"Students of Faith" Video
Babel defined: a confusion of sounds or voices
Babble defined: To utter a meaningless confusion of words or sounds
The preservation of Constitutional religious freedom to practice, teach and evangelize our chosen faith requires truthful communication among Americans of all faiths or of none. May God guide us to regain a common language enabling us to understand and cooperate with each other to fulfill God’s plan for each of us. The Bible verses, Genesis 11: 1-9, tell of the descendants of Noah who migrated to a plain in the land of Shinar, later called Babylon, and decided to build a proud tower up to the heavens to show how great they were and ensure that they would not be scattered apart across the earth. The Bible tells us that God “confounded” their speech into different languages so they could no longer work together, instead scattering to all lands as God had originally commanded in Genesis 9:1 to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” Biblical commentators say that their revolt against the commands of God and their pride and arrogance brought on God’s retribution of confusion, of babel.
And what have we brought onto ourselves today? America’s critical conversations are often meaningless babble as we speak past, but not to, each other. The gratuitous and ongoing redefinition of society’s previously accepted vocabulary into personally desired or politically motivated or racially charged, manipulative terminology has us speaking different languages which generates misunderstanding, distrust, resentment, and even hate.
Generations of Americans have little to no belief in God or the facts of the USA’s grounding in the Judeo-Christian ethos. That ethos asserts our freedoms, the first of which is religious/conscience rights, come always from God, not from a king, dictator or all-powerful government who grants liberty as it sees fit. These Americans are unmoored from anything transcendental and larger than themselves, forcing them to be the sole, lonely arbiters of right and wrong, good and evil, acceptable and unacceptable. Vast segments of our citizens can no longer have honest discussions via shared definitions of faith, civilized behavior, common values, mutual priorities, and basic responsibilities that were long accepted as common ground and bonded our nation.
Let us pray and strive together for a restoration of civil discourse to renew the United States, the only nation founded on natural rights from God and blessed with a Constitution preserving religious freedom as the first freedom. This Constitution is well able to preserve those rights if only we understand its language and respect its original intent and blueprint for our Republic.
Colossians 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
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Through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, The Patroness of Our Country, we ask that our voices be heard, as we say together this prayer for religious liberty:
O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation, so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us— this great land will always be “one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
USCCB – Prayer for Religious Liberty
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…
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AT WORLD MEETING OF FAMILIES: DEFENDING FREEDOM OF RELIGION
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.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RALLY 2018
IN SERVICE TO THE CHURCH
Click here to watch Barbara on TeleCare TV.
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