Monday, March 19, 2012

This Is Where We Stand

My worries about whether the Catholic Church would actually come together and unite in its defense of religious liberty were somewhat ameliorated yesterday at Mass. The padre of our parish delivered an articulate, well-reasoned, and clear message in his homily about what was at stake in the HHS mandate battle. He explained that this wasn’t an argument about contraception, but about religious liberty and laid out how that liberty was protected under the Constitution. He also expanded the scope of the matters by detailing examples of how religious liberty was being infringed upon in other Western democratic countries and how we should not assume that similar restrictions would not also be imposed here if they weren’t resisted.

And from the sounds of it, the Church is planning an organized and spirited defense against the HHS mandate. In his homily, our priest mentioned that possible penalties the Church was willing to pay for its civil disobedience included fines and even having priests and church leaders arrested. While some of the more rabid secular leftists would no doubt applaud images of priests being perp-walked for standing up for their religious convictions, I can’t imagine that’s something the Obama Administration wants to see in the news leading up to November’s election. If administration officials thought this was something they could slip through without having a fight on their hands, they’ve made a major miscalculation. For it now seems more and more clear, that this is a line that the Catholic Church has determined will not be crossed.

This Friday, that resistance will be demonstrated in rallies to Stand Up for Religious Freedom:

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom is set to take place on Friday, March 23, in more than 100 cities across the country. From Hawaii to Maine, citizens are preparing to let their voices be heard on the value of religious freedom. Meeting places include historic sites, congressional offices and federal buildings. The theme for the rally is “Stand Up for Religious Freedom — Stop the HHS Mandate!”

You can find exactly where these rallies are planned here. These are the Minnesota locations:

Gerald W. Heaney Federal Building
515 West 1st Street

St. Cloud
Senator Al Franken’s Office
915 West St Germain Street

Twin Cities
Warren E. Burger Federal Building
316 North Robert Street, St. Paul

This isn’t a contraceptive thing. It isn’t only a Catholic thing. It’s a freedom thing and it’s time for those who believe in religious freedom to stand together to fight for it.