We have witnessed an ominous trend in the United States. Classical, faithful Christians who uphold the unbroken teaching of the Church and the scriptures concerning the dignity of every human life and the truth concerning marriage as solely between one man and one woman and formative of family, are being squeezed out of commerce.
WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, at the United States Supreme Court, one of the most important cases concerning the Fundamental Right to Religious Liberty will be argued. The case is styled Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Kathleen Sebelius.
The excellent Lawyers from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represent Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby is a for profit business dedicated to Christian principles in the operation of its business.
We have witnessed an ominous trend in the United States.
Classical, faithful Christians who uphold the unbroken teaching of the Church and the scriptures concerning the dignity of every human life and the truth concerning marriage as solely between one man and one woman and formative of family, are being squeezed out of commerce.
This is not the first time in our two thousand year history as a Christian people that we have faced the reality of having to avoid some aspects of commerce because of the corruption of the cultures in which we live.
It is not our first time facing the hostility of worldly Caesars demanding that we bend the knee to their claims. It is simply that few thought it would happen in the United States of America with its robust protection of religious freedom embedded in its founding documents.
We need to expose and oppose this abuse of power by defending all of the Rights protected by the US Constitution, including the free exercise of religion, the right to free speech, free association and the right to participate in commerce.
However, we also need to be aware that morally coherent Christians, who live a unity of life and believe that their faith informs every aspect of their life, are at the beginning of a period of growing persecution. We must pray, band together and act.
The hostility being faced by Hobby Lobby is an affront to all of us. It calls all faithful Christians, Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, to solidarity. They filed a lawsuit back in September of 2012 which can be read in its entirety here.
You can find an excellent update on the many cases challenging the HHS Mandate which seeks to compel Christian employers to (directly or indirectly) provide Chemical abortifacients, sterilization and contraceptives here.
This attempt by the Obama Administration to compel compliance with this unjust edit violates the Constitution and the fundamental right to Religious freedom. It is a blatant violation of the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution.
Many of my readers know that I spent much of a thirty three year legal career as a Constitutional Lawyer. I continue to join with others who are engaged in this critical work on important cases.
I do so through Common Good Foundation and its legal defense fund. Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance joined in an Amicus Curiae or Friend of the Court Brief in this important case.
So did Catholic Online.
Here are the descriptions of the three organizations from that Amicus brief:
Common Good Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization. Common Good Alliance is a 501(c)(4) organization. Founded by Keith A. Fournier, a Catholic apologist and constitutional lawyer, both organizations are informed by classical Christian social teaching and committed to building a culture of life, family, and freedom, while affirming classical Christian teaching, including that concerning religious freedom.
Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance each have a Legal Defense Fund that provides legal advocacy and support in cases concerning the organizations' missions. To perform their missions, Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance rely upon a robust interpretation of the religious liberty protected by the Free Exercise Clause and RFRA. Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance are concerned that a decision rejecting the plaintiffs' claims in this case would unduly restrict the protection RFRA provides for religious liberty.
Catholic Online is a business that serves Catholics and all people of good will by providing content over its integrated media network. Catholic Online operates its business in fidelity with the Catholic Church's teachings and is thus committed to building a culture of life, family, freedom, and solidarity. Catholic Online affirms classical Christian teaching, including that concerning religious freedom.
Catholic Online's business mission depends upon a proper interpretation of the religious liberty protected by the Free Exercise Clause and RFRA. Catholic Online is concerned that a decision rejecting the plaintiffs' claims in this case would unduly restrict the protection RFRA provides for religious liberty.
Here is the question which was briefed:
The individual plaintiffs in these actions, the Hahns and the Greens, seek to operate their closely-held, family-run businesses consistently with their Christian faith. These plaintiffs, based on that faith, believe that abortion is morally wrong and contrary to their faith and also that to facilitate abortion by providing their employees with health insurance that covers abortifacient drugs and devices is morally wrong and contrary to their faith.
The HHS mandate at issue in these cases subjects the Hahns' and the Greens' businesses to millions of dollars in penalties if the Hahns and the Greens do not direct their businesses to provide employees with health insurance that covers abortifacients. In effect, the mandate commands the Hahns and the Greens to do what their faith tells them is a sin or subject their businesses to substantial financial penalties.
The question before this Court is the following: Does the HHS mandate impose a "substantial burden" on the Hahns' and the Greens' exercise of religion as that term is used in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb-1(a) and in First Amendment jurisprudence.
We ask every reader of Catholic Online to pray that the United States Supreme Court upholds the fundamental Right to Religious Freedom. We will keep you up to date on this vital case.
By Deacon Keith Fournier
The Second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday in the Roman Catholic Liturgical Calendar. In 2013, it was also the day when St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, were canonized. St. John Paul II was deeply devoted to the Divine Mercy. He said it was the key to ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which I believe were prophetic. - We are now standing in the face ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Cardinal Dolan had "the iciest place on the planet" during last night's "Alfred E. Smith's Memorial Foundation Dinner." The Cardinal was seated between Trump and Clinton who riffed on each other during the event. Some of Trump's jokes provoked boos instead of laughter. ... continue reading
By (CNA/EWTN News)
With the Nov. 8 election approaching, the Knights of Columbus have released a novena addressed to Mary, the Immaculate Conception, who is the patroness of the United States. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - The novena consists of nine days of prayer, starting Oct. 30 ... continue reading
By Terry Beatley
Mr. Kaine, for the sake of Christ's sorrowful passion, have you no mercy for God's precious children and the young mothers who are sold lies? In case your bishop and priest have failed to tell you, you are in mortal sin. I did not return "home" to the Catholic ... continue reading
By (CNA/EWTN News)
Following a leaked email from prominent political actors about a possible "Catholic Spring" movement to plant "seeds of the revolution" within the Church, the U.S. bishops' conference has rebuked interference in the Church and a political discourse that marginalizes ... continue reading
By (CNA/EWTN News)
Four churches and their pastors are challenging a Massachusetts law which they say could regulate their speech regarding gender identity. Boston, MA (CNA/EWTN News) - "This case is about who controls Massachusetts churches," said the churches' legal motion to halt ... continue reading
By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
More emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta reveals a growing mountain of evidence that Hillary Clinton and her campaign are corrupt and have been engaged in systematic corruption for a long time. Americans must soon decide if they are ... continue reading
By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
The United States' war on drugs is failing and kids are the greatest victims. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Horror stories have been cropping up left and right as people across the U.S. have been overdosing on opioids, such as heroin and painkillers laced with ... continue reading
By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
The Dakota Access Pipeline is being laid across Native American land in North Dakota. Native Americans have turned out by the thousands since May to oppose its construction on what they say is sacred land. For this reason and others, Christians should consider joining ... continue reading