The latest from America’s Catholic bishops:
As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad. [...]
Is our most cherished freedom truly under threat? Sadly, it is. This is not a theological or legal dispute without real world consequences. Consider the following: HHS mandate for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. [...] In an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit protection of their religious liberty. [Emphasis added.]
Let’s see this for what it is—a demand that secular institutions with ties to religion be exempt from secular law. There is no other way to describe this. See The encroachment of religion on our secular government Part 1, The encroachment of religion on our secular government Part 2, and The progressive fight against the encroachment of religion on our secular government. And this demand for exemption from our secular laws is antithetical to our American system of government. The separation of church and state protects the state from encroachment by religious fiat. It also protects religion from encroachment by the government. Secular laws apply to us all, without regard to religious beliefs. That is a bedrock principle in America. The American Catholic bishops are intent on undermining this bedrock principle.
(Continued on the other side)