Friday, March 28th, 2014 at 11:56 am
No, but he does seem to be watching their Supreme Court case.
Pope Francis and Vatican officials on Thursday told U.S. President Barack Obama they were concerned about "religious freedom" in the United States, an apparent reference to the contraception mandate in Obama’s health care plan.
The talks included "discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church" in the United States, including "the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection," a Vatican statement said.
Obama’s 2010 healthcare law, widely opposed by Republicans, includes a provision that requires employers to cover the cost of contraception in their health insurance plans.
Catholic and other religious groups say the mandate forces them to support contraception and sterilization in violation of their religious beliefs or face steep fines.
Just wondering if all those Democrats who have been falling all over themselves over the Pope when he seems to be saying something they like (whether or not he’s actually saying what they think he’s saying) will take note of this rather obvious political stance.
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 at 12:04 pm
I don’t know how much the Vatican’s Chief Justice holds sway in terms of official church policy, or how much his opinion reflects the position of the Catholic church, but I thought I’d pass this along.
In an interview with Polonia Christiana magazine –and transcribed by Life Site News — Cardinal Raymond Burke said that Obama “promotes anti-life and anti-family policies.”
“It is true that the policies of the president of the United States have become progressively more hostile toward Christian civilization. He appears to be a totally secularized man who aggressively promotes anti-life and anti-family policies,” Burke told the magazine.
The former archbishop of St. Louis stated that Obama is trying to “restrict” religion.
“Now he wants to restrict the exercise of the freedom of religion to freedom of worship, that is, he holds that one is free to act according to his conscience within the confines of his place of worship but that, once the person leaves the place of worship, the government can constrain him to act against his rightly-formed conscience, even in the most serious of moral questions,” Burke said.
Burke took a swipe against Obama’s Affordable Care Act over the law’s birth control mandate, saying “such policies would have been unimaginable in the United States even 40 years ago.”
“In a democracy, such a lack of awareness is deadly,” Burke told the magazine. “It leads to the loss of the freedom which a democratic government exists to protect. It is my hope that more and more of my fellow citizens, as they realize what is happening, will insist on electing leaders who respect the truth of the moral law as it is respected in the founding principles of our nation.”
Since this was transcribed by Life Site News, you know there’s an abortion angle, and there’s just a bit more at the link.
The freedom of religion vs. freedom of worship is a distinction that I’ve heard elsewhere, and it’s good to hear it given voice by someone at the Vatican. These days, it’s almost like you lose that First Amendment right upon leaving the church building. You don’t, even if you own a business (i.e. Hobby Lobby). This is a serious concern.
Monday, February 24th, 2014 at 12:54 pm
Is it un-Christian-like to refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding? If so, isn’t it then hypocritical if the baker doesn’t look into every other wedding ceremony to see if any sin is being committed?
No, says Russel D. Moore. The two questions are completely different issues. The former defies the Biblical definition of marriage. He discusses the difference, complete with citations from the apostle Paul, in "On Weddings and Conscience: Are Christians Hypocrites?"
Wednesday, December 18th, 2013 at 5:08 pm
This issue has been in the news before, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen an opinion from this high up in the Catholic church.
To deny Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians who are Catholic, such as Secretary of State John Kerry, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, “makes perfect sense” because it is a discipline that goes back to St. Paul, “the very first years of the Church,” said Cardinal Raymond Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis and now the chief justice at the Vatican’s highest court.
In an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on Dec. 13, Cardinal Burke explained that it is necessary to protect the Sacrament, the Communion wafer offered at Masses, from “being profaned, being violated by someone receiving unworthily,” someone “who knows that he or she is unworthy and yet presumes to come forward and to take the Holy Eucharist.”
For my Catholic readers, what’s your take on this?
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 at 5:00 pm
Good news on the religious liberty front. Gabriel Malor writing at Ace of Spades give a great rundown of the main points of the district court judge’s ruling with regards to forcing the Catholic Archdiocese of New York to cover, or exempt themselves, from the ObamaCare™ requirement that they cover contraception or abortion. In a snark-less post, it’s just a matter-of-fact examination of the ruling, and why this may have a very tough road to the Supreme Court, assuming it’s appealed that far.
