Religious Freedom Under the Gun


#1

In Western Europe and Canada, by contrast, the problem is an aggressive secularist majority that refuses to permit religiously informed moral arguments into public life. Recently Georgetown’s Religious Freedom Project held a major conference in Oxford on the rising tensions between religious liberty and assertions of homosexual equality. In his keynote address, Philip Tartaglia, the Catholic bishop of Paisley, Scotland, noted that one of his priests had expressed fear after watching a popular audience-based television program. The consensus was ominous: Once same-sex marriage is legalized in the United Kingdom, the audience agreed, dissenters should be “pursued by the law.”

Once upon a time (in the late 18th century), anti-Catholic penal laws in Scotland criminalized the mass and outlawed priests. While Scotland may not be moving in so radical a direction today, it would be foolish to presume that the growing intolerance of traditional Christianity in Europe and North America cannot devolve into persecutory laws and practices. In Canada, it is estimated that since the adoption of gay marriage in 2005, between 200 and 300 proceedings have been launched against defenders of marriage in courts, human rights commissions, and employment boards. The Catholic bishop of Calgary was threatened with litigation and charged with a “human rights violation” for circulating a letter within his diocese repeating Catholic teaching on marriage. (Intimidated, he settled out of court.)

At Oxford, Bishop Tartaglia (who seems unlikely to be intimidated) said that he expected one day to be standing before a judge because of his public defense of Catholic teaching. Some at the conference made it clear that they simply would not brook any “special” consideration for religious ideas, which they argued had no more relevance to human flourishing than any other idea under the sun.

weeklystandard.com/articles/religious-freedom-under-gun_648235.html


#2

[quote="Bubba_Switzler, post:1, topic:291455"]
weeklystandard.com/articles/religious-freedom-under-gun_648235.html

[/quote]

It is time for America to insure its religious freedom so that the world can follow.


#3

The Catholic bishop of Calgary was threatened with litigation and charged with a “human rights violation” for circulating a letter within his diocese repeating Catholic teaching on marriage. (Intimidated, he settled out of court.)

This is untrue. He was brought before a Human Rights Tribunal, not a court. You can't "settle" with them.

The Tribunals been largely neutered since then, both legally, and in the court of public opinion.


#4

It always troubles me a bit when Catholics pretend that the Church has been a champion of religious freedom.

For centuries heretics were slaughtered, individually or in large groups - e. g., Cathars, Huguenots. As late as 1870 Pope Pius IX issued his infamous "Syllabus of Errors" which sharply condemned religious freedom for minority faiths in Catholic countries. I believe it was Leo X? who even spoke of the 'American heresy' - the idea that individual conscience should be able to trump church teaching.

Luther would have been killed had not a German noble given him safe refuge in his castle. Jon Hus, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Waldo and other pre-Reformation Protestants all were either burned at the stake or otherwise persecuted. Bloody Mary executed a pile of Protestants during her reign. Etc.

It is true that Maryland was established as a place for freedom of religion, as was Rhode Island - Maryland by Lord Baltimore and Catholics, Rhode Island by Roger Williams and Protestants.

#5

[quote="Roy5, post:4, topic:291455"]
It always troubles me a bit when Catholics pretend that the Church has been a champion of religious freedom.

For centuries heretics were slaughtered, individually or in large groups - e. g., Cathars, Huguenots. As late as 1870 Pope Pius IX issued his infamous "Syllabus of Errors" which sharply condemned religious freedom for minority faiths in Catholic countries. I believe it was Leo X? who even spoke of the 'American heresy' - the idea that individual conscience should be able to trump church teaching.

Luther would have been killed had not a German noble given him safe refuge in his castle. Jon Hus, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Waldo and other pre-Reformation Protestants all were either burned at the stake or otherwise persecuted. Bloody Mary executed a pile of Protestants during her reign. Etc.

It is true that Maryland was established as a place for freedom of religion, as was Rhode Island - Maryland by Lord Baltimore and Catholics, Rhode Island by Roger Williams and Protestants.

[/quote]

Look at all the good luther did. He started a rebellion that killed thousands of people (riled peasants up against their lords). The man was insane (literally insane, towards the end of his life). There are a good number of Saints we venerate in the Church. They were killed by protestants for being Catholic. There was one Saint who wasn't even a Priest, but he secretly became Catholic. The Priest was eventually caught and executed but this man was on trial. Everyone in the town knew him, the judge was even his friend (he wanted so badly to get him back to his family). He told him all he had to do was spend a few minutes in a protestant church to say he had been there. Then he would be able to go home to his family. He politely but firmly refused and went quietly to his death. The american heresy is valid because individual conscience can not trump Church teaching. Church teaching comes from Jesus Christ Himself. If your individual conscience convinces you that using condoms is moral because then you're not risking an unwanted pregnancy than you're doing the "right" thing, which is the exact opposite of what Christ and His Church teach. (Kind of a loose example I know) but you get the idea I hope?


#6

[quote="Roy5, post:4, topic:291455"]
It always troubles me a bit when Catholics pretend that the Church has been a champion of religious freedom.

For centuries heretics were slaughtered, individually or in large groups - e. g., Cathars, Huguenots. As late as 1870 Pope Pius IX issued his infamous "Syllabus of Errors" which sharply condemned religious freedom for minority faiths in Catholic countries. I believe it was Leo X? who even spoke of the 'American heresy' - the idea that individual conscience should be able to trump church teaching.

Luther would have been killed had not a German noble given him safe refuge in his castle. Jon Hus, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Waldo and other pre-Reformation Protestants all were either burned at the stake or otherwise persecuted. Bloody Mary executed a pile of Protestants during her reign. Etc.

It is true that Maryland was established as a place for freedom of religion, as was Rhode Island - Maryland by Lord Baltimore and Catholics, Rhode Island by Roger Williams and Protestants.

[/quote]

Who is pretending it was?
The OP is about today, when the Catholic Church is a champion of religious freedom.


#7

[quote="Roy5, post:4, topic:291455"]
It always troubles me a bit when Catholics pretend that the Church has been a champion of religious freedom.

For centuries heretics were slaughtered, individually or in large groups - e. g., Cathars, Huguenots. As late as 1870 Pope Pius IX issued his infamous "Syllabus of Errors" which sharply condemned religious freedom for minority faiths in Catholic countries. I believe it was Leo X? who even spoke of the 'American heresy' - the idea that individual conscience should be able to trump church teaching.

Luther would have been killed had not a German noble given him safe refuge in his castle. Jon Hus, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Waldo and other pre-Reformation Protestants all were either burned at the stake or otherwise persecuted. Bloody Mary executed a pile of Protestants during her reign. Etc.

It is true that Maryland was established as a place for freedom of religion, as was Rhode Island - Maryland by Lord Baltimore and Catholics, Rhode Island by Roger Williams and Protestants.

[/quote]

You should be troubled by all of the Catholics that were killed by King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I and those that were imprisioned by all the Kings and Queens of England up to and including Queen Victoria. Even in Colonial America, the English effectively outlawed Catholicism to the extent that there was only one Catholic who signed the Declaration of Independance.....And how many Catholics perished when the English forcibly relocated the French Catholics from Nova Scotia to Louisiana...
As for religious freedom in Maryland, that was short lived, in that the Crown soon took over the government of the colony and although they let Catholics already living there alone, they did not allow the immigration of any more Catholics into the colony. As for Rhode Island, It was soon taken over by Puritan sympathisers and that was that....and I haven't even began to talk about the 30 Years or the 100 Years Wars, which essentially were religious wars, not started by the Catholics..
So don't throw history in anyones face....never forget that that effort is a two way street!
"Let he who is without sin....."


#8

A couple points.

 1. **Both Catholics and Protestants have sorry records when it comes to religious persecution and prejudice**. Understand, of course, that most Protestants don't view Henry VIII as a Protestant. In fact, he was a harsh critic of Luther. He was a conniving schismatic who wanted a divorce, which led him initially to separate the Church of England from Rome. The Puritans and other early Americans were refugees from the Church of England. Of course, the Puritans weren''t that tolerant, either. 

  I come from a mixed Catholic-Protestant heritage. Dad's side - French Canadian and Catholic. Mom's side - Puritan. Her ancestral grandfather fled Belgium to avoid execution after he and his family had become Huguenot. His grandson emigrated to Massachusetts in 1639.   

 2. **Of the 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, 55 were Protestants.** The US Catholic Church today heralds the American tradition of religious freedom. That tradition came primarily from its Protestant founders. European Catholicism (and some European Protestantism) was repressive of minority faiths, even up until modern times. The Franco government of Spain, for example, did not permit Protestant churches to practice their faith in any public fashion. It wasn't that long agvo, in 1870, that Pius IX issued his "Syllabus of Errors" which denounced separation of church and state, etc.

