Dallas, Texas, Nov 8, 2011 / 06:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Increasing hostility to religion and growing restrictions on religious expression are “the biggest challenge the pro-life movement faces,” Bishop James D. Conley told a benefit for a Dallas pro-life group.
“If we think it’s been hard over these past four decades, I think the biggest challenges we face lie ahead of us,” the apostolic administrator of the Denver archdiocese said Nov. 5.
“America today is becoming what I would call an atheocracy — a society that is actively hostile to religious faith and religious believers. And I might add — the faith that our society is most hostile toward is Christianity in general, and Catholicism in particular.”
The bishop’s comments came in his address to the annual benefit dinner for St. Joseph’s Helpers and the White Rose Women’s Center in Dallas, Texas.
Secularism, Bishop Conley said, is not simple neutrality towards religious beliefs. American elites are not neutral towards religion, but are “deliberately engaged in a process that aims to remove all traces of religious faith from our public life!”
This creates “publicly enforced religious indifferentism” in which Americans participating in civic life must first agree to think and act as if they have no religious convictions or motivations at all.
This “atheocracy” has no ultimate truths or inviolable ethical principles for its guidance.
“Hence, it has no foundation upon which to establish justice, secure true freedom, or to constrain tyrants,” Bishop Conley said, citing John Paul II’s warning that a democracy without values easily turns into “open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.”
“God, not government, is the only sure guarantee of human rights and the blessings of our liberty. We need to live as if we believe that,” the bishop said. “Only a people who believes these truths to be sacred and self-evident can build a society worthy of men and women created by God.”
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