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…]

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True Ecumenism, Christians United Against Obama’s HHS Mandate

The American Catholic True Ecumenism by Donald R. McClarey –
I must confess that I have never been a great fan of Ecumenism, as a drive for greater Christian unity, as it has played out in the Catholic Church since Vatican II.  Too often it has resulted in “dialogues” with non-Catholic faiths that seek to paper over theological chasms that divide us from them.  If the price of Ecumenism is any watering down of the Catholic Faith, please count me out.

However, there is a true Ecumenism which I interpret as the banding together of people of different faiths to accomplish some great good in the name of God.  A striking example of what I am referring to was the action of the four chaplains of the USS Dorchester on January 22, 1943, a Catholic priest, two Protestant ministers, and a Jewish rabbi, who gave up their life jackets so other men could live, and died together, arms linked, praising God to the end.  Go here to read their story. [Read more…]

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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…]

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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…]

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The Case for Ron Paul

Constitution Better Than Marx by Jason McNew –
Ron Paul, a physician, has earned himself the name “Dr. No” by refusing to vote for any bill which assumes powers other than those given in Article I, Section VIII of the Constitution. When one takes a sober look at our country today, it’s easy to see why Dr. Paul would behave this way.

Take note that there is no authority in the Constitution for the setting of interest rates (as the Federal Reserve does) — interference which led directly to the housing bubble (which Ron Paul predicted). Despite U.S. participation in several sizable wars, Congress has not bothered itself with actually declaring war since 1942 (on Romania). There is no authority to bail out banks, intervene in labor disputes, subsidize farming, regulate health insurance, or set educational policies. Every one of these unauthorized activities drives costs up (or drives prosperity down) and ultimately hurts average Americans. Americans are realizing that most of our social and economic ills can be traced to a failure to follow our own Constitution. Ron Paul has always been a strict, unapologetic Constitutionalist. How Ron Paul would govern as president can be envisioned by simply reading Article II of the Constitution (The Executive Branch.) [Read more…]

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Theology of Play

Christ Water into Wine icon Orthodox by Jonathan Hayward –
Most of Christianity that I’ve come into contact with has a well developed theology of work; sometimes called the Protestant Work Ethic, it is summarized in the verse, “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as if unto the Lord.” (Col. 3:23). A mature Christian is characterized by hard work, and I do not wish to detract from that, but there is a counterpart to theology of work: theology of play.

It would probably be easier to defend a point of doctrine involving great self sacrifice – that a Christian should be so loyal to Christ that the prospect of being tortured and killed for this devotion is regarded as an honor, that a Christian should be willing to serve in boring and humiliating ways, that a Christian should resist temptation that takes the form of an apparent opportunity for great pleasure – but I will still state and explain this point: a Christian should be joyful, and furthermore that this joy should express itself in play and celebration. [Read more…]

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What the Pilgrims Can Teach Us about Economic Freedom

Thanksgiving Freedom Economic Freedom Economic Freedom –
The Pilgrims struggling to survive at Plymouth Plantation learned the importance of private property first-hand in 1623 when Governor Bradford adopted a free-enterprise system after just two years of communal sharing. Their experiment with socialism revealed valuable lessons that inspired the colony to shift to a free-market economic system that would serve as the foundation upon which America would grow into a great and prosperous nation.

As the Pilgrims learned, societies that respect property and the rule of law capture the benefits of free-market enterprise and enjoy high levels of prosperity. The benefit that we see from free markets is contingent on individuals having the right to own and protect property and to benefit from their labor. [Read more…]

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Finding America: Our History Flows From our Belief in Self-Evident Truths

America Freedom Creed Truths by Peg Luksik –
What, exactly, makes this nation “America”? It’s not economics. Economic conditions are always the result of a nation’s culture and policies, not the cause. We need to ask what created the culture and policies that made us the most prosperous nation in history.

The answer tells us what we, as a nation, believe. Our Founders began by saying, “We hold these truths to be self-evident”.

Our entire history flows from our belief in those self-evident truths. In modern language, the truths of America’s heritage are:

God exists and is the highest authority. The American Revolution can only be justified if there was an authority above the King – an authority whose standards the King was violating. A government can only be wrong if there is something higher to measure its actions against. [Read more…]

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God Has a Lot to Do with It, Christianity and Freedom

Chuck Colson
Chuck Colson
by Chuck Colson –
A recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times asked “What’s God got to do with it?” The “it” being referred to was the security and freedom that Americans enjoy and often take for granted.

The answer to the question is “quite a bit,” and arguing otherwise requires taking something else for granted: our way of life’s debt to Christianity.

The man asking and answering the question was Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic magazine. Shermer took exception to the words of a recent House resolution to keep “In God We Trust” as the national motto. The resolution read: “Whereas if religion and morality are taken out of the marketplace of ideas, the very freedom on which the United States was founded cannot be secured.”