 3.** Obamacare is complex. I'm not sure how I feel. I tend to be against forcing Catholic institutions to pay for birth control coverage. However, let me illustrate an example from Catholic Charities.**

  I believe I've read that of the $3 billion annual budget of US Catholic Charities, $2.5 billion comes from Federal moneys, our tax dollars, paid by people of all faiths - mainly, in fact, by non-Catholics. I think the dioceses put in $180 million, about $3 per US Catholic. Pretty low, isn't it? Most of the balance comes from local United Ways and other community collections - again, much of it from non-Catholics. Given such information, a strong argument can be made that non-Catholics who work for Catholic Charities (for example) and do not reject birth control as Catholicism does should be covered. Remember, too, that birth control medications are for much more than birth control. Other health issues are involved. And we know that the vast majority of adult Catholics use artificial birth control just as non-Catholics do.

  Complicated issue. While I don't believe that moneys to cover birth control should be paid from specifically Catholic funds (it does violate the religion), an argument can be made that Catholic Charities (again, for example) employs many non-Catholics, that these non-Catholics should not face discrimination because of their religion, that funds used to pay for this coverage could be seen as coming from public taxes, etc. Besides, the Obama administration has indicated a compromise position that would not have these funds come from Catholic sources.

 4**. The notion that Catholicism is being repressed in any way in this country is ridiculous**. When over 80% of the budget of Catholic Charities is provided by our government, our taxes, that charge is absurd. One could even argue that Catholicism occupies a favorable position vis-a-vis the US government. The Supreme Court has 6 Catholic justices, 3 Jewish justice, 0 Protestant justices - and all nine were appointed by Protestant presidents! What kind of discrimination is that? 

 Religious bigotry - and there seems to be some of it here on CAF - is contrary to the Christian faith. God bless people of every creed, color, culture and country. Religion should be a bridge and not a barrier!

#9

[quote="Roy5, post:4, topic:291455"]
It always troubles me a bit when Catholics pretend that the Church has been a champion of religious freedom.

For centuries heretics were slaughtered, individually or in large groups - e. g., Cathars, Huguenots. As late as 1870 Pope Pius IX issued his infamous "Syllabus of Errors" which sharply condemned religious freedom for minority faiths in Catholic countries. I believe it was Leo X? who even spoke of the 'American heresy' - the idea that individual conscience should be able to trump church teaching.

Luther would have been killed had not a German noble given him safe refuge in his castle. Jon Hus, Tyndale, Wycliffe, Waldo and other pre-Reformation Protestants all were either burned at the stake or otherwise persecuted. Bloody Mary executed a pile of Protestants during her reign. Etc.

It is true that Maryland was established as a place for freedom of religion, as was Rhode Island - Maryland by Lord Baltimore and Catholics, Rhode Island by Roger Williams and Protestants.

[/quote]

Roy,
What communion are you a member of, and has that communion taken a stand on the HHS mandate beside the CC and the LCMS and others against it? If yes, that's wonderful.
If not, why not? Why not stand up for the 1st amendment and free exercise of religion?

I have no idea what 1500's Europe has to do with the OP.

Jon


#10

=Roy5;9520915] 3.** Obamacare is complex. I'm not sure how I feel. I tend to be against forcing Catholic institutions to pay for birth control coverage. However, let me illustrate an example from Catholic Charities.**

  I believe I've read that of the $3 billion annual budget of US Catholic Charities, $2.5 billion comes from Federal moneys, our tax dollars, paid by people of all faiths - mainly, in fact, by non-Catholics. I think the dioceses put in $180 million, about $3 per US Catholic. Pretty low, isn't it? Most of the balance comes from local United Ways and other community collections - again, much of it from non-Catholics. Given such information, a strong argument can be made that non-Catholics who work for Catholic Charities (for example) and do not reject birth control as Catholicism does should be covered. Remember, too, that birth control medications are for much more than birth control. Other health issues are involved. And we know that the vast majority of adult Catholics use artificial birth control just as non-Catholics do.

  Complicated issue. While I don't believe that moneys to cover birth control should be paid from specifically Catholic funds (it does violate the religion), an argument can be made that Catholic Charities (again, for example) employs many non-Catholics, that these non-Catholics should not face discrimination because of their religion, that funds used to pay for this coverage could be seen as coming from public taxes, etc. Besides, the Obama administration has indicated a compromise position that would not have these funds come from Catholic sources.

