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While this happens frequently, our own federal government and much of the media are conspicuously silent, for while they may not be interested in religious creeds, they demur from what the Second Vatican Council’s “Declaration on Religious Freedom” called “immunity from coercion in civil society.” By way of antidote, Ronald Reagan said in his first gubernatorial inauguration speech in 1967, “Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction.” The great crises of cultures are crises of saints.
This is hard to understand if you think religion is a substitute for clear thinking.
The bishops of the United States have called for daily prayer leading up to the 4th of July to safeguard freedom of religion in our country.
The new style of the federal government, in speech after speech, to replace freedom of religion with freedom of worship is not innocent of calculation, for while permitting ritual acts of devotion within the walls of a building, it would limit the right to express religious beliefs in public discourse.
This conception is wholly in keeping with the teaching of the Catholic Church.(Liberty of conscience) may also be taken to mean that every man in the State may follow the will of God, and, from a consciousness of duty and free from every obstacle, obey His commands.
This, indeed, is true liberty, a liberty worthy of the sons of God, which nobly maintains the dignity of man, and is stronger than all violence or wrong—a liberty which the Church has always desired and held most dear.
Recently, a Christian in Tunisia was martyred for converting from Islam, and his killers chanted prayers against “polytheists” as they call Christians, while slowly slicing off his head.
He may even have brought some of Europe to a more sober frame of mind about his policies.
The throngs in European cities welcoming the advent of Hope and Change during his campaign were unsettling enough for anyone who remembers the cheering crowds gathered in some of those same platzes in the 1930’s.
For the exercise of such power would be tyranny, inasmuch as it would tend to destroy rights which both the natural and the positive laws of God place beyond the jurisdiction of men.
Hence, in the commonly accepted American doctrine, a constitution vests the government with such rights and powers as are necessary for the proper exercise of its just functions, and at the same time forbids it to encroach upon rights of a higher order which come to men, not from the people, nor from the State, nor from any aggregation of States, but from the Creator of both men and States, almighty God.
Pope Pius XI announced to the world, without apparent success, that the Cristeros persecutions were like those of the Roman Emperor Decius.