Shermer was troubled by the “belief that religion has a monopoly on morality,” especially, he says, “in this age of science and technology, computers and cyberspace, and liberal democracies securing rights and freedoms for oppressed peoples all over the globe.” [Read more…]

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Steve Jobs and American Exceptionalism

Apple America capitalism freedom by Ed Feulner –
Steve Jobs, who died yesterday at the too-young age of 56, was a living refutation of all that liberals constantly tell us about our country — that we’re falling behind others and live now in a “post-American world,” as one of Barack Obama’s favorite books puts it in its title.

As anyone who’s ever handled an Apple product or had his life improved by the technological innovations our system has produced in just a decade (that means all of us) will tell you, Jobs and innovators like him epitomize that immeasurable quality the left somehow finds most abject — American exceptionalism.

The meme of the left is that drudgery and mediocrity is not just our future but probably also our just deserts–for being too imperialistic, consumerist, wasteful, patriarchal, or what have you. (For an inexhaustible list of all our ills and sins, please check with the mob gathered at the “Occupy Wall Street” protest.) One should compare this deadened vision with the wonders Jobs wrought. [Read more…]

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Why Pastors Must Be Free To Preach On Politics

Constitution Freedom of Speech and Religion by Alan Sears –
On Sunday, October 2, hundreds of pastors all over the country did something an astonishingly large number of their fellow Americans had forgotten they had the God-given right to do: namely, address political issues and candidates during a worship service.

Across the nearly 60 years since then U.S. Senator Lyndon Johnson pushed through an amendment to the IRS code threatening any church or pastor who gets involved in politics with IRS reprisals – specifically, the loss of the church’s tax-exempt status – conventional wisdom has congealed around the idea that pastors must stay out of politics. As extraordinary as that assertion is to anyone with even a cursory knowledge of our nation’s history, it’s a theme that’s been hammered home unrelentingly for decades by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. [Read more…]

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A Christian Response to the Ongoing Enslavement of America’s Poor

Fr. Peter-Michael Preble
Fr. Peter-Michael Preble
by Fr. Peter-Michael Preble –
Yesterday, President Obama signed a law that will raise the debt ceiling and continue to enslave the American people for another three or four years. It has reduced the national debit some but it seems to me at least that it has not gone far enough. Just so you know, your share of the national debit is about $42,500. It seems to me that the era of Big Government needs to end.

I am what one would call a “classical liberal.” Now, before you go crazy because I use the word liberal, please read on. I think you will be surprised.

Classical liberalism developed in the 19th Century in Western Europe and the Americas and is a political philosophy committed to the ideal of limited government, liberty of individuals including freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and free markets. The sovereignty of individual private property rights is essential to individual freedom. The philosophy believes in an unfettered market with a very minimal role of government. In other words, small federal government, small state government, with decisions being made at the local level where the people have a direct voice in determining what is best for their community. [Read more…]

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The American Creed: ‘We hold these truths…’

America Freedom Creed Truths by Chuck Colson –
The great British intellectual G. K. Chesterton wrote that “America is the only nation in the world that is founded on [a] creed.”

Think about that for a moment. Other nations were founded on the basis of race, or by the power of kings or emperors who accumulated lands—and the peasants who inhabited those lands.

But America was—and is to this day—different. It was founded on a shared belief. Or as Chesterton said, on a creed.

And what is that creed that sets us apart? It is the eloquent, profound, and simple statement penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” [Read more…]

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On Independence Day: The Gift of Life

Life is a Gift from Godby Fr. James Farfaglia –
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776). We have heard and read these famous words many times. Yet, it should be interesting for us to note that of the three fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the founding fathers of our nation recognize life as the first of these three unalienable rights.

Why is the right to life the first of these God given rights?

Life is a gift from God. The first pages of the Holy Bible direct our gaze to the awesome gift of life. [Read more…]

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Yes, We Still Have a Prayer

Pray for America prayer important by Quin Hillyer –
Pray. Really. Pray. Praying might just be what we need if we want this blessed country to thrive as a beacon of freedom.

It’s always a bit of a risk, and can be borderline off-putting, to intertwine prayer and politics in an overt way, or even to seem to do so. Readers or listeners rightly recoil when somebody suggests that God takes sides in politics, or that his (the person’s) own politics are more godly than that of his opponents, or (worse) that he undertook his own candidacy or cause because God “told” him to do so. That’s not what this is about. This also isn’t one of those “the-sky-is-falling” sorts of rants in which the point is that the nation is somehow on the verge of utter disaster and can be saved only by openly miraculous, divine intervention. Things aren’t great in the good’ol USA right now, but we’re not (quite) at that extremity yet.

Instead, at issue here is something more subtle. At issue is a country that has lost its way, in part because far too many millions of its individual citizens have lost their own way in their daily lives. [Read more…]

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