Those tax-payer funds are fees for services. The Catholic charities do something in the community. The government recognizes that they probably do it better and more cost-effectively than a government agency could do it. And they serve the entire community, not just Catholics. That's the nature of the relationship. If the government decides it can do it better, then just defund the Catholic agency. The government knows what the CC stands for, knows its moral position, and enters into these agreements with eyes wide open.

The notion that since they get government funds to do something the government wants done means they can't anylonger exercise their religious liberty is obsurd.

 4**. The notion that Catholicism is being repressed in any way in this country is ridiculous**. When over 80% of the budget of Catholic Charities is provided by our government, our taxes, that charge is absurd. One could even argue that Catholicism occupies a favorable position vis-a-vis the US government. The Supreme Court has 6 Catholic justices, 3 Jewish justice, 0 Protestant justices - and all nine were appointed by Protestant presidents! What kind of discrimination is that? 

The HHS mandate is repression, and it will effect not only Catholics.

 Religious bigotry - and there seems to be some of it here on CAF - is contrary to the Christian faith. God bless people of every creed, color, culture and country. Religion should be a bridge and not a barrier!

Please cite an example of religious bigotry on CAF that has not been dealt with by the mods. This is a rather strong charge that deserves documentation.

Jon


#11

[quote="George_Stegmeir, post:7, topic:291455"]
You should be troubled by all of the Catholics that were killed by King Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth I and those that were imprisioned by all the Kings and Queens of England up to and including Queen Victoria. Even in Colonial America, the English effectively outlawed Catholicism to the extent that there was only one Catholic who signed the Declaration of Independance.....And how many Catholics perished when the English forcibly relocated the French Catholics from Nova Scotia to Louisiana...
As for religious freedom in Maryland, that was short lived, in that the Crown soon took over the government of the colony and although they let Catholics already living there alone, they did not allow the immigration of any more Catholics into the colony. As for Rhode Island, It was soon taken over by Puritan sympathisers and that was that....and I haven't even began to talk about the 30 Years or the 100 Years Wars, which essentially were religious wars, not started by the Catholics..
So don't throw history in anyones face....never forget that that effort is a two way street!
"Let he who is without sin....."

[/quote]

So the error of secular monarchy some how justifies the errors of the Church?

They were both wrong, but lets not deny what the Church officials did in the course of history.

Jim


#12

[quote="JonNC, post:10, topic:291455"]

The HHS mandate is repression, and it will effect not only Catholics.

[/quote]

Yet by invoking the American understanding of religious liberty as the basis of their opposition to the HHS mandate, that is exactly what the Bishops are not saying. They are acting as if American Catholics are the only ones affected by this.

Of course the mandate will afffect non-Catholics, because the mandate promotes objectively evil practices: contraception, voluntary sterilization, and perhaps even abortion. These things are sinful not only for Catholics; they are sinful for everyone. This is why the Bishops' message ought to be conversion, not religious liberty.

Americanism and Catholicism are not one and the same -- as the Bishops are slowly finding out.


#13

=gnjsdad;9522699]Yet by invoking the American understanding of religious liberty as the basis of their opposition to the HHS mandate, that is exactly what the Bishops are not saying. They are acting as if American Catholics are the only ones affected by this.

The issue is, after all, a secular one. They must invoke the rights protected in the Constitution in order to preserve them. Additionally, I see the bishops accepting the partnership of the LCMS and other groups with open arms, so I don't think they are blind to the nationwide effect.

Of course the mandate will afffect non-Catholics, because the mandate promotes objectively evil practices: contraception, voluntary sterilization, and perhaps even abortion. These things are sinful not only for Catholics; they are sinful for everyone. This is why the Bishops' message ought to be conversion, not religious liberty.

The issue should be both: religious liberty, or it will be taken away, and demoted into "freedom of worship", which means we can celebrate mass, but that's about it, and conversion of hearts and minds first to the Gospel and second to what that means in terms of morals and life.

Americanism and Catholicism are not one and the same -- as the Bishops are slowly finding out.

Nobody said they were. What I think the bishops are slow to discover is that when they ally themselves with the left on "social justice", this is what they eventually get. The left will consider them useful idiots to promote their ends, but trash them when they get in the way.

Jon


#14

Opinion


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