Thursday, November 27, 2014

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Archbishop Chaput Says Americans Need to "Wake Up" to Religious Liberty Threats

In a recent column, Archdiocese of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said that Americans need to wake up regarding religious liberty and the threats against it. Drawing on both the current IRS scandal of targeting religious organizations, conservative groups, and traditional marriage supporting organizations, as well as the Department of Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate, Archbishop Chaput warned that religious liberty is under attack and action by the faithful is warranted.

Wrote Archbishop Chaput:

...health care has now morphed into a religious liberty issue provoked entirely - and needlessly -- by the current White House. Despite a few small concessions under pressure, the administration refuses to withdraw or reasonably modify a Health and Human Services (HHS) contraceptive mandate that violates the moral and religious convictions of many individuals, private employers and religiously affiliated and inspired organizations.

Coupled with the White House's refusal to uphold the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and its astonishing disregard for the unique nature of religious freedom displayed by its arguments in a 9-0 defeat in the 2012 Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court decision, the HHS mandate can only be understood as a form of coercion.

He continues:

Anyone who thinks that our country's neuralgic sexuality issues can somehow be worked out respectfully in the public square in the years ahead, without a parallel and vigorous defense of religious freedom, had better think again.

The day when Americans could take the Founders' understanding of religious freedom as a given is over. We need to wake up.

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