"Students of Faith" Video
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN A MINUTE
Lessons in Liberty - During COVID 19
April 26, 2020
"Those that would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father, 1755
While all Americans have a moral, and practical, obligation to choose behaviors that respect their own and their neighbors best health and welfare during this coronavirus pandemic, we should be alert to the ramifications of suspending our "inalienable rights" of freedom of religion and to peaceably assemble that are protected in the U.S. Constitution and every State Constitution. These rights do not come as permissions from government but pre-exist all law and government.
"These Shelter in Place Orders often establish that failure to comply with the order will result in civil or criminal penalties," wrote KrisAnne Hall, Constitution attorney. (1) Yet, these newly invented crimes are left to the discretion of individual police officers. Courts call this "unbridled discretion" and have held this to be fundamentally unjust. "But when a government uses threat and force to compel behavior and the Rights of the people are ignored & due process denied under the pretense of necessity, the people are not safe, the welfare of the people is not respected...," KrisAnne explained. (2)
Kansas City - Police shut down a parade of elementary school teachers who organized a parade, from the healthy safety of their individual cars, to boost the morale of their students.
San Diego, CA - Sheriff's department gave citations to people committing the crime of "watching the sunset" on the beach.
Port Isabel, TX - Mayor decided that residents may not travel with more than 2 people in their vehicle, causing distress & confusion to families with 2 or more children.
Colorado - A police chief said the act of leaving your home and going outside is now a "privilege" that can be revoked if misused.
Ohio - A prosecutor said that those who defy his state's stay-at-home-order are committing "felonious assault."
These, and many other seemingly ridiculous abuses are happening around the country as usually reasonable law enforcement departments, in the name of mitigating the virus spread, are assuming powers not granted in law or the constitution.
"America was built upon the Principle of Liberty," wrote KrisAnne Hall. (3) It was not constructed upon a principle of National Security or power of National Emergency.
Our founders believed that the preservation of Liberty was more important than life itself. The proof of this belief is found in the last sentence of the Declaration of Independence: "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
(dailywire.com, 4/6/20; usatoday.com, 4/2/20; KrisAnneHall.com, Shelter in Place Orders, Covid 19 Restrictions (1)(2)(3); Declaration of Independence)
President Trump Hears Catholics
On April 25, at 3pm, President Trump hosted a conference call with over 700 Catholic clergy, Catholic educators and Catholic lay representatives.
Catholics for Freedom of Religion's Board of Directors was privileged to be invited onto the call where the main concern was the damage being done by the shutdown of the economy to the financial viability of many Catholic schools.
The President, in his opening comments, acknowledged that in our country 1.7 million students are educated in 6000 Catholic schools. He believes the quality of the Catholic education is very high and benefits all students as well as many in minority and low income neighborhoods.
On a personal note, President Trump said that he had great respect all his life for Catholic schools and remembers well that a Catholic School was one of his neighbors when he was growing up in Queens, NY.
The President also emphasized his support for many issues of critical importance to Catholics. He gave examples of his actions to protect life such as the expansion of the Mexico Policy which blocks foreign aid and federal funding from promoting abortion and speaking out for Life in person at the 2020 March for Life.
With so many Catholic leaders on the call, it was appropriate also for the President to reiterate that he has restored the voice of the pulpit regarding the morals of political issues and proposals. Under this administration clergy will not be audited or harassed because they speak Biblical and moral truths that impact politicized issues.
With Catholic education as the main focus of the call, President Trump detailed damage being done by the shutdown of the economy and emphasized that Catholic schools and parishes were very carefully included in eligibility for the CARES ACT Paycheck Protections Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (PPP) through the Small Business Administration (SBA).
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