Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson and Keith A. Fournier

11/6/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Today we end this series of articles - but not our work together.

The First Freedom, Religious Freedom, is at risk in this election. Catholics believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic. We reach out to people in need because we are Catholic.  

Article Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson and Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/6/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: campaign 2012, Edith Stein, St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, Faithful Citizenship, Romney, Ryan, Obama, Biden, Catholic vote, common good Deal W Hudson, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, citizens of the United States of America will vote. We have spent the last forty days urging Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will to vote in a manner which respects life, family, freedom - including religious freedom - promotes solidarity, respects subsidiarity and advances the true common good. 

We will both cast our vote in a manner which we believe reflects a fully informed Catholic conscience and demonstrates what the US bishops have called faithful citizenship. With all the talk about conscience these days we must all be reminded that consciences must be properly formed in accordance with the truth as revealed in the Natural Law and taught by the Church.  

We have known each other for many years. We have stood in the trenches together on some of the great causes which surround this hour in history. We both wanted to make sure that no matter what the outcome of this election, we had done all we could to effect the fundamental change we believe is required. That is why we joined together to write these articles.

Of course, we both know that politics alone will not heal the malady at the root of the decline of the West. That will take a profound conversion of hearts. However, we know political participation is an essential part of living out the Christian vocation to be light, leaven and salt in a culture which desperately needs all three.

Today we end this series of articles - but we do not end our work together.

No matter what the outcome of this election, our task stretches before us. We will do everything we can to ensure that the truths and the principles found within the treasury of Catholic Social Doctrine, authentically understood and applied, are offered as yeast for the loaf of culture and inform future citizen participation for the true common good.  

The outcome of this election will simply determine where we stand as Catholic citizens going forward in the political climate and help us to best map a strategy. However, make no mistake, no matter what the results of this election, it signals a beginning. Stay tuned for further announcements and invitations. 

The First Freedom, Religious Freedom, is at risk in this election. Catholics believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic. We reach out to people in need because we are Catholic.   

The HHS Edict through which the Affordable care Act is to be applied is a violation of the Free Exercise of Religion protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. That Right to Religious Freedom has been called the "FIRST FREEDOM" in the American tradition for good reason. It is about much more than a freedom to worship.

If this Mandate is not rescinded, it would require all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, to cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception in their health care plans or face the boot of fines and penalties. The alleged "exemption" offered for "religious employers" is a fraud. It would limit the great outreaches of our Church by requiring us to limit whom we serve and who does the serving. 

The fines and penalties imposed upon our Church for noncompliance - and we cannot and will not comply - could have the practical result of closing many outreaches, ministries and institutions of care and compassion.  This HHS Mandate not only injures the Church and religious institutions it injures American society. It harms the common good.

The Document on Religious Liberty promulgated by the Second Vatican Council affirms the proper understanding of Religious Freedom in the teaching of the Catholic Church. Its importance has been reaffirmed and re-emphasized repeatedly in the face of this unconstitutional mandate issued by Health and Human Services in the implementation of the Affordable care Act (aka "Obamacare").

This line from the ducument is a quick summary, "The right to religious freedom must be recognized in the juridical order and sanctioned as a civil right." (DH #422) As Catholic citizens we affirm that Positive law must reflect the Natural Law. This HHS Mandate is an unjust law because it violates civil rights and denies the Natural Law Human Right to Religious Freedom. 

It is interesting that the HHS mandate came one day after Pope Benedict XVI addressed a group of US Bishops during their 2012 ad limina visit to Rome. He warned them of the growth of radical secularism in the United States and the accompanying threats to the fundamental Right to Religious Freedom so integral to the American experiment in ordered liberty. 

A robust understanding of religious freedom is a vital part of the understanding of freedom upon which the American founders built this Nation. It is also included in their insistence that there are inalienable rights, endowed upon us all by a Creator, which cannot be taken away by any civil government. The American founders fled religious liberty violations in their own native lands. 

With this HHS Mandate, the Federal Government of the United States is trying to force the Catholic Church, other Christians, and other people of faith to act against deeply held religious convictions and violate conscience. Our claim that such an edict is an unjust law is rooted in the western understanding of the nature of law itself. The HHS mandate is no law at all and must be resisted if it is not rescinded. The results of this Presidential election will determine what we must do. 

A heroic priest friend offered us the following excerpt from one of our heroes, Edith Stein - St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross - over this past weekend. These compelling words were contained within a letter she wrote to Pope Pius XI on April 21, 1933 asking him to take up a position against the Jewish persecution by the Nazi government:

"All of us who are faithful children of the Church and who have carefully examined the situation in Germany fear that public estimation for the Church will suffer gravely if the silence continues any longer.  We are convinced that this silence will, in the long run, not be able to buy peace from the present German government." 

