Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson and Keith A. Fournier

11/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Today we end this series of articles - but not our work together.

The First Freedom, Religious Freedom, is at risk in this election. Catholics believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic. We reach out to people in need because we are Catholic.  

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson and Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/6/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: campaign 2012, Edith Stein, St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, Faithful Citizenship, Romney, Ryan, Obama, Biden, Catholic vote, common good Deal W Hudson, Keith A Fournier


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday, November 6, 2012, citizens of the United States of America will vote. We have spent the last forty days urging Catholics, other Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will to vote in a manner which respects life, family, freedom - including religious freedom - promotes solidarity, respects subsidiarity and advances the true common good. 

We will both cast our vote in a manner which we believe reflects a fully informed Catholic conscience and demonstrates what the US bishops have called faithful citizenship. With all the talk about conscience these days we must all be reminded that consciences must be properly formed in accordance with the truth as revealed in the Natural Law and taught by the Church.  

We have known each other for many years. We have stood in the trenches together on some of the great causes which surround this hour in history. We both wanted to make sure that no matter what the outcome of this election, we had done all we could to effect the fundamental change we believe is required. That is why we joined together to write these articles.

Of course, we both know that politics alone will not heal the malady at the root of the decline of the West. That will take a profound conversion of hearts. However, we know political participation is an essential part of living out the Christian vocation to be light, leaven and salt in a culture which desperately needs all three.

Today we end this series of articles - but we do not end our work together.

No matter what the outcome of this election, our task stretches before us. We will do everything we can to ensure that the truths and the principles found within the treasury of Catholic Social Doctrine, authentically understood and applied, are offered as yeast for the loaf of culture and inform future citizen participation for the true common good.  

The outcome of this election will simply determine where we stand as Catholic citizens going forward in the political climate and help us to best map a strategy. However, make no mistake, no matter what the results of this election, it signals a beginning. Stay tuned for further announcements and invitations. 

The First Freedom, Religious Freedom, is at risk in this election. Catholics believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic. We reach out to people in need because we are Catholic.   

The HHS Edict through which the Affordable care Act is to be applied is a violation of the Free Exercise of Religion protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. That Right to Religious Freedom has been called the "FIRST FREEDOM" in the American tradition for good reason. It is about much more than a freedom to worship.

If this Mandate is not rescinded, it would require all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, to cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception in their health care plans or face the boot of fines and penalties. The alleged "exemption" offered for "religious employers" is a fraud. It would limit the great outreaches of our Church by requiring us to limit whom we serve and who does the serving. 

The fines and penalties imposed upon our Church for noncompliance - and we cannot and will not comply - could have the practical result of closing many outreaches, ministries and institutions of care and compassion.  This HHS Mandate not only injures the Church and religious institutions it injures American society. It harms the common good.

The Document on Religious Liberty promulgated by the Second Vatican Council affirms the proper understanding of Religious Freedom in the teaching of the Catholic Church. Its importance has been reaffirmed and re-emphasized repeatedly in the face of this unconstitutional mandate issued by Health and Human Services in the implementation of the Affordable care Act (aka "Obamacare").

This line from the ducument is a quick summary, "The right to religious freedom must be recognized in the juridical order and sanctioned as a civil right." (DH #422) As Catholic citizens we affirm that Positive law must reflect the Natural Law. This HHS Mandate is an unjust law because it violates civil rights and denies the Natural Law Human Right to Religious Freedom. 

It is interesting that the HHS mandate came one day after Pope Benedict XVI addressed a group of US Bishops during their 2012 ad limina visit to Rome. 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 in ordered liberty. 

A robust understanding of religious freedom is a vital part of the understanding of freedom upon which the American founders built this Nation. It is also included in their insistence that there are inalienable rights, endowed upon us all by a Creator, which cannot be taken away by any civil government. The American founders fled religious liberty violations in their own native lands. 

With this HHS Mandate, the Federal Government of the United States is trying to force the Catholic Church, other Christians, and other people of faith to act against deeply held religious convictions and violate conscience. Our claim that such an edict is an unjust law is rooted in the western understanding of the nature of law itself. The HHS mandate is no law at all and must be resisted if it is not rescinded. The results of this Presidential election will determine what we must do. 

