Belmont Abbey HHS Mandate Case Dismissed. Resistance and Catholic Action!
determines whether a law is unjust, "How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law."
This Edict from Secretary Sebelius came one day after Pope Benedict XVI addressed a group of US Bishops during their annual visit. He warned them of the growth of radical secularism in the United States and the accompanying threats to the fundamental Right to Religious Freedom so integral to the American experiment.
Pope Benedict XVI has repeatedly warned of the growth of a "Dictatorship of Relativism". Relativism is a philosophy which denies the existence of any objective truths to guide human behavior. This kind of philosophy expresses itself in this way: "your truth" is not the same as "my truth." When there is a denial of the existence of anything objectively true - which can be known by all and form the basis of our common life - there can be no secure foundation for true freedom and solidarity. Instead, we teeter on the brink of social anarchy.
There has been an effort to dismiss the moral positions we hold as Catholics as "religious" and relegate them - and us- to thier expression only behind the walls of our Church buildings. That is not what the American founders meant by the Free Exercise of Religion. The current Administration is acting in a manner which is virulently anti-Christian, in spite of their rhetoric to the contrary. The Christian faith may be personal, at least in the sense that it invites a personal response. However, it is not private - it is profoundly public.
Our our insistence upon protecting the Right to Life and the Right to Religious Freedom, are not just religious" positions. They are rooted in our conviction of the existence of a Natural Law which must inform any truly just positive laws. That Natural Law can be known by all men and women through the exercise of reason.
Twenty three lawsuits have been filed alleging a violation of the First Amendment. The day before this DC opinion was released; a federal Judge in Nebraska dismissed a case filed by the Attorney General on a similar ground. U.S. District Judge Warren Urbom of Lincoln, Nebraska held that the "safe harbor" provisions delayed enforcement until August of 2013 and thus removed any immediate threat. It is kind of like saying that the bully in the schoolyard with the clenched fist is not a threat until the fist connects with the face:
"The plaintiffs face no direct and immediate harm, and one can only speculate whether the plaintiffs will ever feel any effects from the rule when the temporary enforcement safe harbor terminates. This case clearly involves 'contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated, or indeed may not occur at all, and therefore it is not ripe for review."
We are living under an ominous cloud of religious oppression. At its center are the unconstitutional actions of a Federal Administration which is increasingly hostile to the Catholic Church as she seeks to be faithful to her mandate to proclaim and live the fullness of the Gospel in a Nation which she has served so well since its founding. We cannot make light of this. It is serious business and it calls for Catholic Action.
Most of us could not have foreseen this turn of events just a few years ago. We knew the culture was decaying. We have tried to stem the tide and contribute to cultural renewal. We love this Nation. However, we now find Catholic Colleges and other institutions which clearly serve the common good having to find "safe harbors" to win more time to fight the unjust actions of the Obama Administration. According to some federal judges we have to wait until we are harmed before we can even seek redress in the Courts of this Nation!
There is a need for a massive resistance to this unjust law on every front. One of those fronts is the ballot box. It is increasingly apparent that President Obama and his administration do not respect fundamental human rights including the Right to life and the Right to Religious Freedom. The Nation we love is slowly devolving into a secularist State. This Edict calls for a Catholic tide of resistance and a New Catholic Action. We cannot, we will not, comply with the HHS mandate.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: HHS Mandate, Obamacare, Religious discrimination, anti-Catholic, pro-life, free exercise, Becket Fund, Belmont Abeey College, Deacon Keith Fournier
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