Religious Freedom Cannot Be a License to Discriminate

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has designated the fourteen days from June 21to July 4 as its “fortnight for freedom,” during which time the bishops will make claims, as they have in the past, that their faith, and indeed the entire state of religious liberty in this nation, is under attack. Don’t be fooled. 

Certainly, the “fortnight” was designed as a publicity opportunity to highlight the bishops’ opposition to the Obama administration’s rule that would ensure that all new health insurance plans — except those held by churches and other houses of worship — would include coverage for birth control. We’ve also seen arguments from the bishops and others that religious freedom justifies publically funded agencies denying loving homes to children in foster care simply because the would-be adoptive parents are gay or lesbian; hospitals denying a woman life-saving care if it meant ending her pregnancy; contractors imposing religious restrictions on taxpayer-funded services for victims of human trafficking ; public schools allowing guidance counselors to turn away students in crisis if they disapprove of their sexual orientation ; any employer refusing  to cover any health care service in their employees’ health insurance plans ; and hotels and restaurants refusing   to serve same-sex couples . But we know that’s not what true religious freedom is. 

Religious freedom is one of our most treasured liberties, and includes two complementary protections:  the right to religious belief and expression, and protection from religious favoritism by the government.  These dual protections work hand-in-hand, allowing religious liberty to thrive, safeguarding both religion and government from the undue influences of the other. This means we have the right to a government that neither promotes nor disparages religion generally, nor any faith, in particular. We have the absolute right to believe whatever we want about God, faith, and religion. We have the right to act on our religious beliefs, unless those actions harm others.  True religious liberty protects the rights of all of us to practice our faith. It does not, however, give anyone, including the bishops, the right to impose their beliefs on others. It is not, in essence, a pass to discriminate.

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Anonymous

The title of this article: Religious Freedom Cannot Be a License to Discriminate really says it all.

I am a Catholic American citizen.

I practice my faith and I go to church and I love my Catholic Faith.

Groups have taken out advertisements in newspapers to tell me to leave my church. These ads spout lies about my faith as does your article. The ads and also your article are in effect saying I am discriminating others if I practice my faith.

You in turn are discriminating against me and trying to stop me from LIVING my faith, which is what true Catholic believers are called to do.

I can’t live my faith if you make me do things that go against my core beliefs and that is the bottom line here. I am being discriminated against and it seems anyone who is Catholic can be kicked around lately---a form of accepted discrimination.

I have a right to freedom just as much as any other citizen and my Catholic faith is expressed by the way I live. It is NOT expressed only at the times when I walk into a my church. When I walk out I am still Catholic and want the freedom to live my life staying true to God’s words.

I deserve that freedom! And that, my friends, is what the Catholic Bishops are calling us together to pray for during this two week Fortnight to Freedom.

Anonymous

The title of this article: Religious Freedom Cannot Be a License to Discriminate really says it all.

I am a Catholic American citizen.

I practice my faith and I go to church and I love my Catholic Faith.

Groups have taken out advertisements in newspapers to tell me to leave my church.
These ads spout lies about my faith as does your article. The ads and also your article are in effect saying I am discriminating others if I practice my faith. You in turn are discriminating against me and trying to stop me from LIVING my faith, which is what true Catholic believers are called to do.

I can’t live my faith if you make me do things that go against my core beliefs.
That is the bottom line here. I am being discriminated against and it seems anyone who is Catholic can be kicked around lately---a form of accepted discrimation.

I have a right to freedom just as much as any other citizen and my Catholic faith is expressed by the way I live. It is NOT expressed only at the times when I walk into a my church. When I walk out I am still Catholic and want the freedom to live my life staying true to God’s words.

I deserve that freedom! And that, my friends, is what the Catholic Bishops are calling us together to pray for during this two week Fortnight to Freedom.

Anonymous

The title of this article: Religious Freedom Cannot Be a License to Discriminate really says it all.

I am a Catholic American citizen.

I practice my faith and I go to church and I love my Catholic Faith.

Groups have taken out advertisements in newspapers to tell me to leave my church.
These ads spout lies about my faith as does your article. The ads and also your article are in effect saying I am discriminating others if I practice my faith. You in turn are discriminating against me and trying to stop me from LIVING my faith, which is what true Catholic believers are called to do.

I can’t live my faith if you make me do things that go against my core beliefs.
That is the bottom line here. I am being discriminated against and it seems anyone who is Catholic can be kicked around lately---a form of accepted discrimation.

I have a right to freedom just as much as any other citizen and my Catholic faith is expressed by the way I live. It is NOT expressed only at the times when I walk into a my church. When I walk out I am still Catholic and want the freedom to live my life staying true to God’s words.

I deserve that freedom! And that, my friends, is what the Catholic Bishops are calling us together to pray for during this two week Fortnight to Freedom.

Concerned Catholic

The title of this article: Religious Freedom Cannot Be a License to Discriminate really says it all.

I am a Catholic American citizen.

I practice my faith and I go to church and I love my Catholic Faith.

Groups have taken out advertisements in newspapers to tell me to leave my church. The ads and also your article are in effect saying I am discriminating others if I practice my faith. You in turn are discriminating against me and trying to stop me from LIVING my faith, which is what true Catholic believers are called to do.

I can’t live my faith if you make me do things that go against my core beliefs. That is the bottom line here. I am being discriminated against and it seems anyone who is Catholic can be kicked around lately---a form of accepted discrimination.

I have a right to freedom just as much as any other citizen and my Catholic faith is expressed by the way I live. It is NOT expressed only at the times when I walk into a my church. When I walk out I am still Catholic and want the freedom to live my life staying true to God’s words.

I deserve that freedom! And that, my friends, is what the Catholic Bishops are calling us together to pray for during this two week Fortnight to Freedom.

Joan Sheridan

How sad that the Civil Liberties Union has lost its way. Because You disagree with what the Catholic Church teaches you now proclaim they have no right to practice what they preach. You say the government can force them to allow insurance for sterilization...next you will say the government can force them to actually preform sterilizations in Catholic hospitals. Some people are stupid enough to believe this but you are not stupid. You know what freedom of religion is but you just can't bring yourself to defend the Catholic Church. I say this is the end of your organization.

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