“What does religious liberty mean to you?”*

I’m not much a joiner. I ignore advertisements, Facebook invites, and generic emails on “freedom,” “pray for our country,” “if you love liberty, click here,” etc. In fact, these things tend to annoy me to no end–the last thing I need in my life is more clutter, and not just clutter, but clutter that claims moral superiority and makes me feel just a teensy bit guilty for hitting the “delete” button. Granted, I still hit delete. But I feel bad about it.

Still, I was reminded yesterday that while I can ignore the clutter, there are certain issues I shouldn’t ignore. And the ongoing battle being waged about our freedom of conscience is one of those issues. It’s easy enough for me to say, “Well I don’t like Obamacare, but that’s up to the Supreme Court now. And the HHS mandate has basically no impact on me. I don’t work for the Church, for one thing, so my health care isn’t at stake. And I’m not married–and yes, since I’m a practicing Catholic that means I’m not sexually active–so the whole contraceptive issue really isn’t something I have to think much about, either.” Granted, I see the potential dangers, and I can’t ignore all the Facebook postings about forced abortions in China and the obvious warning: this could be us. But that’s all hypothetical and far away, isn’t it?

I guess we could sit back and do nothing and find out.

I’m reminded of that scene in the gospel, when Jesus took his apostles with him to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, telling them to “pray with me.” And they all fell asleep. It’s easy to fall asleep. We laugh at the ostrich with his head in the sand, but honestly: aren’t we all like that a little bit? “If I close my eyes and ignore the issue, maybe it will just go away…” I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way.

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If we love our country, if we love our freedoms, whether this particular mandate directly affects us or not shouldn’t be the issue. The issue is religious liberty, as you’ve heard over and over ad nauseam. And that directly affects each of us.

So: If you haven’t given some thought and prayer to joining in–in some way–with the Fortnight for Freedom (June 21 – July 4), I would encourage you to do so. It seems like a good place to start thinking about the issue. Pray. Fast. And when the fortnight is over, keep at it.

Okay, I’m done preaching.

*Reflections from a Soapbox

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One thought on ““What does religious liberty mean to you?”*

  1. My two cents: This push on religious liberty is not for me. I don’t believe that either Obamacare or the HHS mandate infringe on my religious liberty. I don’t agree with them, but I don’t think it’s a religious liberty issue. It’s pretty simple, the church should simply cancel any contracts they have with organizations that are forced to provide services that are immoral/unethical. The repercussions, many peopel who work for church affiliated organizations would no longer have employer sponsored healthcare coverage. They would have to purchse it on the open market. Is it fair to discriminate against the church by having these laws, absolutely not. But it’s not a LIBERTY issue, the church, and each of us still has the freedom to decide what we want to purchase/carry (insurance wise). I think this whole arguement by the church is an attempt to get people riled up before a very important election.

    Again, I think it’s unfair and I’m very opposed to it. But I’m very opposed to many laws and express my displeasure and opposition to my elected representatives. I will continue to pray that our country’s leadership gets their moral acts together and acts in a way that aligns with God’s plan for all of humanity. But my hope dwindles with each passing year…

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