Day One of the Fight for Religious Freedom

Deacon Greg is at the Catholic Media Convention in Indianapolis where Archbishop Chaput gave an address on religious freedom.  First Things has posted the speech.

“Here’s my fourth point: Unless we work hard to keep our religious liberty, we’ll lose it. It’s already happening in other developed countries like Britain and Canada. The U.S. Constitution is a great document–historically unique for its fusion of high ideals with the realism of very practical checks and balances. But in the end, it’s just an elegant piece of paper. In practice, nothing guarantees our freedoms except our willingness to fight for them. That means fighting politically and through the courts, without tiring and without apologies. We need to realize that America’s founding documents assume an implicitly religious anthropology–an idea of human nature, nature’s God, and natural rights–that many of our leaders no longer really share. We ignore that unhappy fact at our own expense.

Here’s my fifth and final point: Politics and the courts are important. But our religious freedom ultimately depends on the vividness of our own Christian faith–in other words, how deeply we believe it, and how honestly we live it. Religious liberty is an empty shell if the spiritual core of a people is weak. Or to put it more bluntly, if people don’t believe in God, religious liberty isn’t a value. That’s the heart of the matter. It’s the reason Pope Benedict calls us to a Year of Faith this October. The worst enemies of religious freedom aren’t “out there” among the legion of critics who hate Christ or the Gospel or the Church, or all three. The worst enemies are in here, with us–all of us, clergy, religious, and lay–when we live our faith with tepidness, routine, and hypocrisy.

Religious liberty isn’t a privilege granted by the state. It’s our birthright as children of God. And even the worst bigotry can’t kill it in the face of a believing people. But if we value it and want to keep it, then we need to become people worthy of it. Which means we need to change the way we live–radically change, both as individual Catholics and as the Church. And that’s where I’d like to turn for the rest of these brief remarks.”   Do read the whole article….

The ball is in our court to fight for religious freedom.  As my Mom used to say, If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

The US bishops have a reflection for this first day of the fortnight for religious freedom to get us started.

Related:  Get Religion has an interesting post on the PR campaign that has been launched to combat the bishops.

About Susan Kehoe

I am the wife of a Catholic deacon living in Des Moines Iowa. My husband Larry was ordained in 2006. We have two children and five grandchildren.. Our daughter and her family live in Ireland, and our son and his family live in Franklin Massachusetts.
This entry was posted in Church and the Public Square, Culture Wars, Freedom of Religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Day One of the Fight for Religious Freedom

  1. Ronald King says:

    I am sorry, I do not perceive a threat to religious liberty.


  2. Susan Kehoe says:

    Why? What are your counter arguments? Did you read Archbishop’s address? The US Bishop’s have a ton of material explaining their stance : .
    God Bless,


    • Ronald King says:

      Susan, I did read the statement and there is much to discusss, too much for a short answer in a blog. In the June 15 issue of Commonweal there are 6 different writers with 6 different views of the Bishops’ statement about religious liberty. I would suggest reading them also. For me, freedom for everyone requires mutual respect and understanding. Neither side of this argument has exhibited those traits. Each side has reacted with the ways of the world and as a Catholic who believes in the Love of God as the source of all conversion, I am greatly dissappointed in the strategy being used. It appears like it is us against them instead of us for them and their conversion. God Bless Everyone in this mess to find the Love of God for each other. This seems fear based to me.


  3. Susan Kehoe says:

    Thank you for your heartfelt reply It is late; I am usually in bed by now. I would like to respond t o you..Perhaps we can communicate by email. Mine is


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