"The conflict against Catholicism will, for the time being, continue in a quiet and less brutal way than the conflict against Judaism, but it will be no less systematic.  Before long, no Catholic will occupy a government position in Germany unless he accepts the new policies unconditionally" (Source:  The Stein Sisters, p. 69, quoting  Der Pilger: Bistumblatt der Diosese Speyer 8 (February 23, 2003).)

Edith Stein, St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, presents a model of heroic resistance and virtue. She sought to bring the light of truth into the darkness of a regime promoting a culture of death and institutionalizing a disdain for human dignity and denial of fundamental human rights. She underscores that we cannot remain silentwhen confronted by the threats we currently face.  

We certainly hope for results from this US election which will give us the time we need to slow the cultural decline in this Nation. Our task is to build a culture of life and civilization of love on a firm foundation of true and authentic freedom. This will serve the common good of all.

The wise sage of the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes reminded us, "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." For Faithful Catholic Citizens, this is a time to pray, a time to vote, and a time to get to work. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Texas Lt. Gov threatens action if BLM attempts to seize Texas land Watch

Image of Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has said he will fight the Obama administration if they try to seize Texas land.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst has added his name to the list of people disgusted with the Bureau of Land Management's scheme to seize over 90,000 acres of land from Texas without compensation. AUSTIN, TX (Catholic Online) - Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst had some harsh ... continue reading


Congress appalled at Obama administration's 'stunning disregard for law' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Appalled by the Obama administration's attempt to "rewrite the Affordable Care Act on a wholesale basis," some members of Congress are calling the White House on the carpet for their "stunning disregard for the law." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Study finds the American Republic has turned to Oligarchy Watch

Image of The Republic is dead, thanks to money and corruption.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study finds that the Republic is dead and that the United States government has become an oligarchy, even if its preliminary findings stop just short of declaring so. The study reveals that average American citizens have lost their political voice entirely and ... continue reading


Supreme Court rules affirmative action in Michigan's college admissions is unconstitutional Watch

Image of The ruling focused on a voter-passed proposal that banned the use of race in admissions decisions at public universities.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hailed as a milestone in a decades-long discourse, the Supreme Court has upheld a ban on the use of race in admission decisions at Michigan's public universities. Marked by protests in the streets of Ann Arbor and previous Supreme Court rulings, it was noted ... continue reading


Is affrimative action dead? SCOTUS rules on who can decide the issue Watch

Image of A ruling by the Supreme Court allows states to decide on whether they use a race-conscious policy in admitting students to advanced public education.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Supreme Court struck a blow against those seeking to trample on the rights of states, upholding a Michigan voter initiative which banned racial preferences when considering admission into one of the states' public universities, on April 22. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Exxon Mobil must pay the piper: High court rejects appeal on $105 million verdict Watch

Image of MTBE is an oxygen-containing substance that is added to gasoline to promote more complete combustion and reduce air pollution.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They were found guilty way back in 2009 and now must pay for their transgressions. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to overturn a $105 million verdict against Exxon Mobil for contaminating drinking wells in the New York City borough of Queens. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


He just keeps coming and coming! Highest - and longest period of taxation proposed by President Obama Watch

Image of Under Obama's budget proposal, according to the CBO, the budget will never balance.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barack Obama called for what would be the highest level of sustained taxation ever imposed on the American people. According to the analysis published last week by the Congressional Budget Office, the plan was included in the budget proposal Obama ... continue reading


A new Civil War? Lawmakers meet to discuss taking back federal lands for the states Watch

Image of Lawmakers met in Salt Lake City to discuss how the federal government has been using lands in the Western states.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lawmakers from the Western states gathered in Salt lake City last Friday to discuss what happened on the Bundy ranch in Nevada and to say that it is time for the states, not the federal government, to manage those resources for the good of their people. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


INCOME TAXES? 'If it reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt,' Justice Scalia tells students Watch

Image of Justice Scalia told the students that the justices do not give credence to partisan politics, and that he doesn't care which party controls the White House. He stands by a theory of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as a most bit of unorthodox advice, from a lawmaker to an audience of impressionable minds. While speaking at the University Of Tennessee College Of Law last week, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was asked by a student about his interpretation of ... continue reading


DECLARED INVALID: North Dakota abortion ban overturned by federal judge Watch

Image of North Dakota has passed new abortion restrictions in recent years. Abortion supporters have declared North Dakota's fetal heartbeat law as the most restrictive in the country.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy, has been overturned by a federal judge. The law is "invalid and unconstitutional," according to U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland, who declared ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter