“Religious liberty as an ideal sounds lovely. But in the abstract, it has very little power. It has political force only to the degree that ordinary people believe and practice their faith — and refuse to tolerate anyone or anything interfering with their faith. The current White House has a clear track record of ignoring the traditional American understanding of religious freedom and interfering with the activity of religiously inspired organizations. If lay Catholics accept that sort of government behavior without inflicting a political cost on the officials responsible for it, then they have no one to blame but themselves when they find that their liberties have gone thin.” ~ Archbishop Charles Chaput
In light of the impending HHS mandate going into effect on August 1st of this year which will seriously infringe upon Americans’ first amendment right to the free exercise of their religion, I think the nation is about to see what happens when we do not vigilantly and vehemently guard and defend our unalienable God-given liberties as enshrined in the United States Constitution. Archbishop Chaput is right. It isn’t only up to the clergy to defend this and other constitutional rights; it is incumbent upon all Americans of every faith, or no faith at all, to speak out for the rule of law and hold our elected officials accountable when they vote contrary to our Constitution and liberty. To not do so will only ensure that we will all eventually be shackled by the chains of tyranny.
As Archbishop Chaput further said in regards to our religious freedoms in general and the egregious, pernicious, and evil HHS mandate in specific, “If laypeople don’t love their Catholic faith enough to struggle for it in the public square, nothing the bishops do will finally matter.” I pray that enough freedom-loving people of goodwill will indeed step up and make their collective voices heard, before they are no longer allowed to speak anymore.