Americans Pray for Freedom Across the Nation
Fortnight For Freedom
Come and Join Us!
(Fortnight for Freedom, 7PM July 21st, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Capitol, on the State Street steps.)
The First Amendment
President Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate has violated the First Amendment, depriving Catholics in the United States of their freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, by forcing Catholics institutions to provide abortifacient pills to employees of Catholic institutions, forcing Catholics by law to do something Catholics believe to be morally wrong.
This is not a “women’s health” issue, because the pills are as affordable as aspirin, tissues, and other medical supplies which have often been considered “over-the-counter,” and which have frequently not been covered by insurance policies in the past. In fact, women use numerous products that are not, and are not likely ever to be covered by insurance, including cosmetics, lotions and sanitary products. All of the “services” covered by the “Contraceptive Mandate” are extremely affordable, and any woman who can afford aspirin or a meal at McDonald’s can afford to pay for these items herself.
By choosing to mandate (to require by law) the free provision of abortifacient pills, the Obama administration is not trying to help women. The administration is trying to place financial strain on the Catholic Church, which is one of the largest and strongest opponents of the Obama administration’s “social” agenda. If Obama succeeds in pushing through ObamaCare and the Contraceptive Mandate, Catholic institutions will be forced by their conscience, like Saint Thomas More, to break the law. Cathoilics will be forced into civil disobedience, into not providing abortifacient services, and then into paying $2,000 yearly penalties per employee, which are estimated to bankrupt most Catholic institutions within two years. Goodbye Catholic universities, Catholic High Schools, Catholic Grammar Schools, Catholic hospitals, Catholic soup kitchens, Catholic adoption agencies, etc., etc. Goodbye the role that Catholics and their institutions have played in our national life since the birth of this nation.
Hello, one more segment of the economy that the Obama administration can take over, in addition to health care and General Motors. Also, a blow to the Catholic Church, the largest (25% of Americans are Catholic), most organized and strongest institution involved in opposing the Obama administration’s “social” agenda, particularly abortion. Two birds with one stone. Isn’t the Obama administration wickedly clever!?
The Obama administration’s biggest agenda, both nationally and worldwide, is abortion. But they have realized from recent polls that Americans are increasingly opposed to abortion, and now a majority of Americans cannot be relied upon to support Obama’s, Hillary’s and Sebelius’ national and global abortion agenda. To understand why abortion is so important to these people, see Abortion: a Much Bigger Deal Than You Think.
Since Americans are no longer likely to support the abortion agenda, the abortion agenda must be sneaked in under a less controversial issue, such as contraception. By sneaking in abortifacients under the phrase “Contraceptive Mandate,” the Obama administration hopes to get the support of the American majority against the Catholic Church. It also hopes to divide the Catholic Church, and thus to reduce the power of the Catholic Church, rendering it less able to oppose Obama’s “social” (translated: moral) issues, such as abortion, gay marriage, and government funding of numerous medical strategies that facilitate promiscuity and discourage or demote traditional family life. Divide and conquer. Isn’t the Obama administration wickedly clever!?
So Now, What’s Happening?
Americans Are Praying
So what do we do when the wicked set snares for us?
Good Christians pray for God’s help:
For my eyes are upon you, O Lord,
in you I take refuge; do not take away my soul.
Guard me from the trap they have set before me,
From the snares of evildoers.
Let the wicked fall into their own nets,
While only I pass over them safely.
- Psalm 141:8-10
When and Where?
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has organized a national 2-week prayer effort, the Fortnight for Freedom, which starts tomorrow, June 21st, 2012. It begins on the feasts of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, who gave their lives for religious freedom. The Fortnight for Freedom ends on July 4th, our American Independence Day.
The bishops have called us to focus “all the energies the Catholic community can muster” for religious liberty during this time.
Special prayers, novenas, Masses, rosaries, and concerted ringing of Church bells, are planned. Friday, June 28th, the Priestly Ordination Mass will be dedicated to Religious Freedom through Fortnight for Freedom:
What’s Going On in Madison?
