Freedom of Conscience in the 21st Century


From the National Catholic Register.



Although this article focuses on conscience rights surrounding same-sex marriage, there are a number of other areas where the rights of individuals to follow their conscience are threatened. For example, freedom of conscience with respect to Birth Control and Abortion are likely to be hot topics for the foreseeable future.

I do wonder at the victorious left’s sudden shift away from tolerance. Reading a fair amount of material from the left, I don’t see people talking about tolerance anymore. Acceptance, yes, and the evil’s of the political right, but not of tolerance.

Was tolerance ever their goal? I honestly don’t know. I think conservatives and particularly religious conservatives need to realize that a sizable amount of our political enemies won’t stop until we are ground into dust, so we better be prepared to fight to end.


Was tolerance ever their goal?

Not really. There’s never any absolutes in a large group, but tolerance is a false calling card to advance an agenda. Tolerance to them is having a bunch of people who dress different and have different skin colour all agreeing on the same thing.

I think conservatives and particularly religious conservatives need to realize that a sizable amount of our political enemies won’t stop until we are ground into dust, so we better be prepared to fight to end.

Well, if you’re talking about Christianity or more appropriately Catholicism, we’ll always be here in some way shape or form, but we’re already taking big hits, and a lot of this persecution has and will continue to come from other Catholics.

But as far as religion in general----21st Century post-modern liberal secularism doesn’t have a chance against Islam. In fact, many of the same voices that defend things like making Little Sisters of the Poor pay for Sandra Fluke’s contraception and that straight white Christian businesses must bake a cake for a gay “wedding” will stampede ahead of CAIR to defend Islam.

Between that and the rise of China and Russia (trust me, these sanctions are a setback at best), the secular First World will get steamrolled this century or soon after and it may never rise again.

Some progressives realize this, but don’t care, because they won’t be here and all they really care about is making a name for themselves. Some even think that by pandering to these dark powers, they’ll not only be spared, but elevated and rewarded when it’s all over.


That is the apparent goal: to stifle conscience rights and certain religious free exercise rights with legal actions to ensure compliance. The left had to abandon privacy and proclaim what they wanted as good and progressive, but progress from their point of view only. After years of talking, it was decided that something had to be done about their opponents. And it’s far easier to convince, by whatever means, a relative handful of judges and politicians, as opposed to the general public, to act on their behalf or face their political wrath.

This left versus right tension has always been there, but the left has carefully created laws and experts to convince people that their ideas are the best ideas.

While the left gradually dismantled family life, and created legal abortion and no-fault divorce out of thin air, they have reached a point where the truth has been confused to their satisfaction. Now, the legal challenges will amount to a further takeover that involves forcing individuals to do their bidding. People will resist being forced.

William F. Buckley — ‘Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.’

Tolerance has given way to “you are all presumed guilty until we can get you to say yes to whatever we want to do.” Or, “You are either for us or against us.” Simple.

The “right,” especially the religious right and “conservatives” are being watched very carefully. I’ve been to the web sites and read the articles. No, I’m not saying that the left is a monolithic bloc or all those who hold to leftist ideas are involved, but for those of us that believe in right and wrong, our biggest enemy is indifference. We can’t stay silent since the preaching of the left occurs 24/7 in the media.

To stay “the sky isn’t falling” is simply false. Kids are the current targets since by the time they get old enough to vote, they will not know the truth but a distorted reality invented by men.

Pope Benedict -

"If we cannot have common values, common truths, sufficient communication on the essentials of human life–how to live how to respond to the great challenges of human life–then true society becomes impossible."

Commentary from the Practical Catholic:

“How true this is. Where there is no communication, no culture, no shared experience, there is no society; because there is no people. There remains only a vast and foreboding, unforgiving sea of individuals ready to crash upon each other and the world with the slightest wind. Without a common basis, we have not the vaulted pluralism we’re taught to embrace, but Babel, in all the confusion and madness of a society with no binding forces. Already we are seeing the tensions of this fragmentation breaking out across cultures.”

So, we are moving toward two social structures: one religious and one not. Again, people do not like to be forced and tolerance for the left has become a one-way street on too many issues.

Birth Control implies no one can control their individual decision to have sex or not.
Abortion is a dying industry in the US. It exists but it’s "growth rate’ has decreased.



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