We are now nearly halfway through the Fortnight for Freedom and the Catholic bishops are finally getting priests and laypeople alike to focus attention to the threat being foisted upon us by the Obama administration’s mandate. The ominous menace to practicing our faith in the public square, at our place of employment, and in the Church is all too clear to anyone who has taken the time to reflect on what has transpired in the past six months.
Lawsuits are being filed, civil disobedience is being discussed by the bishops, and prayers are being said, seeking justice for believers in the age of blatant arrogance in directives imposed on the people of this nation regardless of their conscience or beliefs. In many ways, it is a challenging time in which to be living and trusting in the justice of God.
What most urgently comes to mind is the defense of religious freedom on which this nation was founded and her founding documents created. For example, in 1786, Thomas Jefferson drafted The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom, which brilliantly set forth the principle “That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
Likewise, George Washington defended religious freedom and, in a 1789 letter to the United Baptist Churches of Virginia, wrote:
I could have entertained the slightest apprehension that the Constitution framed in the Convention, where I had the honor to preside, might possibly endanger the religious rights of any ecclesiastical society, certainly I would never have placed my signature to it; and if I could now conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution. For you, doubtless, remember that I have often expressed my sentiment, that every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshipping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience.
Our Founding Fathers would be disgusted if they were around today to witness what the Obama administration has done in the name of fairness and women’s rights. Indeed, aside from waging a war on women themselves, they are waging a war on God and His laws.
Let us join with the Catholic bishops in praying daily for the protection of religious liberty in America:
O God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit, you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world, bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty. Give us the strength of mind and heart to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened; give us courage in making our voices heard on behalf of the rights of your Church and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father, a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters gathered in your Church in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood and every danger overcome—for the sake of our children, our grandchildren, and all who come after us—this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
God bless America, and God save her from irreligious arrogance and deceit—political and otherwise. Let us never forget that we can be proud to be Americans, but we must be people of faith first, foremost, and forever.