Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. – First Amendment
Our bishops are clear: If religious liberty is not respected, 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 the Church and other people of faith make every day, both here at home and overseas. (USCCB)
The American bishops recently made their Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty a permanent part of their organization, recognizing the dire threats to religious express here – not just in faraway places with strange names. And they provide a wealth of resources to help the faithful confront a culture of intolerance.
If you doubt this is an issue in Fargo as well as Fallujah, it is worth reading “Our Most Cherished Liberty.”
Religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life. — Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 183.
As Catholics, there are simple things l can do in our daily lives to protect our religious liberty:
- Stand with our bishops in their efforts to protect religious liberty.
- Depending on the season, wish people a Merry Christmas or a Blessed Easter.
- During the rest of the year, try saying “God Bless You” or “Jesus Loves You” instead of “Have a nice day” or “Have
- Wear a crucifix or religious medal.
- Vote for political candidates who support freedom of religion.
- Don’t be afraid to read the Bible or pray the rosary in public.
- Always say grace before meals, even in the most fashionable restaurant – or the fast-food joint.
- Go to Mass on Sunday and wear nice enough clothes that people will think you are going to a special place (you are).
Many little expressions of faith add up to religion being the fabric of our society. If it isn’t, we’re no different than the pagans.