Some highlights (but, as they say, read the whole thing):
This is the first litigation to result in a final injunction against the contraception mandate for religious non-profit organizations that come within the Obama Administration’s purported exemption to the mandate.The 7th, 10th, and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals have all found the mandate to be an unacceptable burden on the free exercise of religion for for-profit businesses that don’t come under the exemption. This case is important, though, because it recognizes that even the act of having to claim the exemption is an unacceptable burden on religion.
Very late in this case, the government realized that, although the Archdiocese and its constituent organizations are covered by the mandate, the regulations might not actually force a third party they designate to provide the objectionable contraception coverage. The judge was not amused:
The Obama administration has handed out so many exceptions to the law, it can no longer claim the law serves a compelling purpose.
The administration, as it has frequently done with respect to disobeying laws it does not like, argued that it had to enforce the contraception mandate in such an infringing manner because it could not do it any other way. The district court pointed out the obvious flaw in this line of thinking:
A very interesting and damaging ruling.
Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 at 12:01 pm
Sam Harris, says in his book The End of Faith that faith and religion are “the most prolific source of violence in our history.” The three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history, begs to differ.
For those wars, the authors note the causes of each. Consider this; they categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, more than half of them, 66, were fought in the name of Islam. Take those out, and the percentage of non-Islamic religious wars is a mere 3.23%.
So the next time someone tries to use the Crusades as a way to paint religion as the primary source of all war, just ask them, “Is that the best you can do?” Takes quite a bit faith to believe that.
Friday, July 5th, 2013 at 12:05 pm
At least in London it apparently is.
An American evangelist was arrested and jailed this week in London during the Wimbledon Championships while preaching about sexual immorality on the streets.
Sports Fan Outreach International, led by Bill Adams, has been hosting an evangelistic effort in England over the past week to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with attendees of the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament. Approximately a dozen or more men and women are on the streets preaching, distributing tracts and engaging in one-on-one conversation with spectators.
Tony Miano, a retired police officer who traveled to the UK with the team, states that he was preaching about sexual immorality from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12 on Monday when a woman became agitated by his message and began to curse.
“[I preached about] the fact that people are in sin and are violating God’s word and His law by engaging in immorality — both heterosexual immorality and homosexual immorality,” he explained.
Since he had included homosexuality in his sermon, the woman, who had gone into a nearby store and came out to find Miano still speaking, called the police to complain.
Moments later, officers arrived and notified Miano that he had allegedly violated Section 5 of the Public Order Act, which prohibits public language that is threatening or insulting.
They’ve also redefined "homophobic" as "what Christianity has believed about homosexuality for millennia." Speech code are coming to a church near you.
Tuesday, June 25th, 2013 at 12:24 pm
(This is one of the segments of the most recent episode of my podcast, "Consider This!")
From the state of Colorado comes this news story, showing just how intolerant this country has become.
A neo-Nazi couple is pursuing a discrimination complaint against a Colorado bakery, saying the business refused them a Swastika wedding cake to honor their ceremony, and alleging that the owners have a history of turning away white-supremacist couples.
Would you support the bakery in their refusal? Certainly, neo-Nazis don’t agree with our civil rights laws, so based on a civil rights objection, should a bakery be allowed to refuse to make a cake glorifying the Third Reich?
As you may have guessed, I’ve modified this news story slightly to make a point. This is really a story about a same sex couple, from Massachusetts, suing a baker in Colorado. Religious freedom is the first of the freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment, even before speech. And yet folks exercising that freedom are not given the same deference as someone who might discriminate based on something that the Constitution doesn’t specifically protect.
Could a baker refuse to decorate a cake with text featuring the N-word, or any other word that we usually identify by its first letter? If they could, what about the customer’s freedom of speech? Does it override the baker’s freedom? I don’t believe this would even be an issue, or if it was, the ACLU might even be on the side of a baker not wanting to display a Swastika or an obscene word on their product. As it is, the ACLU is supporting the out-of-state same-sex couple, because a religious objection doesn’t make the cut.
Nor does it for a florist from Washington, nor a photographer from New Mexico. Same-sex marriage is not a case of “live and let live”. It requires others to validate it, regardless of any objection buttressed by the Constitution.
Monday, June 24th, 2013 at 1:19 pm
That’s right, the guy whom the Left said hated black people. The evangelical community, along with Bono, lobbied for it, and Dubya did it. It’s not something that’s mentioned often, but…
"This should be shouted from the rooftops. This is a heroic American story," Bono said in a remarkable radio interview with Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, to be broadcast by the group Tuesday.