“Wake Up! Religious Liberty at Risk in USA”

From CNSNews:

Catholic Archbishop: Wake Up! Religious Liberty at Risk in USA

(CNSNews.com) – Roman Catholic Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is calling on Americans to wake up [Is it too late?  We must keep working.] and recognize that the Founding Fathers’ vision of religious freedom is now threatened by the federal government. [The Obama Administration, Dems & RINO’s in Congress, Justices, etc.]

The day when Americans could take the Founders’ understanding of religious freedom as a given is over,” said the archbishop. “We need to wake up.”  [If that is the case, then we are on the brink of persecution.]


“[T]he HHS mandate can only be understood as a form of coercion,” the archbishop wrote in a recent column posted on the website of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The column is entitled, “Religious Freedom and the Need to Wake Up.”


The archbishop went on to observe that abortion advocates use fraudulent language in describing their position.

“The fraud at the heart of our nation’s ‘reproductive rights’ vocabulary runs very deep and very high,” he wrote. “In his April 26 remarks to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the president never once used the word ‘abortion,’ despite the ongoing Kermit Gosnell trial in Philadelphia and despite Planned Parenthood’s massive role in the abortion industry.”

The archbishop noted that the scandal “involving IRS targeting of ‘conservative’ organizations … also has a religious dimension.”

“But the latest IRS ugliness,” he wrote, “is a hint of the treatment disfavored religious groups may face in the future, if we sleep through the national discussion of religious liberty now. The day when Americans could take the Founders’ understanding of religious freedom as a given is over. We need to wake up.”

I cut out a lot, so read the rest there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. wmeyer says:

    As usual, Abp. Chaput speaks truth on a very important issue. However, and with all due respect, the Obama administration is moving on so many fronts to reduce or eliminate liberty that it is not only our religious freedom at stake. Tyrants rarely settle for control over a single aspect of our lives–they want absolute control over all aspects of our lives.

  2. Janol says:

    I noticed yesterday that a “Letter to the Editor” of the NY Times by the Executive VP of Catholics for Choice was the 4th top emailed article of the month. It’s opening statement was “It’s clear that Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York does not like the requirement that health care insurance should cover contraception (“Archdiocese Pays for Health Plan That Covers Birth Control,” news article, May 27). It is equally clear that contraceptive coverage can be part of insurance for employees of Catholic institutions with no harm to anyone’s religious liberty. ”

    I’m afraid that the news we have now of the NY Archdiocese’s (and of how many other dioceses?) past and ongoing practice greatly undermines our argument in the minds of the vast majority of Americans.

  3. robtbrown says:

    Didn’t Abp Chaput (and other bishops) realize that mandated coverage for abortion and contraception would be a part of Obamacare? Anyone with half a brain knew that the Dems would push for it. It’s been part of Dem ideology for years, and it is no secret that it has been a major component in judicial appointments.

  4. ckdexterhaven says:

    An article in Powerline blog details religious discrimination military chaplains are facing over homosexuals in the military. :
    “Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty said stories like this are becoming commonplace in the military post-repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. “These stories are the ones that have not been told – about some of the more subtle ramifications of the repeal.One service member received a severe reprimand for expressing his faith’s religious position about homosexuality in a personal religious blog. A chaplain was relieved of his command over a military chapel because he could not allow same-sex weddings to take place in the chapel.
    And a chaplain who asked senior military officers whether religious liberty would be protected in the wake of the repeal of the law against open homosexual behavior in the military was told to “get in line” or resign.”
    This is already happening!

  5. Cavaliere says:

    With all due respect to Archbishop Chaput the greater problem isn’t that the Founder’s view on religious liberty is being eroded by the current government but that the Church is accepting the Founders views on the issue rather than its own. Since the premise is wrong we will never be able to arrive at the proper conclusion.

  6. Gratias says:

    Our Commie compatriots are always committing fraud via vocabulary changes. In the latest election Democrats sent an activist by name of Stephanopulous (a Clinton agent) to mix contraception and abortion in the debate. They succeeded, and the election became about Sandra Fluke’s sex rights. Fraud with words with a view to demolish Christian Civilization. They can turn anything around and in the end it is a culture of Death.

  7. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    These fines, and the IRS harassment, and the coercion within the ranks of the military all would seem to indicate that faithful Christians have now, without a doubt, been designated de facto dhimmisby our Culture-of-Death-imubed elites.

  8. Cheesesteak Expert says:

    The bishops can’t have it both ways; they want the power of government confiscation and redistribution of private property, but only for those things they deem worth. It’s difficult to the point of moral hazard to orchestrate government largesse, as Archbishop Chaput is trying to do. There’s no moral high ground in their approach; everyone feeding at the trough of government programs does the same. Now, I understand that the attempt to be successful in such orchestration is part of the great American pastime, but it is no moral high ground from which to say to policy makers, “Oh we don’t want this or that, but we do want these and those”. The bishops have replaced the Lord with our government, and still fail to realize that what the government giveth, it can also taketh away.

  9. yatzer says:

    So what can an ordinary everday person schlepping through life with no particular influence do? I understand these clarion calls, and hope those who matter listen, but as a grandma who is a former stay at home mom, it really gets depressing.

  10. poohbear says:

    Yet we hear stories of the Archdiocese of NY providing the very same coverage for years due to state law. What are we to believe?

    I think the Bishops need to stay out of politics and stick to teaching the faith. If all priests and bishops followed the teachings of our faith, and taught them to the faithful, we wouldn’t be in this predicament. Well formed Catholics would never have voted for these politicians.

  11. PostCatholic says:

    Cavaliere and Cheesesteak Expert, I admire the cogency of your thoughts.

  12. DisturbedMary says:

    Cardinal Dolan and the USCCB are the ones who need alarm clocks. They are now pushing for immigration reform, the most recent Trojan horse for abortion since Obamacare. Hey fellas, there are only two dots: Democrats and abortion. Connect them.

  13. Its not just coerced contraception coverage, loss of religious freedom, the destruction of marriage, gun control…Its about control.

  14. lampada says:

    As a small business owner, I would like to say that I would appreciate seeing the hierarchy putting their money where their mouth is. If they are going to oppose the mandate, then they need to pull out of their own private group health insurance plans on principle – for themselves, the clergy, and all diocesan/parish employees and come up with another solution OR lobby hard for a repeal. Until they do that, I will respect what they say but certainly not respect them for not doing what all other business owners have to seriously consider doing. There are workarounds. If the bishops are serious, they need to start helping people with workarounds. Here are some ideas:

    To avoid paying tax, pay into a group “share” like Medi-Share. Even if it’s not insurance, it is at least going into medial bills and not towards contraceptions.

    To avoid conundrums with trying to observe the moral laws, why not create diocesan hospitals? No need for insurance if Catholics can be treated at reasonable rates, subsidized by the Church. In fact, let there be no “ER” so called, but have staff to treat emergencies. That way ER costs won’t bankrupt the institution.

  15. Religious liberty is a means to an end, but not the end in of itself. By playing ball with the gov’t and letting them dictate the rules by which to play, we have all but let ourselves in this situation. The USCCB by pushing for nearly every gov’t program has allowed this to happen. Kyrie eleison.

  16. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Surely, my fellow posters, coming late to the party when one should have been early is better than not coming at all? Let us pray for our bishops, that they have the courage to lead; pray for our parish priests, that they may have the fortitude to hold fast to the truth.

    Remember — before we start pointing fingers: a loss of vocations comes both from a lack of teaching from the pulpit and a lack of children to accept the vocational call if and when it is given.

    Instead of making enemies of the bishops (even as I acknowledge that I can’t square the actions of some with even the most generous reading of “Catholic” teaching) let us have Masses said for them and pray outside their chancery offices.

  17. Mexico semper fidelis says:

    It is somewhat ironic to read these calls to defend religious liberty on the same blog that appears to celebrate and make light of one of the most atrocious violations of religious liberty in history, namely, the suppression of the Society Jesus by Clement XIV who did so under the pressure of the kings of France and Spain.

    For a foreigner, it is hard to understand why American Catholics (both right and left) harbor so much resentment towards their bishops. How can you expect your government to respect them, when you clearly despise them. Don’t you tink that the government notices how little influence the bishops have?

  18. Scott W. says:

    With all due respect to Archbishop Chaput the greater problem isn’t that the Founder’s view on religious liberty is being eroded by the current government but that the Church is accepting the Founders views on the issue rather than its own.

    Exactly. As much as I admire Archbishop Chaput, this is getting too close to Cdl. Tim “This isn’t about contraception” Dolan. The Founder Fathers rendered God irrelevant but were able to succeed by writing checks against the treasury of Christian tradition, manners and mores. That treasury is running dry and we get…well…what we are getting now.

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