USCCB

Fortnight for Freedom Begins

The USCCB is launching another Fortnight for Religious Freedom:

The U.S. bishops have called for a Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and action, to address many current challenges to religious liberty, including the August 1, 2013 deadline for religious organizations to comply with the HHS mandate, Supreme Court rulings that could attempt to redefine marriage in June, and religious liberty concerns in areas such as immigration and humanitarian services.

These are real issues that affect Christians of all stripes, people of conscience, the common good, our body politic, and indeed the salvation of souls. The Mandate in particular is set to crush conscience, something at which the current Administration is adept. Here’s more on why and how the HHS Mandate is a problem.

First thing to do is pray. If you’re looking for prayers, here’s one from the USCCB’s prayer resourced for the Fortnight:

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty
 
O God our Creator,
from your provident hand we have received
our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
You have called us as your people and given us
the right and the duty to worship you, the only true God,
and your Son, Jesus Christ.
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
 
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
 
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be “one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
 
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Something with a little more of an edge:

Hostium nostrorum, quaesumus, Domine, elide superbiam: et eorum contumaciam dexterae tuae virtute prosterne. Per Dominum.
 
Crush, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the pride of our enemies: and prostrate their arrogance by the might of Thy right hand. Through our Lord.

Finally, a piece I wrote in January that’s apropos as the Forthnight begins: “Bless Those Who Persecute You.”

Posted in Blog.

6 Comments

  1. It may be difficult for you to see this from your perspective, but for those Christians like myself who support the separation of church and state, the matter appears to be the very opposite of what I gather it looks like rom your perspective. While it would ne ideal to have socialized medicine and remove employers from the health care equation altogether, until such time as the U.S. public supports that idea, the best we can do is ensure that coverage is provided to people through employers in the manner that they system currently is set up. And within that framework, I think that it is the freedom of the individual to make decisions based on their conscience and the advice of their health care provider that needs to be prioritized, even if that means that the employer is not “free” to impose their own views about certain health care options upon their employees.

  2. I’m all about supporting the separation of Church and State. Which is why the HHS Mandate is so galling. It’s Erastian.

  3. I realize it may seem that way to you. But to others, the alternative is to allow employers to impose their religious convictions on their employees. As I said, it would be better to simply take employers out of the equation and have health coverage be nationalized. But until that time, we simply cannot take the direction of allowing employers to decide what their employees’ health care decisions should be.

  4. “But to others, the alternative is to allow employers to impose their religious convictions on their employees.”

    As soon as I see the language of “impose their religious convictions,” well, the conversation’s as good as over. People are free to work for a different employer. No one is forcing anyone to work for a religious employer. As far as contraception goes, it’s cheap and available many places for free. The whole mandate thing was essentially (1) a cynical political ploy and (2) a sop to Big Pharma to get them on board with Obamacare. Sure, it requires the crushing of Christian conscience and eviscerating the First Amendment. But I guess on utilitarian grounds it’s OK since it serves pelvic liberation, the summum bonum of our age.

    Perhaps the saddest thing about this whole mess is that it’s going to push Catholic (and other Christian) institutions in the direction of hiring only Catholic employees (or employeees belonging to a particular institution’s denomination), in hopes of avoiding being sued. That’s a severe blow against ecumenism and against the common good.

  5. You are very fortunate if you have always been able to simply turn down work because your options were plentiful. Not everyone has such a privileged life. But again, putting employers into the situation of deciding what coverage they are or are not willing to provide their employees with is the problem, and so perhaps we ought to focus our attention on working towards a more equitable system which also removes the issue facing employers that started the discussion.

  6. Plentiful options. “Privileged.” You have no idea. What started the “discussion” again was a cynical political ploy that also functioned as a sop to Big Pharma. So we’re done here. Good night.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>