveiled on Monday (Aug. 20) by the Texas-based Liberty Institute and the Washington-based Family Research Council.

“Our first freedom is facing a relentless onslaught from well-funded and aggressive groups and individuals who are using the courts, Congress, and the vast federal bureaucracy to suppress and limit religious freedom,” the report says.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Report Highlights Consistent Pattern of Hostility Toward Christians in US" by Paul Stanley, Christian Post Reporter 8/22/12

The report was released earlier this week and includes over 600 incidents over a 10-year period.

The attacks range from rulings from the judiciary branch to an elementary school student who was physically lifted from his seat and reprimanded for praying before eating his lunch. Yet another example shows a Christian couple was fired as apartment complex managers and forced to move because a painting with a Christian reference was displayed in their office.

. . . Kelly Shackelford, president of Liberty Institute [said,] "This radicalized minority is driven by an anti-religious ideology that is turning the First Amendment upside down."

FRC's Tony Perkins added, "As dark as this survey is, there is much light. The secularists' agenda only advances when those who love liberty are apathetic. Let this be a call to stand for religious liberty in the United States."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Religious liberty emerges as sensitive political issue" by Melissa Maynard, Myrtle Beach 9/17/12

For the first time in American history, both candidates on a major ticket in presidential politics aren't Protestants. And for that matter, religiously speaking, none of the four candidates leading the Democratic and Republican tickets will be WASPs either — from a white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant background.

One issue is whether governments and courts are trying to relegate believers of varying creeds to private expressions of faith within the walls of their places of worship. Nathan Diament, executive director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, says the correct definition of religious liberty includes "the protection and the valuing of individuals not just to believe what they want to believe but to act and live their lives in conformity and consistent with those beliefs." Critics of this understanding of religious liberty assert that faith should not be an excuse to be exempted from any public policy with which one disagrees.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center, a D.C. think tank, has formed an American Religious Freedom Program that is working to form bipartisan caucuses in all 50 state legislatures. One goal is to allow believers to opt out of providing professional services such as photographing same-sex weddings or dispensing contraceptives at pharmacies - based on their personal religious convictions. Another is to make sure that any same-sex marriage legislation includes provisions stating that religious institutions are not legally required to allow the use of their property for same-sex weddings.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read about the Christian Tea Party Uprising Across America

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