A heroic priest friend offered us the following excerpt from one of our heroes, Edith Stein - St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross - over this past weekend. These compelling words were contained within a letter she wrote to Pope Pius XI on April 21, 1933 asking him to take up a position against the Jewish persecution by the Nazi government:

"All of us who are faithful children of the Church and who have carefully examined the situation in Germany fear that public estimation for the Church will suffer gravely if the silence continues any longer.  We are convinced that this silence will, in the long run, not be able to buy peace from the present German government." 

"The conflict against Catholicism will, for the time being, continue in a quiet and less brutal way than the conflict against Judaism, but it will be no less systematic.  Before long, no Catholic will occupy a government position in Germany unless he accepts the new policies unconditionally" (Source:  The Stein Sisters, p. 69, quoting  Der Pilger: Bistumblatt der Diosese Speyer 8 (February 23, 2003).)

Edith Stein, St Theresa Benedicta of the Cross, presents a model of heroic resistance and virtue. She sought to bring the light of truth into the darkness of a regime promoting a culture of death and institutionalizing a disdain for human dignity and denial of fundamental human rights. She underscores that we cannot remain silentwhen confronted by the threats we currently face.  

We certainly hope for results from this US election which will give us the time we need to slow the cultural decline in this Nation. Our task is to build a culture of life and civilization of love on a firm foundation of true and authentic freedom. This will serve the common good of all.

The wise sage of the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes reminded us, "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens." For Faithful Catholic Citizens, this is a time to pray, a time to vote, and a time to get to work. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... continue reading


President Obama fiercely hits the country with proposed $320 billion tax hike, explained in his annual State of the Union Watch

Image of Obama plans on spending his remaining two years in office helping the middle class experience the prosperity of the recovery.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two years before President Obama's departure, he has vowed to spend his remaining time "playing offense." In his annual State of the Union, Obama will address his proposal to increase tax hikes on America's "one percent." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Parts ... continue reading


Attorney General Eric Holder denounced as 'coward' and 'hypocrite' by former FBI agent Watch

Image of A former FBI agent says that Attorney General Eric Holder has used the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former FBI agent K. Dee McCown, who left the agency in 2008, has written a strong letter to Attorney General Eric Holder where McKown denounces Holder as a "coward" and a "hypocrite." McCown says he was compelled to write after the shooting deaths of two New ... continue reading


President Christie? New Jersey governor builds PAC for 2016 run Watch

Image of New Jersey Governor Christ Christie is likely seeking to run for president in 2016, setting up a political action committee that may be up and running as soon as February.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's actions have already made it abundantly clear that he intends to run for president in 2016, but the most recent sign from the Republican should silence all deniers. Christie is organizing a political action committee which ... continue reading


Romney gears up: Campaign staff mobilizes as 2016 presidential election approaches Watch

Image of Mitt Romney is making noises that hint strongly to a bid for president in 2016, entering a ring that is filled with numerous, divisive Republican candidates.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite numerous polls showing that he had backing from the majority of Republicans and conservatives and requests from several high profile Republicans, Mitt Romney spent all of 2014 claiming that he was not considering running for president a third time in ... continue reading


Where's Obama?: Top leaders of the world march together in Paris to stand up against terrorism, U.S. leaders skip out Watch

Image of High profile officials from the United States did not attend the historic march on Sunday, Jan. 11, 2015 in Paris.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Heads of states from around the world put their differences aside and came together in Paris to denounce terrorism and the recent terrorist attacks. More than 40 top leaders walked side-by-side during this historical march. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "The ... continue reading


Obamacare Report: Health premiums will soar, coverage pulled from millions Watch

Image of Citing the law's wording, the case, called King v. Burwell, is scheduled for arguments on March 4. A ruling is due by the end of June.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More and more, Obamacare is just another bad idea. Case in point: A Supreme Court ruling has struck down federal subsidies for health insurance. This will remove coverage from millions of people who currently have it. According to two new reports issued last ... continue reading


Two years of tuition-free community college? President thinks it's a good plan Watch

Image of President Obama, alongside Vice President Joe Biden and second lady Jill Biden, will tout his proposal dubbed

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an idea that's been adapted by Germany - and now U.S. President Barack Obama wants to give college students two free years of community college. While this would inspire millions to pursue higher education, the plan would have to pass many several hurdles ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:14-20
14 After John had been arrested, Jesus went into ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:29-31
29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time has become ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 25th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Thomas
January 25: Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter