In a more subtle way but just as concerning, we are also experiencing attacks to our religious freedom in this country. The most widespread example is the Department of Health and Human Services mandate forcing all employers, including religious organizations such as schools, hospitals and universities, to provide and pay for coverage of employees’ contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs even when they have moral objections to them. Another concern is the HHS’s definition of which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit protection of their religious liberty. This is not an issue about “women’s rights” as some have labeled it. Those who choose to use artificial means of contraception have had access to it and continue having it.
Religious freedom cannot be limited to the sanctuary. Religious freedom is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of society. Our religious organizations must have the freedom to do the good works our faith calls them to do without having to compromise that very same faith.
As Catholics and citizens we must embrace the call to action issued by our bishops and recognize the importance of defending this essential right guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, and to express the importance of protecting our religious freedom. For more information on how you can defend religious freedom, send a text message with the word “freedom” to 377377 or go to fortnight4freedom.org