"Students of Faith" Video
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN A MINUTE
We Give Thanks for Religious Freedom Wins in 2019 December 1, 2019
Victories for Americans' First Freedom are happening nationwide, with people of faith reclaiming their most cherished and fundamental God-given liberty. Recent court decisions set important precedents to protect religious rights for students and for faith-based adoption agencies.
Iowa - In 2018, the University of Iowa banned InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and several other religious groups from the school because they required their leaders to ascribe to its Christian beliefs. Still, InterVarsity does allow all students to be members. A Federal Court judge ruled in October, 2019, that university officials had "violated InterVarsity's clearly established (constitutional) right to free speech… “The Court does not know how a reasonable person could have concluded this was acceptable..." She ruled these officials can be held personally liable and forced to pay damages out of their own pockets because they failed to follow an earlier ruling in support of InterVarsity.
"We must have leaders who share our faith," said an InterVarsity director. "No group - religious or secular - could survive with leaders who reject its values." Would it make sense to force College Democrats to allow a Republican to lead the organization? Must the Libertarians admit Democratic Socialists to leadership positions? Of course not.
Michigan - In September, a federal court ruled in favor of a faith-based adoption agency and in support of parents of 5 foster children with special needs. The court said, "the State's real goal is not to promote non-discriminatory child placements, but to stamp out St. Vincent's (Catholic Charities) religious belief and replace it with the State's own."
St. Vincent's was one of Michigan's most successful adoption and foster agencies. It upholds Catholic teaching about marriage and therefore, referred same-sex and unmarried couples to agencies that have no objection to providing them adoption and foster services. In 2019, a new attorney general began a policy targeting faith-based agencies because of their beliefs about same-sex marriage. She implemented a requirement that religious agencies provide recommendations and endorsement of same-sex couples and she banned religious agencies from making referrals.
Judge Jonker wrote, "What this case is about is whether St. Vincent's may continue to do this work and still profess and promote the traditional Catholic belief that marriage as ordained by God is for one man and one woman." He called the state's actions a "targeted attack on sincerely held religious belief."
(washingtonexaminer.com, 9/27/19; ncregister.com, 9/27/19; nationalreview.com, 9/27/19, firstliberty.org, 10/11/19; christianheadlines.com, 10/1/19)
“I will walk about in freedom for I have sought your precepts.” Psalms 119:45
We thank God for this country
with its heritage of peace and prosperity nurtured by welcoming a plurality of religious beliefs and practices.
George Washington described the American experiment in liberty grounded in freedom of conscience: "All (citizens of the United States) possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights."
George Washington then referenced Micah 4:4 saying, "May the Children of the Stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants; while everyone shall sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there shall be none to make him afraid."
A Blessed and
Happy Thanksgiving to all
Catholics For Freedom of Religion
12 RULES FOR CHRISTMAS
STUDENTS MAY PRAY IN SCHOOL
ARE NOT “GOD-FREE ZONES”
America’s children need not leave their faith outside the school house door.
For students to be silenced or disciplined by a school authority for appropriate religious expression should never happen. Sadly, young students may well conclude…
Educational resources for parish members who work to support Religious Freedoms.
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AT WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES: DEFENDING FREEDOM OF RELIGION
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RALLY 2018
IN SERVICE TO THE CHURCH
Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.
NATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY
Click here to view a video about National Religious Freedom Day 2014.
Barbara 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.
Pope 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
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