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No Cristero War Here




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June 4, 2012 | 1549 views | 2 comments

By Robert Morrison

The preview of the movie "For Greater Glory" at Washington's Newseum was packed.

The Catholic Association had invited a Who's Who of Catholic leadership in the nation's capital, including two former U.S. Ambassadors to the Vatican. As a non-Catholic, I counted it an honor to attend the screening of this film about Mexico's Cristero War. The movie is grim but gripping.

I had no idea the Mexican government had so brutally cracked down on the Catholic Church in the 1920s. Shooting priests, hanging altar boys, it's all shown in graphic detail. And it needs to be.

The movie earns its "R" rating for the violence of the civil war on our border. As a student of American history, I was stunned by the severity of the religious repression there.And I thanked God that we Americans had been spared that.

Yes, there were anti-Catholic Bible riots in Philadelphia in the 1840s, but these were never sponsored by the U.S. government. Nor had the federal government attempted to crush private religious schools -- as happened with a Klan-backed referendum in Oregon in the 1920s. There, the U.S. Supreme Court vindicated the religious freedom of all by striking down state law.

Last week's Religious Freedom conference of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) featured distinguished speakers from across the spectrum of America's religious communities. Roman Catholic, Evangelical, Mormon, Orthodox Christian and Jewish leaders spoke on contemporary threats to religious freedom here. The HHS Mandate that would force Catholic and other religious institutions to provide drugs that can kill unborn children held center stage, of course.

The HHS Mandate is unprecedented. And it is a mortal threat to religious freedom in America.It not only threatens all Catholics, it threatens me. My granddaughters were recently born in a Catholic hospital. When they were stricken with the life-threatening RSV virus on Christmas Eve, they were rushed back into that same hospital.

HHS Sec. Kathleen Sebelius would only exempt St. Mary's Hospital from her pro-abortion diktat if they close their doors to non-Catholics like me and my family. She would thus crush our religious freedom, too. How can an administration that prides itself on being "pro-choice" deny to millions of Americans -- Catholic and Protestant alike -- the choice of pro-life health care?

This is in fact the most dangerous assault on religious freedom in 225 years.More than that: This administration has defined religious freedom more narrowly than any administration in history. In the recent Hosanna Tabor Supreme Court 9-0 decision, the Obama administration contended that it and not The Lutheran Church -- Missouri Synod would decide who is and who is not a "minister" in that church body. No matter that the LCMS has designated its teachers as ministers since 1847 -- and has had that "ministerial exception" respected by the federal government from its beginnings, the Obama administration wants to substitute "freedom of worship" for freedom of religion.

The Supreme Court unanimously rejected this attempt.Freedom of religion includes freedom of worship, of course, but it also allows us to witness to our fellow Americans through works of charity and love in public. We pray daily for our leaders, including President Obama and Sec. Sebelius. But we will resist their unconstitutional and unprecedented crushing of religious freedom.

The Soviet Constitution supposedly guaranteed "freedom of worship," but only if Christians stayed inside their churches and inside their own homes. We pray as well that there will never be a Cristero War here. Fighting in the courts and in the public square against such oppression is the best way to avoid such tragedies.

Robert Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council.
 
« Previous Blog Entry (May 31, 2012)
 


Your Opinions and Comments
 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
June 5, 2012 10:35am
 
 
Keep the Obama group around long enough and we may see all these things.
 
 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
June 4, 2012 1:40pm
 
 
New post.
 

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