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19 Mar

Freedom of Conscience & Religion Rights Ignored

Washington State:  A bill containing no religious or moral exemptions, requiring the state’s insurers who cover maternity care to also cover elective abortions and contraception,  was passed by the state legislature and awaits the governor’s signature.  The bill also requires that as of 2019, health plans must provide free sterilizations, contraceptive drugs and devices.

~The Washington State Catholic Conference, along with pro-life groups and churches, strongly oppose the bill because it would promote abortions while violating constitutionally-protected conscience rights of individuals, churches, businesses and others.  “We strongly believe that even those who do not share our unconditional commitment to the dignity of every person from the moment of conception, have every reason to support our right to exercise our conscience in accord with the teachings of our faith,” a Bishop’s letter states.

Little Sisters of the Poor Freedom of Conscience & Religion Still Threatened:
In October, 2017, the government issued a new rule admitting that it violated the law when it tried to force religious ministries like the Little Sisters to violate their faith and include abortions and contraception in their health insurance plans.  The rule fulfills the 2016 Supreme Cout ruling and the President’s 2017 Executive Order, but the Little Sisters still need permanent court protection to finally end their years-long lawsuit and go back to serving the elderly poor.
~The case has been on hold ever since the Supreme Court unanimously overturned the lower court rulings against the Little Sisters, ordered the government not to impose $70 million in fines, and ordered the lower courts to allow time for the federal government to “accommodate the petitioners’ religious beliefs.”
             (, 3/5/18;, 3/7/18)
 “The conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness: and it is my wish and desire that the laws may be extensively accommodated to them …”   George Washington

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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


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 Phone 631-896-8331

National Religious Freedom Day

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