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23 Apr

Harvard Punishes Christian Student Group

Harvard University has sanctioned and placed on probation the largest Christian student group on campus, Harvard College Faith & Action (HCFA), for the group’s expectation that its student leadership follow orthodox Christian ethical teachings on sexuality.
HCFA had asked a Bible study leader to resign after learning she was in a same-sex relationship.  “We reject any notion that we discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in our fellowship,” wrote the HCFA co-presidents.  “The student in this case was removed because of an irreconcilable theological disagreement …”   In Christian theology, homosexual conduct – not people – is considered sinful.   “Our theological view is that – for professing Christians who are in leadership – celibacy is the only option outside the bounds of marriage.”
The situation at Harvard is not unique.  Clashes between religious clubs and campus diversity policies have occurred at Vanderbilt, Bowdoin, Wayne State, University of Iowa, and California State University systems, to name a few.
Religious clubs have the right to select their own leadership and set standards for leaders within the organization just as other campus groups do.   CitizenGoUSA wrote: “Would Harvard force a Muslim student group to retain a student leader who decided to convert to Christianity?  Would Harvard force an LGBT+ group to retain a student leader who expressed views critical of same-sex relationships?  Of course not.”                               
(, 2/24/18;, 2/27/18;, 2017;, 3/8/18;, 3/1/18)
“Unfortunately, there are powerful and well-funded interests who, with broad support in the academy and in media, have been working hard to associate our ‘first freedom’ (Freedom of Religion) with discrimination and prejudice.”        Professor Richard Garnett, University of Notre Dame Law School

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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

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National Religious Freedom Day

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

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