The first freedom of the Founding Father of this Nation is religious liberty, noted in the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution.
"Conscience is the most sacred of all property," James Madison, a Founding Father, firmly held.
While religious liberty is threatened these days across the globe, awakening to this trampling is vital to a civilized people. Take, for example, the Mexican Catholic Mary Elizabeth Macias Castro who was murdered last September for exposing the activities of drug cartels. A deacon in a Macomb County church told me this week that corruption is so enmeshed in the life and society of Mexico and its borders, that anyone perceived as a threat to that corruption is a target. Christians flee countries for fear of their lives being taken by terrorists, among others.
Some people view the Government's desire to offer more preventative services in the contraceptive mandate that tests religious freedom as an attack on the Catholic Church, especially, but moreso, religious liberty. The insurance mandate requires employers to offer health plans with no-cost birth control for women, among other procedures, as a move that impinges on the conscience of some Americans.
Religious liberty is at stake here.
And, in the U.S., a contraceptive mandate now tests religious freedom.
That's entanglement of government with church, and religious freedom when it comes to its inner affairs and beliefs. Weeks ago, in the Hosanna-Tabor decision upholding the right of churches to make ministerial hiring decisions, the Supreme Court reaffirmed religious freedom, unlike ObamaCare that tramples some beliefs.
The Pew Forum estimates that Christians face persecutions in 133 countries, representing two-thirds of all nations on earth, the National Catholic Reporter noted recently.
A culture of life opposes a contraceptive approach to dealing with life. The natural law is a priority here.
When someone who is hungry goes to the local Catholic Church in Detroit, or, Harrison Township, MI., for example, for food, the receptionist does not ask if he or she is
Catholic. That's an example of why the Catholic Church is not exempt from the President's
insurance mandate. We feed all faiths. Jesus encouraged such efforts.
The Catholic Church defends religious freedom, including freedom of conscience, for all people.
Amish people are respected by the government for living without health insurance. Similarly, Christian Scientists who are exempt from the new health-care reform law are respected.
Why not Catholics?
This health care shouldn't come on the back of trampling religious freedom and conscience.
Erosion of one's first freedom here at home challenges citizens to stand up in the public square.