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2/4/2012 10:56:00 AM
It's about religious freedom
Catholic News Service photo
The First Amendment is inscribed at the Newseum in Washington, DC.
Catholic News Service photo
The First Amendment is inscribed at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

When it comes to one new federal health care mandate, many of us feel something is wrong. How many will  speak out?

The government wants to require our Catholic colleges, hospitals and charities to provide employees with free abortifacient drugs, other birth control and sterilization.  

We Catholics will be compelled to violate our consciences or drop health coverage for employees. The year that the Administration has given us to comply will not resolve the central problem. This mandate denies us religious liberty, this country’s most fundamental freedom.

Sure, our intrepid groups and leaders will object. Large pro-life rallies last week were impressive — but expected. It’s not enough. If the massive middle of Catholicism sits back and watches, our lived faith will erode and innocent unborn children will die with our subsidy, all because of inaction. What’s next?

Our bishops can hardly be more clear. We must all be unwavering in meeting the threat from the Department of Health and Human Services. The sheer effrontery may be enough to shock some in the pews to stay mum. That’s not an option for any Catholic now.
President Obama and other federal officials seem content to reduce religious liberty to freedom to worship on Sundays, as if the way a person acts in the world the rest of the week were not linked. But of course, our primary mission as a church is to announce the gospel. We must proclaim unchanging moral truths loudly and relentlessly. To shirk this duty is not just neutrality or apathy. In this case, it’s sinful.

To learn more and to find ways to contact lawmakers, go to www.usccb.org/conscience.

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