Religious Freedom

Freedom In the United States today, Catholics find themselves religiously threatened by new government laws and mandates. Some of the most prestigious Catholic agencies find themselves choosing between their moral beliefs, or completely shutting down due to society and the new laws. Same-sex marriage laws have lead to countless number of lawsuits due to Christians refusing to give in to society’s standards. Catholic citizens, in such a chaotic and immoral society, must fight the social normal and restore the eliefs and teachings of Christ.

The city of Boston, home to one of the nation’s oldest adoption agencies, recently found itself forced to make a somewhat impossible decision: Molate its conscience or close its doors”. (USCCB). In order to be legally licensed in the state, the adoption agencies would have to abide by laws in regards to discrimination against sexual orientation, meaning children would have to have the option to live with same-sex couples. The same scenario started sweeping the nation.

Charities and agencies in San Francisco, Illinois, Georgia, and the District of Columbia were also quickly forced to shut down permanently. In Illinois specifically, the state would no longer provide them with money if they refused to place children in same- sex homes. Bishop Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield said, “In the name of tolerance, we are not being tolerated” (USCCB). Catholics must fight for the most vital parts of the Church, its agencies and charities, defending the idea of religious freedom.

Catholic Social Teaching states that as members of the church “every ndividual has a call to participation, and community, fghting for Justice in society’ (Catholic Social Teaching). Whether it includes going to the nation’s capital, or raising money in a local parish, every Catholic should make an effort to fight for true religious freedom in every country around the world. The conflict of religious freedom extends beyond the United States, to the neighboring country of Canada. A recent government announcement of a Canadian Charter of Quebec values defines Quebec as a strictly secular state.

The minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship says, “We therefore propose to establish a duty of religious neutrality and reserve among state personnel. This duty would mean that state employees could not wear conspicuous religious symbols while they work” (Catholic News Agency). This law concerns many people in the state, forbidding simple Jewelry like rosary bracelets, small crucifixes, veils, etc. Quebec essentially desires to eliminate any religious element in its society.

Catholic schools, though still llowed to keep its title of ‘catholic’, will see a drastic change, with the government dictating what teachers can and cannot teach the students. Christians, Muslims, Jews, etc. from all over proceed to call on the government to overturn these strict restrictions. Bishops and religious leaders continue to act on the call to participate, writing letters, and conducting interviews stating the immediate actions that need to be taken against the charter. All around the globe, governments continue to pass laws limiting the work of Catholic agencies and faithful believers.

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