Fortnight for Freedom Day Thirteen: Love of Liberty

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Beginning for two weeks, up to Independence Day, the Bishops are having a Fortnight For Freedom:

On April 12, the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty of the U.S.  Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a document, “Our First,  Most Cherished Liberty,” outlining the bishops’ concerns over threats to religious freedom, both at home and abroad. The bishops called for a “Fortnight for Freedom,” a 14-day period of prayer, education and action in support of religious freedom, from June 21-July 4.


Bishops in their own dioceses are encouraged to arrange special events to  highlight the importance of defending religious freedom. Catholic  institutions are encouraged to do the same, especially in cooperation  with other Christians, Jews, people of other faiths and all who wish to  defend our most cherished freedom.


The fourteen days from June  21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to  July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for  freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face  of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More,  St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the  Church of Rome.  Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action would emphasize both our  Christian and American heritage of liberty. Dioceses and parishes around the country could choose a date in that period for special events that  would constitute a great national campaign of teaching and witness for  religious liberty.


We here at The American Catholic are participating in the Fortnight For Freedom with special blog posts on each day.  This is the twelfth of these blog posts.

The fight over the HHS Mandate essentially boils down to a fight to uphold religious liberty.  Such struggles for liberty in our nation’s history are very important because they go to the very core of our nation.  Abraham Lincoln understood this, and in a speech he gave in Edwardsville, Illinois on September 11, 1858, got to the heart of the matter:


What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.

The use of the power of the State to compel Americans to act against their conscience is the very essence of what the First Amendment seeks to guard against.  Those who cheer today over the use of such power because they hate the Catholic Church, or because of blind partisan allegiance,  are helping to forge a sword which will be turned against their liberties sooner or later.

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One Comment

  1. When the PERSON of God was banned from the public square by the Supreme Court, the atheist said: “Take your religion and yourself from the public square and pray in the privacy of your home”, codifying the words of Jesus: “Go into the privacy of your room, close the door and pray to our Father in heaven.” That “private room” that Jesus exhorts us to enter to pray, that “private room” that the state orders us to enter into to pray is our CONSCIENCE. That “private room”, that conscience, that God has created in man to know, to love, and to serve HIM is being violated, is being intruded upon by the HHS mandate. That “private room”, that conscience, that God has created in man to constitute the state for His greater glory is being violently besieged by the HHS mandate and other atheists around the world. Desecration of the soul of man and his conscience; deconstruction of our founding principles and introduction of atheism is establishment of religion by government; the boot on the neck of man’s rational, immortal soul and his sacred conscience by the state.
    First the state says: “Go into your room to pray.” Then, the state takes the privacy, the freedom of our room from us. The progressives’ move to annihilate FREEDOM. VIVA CRISTO REY

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