Posts Tagged ‘First Amendment’
Posted in Catholicism, Catholics, Christianity, Constitution, faith, First Amendment, God, tagged Catholics, Constitution, faith, Father Z, First Amendment, liberty, Paul Ryan, Religion, religious freedom, unalienable rights on August 23, 2012 | 2 Comments »
Here is a post I found on What Does The Prayer Really Say? :
Presumptive Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan says Catholics must act now to protect their right to religious freedom from being diminished in American society.
“This is a time where people of all faiths – especially Catholics – have to stand up and speak for our rights,” he said. “And if we do, we will rekindle civil society.”
In an August 17 conference call organized by the online fundraising groupCatholics2012.org, Rep. Ryan (R-Wis.) said that he tries to apply the teachings of his Catholic faith to his work.
“I’m proud to acknowledge that it’s why I do what I do,” he said.
[...]Ryan warned that this “assault on our religious liberties” constitutes “a serious threat to all peoples of faith.”
“It is a violation of the First Amendment of our bill of rights,” he said.
The vice presidential contender cautioned that the philosophy behind such actions “seeks to displace civil society” and “crowd out our social mediating institutions,” such as churches, charities and hospitals.
These are “groups that connect the person to the community,” he explained, and they play a role in implementing the principles of subsidiarity, solidarity and the preferential option for the poor that should be practiced in civil society.
Ryan said that he “shudder(s) to think what the world could look like” if President Obama is re-elected and his administration is able to continue eroding religious liberty. [My fear as well. But I think the real problem would come during Obama's third term, if you get my drift.]
There is a need for practicing Catholics to “get the word out” on these important issues, he said.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), who is also Catholic, warned that the mandate presents “an unprecedented form of government coercion.”
“It is a different worldview that is operative,” he stated.
Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act, [OBAMATAX] Fortenberry introduced the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act in the House of Representatives to preserve the conscience rights of employers and health care providers across the country.
[...]“No American should be forced to choose between their faith and their job,” he said. “No one should be forced to choose between their conscience and their livelihood.”
Posted in Catholic, Christian, Constitution, Culture War, faith, First Amendment, history, Politics, Religion, tagged Archbishop Chaput, Constitution, First Amendment, history, political life, politics, religious freedom, United States of America on July 30, 2012 | 5 Comments »
In Archbishop Charles Chaput’s keynote address at the Napa Institute he answered a question from a friend of his who wondered if the religious freedom debate had “crossed a Rubicon” in our country’s political life.
From Archbishop Chaput:
The Rubicon is a river in northern Italy. It’s small and forgettable, except for one thing. During the Roman Republic, it marked a border. To the south lay Italy, ruled directly by the Roman Senate. To the north lay Gaul, ruled by a governor. Under Roman law, no general could enter Italy with an army. Doing so carried the death penalty. In 49 B.C., when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with his 13th Legion and marched on Rome, he triggered a civil war and changed the course of history. Ever since then, “crossing the Rubicon” has meant passing a point of no return.
Caesar’s march on Rome is a very long way from our nation’s current disputes over religious liberty. But “crossing the Rubicon” is still a useful image. My friend’s point is this: Have we, in fact, crossed a border in our country’s history — the line between a religion-friendly past and an emerging America much less welcoming to Christian faith and witness?
Let me describe the nation we were and the nation we’re becoming. Then you can judge for yourselves.
People often argue about whether America’s Founders were mainly Christian, mainly Deist or both of the above. It’s a reasonable debate. It won’t end anytime soon. But no one can reasonably dispute that the Founders’ moral framework was overwhelmingly shaped by Christian faith. And that makes sense because America was largely built by Christians. The world of the American Founders was heavily Christian, and they saw the value of publicly engaged religious faith because they experienced its influence themselves. They created a nation designed in advance to depend on the moral convictions of religious believers and to welcome their active role in public life.
