Saturday, January 21, 2012

Time to Take a Stand

Abuse of our religious freedom continues to escalate under the Obama administration. The Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday that Catholic schools, hospitals and charitable institutions have been given one year to comply with a government mandate to provide contraceptive coverage to all employees. That means, Catholics will soon be forced to provide abortive forms of birth control, sterilization, and other intrinsically evil procedures. Archbishop, and soon to be Cardinal, Timothy Dolan responded by saying, “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences."

We have already seen Catholic adoption agencies close their doors when the government tried to force them to place children with same-sex couples. Now the assault on our Catholic faith sets up a confrontation that will have even greater repercussions. Those that comply with the order should be forced to sever ties with the Church. Those true to the faith may be forced to close or stand firm in civil disobedience. Violating our consciences is not an option.

Obama’s announcement came one day after Pope Benedict warned American Bishops about concerted efforts being made in the United States to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. In his January 19 address to the Bishops of the United States, the Pope said, “it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres.”

At the forefront of this threat is the Obama presidency. The upcoming presidential election is one of the most important events we as Catholics will ever experience. It may serve as a uniting force for all Christians who value religious liberty. In Pope Benedict’s address, he said, “There can be no doubt that a more consistent witness on the part of America’s Catholics to their deepest convictions would make a major contribution to the renewal of society as a whole.” The time has come for Catholics, and indeed all Christians, to take a stand against the erosion of religious freedom being propagated by the present administration.