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19 Feb

Freedom of Speech & Freedom of Thought Wins – for now:

Bakersfield, CA:  In what has become a familiar story, cake-artist, Cathy Miller, was sued by a same-sex couple when she declined to create a cake for their wedding because her faith “will not allow me to participate in things that I feel are wrong.”  And, just as other bakers have done, she offered to sell them a pre-made cake which they refused.  Also, as other bakers have done, she referred the couple to a different bakery that was willing to create this special order cake.  Instead, the couple went to the California Department of Fair Housing who then sued the baker.
 
In a surprise and welcome court ruling, Superior Court Judge David Lampe rejected the argument that personal offense trumps conscience.  “The right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment outweighs the State’s interest in ensuring a freely accessible marketplace,” Judge Lampe wrote.  “The right of freedom of thought guaranteed by the First Amendment includes the right to speak, and the right to refrain from speaking.”
 
“A wedding cake is not just a wedding cake in Free Speech analysis.  It is an artistic expression by the person making it …”
 
“The State asks this court to compel (Cathy) Miller to use her talents to design and create cake she has not yet conceived with the knowledge that her work will be displayed to celebrate a marital union her religion forbids … Such an order would be the stuff of
tyranny.”
 
This ruling by Judge Lampe is only temporary.  The full case comes to trial in CA in June.
The almost identical case of Colorado baker, Jake Phillips, is now being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and will also be decided in June.
 
(onenewsnow.com, 2/7/18;  frc.org, 2/7/18; theblaze.com, 2/6/18) 
“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freedom of speech.”        Benjamin Franklin
 
 Action Steps:
* Pray that Americans will value liberty and practice respect/tolerance for opposing views.
* Read The 5000 Year Leap – A Miracle that Changed the World,  “The Role of Religion” 

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12 Rules for Christmas

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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…

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Religious Freedom Resources

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

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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.

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Religious Freedom: Our First Amendment Right

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.