Where does CatholicVote.org stand on religious liberty?
Liberty is a fundamental human right, one that is promised to Americans in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States. Although our nation does not establish an official religion, freedom of religion is a right of all citizens.
Why does religious liberty matter?
Religious liberty it is a fundamental human right. A desire for this right led to the establishment of our country, and brought millions of immigrants here over the years.
Religious individuals built this country, and continue to add great diversity to the intellectual, political, cultural, and artistic treasures of the United States. In fact, we wrote a daily reader of stories about how important religious Americans have been since our founding. Read an excerpt here, or get yourself a copy of The American Catholic Almanac here!
What does the Catholic Church teach about religious liberty?
“The right to the exercise of freedom, especially in religious and moral matters, is an inalienable requirement of the dignity of man. But the exercise of freedom does not entail the putative right to say or do anything.” (CCC 1747)
“Man has the right to act in conscience and in freedom so as personally to make moral decisions. ‘He must not be forced to act contrary to his conscience. Nor must he be prevented from acting according to his conscience, especially in religious matters.’” (CCC 1782)
What are the greatest threats to religious freedom in America today?
Redefinition of Marriage: LGBT activists are using the Supreme Court’s unconstitutional redefinition of marriage to discriminate against religious groups and churches that believe marriage is a union of one man and one woman. See our citizen guide here [link to ‘Marriage’ section].
HHS Mandate: Through ObamaCare, the federal government has forced religious employers and individuals to pay for healthcare that covers contraceptives and abortifacient drugs despite legitimate moral objections. See our citizen guide here [link to ‘Health Care’ section].
Establishment of Secularism: While religious individuals have increasingly less freedom to openly express their beliefs in the culture, the “religion” of secularism is being established in the country as the only acceptable public system of beliefs. Freedom to worship (a private act) is not enough. We must also have freedom of religion: the freedom for religious individuals to live flourishing public lives informed by their faith.
Where do we go from here?
As Catholics, we won’t give up on the hope that we, our children, and grandchildren will be able to live freely in the United States as Catholic Americans. By working through the culture and in politics, we will fight for our fundamental right to religious liberty. Check out some of our projects here.