Statement on Religious Liberty from USCCB
bob at jmcenter.org
bob at jmcenter.org
Thu Apr 19 08:13:11 PDT 2012
Catholics have gone from being persecuted in the U.S. (early years of our
nation) to their hey day in the 1950's when the Knights of Columbus pushed
for inserting "under god" * into the Pledge of Allegiance (1954) to being
in today's melting pot (pluralistic society) -- one of many. The Conference
of Catholic Bishops is a big bully AND wrong headed. It's excruciatingly
difficult for them to play by the rules that others, including nontheists,
must follow. They are fighting a war of survival (due to their religion's
irrelevance in the modern era), not of religious liberty.
The bishops reference to MLK is an insult. MLK fought for equality, not
preferential treatment as the bishops are seeking. I doubt that there will
be significant civil disobedience because Catholics are being asked to act
like their neighbors, no more, no less.
As extreme as the bishops appear to be, I'm surprised that they haven't
turned to the Declaration of Independence to justify a call for revolution
to overthrow our secular form of government established in 1789 and return
to pre-Enlightenment times.
* It was painful for me yesterday to hear daughter's first grade class
recite the Pledge with "under god." If the bishops are really interested in
religious liberty, let's strip all the advancements (or "establishments")
of religion out of federal, state and local governments. I've considered
challenging the 1954 Pledge, but the Supreme Court did a job my friend Mike
Newdow ( Newdow v. Elk Grove (2004)) and the 4th Circuit (where I live)
thinks that "god" is a patriot. There will be a Resurrection of that fight
sometime between 40 days and 40 years.
On April 13, 2012 at 6:47 AM Marty Lederman <lederman.marty at gmail.com>
> just issued this major Statement on Religious Liberty:
> I'd be curious to hear what others think of it. Its basic thrust is that
> religious liberty is now acutely "under attack" in the U.S., in a way it
> has not been in quite a while. Indeed, "what is at stake" is no less than
> " whether America will continue to have a free, creative, and robust civil
> society—or whether the state alone will determine who gets to contribute to
> the common good, and how they get to do it." Do you think they've made
> the case for such an indictment?
> Furthermore, it quotes liberally from Dr. King's letter from the Birmingham
> jail, and urges citizens to "have the courage" not to obey the laws that
> allegedly are presenting this profound threat. (What are the odds there
> will be much civil disobedience of the laws they have in mind? -- not a
> rhetorical question.) And it invokes Lincoln at Gettysburg in asking for
> a fast "for a new birth of freedom in our beloved country."
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