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UPDATED - Obama Moves away from 'Freedom of Religion' toward 'Freedom of Worship'? Comments

This article first appeared in July, 2010. We've come a long way since then regarding President Obama's Cairo speech and other presidential modifications for the term "religious freedom." It seems that the concerns expressed two years ago have borne fruit. Are we now discovering that this change of language does indeed mean there is a change of policy? As Catholics, this is an area where we must remain vigilant. These small changes can be ... Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 20 Comments

  1. Rob
    2 years ago

    Sometimes when I consider this this issue, I think, this is a no brainer, the Chruch will prevail and this will be nothing more than a really stupid, political move that Obama will pay for in November. Then I have to step back and consider how much government funding some of these institutions take. Devil is in the details. I wonder how many of these institutions, by virture of the dollars they receive, will be somewhat akined to federal contractors. I'm not sure of the law in that area. But what should be alarming to the Bishops and to which I really haven't heard a peep, is that the level of obedience in a majority of these institutions doesn't exactly help our cause any. Maybe we will win on a legal technicality, but I sure wish our lived witness in this regard spoke for us. If we don't start getting our house in order, this won't be the last time the government tries this. Honestly, I'm suprised it's taken this long. If we win this issue, what is going to be our response? Back to the status quo?

  2. Lee
    2 years ago

    The First Amendment makes it clear that the church has no obligations to the state. But the reverse is not the case. The state is prohibited from interfering in religious faith by creating an established church akin to the Church of England, which was established by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I as a means of preventing the Catholic church from making the states of Europe the instruments of its nefarious commands: Kill these heretics! Segregate these Jews! Burn these witches! The newly established church was subordinate to the Crown – and still is. In contrast, American churches are free. It is no wonder that they are so much admired by the pope, who applauds the way they use their freedom to reestablish the domination over the state that he believes is rightfully theirs.

  3. JoAnn
    2 years ago

    michael: The Church has been through many challenges since She was established by Jesus over 2000 yrs. ago. When Jesus ordained Peter as the first pope He said "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it." And Satan has been hard at work trying to destroy Her, but it will never happen. She will exist eternally because the Holy Spirit protects and guides Her. We will get through this challenge as well. The only disadvantage is that we do not know how long it will take. I believe we are in for a major purging from God, but if we stay on His side, we will get through it. Pray for strength in our Faith and trust in Jesus. God bless.

  4. Anita Andazola
    2 years ago

    I am free to worship God. If there is no Church building, I continue to have faith, the Rosary, the Bible. My priests can consecrate bread and wine wherever it's needed can't they? Using Rush Limbaugh as an example of a double standard just makes me cringe because someone who follows Christ is clearly barred from tit for tat attitudes by the words of Christ. This article is a grasp at many straws leading to no logical or morally defensable conclusion. I am a Roman Catholic. I support everyone's free-will right to seek God, because I believe that those who seek God will find God.

  5. techwreck
    2 years ago

    Brian and Doug, that is a nice try. Unfortunately you did not supply context that has significance for the current issue. Reagan was not opposing the right of churches to establish doctrine and operate in accordance with that doctrine. The same can't be said for President Obama who is supporting a government regulation in direct opposition to the teaching of a number of churches. The Obama administration is trying to limit the role of churches in the public square by denying their right to operate in accordance with their doctrines. So the expressions "freedom to worship" and "freedom of religion" take on a much different meaning, because of the aggressive attempt of the Obama administration to limit role of churches in the public square.

  6. michael
    2 years ago

    What amazes me is that President Obama is sticking to his guns. This is a calculated risk and politically dangerous. Yet, he must see some weakness in the membership of Holy Mother Church. Modern, secular leaders have always sought to eviscerate Holy Church by dividing her members. The last 50 years or so have been a disaster for the members of Holy Church...divisions are everywhere...people are ignorant of the Faith and consider the Revelation of Jesus Christ to be one of many opinions. Obama, who is the Great Divider, is going to ride this one out and see the results through. In a sense, he would like to see another Gabbatha moment where he hears Catholics yelling crucify our medieval Church...we have no King but Caesar.

  7. DLL
    2 years ago

    I don't believe that the US Constitution or The Bill of Rights could have ever been conceived without the Idea of all having Religious Freedom and the Freedom to Worship God as is seen fit. Moral law is non existent in a society without Religious Freedom,as without this Freedom there is no such thing as any freedom. In Christ is justice and mercy,this is only to be known through faith. God is merciful and kind and fair,as we can only know this through the example of whom is Christ Jesus. If you don't believe what I am writing than at best freedom is a roll of the dice,a chance at best. There is as much of a chance for a dicey freedom as there is in trying to balance a 16 trillion dollar deficit in spending. There is hardly any financial freedom in an economy continually running on deficit spending. A society without religious freedom has a deficit in justice,mercy,fairness,kindness and as a result becomes a society without love or truth to govern it,as evientually it will become violent and oppressive,as these societies become a law unto itself,selfish and self serving at best.

  8. Doug Indeap
    2 years ago

    I occasionally hear some work themselves into a lather over this supposed distinction between “freedom of religion” and “freedom of worship.” While I have heard some casually use the terms seemingly as equivalents and have heard others condemn the latter as encompassing much less than the former, I have NEVER heard anyone actually suggest, much less advocate, that the First Amendment should or does only protect the latter.

    Sounds to me like a made-up bogeyman. Can you show any evidence of someone, anyone, even once championing the idea that the Constitution protects only a narrow freedom of worship of the sort you claim President Obama and others have in mind?

  9. lisag
    2 years ago

    Obama and company want Christians to keep it the church. Yet, they want to come into the church to tell us how to speak and what is right. I think they are drooling over the Catholic charities, schools and hospitals. Why wouldn't they confiscate these buildings and material to use in their own way. Obama just signed a regulation last Friday to do so in economic or any national distress.

  10. vance
    2 years ago

    DLL, I love your post.

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