In a country as great as the United States of America, where even in hard times we are surrounded by plenty, it’s easy to get comfortable. And in that lax condition, certain freedoms are taken for granted until they are overtly threatened.
For example, religious freedom has long been assumed safe by myriads of Americans who may or may not even attend a church or synagogue regularly. The steeples on the country hillsides, as well as those pointing upward here and there amid the city skylines, are a stark reminder of the religious heritage of this nation, and many assume what once was always will be.
But this is not the case, and it has never been the case.
Which is why the Alliance Defense Fund, since its inception, has been standing with our allies in battles for religion and culture: raising a Paul Revere-like cry intended to wake up Americans who were drowning in comfort and warning them that the enemies of freedom and religion were together coming to take away freedom of religion, if they could find a way.
And now, through the Obama administration’s abortion pill and contraception mandate, the wolf which was at the door has become the burglar in the room, and religious freedom is in serious danger of being taken from us.
More than 40 Catholic dioceses and organizations know this is true and have therefore filed suit against the Obama administration for violating their religious freedom and their freedom of conscience, just as several other Catholic and evangelical organizations have already done: including evangelical colleges and a private employer which ADF currently represents in similar suits filed and to be filed.
As a letter from the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. explained:
This lawsuit is about an unprecedented attack by the federal government on one of America’s most cherished freedoms: the freedom to practice one’s religion without government interference. It is not about whether people have access to certain services; it is about whether the government may force religious institutions and individuals to facilitate and fund services which violate their religious beliefs.
And while some have tried to diminish the lawsuits—12 in all—by the various dioceses and organizations as “a Catholic thing” against contraception, Cardinal Donald Wuerl has made clear that “the lawsuit in no way challenges…women’s established legal right to obtain and use contraception or the right of employers to provide coverage for it if they so choose. This lawsuit is about religious freedom.”
In other words, this issue goes beyond the concerns of the Catholic Church or the Evangelical or Protestant communities or the Jewish synagogue down the street. It reaches beyond those who worship at all. Instead, it is a matter that touches every American who treasures the right to be guided by conscience in making important decisions and adopting an ethical worldview for their lives.
Many who were sleeping heretofore have now been awakened to find religious freedom under such rampant assault. And they see, with their own eyes, how the assault is also aimed at tomorrow’s generations, with members of President Obama’s administration targeting high schools and colleges with propaganda about the “free” contraceptives and abortion pills they have access to via ObamaCare.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a press release announcing that Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are reaching out to campus leaders to remind graduating high school, college, and university seniors about their new so-called health insurance options under ObamaCare.
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The time for being aloof from threats to our culture, for being so comfortable that we cannot sense the danger at our front door, is long past. Now, to each of us as Americans—whether religiously faithful or not—the charge has come. Each must make a decision to either, “saddle up and fight,” or sit back and surrender our Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
And each must understand that indecision is the same as deciding not to fight.
LifeNews Note: Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defense Fund.