Respect liberty Print
By Carl Anderson   
Monday, 08 October 2012

Matters of intrinsic evil have historically been at odds with the sanctity of life, and often also intertwined with issues of life in this country are matters of religious liberty. As we have seen with the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate imposing employer health-care coverage of abortion-causing drugs, restrictions on religious liberty in this regard have directly resulted in the federal government’s compelling people of faith to become complicit in activities that they believe to be evil. Not only Catholics but also many people of other faiths have been alarmed at this mandate and the trend of government interference in the free exercise of religion.
If we would live out our faith in a way that is sustainable and will allow its transmission to future generations, then Catholics—and all people of faith—must insist that religious liberty be respected, not only as freedom of worship but also as the free exercise of religion in the public square, as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And as the Catholic population of this country increases—driven in no small measure by Catholic immigration from Latin America—it is critical that these immigrants not feel that they must surrender their religious values at the border as the price of admission to the United States.
Such a vision of the future of the United States not only is consistent with Catholic social teaching, it is also in keeping with our country’s founding principles—with the concept of “unalienable Rights” enshrined in the Declaration of Independence as “endowed by our Creator,” and with the protection of religious liberty as the first freedom enumerated in our Bill of Rights, and with Thomas Jefferson’s statement that “the God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.” — from Proclaim Liberty


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