Church teaching and civil rights/civil liberties

We believe in the first amendment because it protects our right to religious freedom. Something very important for faithful Catholics. What about satanism? We certainly do not believe anyone should participate in that. But how can we (if we have an obligation) make a public policy that would outlaw satanism? What about people who protest for the redefinition of marriage? If someone asked us if they should have the “right”, what do we say?

It would be wrong to outlaw Satanism. You simply cannot force someone to either believe or not believe in something. You can try to convert them, and convince them that they are wrong, however.

Same with the redefinition of marriage. You can’t just tell people that marriage is one thing and expect them to believe you. A person is well within their rights to believe that a man can marry a man. It doesn’t make them right, though, so it’s our job to educate people who do not believe the Truth.

LGBT “rights”, however, cannot really be rights, even from a secular standpoint. They cannot redefine what marriage is for everyone, because that would infringe upon the rights of those who believe that marriage is between a man and a woman only.

I understand what you mean, but I was talking more of satanism in practice. It doesn’t matter what someone believes (in their head) in the public policy sense because we cannot control that. We can however, make practicing satanism (blasphemous things with a sacred host, we have heard of people who steal the consecrated bread for their satanic rituals), illegal. Also, these two statements contradict

You can’t just tell people that marriage is one thing and expect them to believe you.

it’s our job to educate people who do not believe the Truth.

We either tell them the Truth or we don’t.

Practicing christianity will be illegal LONG before they even think about making Satan worshipping a crime, after all, this world is pretty much under the control of Satan himself, so it should not surprise us when we hear the things we do in modern times, satan has no problem with people stealing, killing, etc. so of course he will not want any of these things to be crimes, in HIS world, he will want everyone to be able to do as they like, not to follow a bunch of rules.

I truly believe the secular world would vote to make christianity illegal over satanism, our modern society is one that is impulsive, instant gratification, no rules to follow, open sex lives, no one telling them they are wrong, etc. so what kind of ‘religion’ best fits this type of lifestyle…satanism!

If practicing a religion infringes upon the practice of another religion, it can be outlawed. In the case of Satanism, certainly the practice of stealing the host for satanic rituals, if indeed that is encouraged by the religion, would be grounds for making Satanism illegal. However, simply not believing in the practices of another religion, such as Protestants’ not believing in the Catholic Mass, or Christians’ not believing in the practices of Satanism, would not be grounds for making the religion–Catholicism or Satanism–illegal. We have the freedom to exercise the practice of our own religion but we do not have the freedom to undermine the practice of someone else’s religion while practicing ours.

Certain religious practices can be made illegal if they’re criminal offenses. For instance, human sacrifice probably wouldn’t be allowed in the US even though the First Amendment protects the freedom of practice of religion. Some practices, like the use of peyote in a native American religion, that are usually considered illegal, have been given exceptions.

Hopefully Host desecration would be considered a hate crime and made illegal. My worry is that Catholicism’s disapproval of homosexual behavior will soon be considered a hate crime…

Also, these two statements contradict
We either tell them the Truth or we don’t.

You misunderstand me. I mean that you cannot just tell someone something and expect them to believe it without educating them on the matter. You can walk around telling everyone that marriage is only between a man and a woman all you want, but nothing will come of it unless you explain to them the natural law behind it.

It’s our job to tell the Truth regardless of how it will be received by others. They have a right to ignore the truth, but we still ought to try and convert them.

The teaching of the Church regarding religious freedom is not exactly the same as the Freedom of Religion construct in the US Constitution.

When you read the position of the Church, she is more concerned with things like prohibiting forced conversions or persecuting members of a religious group, especially one connected with an ethnic identity. For the Church, religious freedom is about dignity of the person, not political rights.

I don’t think a law that outlawed Satanism would necessarily be contrary to Church teaching. Nor would a government policy that did not recognize Satanism as a religion nor grant them protected class status. But a law that evicted people who identify as Satanists from their homes, deported them or forcibly Baptized them would.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit