In the Face of Secularism, It is Time for a New Defense of Christianity

New Defense of Christianity by Michael Terheyden -
In the Face of Secularism, What is needed is a Defense of the ancient yet ever new faith which sets people and Nations free
The Obama administration’s unconstitutional mandate regarding birth control coverage reminds us that we live in the age of secular humanism, when many people no longer believe religious faith is reasonable or important.

The message this administration sends to Christians is that our faith is bad for modern society, and we will no longer be allowed to live according to our beliefs in this nation. Therefore, as we prepare to enter into the deepest mysteries of our faith this Lenten season, perhaps it would be helpful if we compare the reasonableness of our faith with secular humanism.

The renowned Catholic theologian Germain Grisez provides us with excellent information on this subject in Volume 2 of his book, Living A Christian Life. This article was inspired by the excerpts in the section on faith which focus on secular humanism’s claim that Christianity is not rational, scientific or tolerant. But before I proceed, I want to be clear about how I use the term “secular humanism.” [Read more...]

What are you going to give up this Lent?

Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal Francis George

by Francis Cardinal George -
The Lenten rules about fasting from food and abstaining from meat have been considerably reduced in the last forty years, but reminders of them remain in the fast days on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday and in the abstinence from meat on all the Fridays of Lent. Beyond these common sacrifices that unite us spiritually to the passion of Christ, Catholics were and are encouraged to “give up” something voluntarily for the sake of others. Often this is money that could have been used for personal purposes and instead is given to help others, especially the poor.

This year, the Catholic Church in the United States is being told she must “give up” her health care institutions, her universities and many of her social service organizations. This is not a voluntary sacrifice. It is the consequence of the already much discussed Department of Health and Human Services regulations now filed and promulgated for implementation beginning Aug. 1 of this year. [Read more...]

Canada’s New Tyranny: The State’s Takeover of the Family

Canada Tyranny Christian Family Persecution by LifeSiteNews Editors -
The great English writer G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.”

But if what Chesterton says is true, then Canada fails the test, because the Canadian family is no longer free.

In the past week we have witnessed the Supreme Court of Canada dismiss the appeal of a Quebec family for permission to exempt their child from that province’s controversial ethics and religious culture course, which critics say is “relativistic,” and teaches that all religious are equally valid. And we have heard a spokesperson for the Alberta education minister state that under the province’s new Education Act even homeschooling parents will no longer be allowed to teach their children traditional Christian sexual ethics. [Read more...]

Cardinal Dolan: Cannot Rest When Faced with so Grave a Threat to Religious Liberty

Cardinal Timothy Dolan by Deacon Keith Fournier -
“If the government can, for example, tell Catholics that they cannot be in the insurance business today without violating their religious convictions, where does it end? This violates the constitutional limits on our government, and the basic rights upon which our country was founded. Much remains to be done. We cannot rest when faced with so grave a threat to the religious liberty for which our parents and grandparents fought. In this moment in history we must work diligently to preserve religious liberty and to remove all threats to the practice of our faith in the public square.” (Cardinal Timothy Dolan)

NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) – Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, recently returned from Rome, is continuing to provide clear and courageous leadership to the Catholic Church in the United States. We are facing one of the greatest struggles in our history.

We offer below the full text of a letter which was sent on Ash Wednesday, from Cardinal Dolan, to his brother Bishops. It is co-signed by another heroic figure in this critical hour, Bishop William Lori, the Chairman of the Bishops Committee for Religious Liberty. [Read more...]

Obama’s Unholy War Against Christianity, Not Islam

American Spectator - War Against Christianity by George Neumayr -
The more illiberal a religion, the more liberals tend to like it. Western liberals who propose no place for God in the public square can usually be counted on to excuse non-western religions that impose a false and dangerous one upon it.

The explanation for this apparent contradiction goes beyond the childish and self-hating affinity of western liberals for all things non-western. The deeper reason is western liberalism’s attachment to irrationality. Having ruptured a once-harmonious relationship between reason and religion in their own culture, western liberals can’t seem to stop themselves from championing similar ruptures in alien ones.

By different routes of irrationality, western liberals and militant Muslims arrive at the same spot. Western liberals reach it by a distorted “reason” without faith, militant Muslims by a distorted “faith” without reason, with each imbalance producing its own culture of death: abortion and euthanasia in the west, jihad in the east. [Read more...]

The First and Foremost Freedom, Freedom of Religion

Christian persecution, loss of religious liberty America by Chuck Colson -
I’ve been talking a lot lately about the Obama Administration’s relentless attempts to restrict religious freedom.

You know by now that the Catholic bishops have strongly rejected the president’s so-called “accommodation” to exempt religious organizations from paying for abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization.

Good for the bishops. What the president outlined changed nothing: religious organizations will still have to provide insurance that covers services that violate their religious beliefs, even if they don’t have to pay for them directly.

Now why does this matter? Why is it really such a big deal? The Administration is hoping you will think this is all about contraception, which not many people, even the majority of Catholics, care that much about. But this is not about contraception. This battle is all about religious freedom—the first and most important of all our freedoms. [Read more...]

Empty Buildings, NYC Kicks Churches out of Schools

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson -
It’s no secret that Christianity has been unwelcome in public schools for a long time. But recently New York City’s government took an unprecedented step by forcing around 60 churches to vacate sanctuaries they pay to use.

Why? Because Monday through Friday, those sanctuaries also happen to be classrooms.

This deadline was set back in December, when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of the 2nd Circuit’s decision upholding the City’s crass discrimination against communities of faith. New York at this time is the only major city in the nation to ban religious services in its school buildings. But this precedent does not bode well for what may happen in other cities.

The reasoning behind this decision was ludicrous. In his ruling, Circuit Judge Pierre Leval claimed that renting school property to churches implies “an unintended bias in favor of Christian religions,” that makes public schools look like “state-sponsored Christian churches…but not synagogues or mosques.” [Read more...]

Six Things Everyone Should Know About The HHS Mandate

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops logo by USCCB -
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers the following clarifications regarding the Health and Human Services regulations on mandatory coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

1. The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals. These institutions are vital to the mission of the Church, but HHS does not deem them “religious employers” worthy of conscience protection, because they do not “serve primarily persons who share the[ir] religious tenets.” HHS denies these organizations religious freedom precisely because their purpose is to serve the common good of society—a purpose that government should encourage, not punish.

2. The mandate forces these institutions and others, against their conscience, to pay for things they consider immoral. Under the mandate, the government forces religious insurers to write policies that violate their beliefs; forces religious employers and schools to sponsor and subsidize coverage that violates their beliefs; and forces religious employees and students to purchase coverage that violates their beliefs. [Read more...]

The Time Is Now, Defend Religious Liberty for All

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson -
Folks, we have reached the point where Christians may be called to actively defy the government of the United States. This is a shocking and sobering statement, but I’m sorry to say it’s true.

If you’ve read the Manhattan Declaration–and I pray you have read it and signed it—you’ll know that we predicted this time would come. We just had no idea it would come so soon.

As you know by now, Obama Administration has refused to grant religious organizations an exemption from purchasing health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, surgical sterilization, and contraception.

The Catholic bishops responded quickly, decrying the Administration’s decision for what it is—an egregious, dangerous violation of religious liberty. [Read more...]

The Contraception Edict: An Assault on Liberty

American Spectator - Contraception Edict: An Assault on Liberty by Robert M. Goldberg -
We’re seeing Obamacare’s future and how it works.
The Obama administration’s decision to force religious institutions to cover contraception is a case study on how Obamacare and its implementation have politicized medical decisions. Here’s how it works. First, health care choices are overruled if they do not flow from the state and do not require taking rights from one group to give to another in the name of fairness. Next, the same administrative apparatus engages in politicking and deal making to appease groups angered by the original decision.

The contraception mandate was issued unilaterally and without regard to the deep feeling and anger it would generate. Now the administration is rhetorically backpedaling and seeking to find a way to respond to the quickly spreading attacks on the action. Claims to the contrary, this was and is not about assuring all women have access to contraception. It was about eliminating the choices and overruling the preferences of one group to enforce the “rights” of another. [Read more...]

Evangelical Leader: Jail Over Obamacare Mandate

Orthodox Bishops against Abortion Mandate by Ben Johnson -
One of the most influential evangelical leaders in the United States says Christians should go to jail rather than comply with the Obama administration’s mandate to provide all contraception, including abortion-inducing drugs, in their health care plans.

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), told LifeSiteNews.com “we will not comply” with the Dept. of Health and Human Services’ mandate requiring religious institutions to cover abortifacient products such as Plan B, Ella, and the IUD.

“We want the law changed, or else we’re going to write our letters from the Nashville jail, just like Dr. King wrote his from the Birmingham jail,” Dr. Land said. [Read more...]

Obama and the Dictatorship of Relativism

Dictatorship of Relativism Tolerant Liberals by Samuel Gregg -
There is no moral truth and Rawls is his prophet.

If there was ever any doubt about one of the Obama Administration’s key philosophical commitments, it was dispelled on Jan. 20 when the Department of Health and Human Services informed the Catholic Church that most of its agencies will be required to provide employees with insurance-coverage for contraceptives, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs: i.e., products, procedures, and chemicals used to facilitate acts which the Church and plenty of others consider intrinsically evil.

Alas, it’s not a question of the administration being tragically “tone deaf,” as one American Jesuit claimed, to specifically Catholic concerns. Nor is the bedrock of President Obama’s position, in the end, a commitment to “women’s health.” Outside the ghoulish world of Planned Parenthood, pregnancy does not qualify as a disease. A fertile womb is no threat to human life.

No, this is all about the absolutization of choice for the sake of choice. It’s also about creating a society in which any discussion of the actual ends we choose is considered unacceptable in public debates about law and morality. [Read more...]

65 Orthodox Church Bishops Call on Obama to ‘Rescind’ the ‘Unjust’ Contraception Mandate

Orthodox Bishops against Abortion Mandate by Ben Johnson -
The 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church have asked President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to repeal the mandate that religious institutions provide birth control, sterilization, and Plan B abortion drugs in their health care coverage.

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America – which represents 12 Orthodox jurisdictions and three million Orthodox Christians in the United States – issued a press release last Thursday calling the HHS ruling a violation of religious conscience. [Read more...]

Outrageous Choice: Religious Freedom or Healthcare?

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson

by Chuck Colson -
I’ve told you that the Obama Administration is intentionally restricting religious freedom. I’ve told you we are in danger of losing the right to exercise our faith in public.

Well, maybe I’ve been too understated. The attack is relentless.

Just recently, the Obama Administration announced that the Affordable Healthcare Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare, requires that employers pay for contraception, including abortifacients, and that Catholic institutions are not exempt from this requirement.

Well, Catholic Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh and other bishops are blowing the trumpets on the ramparts. And my hat’s off to them. They see the Administration’s actions for what they truly are. [Read more...]

The State Ruling the Church

The Left Heart of Darknessby Fay Voshell -

This past Sunday, January 29, Roman Catholic congregations were read letters opposing the Obama administration’s demand that all Catholic universities and Catholic-based charities make sure they provide all employees access to health insurance providing artificial contraception, including abortifacients and sterilization services such as vasectomies and tubal ligations.  The “morning after” pill is also included.

The clerics’ fiery rebukes follow Pope Benedict XVI’s January 19 speech in which he warned the Catholic Church of the increasing threats of radical secularism’s intrusion into politics and culture.  The Holy Father specifically mentioned the U.S. church’s need to be afforded conscientious objection to the administration’s demand for compliance within one year. [Read more...]