The Founders also knew that religion is not just a matter of private conviction. It can’t be reduced to personal prayer or Sunday worship. It has social implications. The Founders welcomed those implications. Christian faith demands preaching, teaching, public witness and service to others — by each of us alone and by acting in cooperation with fellow believers. As a result, religious freedom is never just freedom from repression, but also — and more importantly — freedom for active discipleship. It includes the right of religious believers, leaders and communities to engage society and to work actively in the public square. For the first 160 years of the republic, cooperation between government and religious entities was the norm in addressing America’s social problems. And that brings us to our country’s current situation.
Posted in Catholic, Catholicism, Christian, Constitution, First Amendment, Health Care, Persecution, Prayers, Prolife, Religion, tagged activist, activists, Catholics, Christian persecution, Christians, Constitution, First Amendment, intolerance, prayer, pro-life, Pro-Obamacare, religious persecution, repeal Obamacare on July 25, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Pro-Life activists were peacefully praying the rosary for the repeal of Obamacare when a Pro-Obamacare activist knocked over the U.S. flag and then attacked the volunteers from Tradition Family and Property (TFP).
The group had been passing out flyers describing ObamaCare as a form of Christian persecution, forcing Catholics and other Christians to subsidize abortifacient contraception. They also held pro-life signs.
It looks like TFP has had previous encounters of a similar nature from “tolerant” Obamacare supporters. Why is it that so many on the Left act out like juvenile delinquents when they come in contact with person/s who have different beliefs or opinions than their own? You don’t see people on the Right acting like that.
Catholicism And Religious Freedom Then And Now: Thank The Catholic Founding Fathers For The First Amendment!
Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, Catholics, Conservatism, Constitution, First Amendment, Founding Fathers, Religion, tagged bishops, Catholic, Charles Carroll, First Amendment, Founding Fathers, freedom of religion, HHS mandate on June 14, 2012 | 5 Comments »
CATHOLIBERTARIAN.COM is now a syndicated blog! We were approached by the political editor of Before It’s News with the request to allow him to publish our RSS feed there. We have accepted, and now I am looking into further syndication possibilities as well as ways to monetize our blog and market products under our unique trademark. Coming soon(?): I am a Catholibertarian!™ mugs and t-shirts! If this blog can become profitable enough to replace Teresa’s income, she can spend much more time providing the content this blog’s readers enjoy so much. We all know that she is the one whose posts people come here to read. In celebration of our newly syndicated status, and at Teresa’s suggestion, I am re-publishing (with only the slightest editing) my first major blog post on this site. It is as important now as it was when I first wrote it, in light of the fact that, once again, it is Catholics in America, including, just as before, those with the rank of bishop, who are at the forefront of defending this most important of our constitutionally protected essential liberties from unacceptable encroachment. So without further ado, here is the text of my article Thank The Catholic Founding Fathers For the First Amendment:
The First Amendment has a quasi-sacred status in the minds of most Americans because that is the amendment that guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press. On that note, it guarantees the protected status of what I am doing right now in this blog. This tendency to imagine that the First Amendment is the product of divine inspiration in nearly the same sense if not degree as the Bible is even more prevalent in those who lean toward Libertarianism. The latter are sometimes tempted to see the U.S. Constitution, and even more so its Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments), especially the First and Second, as akin to holy writ. For some of us, the First Amendment is the more revered of the two, but not because of the liberty it upholds in the sphere of political speech, but because the first freedom it supports is not that of speech or the press, but the free exercise of religion.
What most people do not know is that we owe the freedom of religion we enjoy here in this constitutional republic in no small part to the efforts of Catholics, most especially Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a delegate from Maryland, which, of the thirteen original colonies, was the only nominally Catholic one – indeed, the other delegates from Maryland were all Episcopalians.
Prior to his being sent to the Continental Congress, Carroll was elected by the citizens of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County to serve in the Annapolis Convention. Also known as “The Association of Freemen of Maryland”, it was one of several committees of correspondence that formed throughout the colonies in reaction to the British crackdown following the Boston Tea Party. Carroll, along with half a dozen other Catholics in this colonial American anticipation of the Tea Party Movement, had to overcome a great deal of prejudice because of his faith. Despite his election he was denied an official seat at the assembly because of his Catholicism. At this time Maryland was vacillating in its support of the colonial resistance, but Carroll never wavered. When, in January 11, 1776 the convention in Maryland ordered her delegates in Philadelphia ”to disavow in the most solemn manner, all design in the colonies for independence”, Carroll vigorously protested the move and continued to argue passionately in favor of open revolt. Carroll’s arguments eventually turned the tide and Maryland changed is standing order to ”vote in declaring the United States free and independent states.” 1
In February of that year, Charles Carroll, along with his cousin John, a Catholic priest who later became the Archbishop of Baltimore, and Samuel Chase, had been chosen to attempt to secure an alliance between the colonies and Canada. Despite their lack of success, they were withdrawn in late June and Chase was immediately sent back to Philadelphia, as Maryland was about to change its position and vote in favor of independence. When July 4, 1776 rolled around, it was determined that, because of his unwavering support for American independence Charles Carroll was primarily responsible for Maryland’s change in their official position, the colony would send him, albeit late by that time, to the Continental Congress. Though it was too late for him to vote, he was just in time to become the last signer of the document declaring America independent of the British crown.
Charles Carroll knew firsthand and from bitter experience that Catholics in America would continue to be subject to official discrimination and marginalization as long as religious bigotry remained a legally accepted practice. As long as religious oaths and tests for office remained legal, barring Catholics such as him, as a general rule, from participating in the political process, this country, which Carroll loved more than it loved him, would never be free regardless of whether it achieved independence from England or not. For this reason Carroll was a great champion of religious liberty, easily the most vocal Catholic of his time to demand this basic freedom that we now take for granted.
When Carroll signed the Declaration of Independence, he saw it as a move toward general religious liberty, though admittedly he initially would only argue that such liberty should be applied to all Christians, not all members of all religions.
Charles Carroll was the most significant Catholic proponent of general toleration and religious liberty. In 1774 he defended the rights of Catholics to speak out on political matters in Maryland and protested the irrational system that made religious affiliation a civil disability. In 1776 he helped write the Maryland state constitution which provided for religious liberty, but only for Christians.
Charles Carroll also signed the Declaration of Independence, an act which he later viewed as the first step in a movement toward universal religious liberty. He told a friend in 1829 that, when he signed that document, he had in view, “not only our independence of England, but the toleration of all sects, professing the Christian Religion, and communicating to them all great rights.” 2
Charles Carroll, his other cousin Daniel Carroll (Father John’s younger brother), and another Catholic, Thomas Fitzsimmons, contributed to the eventually successful effort to make the recognition of liberty of conscience the respected civil right and to codify it into the new Bill of Rights. It was an important part of their vision that religious liberty would be the very first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment, right at the beginning of the Bill of Rights. Not very long after, in 1806, another Catholic layman by the name of Francis Cooper, a Jeffersonian Republican, provided a strong early test of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom for the benefit of Catholic holders of political offices in the new republic. Elected to the state assembly in New York which required its office holders to take a constitutional oath of office which would have required him to renounce foreign allegiance “in all matters ecclesiastical as well as civil”, Cooper refused to take the oath as it would have violated his conscience by requiring him to deny his allegiance as a Catholic to the pope. As Catholic allegiance to the bishop of Rome was understood to be a spiritual rather than a political matter, Cooper’s fellow parishioners in St. Peter’s Catholic Church in New York City (the oldest Roman Catholic parish and the Mother Church of Catholic New York, one of whose parishioners was the then newly converted former Episcopalian Elizabeth Ann Seton, our first American Catholic saint) signed the petition to remove that clause from the oath on grounds that it violated the First Amendment of the new Constitution of the United States. The petition succeeded and the First Amendment passed its first significant test, again thanks to Catholics.
Recently (as of the time that this article was first composed in the early days of this blog – Editor [and author!]) I found myself in an email discussion with a fellow Catholic blogger who is an even stronger Traditionalist than I am, indeed very much so, and who could not refrain from spewing the most hostile derogatory adjectives about the Second Vatican Council and all it wrought in the Catholic Church. He is smarter and more informed than I, and this exchange threw me into a tail-spin, resulting in an acute crisis of faith on my part. By the grace of God I hope and believe that I am over the worst of it now, but it has prompted me to reconsider some very basic foundational belief structures I have held for as long as I can remember, both as a Catholic and an American, and I will share one of the issues with you now.
One of the major problems he had with Vatican II could be found in Dignitatis Humanae and its embrace of the “heretical” doctrines of religious liberty and liberty of conscience, ideas which he understood as infallibly and eternally condemned by Pius IX in the Syllabus of Errors attached to the encyclical Quanta Cura. That was far from the only issue raised by him that I felt an urgent need to address for myself, but he considered it his chief doctrinal objection to the validity of Vatican II as a genuine Council of the Catholic Church. As I looked into the issue further, I found that he was far from alone in this radical Traditionalist view of the Vatican II affirmation of religious liberty as being the principal sign that it was not a valid Council of the Catholic Church.
As an American Catholic, I always took the religious liberty we enjoy in this country as something to be greatly esteemed, even celebrated. I have known for decades that true religious freedom is not the rule, but the exception, in this world, and that governments often presume a prerogative to subject their citizens to coercion in matters of religious belief and practice. I also knew that the Catholic Church, in her history, has employed such measures, sometimes in very ugly ways, and not with any divine guarantees against making grave, catastrophic mistakes in this area, either (the martyrdom of Joan of Arc comes to mind). But I never suspected that this history was not due to the tendency to sin of fallen humans in the Church but rather due to faithful adherence to an eternal, unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church that the freedom of a human being to seek the truth and follow it wherever it led his or her conscience was not a true right — that it is “not liberty but license.”
It seems like common sense to me that if coercion is routinely used in matters of religion and religious conscience, because human beings have no right whatsoever, on any level, to be spared such a noxious use of force against them, it will not only be used against false religions. When the force of law is used to pressure people to conform to the official religion of the state, there is no guarantee that only non-Catholics will suffer violence against their consciences. Quite the contrary. The Devil hates the Catholic Church and will happily move Caesar to start throwing Her children to the lions again on the slightest pretext if God allows him to. If the Church did not recognize that human beings have the right to seek the truth to the best of their ability using an uncompelled faculty of reason and unforced conscience, then why should the world recognize that right for Catholics? The Church would be providing the perfect excuse for those in league with the Devil to begin watering the ground with the blood of the faithful. They could even use the same legal structures against Catholics that had been put in place by Catholic sovereigns to require non-Catholics to convert to the True Religion.
What seems like common sense to me also appealed to the common sense of Charles Carroll, who said that official intolerance in matters of religion could only produce “martyrs and hypocrites,” but certainly no true Christians. Catholics should be especially sensitive to this, even more especially here in America , a nation with an ugly history of official, government encouraged anti-Catholic bigotry. Prejudice against Catholics, is, of course, from the Devil, but it does not appear in a vacuum. It is usually inspired by the memory of past abuses on the part of Catholic authorities against non-Catholics. The Carroll family had to leave England because England was martyring Catholics, and Catholics did not have the freedom to profess their faith and worship in public without fear of being murdered. Why was England so hard on Catholics? Just because Henry VIII wasn’t allowed to divorce and re-marry? No, that was not the source of the rage that caused the ground to run red with Catholic blood. The rage was nurtured in the memory of English royalty, which had a tendency to take it personally when popes such as Paul IV (also known as the author of the papal bull Cum Nimis Absurdum, by which he established the Roman ghettos for Jews living in the papal states and ordered that they should wear pointed yellow hats in public and attend Catholic sermons on their sabbath) and Pius V (Regnans in Excelsis) interfered with the rule of Elizabeth I.
…so keenly alive were both Parliament and people to the memory of the Smithfield fires of the Bloody Mary and the Papal Bishops, that they sought to guard against the recurrence of such a danger, by a rigorous exclusion of all Roman clergy from the kingdom of England. The English people had not forgotten that only seventy-three years before, Pope Paul the Fourth forbade Elizabeth to ascend the throne of England until she submitted her pretensions to him, and declared England to be a fief of the Apostolic See. They still remembered that Pius the Fifth, eleven years later, issued a bull against Elizabeth when she had been eleven years England’s glorious Queen, declaring her a “pretended Queen of England,” absolving all her subjects from allegiance to her, and cursing all who adhered to her as excommunicate heretics. Only fifty years before, the ”invincible” Armada of Spain, with the blessing of the Pope, hovered around the shores of England, commissioned by the Pastor Pastorum to convert by the gentle appliances of rack and stake the heretic English to the true faith, and win them back to the loving embrace of the Holy Father. Only thirty years before, the Gunpowder Plot sought to destroy the government by blowing up King, Lords and Commons, when assembled in Parliament. These events all conspired to beget in the English nation such an intense hatred to Roman Catholicism, as dangerous to the peace and liberty of the realm, that Parliament, under Elizabeth and James, passed severe repressive laws against the public exercise of the Roman Catholic religion, forbade the entrance of Romish priests within the kingdom, and compelled the English Romanist to attend the public worship of the English Church, under the penalty of twenty pounds per month. Such was the state of the public mind of the nation, and such were the laws of England, at the time Lord Baltimore obtained his charter for the territory of Maryland from King Charles. 3
The point of the above is that religious intolerance always begets more religious intolerance. It is colossally imprudent, no matter whether it is doctrinally permissible. It offends the conscience of people who love liberty, and for now I cannot help but to add that this is rightly so.
I have yet to fully examine both Dignitatis Humanae and Quanta Cura as well as the latter’s attached Syllabus of Errors, so I cannot say with the confidence that I would wish to that my blogging friend (whose doctrinal opposition to religious liberty provoked this post and in to no small extent inspired this blog) and the other Radical Traditionalists are as wrong as I strongly suspect they are. When I have read those documents more fully and consulted with others wiser than myself, I will publish a follow-up to this article here in this blog. For now I merely offer my suspicion that neither document represents infallible Church teaching
I cannot say with any authority what the Catholic Church should teach on the matter of religious tolerance, freedom of conscience, and the right of the state to use force against the latter, but I know where my heart lies. Until some solemn duty causes me, to my great grief, to abjure it, I affirm freedom. I affirm liberty. I affirm conscience and the free search of the individual for the truth without fear that such a search will lead where the state would not wish him to go. And I thank my Catholic brethren who I hope are in heaven for their instrumental role in providing legal protection for my freedom to search diligently for the truth in response to the challenge posed to me by my Rad-Trad friend (who shall remain nameless at this time), even if his respect for that same freedom is compromised by his interpretation of papal documents that touch on the subject. I had enough to worry about that I could eventually lose my soul. My suffering would certainly have been intolerable if I had to worry that my honest conclusions could have hastened the damnation I feared by putting me in immediate danger of death at the hands of the state for a capital crime, since that is what heresy has been for most of the history of Christendom in the West.
As of the writing of this appended commentary, Catholic institutions have until August of next year, 2013, to comply with the HHS mandate to provide coverage to fund contraception and abortifacients. The Catholic hierarchy declares that they will not budge on this – We Will Not Comply. Not now, not one year from now, not one hundred and one years from now. Once again, radical Traditionalists (SSPX) are voicing their dissent, but not because are in favor of compliance with the tyrannical and unconstitutional mandate. They are not, but their complaint is about the ground on which the Church in the U.S. is taking Her stand: Religious Liberty. They are not in favor of religious liberty – it is a heresy, they say. Here I give voice once again to my disagreement with their doctrinal opposition to religious liberty. Since I wrote this article a year ago I have studied Quanta Cura, Libertas, and Dignitatis Humanae in considerable depth, and I have to say in all honesty, as a trained philosopher who knows a contradiction when he sees one, there is NO logical disagreement between either that which is infallibly affirmed or denied in the older papal documents and the content of Vatican II on Religious Liberty.
1 Hagerty, James. ”Charles Carroll of Carrollton.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 3. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908.17 May 2011 .
2 Lee, Francis Graham. All Imaginable Liberty: The Religious Liberty Clauses of the First Amendment. University Press of America 1995
3 Brown, Benjamin B.F., Early Religious History of Maryland: “Maryland Not A Roman Catholic Colony: Religious Toleration Not An Act of Roman Catholic Legislation” , 1876
Note: Where not specifically cited, facts are drawn liberally from the Catholic Encyclopedia and Wikipedia.
Santorum, Gingrich Refuse to Buy Into Mainstream Media’s False Narrative on HHS Mandate, Blunt Amendment
Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church Doctrine, Catholicism, Christian, Conservatism, Constitution, tagged Conscience, First Amendment, Fox News Sunday, HHS mandate, liberty, mainstream media, Meet The Press, Newt Gingrich, people of faith, religious freedom, Rick Santourm on March 6, 2012 | 9 Comments »
The issue is not birth control. Women have access to birth control. There is no law stopping women from being able to obtain birth control. The issue is a matter of religious liberty and the Obama administration violating people of faith’s religious freedom. The HHS mandate is unconstitutional. We need a new President and for the GOP to take control of the Senate so people of faith are able to live out their beliefs in their everyday lives. We need a president who will not force institutions and people of faith to violate their consciences.
Some conservatives may find it odd that I included Fox News Sunday under the umbrella of mainstream media but since Chris Wallace who hosts Fox News Sunday seems to be running with the MSM’s narrative on the HHS mandate I classified him and his show as being apart of the Mainstream Media.
Posted in Catholic, Catholic Church Doctrine, Catholicism, Catholics, Constitution, faith, Morality, Politics, Religion, tagged bishops, Catholic Church, Catholicism, communicate, communnication, conscience clause, existential, faith, First Amendment, HHS mandate, parents, priests, religious freedom, teach, threat on February 17, 2012 | 4 Comments »
In the post The Church’s Failure To Communicate Kyle asserts that the Church in large part has failed to communicate its beliefs on human sexuality and the morality of contraception. I agree. In an unprecedented way the Church has, in this instance, met a strong-armed tactic by the State – the HHS mandate – with a coordinated response of righteous indignation.
Some of the laity have dissented over the years but have not posed a threat to the institutional foundation of Catholicism. The HHS mandate poses an existential threat to the Catholic Church’s right to hold beliefs on issues of sexual morality and to uphold them at the various Catholic institutions. If this isn’t overturned it could force the Church to the closure of colleges, hospitals, organizations et al. so the Church doesn’t abandon its moral principles and the workers do not have to go against their consciences.
This issue which surrounds the HHS mandate is not about so-called women’s’ rights or “women’s health care” it is about government interference into a religion’s moral belief system and the State overstepping its bounds in violating a religious institution’s freedom of religion by forcing this mandate by fiat which runs contrary to our constitution. This is a constitutional issue. The Obama administration has trampled on citizens First Amendment rights.
While I do believe, for the most, that the Church has failed to teach the laity on matters involving human sexuality there are reasons behind this failing. Is it due to the societal shift in sexual morality since the sexual revolution of the 1960′s and the negative influence it has had on the public? Could it be because priests seldom preach on sexual morality? I know that some don’t preach on these controversial issues out of fear of offending the laity and them running off with their pocketbooks. I know for a fact that there are some priests that don’t agree with the Church’s teaching on contraception as well as the Church’s teaching on issues of sexual morality so why would these dissenting priests preach on these issues, advocating for the Church’s teaching?
Parents have a responsibility to teach the tenets of the faith to their children. I believe a significant number of parents since Vatican II have failed to pass on the principles of the Catholic faith to their kids. I am sure there were some obstinate, rebellious children who simply rejected Church teaching for the ways of the world. I am positive that some priests have made an effort to teach their flock the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and the morality of contraception but because of outside societal pressures some rejected the teaching of the Church.
Is it time that the Church have a more effective, consistent, and coordinated effort to teach all aspects of the faith?
Posted in Conservatism, Constitution, Libertarianism, Morality, tagged clergy, Committee hearing, Conscience, Constitution, First Amendment, House, mandate, Obamacare, religious liberty, rights, unalienable rights on February 16, 2012 | 1 Comment »