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25 Apr

U.S. Supreme Court’s Most Important Religious Freedom Case This Term

“The concept of (First Amendment) neutrality can lead to … hostility to the religious.
Such results are not only not compelled by the Constitution, but, it seems to me, are prohibited by it.” 
        U.S. Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg  (1962-1965)

 U.S. Supreme Court’s Most Important Religious Freedom Case This Term:

Question:  Can states exhibit hostility to religion by prohibiting religiously affiliated schools  from participating in otherwise neutral government programs solely because the groups have a religious identity?

Trinity Lutheran Church Learning Center in Missouri sought to participate in a Grant Program that provided rubberized material for school playgrounds made out of old tires in order to resurface their preschool playground with this safer, recycled material.  Trinity was disqualified from the program based on an 1875 Missouri constitution amendment that prohibits public money being used to aid “any church, sect, or denomination or religion.”

“The state admits that it blatantly excludes religious organizations from a safety program that has nothing to do with religion.  That’s precisely the kind of hostility to religion that the U.S. Constitution prohibits,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel.

Being neutral “doesn’t mean treating religious organizations worse than anyone else,” ADF continued.  If the government can block this benefit, what’s next?  “If a child is hurt on Trinity’s playground, can the county hospital send an ambulance?  Or, if the city provides fire extinguishers to all preschools, can it give some to Trinity?”

(frc.org,4/19/17; dailysignal.com,4/18/17; constitutioncenter.org, 1/3/17)

 

“When our Founding Fathers passed the First Amendment … they never intended to construct a wall of hostility between government and the concept of religious belief itself.”               President Ronald Reagan

Events:

Sunday, May 7
Catholic Teachers in Public Schools – Communion Breakfast
11:00 Mass, 12:00 Brunch & Presentation
Seminary of the Immaculate Conception
440 West Neck Road
Huntington, NY 11743
To register call 516-678-5800

 

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Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witnesses to Freedom

Fortnight 2016 Diocese poster flyer

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Free to Speak:
Our public schools are not “God-Free Zones”

America’s children need not leave their faith at the school house door.

For students to be silenced or disciplined by an authority figure, for appropriate religious expression should never happen. Sadly, young students may well conclude…

Click Here to Learn More

 

Religious Freedom Resources

Educational resources for parish members who work to support Religious Freedoms.

Click Here to View Resources

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At World Meeting of Families: Defending Freedom of Religion

WorldMeetingofFamiliesBarbara Samuells, president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion and a parishioner at St. Matthew’s, Dix Hills, shares her experience at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

Click Here to Read More

Religious Freedom: Our First Amendment Right


Fortnight for Freedom 2016: Witness to Freedom Rally held at St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School

In Service to the Church


Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.

Pope blesses boy as he leaves audience in St. Peter's Square at VaticanPope Francis has observed that “religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life.” Evangelii Gaudium. . . , no. 183. In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said that this work belongs to “an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.” Therefore, catechesis on religious liberty is not the work of priests alone. If religious liberty is not properly understood, all people suffer and are deprived of the essential contribution to the common good, be it in education, health care, feeding the hungry, civil rights, and social services that individuals make every day, both here at home and overseas.




Catholics for Freedom of Religion
Mission Statement

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America’s First Amendment guarantees its citizens five freedoms, the first of which is Freedom of Religion. Freedom of Religion includes the freedom to worship according to one’s beliefs as well as the freedom to practice that faith in everyday life according to one’s conscience.

So that this First Amendment freedom may be practiced and preserved for generations yet unborn it is essential that Americans understand this freedom and the circumstances from which it came. A fitting place for the development of this understanding and protection of Religious Freedom is inside all faith communities.

Catholics for Freedom of Religion offers resources to parish members who work to support Religious Freedom by initiating parish laity groups with these suggested goals:

  • To educate and inspire for Freedom of Religion
  • To remain non-partisan, advocating for no candidate or party
  • To invite and include other faith communities
  • To become a permanent group within each parish to educate every generation of Catholics about our Freedom of Religion…how rare it is, how dearly it was purchased for us and how certainly it is being lost.
  • To recognize and oppose attacks on Freedom of Religion from any source

“We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion, or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence. The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right.” James Madison

“While Americans presume that the Constitution guarantees their rights, in practice our rights survive or disappear based on how firmly we defend them.” Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

www.CatholicsforFreedomofReligion.org Phone 631-896-8331


National Religious Freedom Day


Click here to view a video about National Religious Freedom Day 2014.