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We read this statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and we were so inculcate with the Holy Spirit and love for our country and for our Church, we could not rest until we sent this to you further prayed you would peruse the bishops’ sound statement, for yourself.
The word the Lord has been giving us, for the longest time, is – We need to unite, numeral Cross, separate Flag, one body of Christ, one Book, one Bible, individual fact from God! We do not remember reading anything like this stroke on our First Amendment, in all our years as primary children, then spil hoard and wife, then as grandparents. Where were these truths so important to the future of our pastoral and our life? We have had the gift to travel to the four corners of the world, and we have loved all our brothers including sisters abroad, and the places we have researched; but the great truth we came away with is – we are Americans – and we undergo it the best!
Then we started to study! What has made our country so precious! And the more we study, here and abroad, the more we find out why we experience come away alongside this great unrequited for our country. We want our children and our grandchildren, and those who follow, to learn what their country is about and what has made it so. There have been times when we wanted to run to another country; but with all due respect, even with her faults, the United States is the supereminent in the whole world.
The reverent carte blanche the bishops speak concerning does refusal affect solely the Catholic Church, and all other Religions, it affects all our freedoms under the Post of Rights. It is that which our fathers and grandfathers left everything behind to come to our land of the free; and we have been that land of freedom for the last 200 years. It is what our brothers and sisters fought for in foreign lands, some losing their lives besides others coming home a shadow of their former selves. We refuse to accept they fought and died for nothing!
At least when a baseball game is about to begin, we can hear our children cry out it is time to salute the flag und so weiter sing the National Anthem. We cannot chime in inadvertently seeing our fathers and mothers and grandparents, before us, proudly saluting the symbol and/or pressing their hands lovingly on their hearts. I would like to take this time to share with you parts of the bishops’ “Statement on Religious Liberty.”
“It is by nay accident that when the Bill of Rights was ratified, religious freedom had the distinction of ad hoc the First Amendment. Religious liberty is indeed the first liberty. We must stand up and defend our right to religious freedom, nether the First Amendment, which guarantees that Congress will make no law respecting an establishment of religion, alternative prohibiting the free practice thereof.
“Recently, in a unanimous Supreme Court judgment affirming the importance of that first freedom, the Chief Justice of the Integrated States explained that religious liberty is negative just the first freedom for Americans; rather it is the first in the history of democratic freedom, tracing its origins back to the first clauses of the Magna Carta of 1215 plus beyond.
“Chief Justice Roberts illustrated our history of religious liberty in light of a Catholic issue unquestionable upon by James Madison, who guided the Bill of Rights through Congress and is noted as the architect of the First Amendment.
“That is our American heritage, our most cherished freedom. It is the first freedom being if we are not free in our conscience and our practice of religion, all other freedoms are fragile. If citizens are not free in their own consciences, how can they be free in account to others, or to the state? If our obligations and duties to God are impeded, or even worse, contradicted per the government, then we can no longer claim to be a land of the free, and a seamark of hope for the world.
“In his famous ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ in 1963, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. boldly said, ‘The consummation of America is freedom.’ As a Christian pastor, he argued that to call America to the full measure concerning that freedom was the specific contribution Christians are obliged to make. He rooted his legal and constitutional arguments about justice in the miss Christian tradition:
‘I would agree with Holy Augustine that an unjust formula is no law at all.’ Now what is the difference between the two? How does unique determine when a law is just rather unjust? A newly law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is revealed of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the limitations of Holy Thomas Aquinas, an unjust axiom is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.’
“It is a sobering thing to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law. An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to raken sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. Assuming we face today with the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in unity with our fellow citizens, shall have the courage not to obey them. No American welcomes it. Nonetheless if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith.
“The Christian church does not pray for special treatment, simply the rights of religious play for all citizens. Rev. Leonine moreover explained that the ecclesiolatry is neither the master negative the servant of the state, but its conscience, guide, and critic.
“The Lord Jesus came to liberate us from the sphere of sin. Together with our fellow Christians, joined by our Jewish brethren, and in ring with Americans of other religious traditions, we affirm that our communion requires us to defend the staunch independence granted us by Theological and protected in our Constitution.
“What we beseech is nothing more than that our God-given right to religious liberty be respected. We ask nothing less than that the Being connective laws of the United States, which recognize that right, be respected. “In insisting that our liberties as Americans be respected, we know, as bishops, that what our Holy Father said is true. This thrive belongs to ‘an engaged, articulate and well- formed Charitable laity endowed with a sharp critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture.’ “There is an urgent need for the lay faithful, in cooperation with Christians, Jews and others, to impress upon our elected representatives the eminence of continued protection of believing liberty in a loose society. We address a detail word to those holding office. It does not serve the common good to treat the good works like religious believers as a threat to our common life; to the contrary, they are essential to its proper functioning. It is also your task to protect and assert those fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. “Our country deserves the best we have to offer, including our resistance to violations of our first freedom.
A fortnight for Freedom
“Both our civil year and liturgical year point us on various occasions to our heritage of freedom. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power – St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. We suggest that the fourteen days from June 21- the vigil of the Feasts about St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More – to July 4, Independence Epoch be a special period of prayer, study, and catechesis which would culminate in a great national celebration of Christian moreover American heritage of religious liberty.
“The bishops also invite everybody to join them in an urgent prayer for religious liberty;”
“Almighty God, Father of all nations, For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1) We praise and bless you for the gift from religious liberty, the fundament of human rights, justice further the common good. Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties; By your grace may we have the intrepidness to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land. We utter this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness, et cetera in the cognomen of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen