Follow usTwitterFacebook

Latest

08 Dec 2015 Articles No comments

The Origin of Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. Also, families, especially those with young children, can incorporate the Advent wreath light…

Read more

30 Jul 2016 News No comments

Pope: ‘In welcoming the outcast, our credibility as Christians is at stake’

Holy Father urges youth to follow Jesus's Way of the Cross through works of mercy By embracing the hunger, thirst and loneliness of others, young people can to…

Read more

22 Jul 2016 Articles Comments (2)

Receiving the Sacraments After Divorce and Remarriage

I recently got a call at Catholic Answers from a woman who had fallen away from the Church many years ago but had come back home after watching EWTN and listeni…

Read more

07 Jul 2016 Articles Comments (2)

Are There Cults in the Catholic Church?

A friend of mine is a school principal, a job that often requires the skills of a seasoned diplomat. He must balance the desires of students, parents, teach…

Read more

28 Jan 2016 Articles Comments (1)

Gnosticism Is All Around Us

I once gave a lecture in a Northwestern diocese—up in the morning, back to San Diego in the afternoon, the entire trip taking only ten hours—and came away…

Read more

20 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (2)

7 powerful morning prayers you need to get your day started with God

Rise and shine - the great morning awaits all of God's children. This may be a well-known fact ... not everyone is a morning person. Some people really strug…

Read more

06 Nov 2016 News No comments

Authorities on high alert - Al-Qaeda plans attacks to thwart U.S. elections

U.S. authorities believe terror group al-Qaeda is plotting attacks in three states on election day. According to CBS News, unnamed sources revealed al-Qaeda …

Read more

24 Dec 2015 Europe News Vatican No comments

Pope Francis named "Charlemagne Prize Winner"

Pope Francis has been selected as the Charlemagne Annual award winner for 2016 for bringing “a message of hope and encouragement” to Europe in a time of uncerta…

Read more

05 Sep 2015 News USA No comments

Holy See expresses cautious support for UN development goals

The Holy See on Tuesday expressed its “strong support” for the 2030 United Nations development agenda, but added it has “firm reservations” about some items in …

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
«
»

US archbishop: ‘Arguing for religious freedom is not bigotry’

The Archbishop of Baltimore defended religious freedom after a commitee chairman called it an ‘excuse for discrimination’

Archbishop William E Lori of Baltimore sharply criticised comments made by Martin Castro, chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights, that the phrases “religious liberty” and “religious freedom” were “code words” used to discriminate.

“Statements painting those who support religious freedom with the broad brush of bigotry are reckless and reveal a profound disregard for the religious foundations of his own work,” said Archbishop Lori of Castro in a statement.

Archbishop Lori, chairman of the US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, said the notion that people of faith are “comparable to fringe segregationists from the civil rights era” is a “shocking suggestion.”

Castro made the statements as part of the US Commission on Civil Rights’ 306-page report, “Peaceful Coexistence: Reconciling Nondiscrimination Principles With Civil Liberties.” Originally scheduled for issuance in 2013, its release was delayed until September 8 – and even then, two on the seven-member commission dissented from its findings.

In his statement, Castro said, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”

Elsewhere in his statement, Castro said, “Religious liberty was never intended to give one religion dominion over other religions, or a veto power over the civil rights and civil liberties of others. However, today, as in the past, religion is being used as both a weapon and a shield by those seeking to deny others equality.”

It was those two statements with which Archbishop Lori took greatest issue in his own statement, which never mentioned Castro by name.

“People of faith have often been the ones to carry the full promise of America to the most forgotten peripheries when other segments of society judged it too costly. Men and women of faith were many in number during the most powerful marches of the civil rights era,” he said.

“Our record is not perfect. We could have always done more,” Archbishop Lori added. But “the idea of equality, which the [civil right commission] chairman treats as a kind of talisman, is incomprehensible apart from the very faith that he seeks to cut off from mainstream society.”

Archbishop Lori said, “The vast majority of those who speak up for religious liberty are merely asking for the freedom to serve others as our faith asks of us. We ask that the work of our institutions be carried out by people who believe in our mission and respect a Christian witness.

“This is no different,” he continued, “from a tobacco control organisation not wishing to hire an advocate for smoking or a civil rights organisation not wanting to hire someone with a history of racism or an animal rights group wishing to hire only vegetarians.”

“Today, Catholic priests, religious and laity can be found walking the neighborhood streets of our most struggling communities in places abandoned by a ‘throwaway culture,’” Archbishop Lori added.

In a rebuttal to Castro in the “Peaceful Coexistence” report, Commissioner Peter Kirsanow noted that prominent religious leaders were “in the forefront of the civil rights movement.” He also said he found it “especially puzzling” that the commissioner singled out Christianity.

“At first I thought he surely meant to identify for opprobrium religions in addition to Christianity,” wrote Kirsanow. “But, as it happens, his venom is directed against American Christians past and present. In criticizing Christianity in regard to Islam and slavery, the chairman fails to recognise that Islam’s ties to slavery are at least as deep as those of Christianity.”

One of the five recommendations the commission made to President Barack Obama said that “overly broad religious exemptions unduly burden nondiscrimination laws and policies. Federal and state courts, lawmakers, and policymakers at every level must tailor religious exceptions to civil liberties and civil rights protections as narrowly as applicable law requires.”

The other four recommendations dealt with tailoring and clarification of the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, two of them to ensure that they “do not unduly burden civil liberties and civil rights protections against status-based discrimination.”

Commissioner Gail Heriot dissented from Castro’s statement and the report itself saying that RFRA sets a “very tough standard, tougher than many would have liked. But it is the course Congress has taken.”

RFRA prohibits the federal government from substantially restricting a person’s religious freedom, except when it can demonstrate “a compelling government interest” and that the government’s action is “the least restrictive means” of furthering that interest.

“Under it, federal laws and other actions – including anti-discrimination laws – are to be interpreted to bend over backward to protect religious liberty, not lean in the direction of minimising the scope of religious liberty exemptions,” Heriot said.









wpsd_autopost:
1

2 comments

  1. Tom Rafferty Reply

    I will try to be succinct. In the USA, there is no religion in its government. We are a secular nation. The Founding Fathers recognized religious division at the time of the writing of the US Constitution and discussed it in depth. They concluded, wisely, that the USA will not have an established church nor an official recognition of anything religious. Thus, the US Constitution codified freedom FROM and OF religion. In other words, practice any religion, or feel free to practice no religion. Since that time, there have been many attempts to break through this wall of separation of state and religion. Thankfully, organization like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has been a workhorse in preventing such from happening. Folks like those who agree with this post want to impose their religious beliefs on others. THAT is a clear violation of the US Constitution. If one is in an occupation that has situations where one is confronted with the civil rights of others that violate your religious beliefs, then you need to either comply with the laws or get another line of work.

  2. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy or any form of intolerance.”
    .
    I see nothing wrong with this statement. Christianity is becoming widely known as the “religion of hostility to the other.” If you don’t like it, stop being so bigoted. Better yet, do whatever it takes to get over the obsession with sex that so defines the Catholic Church and its god.

Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories