This Warning Applies To All Of Us

The Daily Caller reported today on the 10th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast held in Washington, D.C., early this morning.

The article reports:

“My message for you today is a somber one,” said Professor Robert George, who lectures on civil liberties at Princeton, to a packed ballroom of Catholics that included failed Virginia Senate hopeful Ken Cuccinelli. “The days of acceptable Christianity are over. The days of comfortable Catholicism are past. …It’s not easy anymore. There are costs to discipleship, heavy costs that are burdensome to bear.”

Soon enough he’d get specific. George stressed that there are “powerful forces and currents in our society that press us to be ashamed of the Gospel. For example, if you believe that marriage is the consensual union between a man and a woman, you’re portrayed as bigoted, even hateful. …If you believe these things, some forces say you are a bigot [who is] against homosexuality [and] you ought to be ashamed.”

This warning applies to all Americans–whether they are Catholic or not. There was a time when we really didn’t pay a lot of attention to what our elected officials were doing–they shared our values and we trusted them. Now, if you are an average American with traditional values, most elected officials can’t hear you. Even if they do share your values, they are so bombarded with a media that has no values and the pressure to be re-elected, they cannot support the values most Americans support. We are in danger of losing our country. The things that we once held dear are not valued by those currently in power in America. Patriotism and faith are considered passe by those in charge of the media and those in charge of our government. If we are going to take our country back, we need to do it one vote at a time. All of us need to get out and vote, and we need to make sure that those people who share our values also vote.

Pay attention. The next two elections will determine whether you remain free to treasure the values you grew up with.

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Protecting Religious Liberty

Yesterday CNS News reported that the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that both the owners of a company and their company have religious liberty rights that are burdened by the HHS mandate.

The article reports:

The (American Center for Law and Justice ACLJ) represents Korte & Luitjohan Contractors, Inc., a family owned, full-service construction contractor located in Highland, Illinois. The company provides a group health insurance plan for its non-union employees, which number about 20. Cyril B. Korte and Jane E. Korte own a controlling interest in the company and contend the HHS mandate violates their Catholic faith. The ACLJ filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of both the individuals and the company in October 2012.
Below is an excerpt from the ruling:

We hold that the plaintiffs–the business  owners and their companies — may challenge the mandate. We further hold that compelling them to cover these services substantially burdens their religious-exercise rights.

Under RFRA the government must justify the burden under the standard of strict scutiny. So far it has not done so, and we doubt that it can.

Because the RFRA claims are very likely to succeed and the balance of harms favors protecting the religious-liberty rights of the plaintiffs, we reverse and remand with instructions to enter preliminary injunctions barring enforcement of the mandate against them.

This decision is good news for those attempting to preserve religious freedom in America.

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When A Compromise Isn’t A Compromise

On Thursday CNS News reported that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had stated that the Catholic Church will not accept an offer by the Obama Administration that would exempt the Catholic Church from the Heath and Human Services (HHS) mandate on contraception, but not exempt Catholic business owners. The mandate forces employers to provide health insurance that covers sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs, all of which violate the tenets of Catholicism.

The article quotes Cardinal Dolan:

“In obedience to our Judeo-Christian heritage, we have consistently taught our people to live their lives during the week to reflect the same beliefs that they proclaim on the Sabbath,” said Cardinal Dolan. “We cannot now abandon them to be forced to violate their morally well-informed consciences.”

We need to look at what is actually going on here. Oddly enough, this is not about money–it is about principle. The principle involved is simple, “Will the government allow people of faith to practice their faith outside the walls of their churches?” This is a very important argument. Right now the Obama Administration is targeting the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is one of the largest denominations in America, and many Catholics do not necessarily agree with the stand the Catholic Church has taken on abortion and birth control. Therefore it should be fairly easy to push that principle back inside the walls of the church. The idea here is to set a precedent. If Catholics can be forced to practice their religion only inside the walls of their church, who is next? What about Bible-believing churches who believe the Biblical teaching about homosexuality? Can they be forced to perform gay marriages? What about Bible-believing Christians who own businesses? Can they be forced to cater a homosexual wedding? That is where this is headed. The goal of the Obama Administration, for whatever reason, is to force believing Christians back into their churches. As Christian charities shut down (as Catholic adoption agencies were forced to do in Massachusetts), the government will exercise more control over the lives of the average American. This is not good for religious freedom or individual freedom in America.

As I stated, this is not about money. There are many affordable forms of birth control that are available–some through government agencies or planned parenthood. Most people of the age where this would be an issue spend more per month of their cell phones than they would or do on birth control. Money is not the issue–the freedom to practice your religion outside the walls of your church is.

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The Catholic Church Stands Up For Its Rights

On Sunday the Business Insider posted a copy that was read Sunday in almost every Catholic Church in America.

This is the letter:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

 I write to you concerning an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just been dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people — the Catholic population — and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful.

 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,

including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

 In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

 We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,

only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

 And therefore, I would ask of you two things. First, as a community of faith we must commit ourselves to prayer and fasting that wisdom and justice may prevail, and religious liberty may be restored. Without God, we can do nothing; with God, nothing is impossible. Second, I would also recommend visiting,to learn more about this severe assault on religious liberty, and how to contact Congress in support of legislation that would reverse the Obama Administration’s decision.

 Sincerely yours in Christ,

+Alexander K. Sample                                                                                                         Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample                                                                                 Bishop of Marquette

If you are not a member of the Catholic Church you may be wondering how this matters to you. It does! First of all, this provision to require the Catholic Church to provide medical care that violates its conscience is not the result of an actual law that was passed through Congress–this was enacted by the Department of Health of Human Services–unelected people not accountable to the voters. That alone is unconstitutional. Secondly, the law violates the right of the Catholic Church to freely practice their faith. The Catholic Church provides adoption services (now eliminated in some states due to being forced to allow homosexual couples to adopt children–against the Catholic faith), hospitals and many other charities. All the employees of those organizations will be included in this law.

The attack on the Catholic Church by the Obama Administration will spread to people of other faiths who believe in the Bible. If you are one of those people, it’s time to pay attention–your right to practice your religion is about to be violated.



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