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Section A: General News


Editorial: Catholics and all Christians join Fortnight for Freedom




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June 27, 2012 | 1,179 views | Post a comment

By the time this column is being read, we will be halfway through the Fortnight for Freedom.

As a prelude to our nation’s 236th Independence Day celebrations, American Catholic bishops have called for a 14-day period of prayer and reflection, study, and public action to call attention to America’s Christian heritage and its cherished freedom of religion.

Religious freedom recently has come under attack with government mandates that would require all business-provided insurance policies, even those issued by certain religious institutions, to include coverage of contraception and sterilization even if it violates that institution’s religious beliefs. This is seen by Christians as a direct violation of the free exercise of religion as stated in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Father Shenan J. Boquet, president of Human Life International, represents one of many organizations that has joined in this prayer effort.

He wrote: “The battle lines are drawn, and the arguments are familiar to us now. Although the Catholic Church was intentionally selected as the enemy in a false ‘war on women,’ all faithful Christians now recognize that the threat is really not only against Catholics, but against all people of faith, and our most fundamental freedoms.”

The First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” and is itself under attack.

Boquet suggested that we not stand idly by to find out what will happen if we allow this fundamental freedom of religion to be taken away.

In San Antonio, Archbishop Gustavo Garc’a-Siller has joined the effort by asking that all churches in this archdiocese unite in prayer, especially during this fortnight. At all Masses on Sunday, July 1, he has asked churches to “Let Freedom Ring” by ringing the church bells at 12 noon. “May we stand together with one voice as we seek to follow God’s will,” he said.

Many special events are supporting the national campaign of giving witness to Christ and to advocate for religious freedom. Rev. Dennis Jarzombek, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Stockdale, has been holding nightly prayer services at 6:30 p.m. These will be held nightly through Tuesday, July 3, excluding Friday.

In a column in last week’s Wilson County News, Jarzombek wrote to invite all people of Wilson County and the surrounding area to come together to pray for religious freedom. The services are less than one hour, and include “enlightenment, inspiration, patriotism, and prayer.”

These services are designed to embrace prayers, writings, scriptures, hymns, and reflections while being respectful and inclusive of all religious denominations.

“The liberties we enjoy should not be taken for granted. Seize the moment and exercise your right to assemble,” he wrote. “May we all stand together as Christians united in freedom as we pray that this great land will remain ‘One nation, Under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’”

As Americans will enjoy the red, white, and blue of the Fourth of July by having a day off from work and probably holding a family barbecue and enjoying fireworks, let us remember what has made this nation great. Let us pray that our freedom will be preserved for future generations.

For more information about the Fortnight for Freedom, go to: www.fortnight4freedom.org or www.hli.org/fortnight.

If you believe in the power of prayer, we can win this battle.
 

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