In Madison, this begins with a Capitol Rosary Rally on Thursday, June 21st, 2012, at the Wisconsin State Capitol at 7:00 PM, on the State Street Steps of the Capitol Building.
Madison’s Bishop Morlino will join the first rosary event.
Rosary rallies will be held at the Madison Capitol every Thursday at 7 PM, through November 1st, 2012, until the General election.
Come and Join Us!
Come to help us Catholics pray, or come to watch, or come just to lend Catholics moral support. You don’t have to pray the rosary to attend; you only have to be in support of religious freedom for all Americans, and be willing to ask God’s help. Catholics happen to be the largest religious denomination in the United States, and are thus able to organize, but all who support religious freedom are welcome to attend.
Catholics have found the Rosary to be a particularly powerful form of prayer throughout the ages. The victory of Christian forces which prevented the Islamic invasion of Europe at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571 was attributed to Pope Pius V’s call for all of Europe to pray the rosary. The Christian fleet was at a material disadvantage, and the Turkish fleet had superior numbers, yet the Christian fleet won.
At the hour of victory, Pope Pius V, who was hundreds of miles away at the Vatican, is said to have gotten up from a meeting, went over to a window, and exclaimed with supernatural radiance: “The Christian fleet is victorious!” and shed tears of thanksgiving to God. – EWTN library
The Battle of Lepanto was first celebrated liturgically as “Our Lady of Victory,” and was later renamed “Our Lady of the Rosary.”
Aside: to address some of the misinformation out there about Catholics, Catholics do not worship or deify Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. They simply ask her assistance in pleading with her Son Christ, much as a child might ask their mother’s intercession when they ask their father for something. Catholics presume that Christ has a soft spot in His heart for his Mother.
Isn’t the Rosary a repetitive prayer condemned by the Bible?
No, the Rosary is not simply a repetitive prayer. It is a complex form of meditation, in which many of the events of Christ’s life and passages from the New Testament are contemplated. The Rosary is a prayer that gives structure to the complex series of meditations that are going on in the hearts and minds of those who are reciting the rosary.
The Bible passage most often quoted by those who object to the rosary is Matthew 6:7, which objects to “empty phrases” and to “vain repetitions.” Neither of these applies to the rosary, which is neither empty nor vain. Jesus Christ Himself used serious repetitive prayer during the Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:39-44) and Christ instructed people to be persistent in their prayer (Luke 18:1-8). More information.
Americans Have Been Praying
Before this Most Recent Effort
Americans have been praying for our government for quite some time now. Many denominations are organizing and praying; please send in prayer programs and references if you want them added to this list. Most of my references are Catholic, since that is what I know best.
Interfaith Novena: – 9 days of interfaith prayer leading up to the June 8, 2012 Stand Up For Religious Freedom rally.
When will the media do their job, report on these national grass roots events, and give poor me a vacation from trying to compensate for their news blackouts?
Hey, Wisconsin State Journal (and all the rest of the media out there): I searched your site for “Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally” and it came up with Your search did not yield any results.
Really. Not surprised.
We’ll include some prayers for conscientious reporting by the U.S. media tomorrow, too.
Hat’s off to some media who do have articles on the Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rallies or Fortnight For Freedom this week:
Catholic Free Press
National Catholic Reporter
Family Institute of Connecticut Blog
Colorado Catholic Herald
added : WALL STREET JOURNAL just covered Fortnight for Freedom
added: CNS News covers Forthnight for Freedom
…. mostly religious, small and/or conservative organizations.
Boo to ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN; 160,000 people have been rallying in 161 cities across the US for religious freedom, and ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN gave us a news blackout.
Expecting a media blackout again for Fortnight for Freedom, but God plans to listen.
Remember: Come to the Fortnight For Freedom, 7PM Thursday, June 21st, 2012, on the State Street steps of Wisconsin’s Capitol Building in Madison!
Added after the event: Some AUDIO resources for those who are interested in understanding what is in the Mandate and why the Catholic Church is concerned: