A New Line of Defense in Obama’s War on Religious Liberties

President Obama doesn’t practice what he preaches, and one Catholic organization is doing something about it.

“Shortly after taking office, President Obama gave the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame,” recalls Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson. “In this televised address, he spoke of the importance of cooperation and seeking the common good on decisive issues like abortion, saying: ‘When we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think like we do or believe what we do— that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.’

“But without action,” Hudson adds, “words are just words.”

Taking a Stand

“No other president in American history has so blatantly chipped away at our religious liberties,” says Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith.

“From refusing to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act [and] continuing to allow taxpayer dollars to go towards abortion providing organizations like Planned Parenthood, to lifting the ban on stem cell research, stripping conscience protections for health care workers, and refusing to meet with or respond to our Catholic bishops’ concerns, this president has made it clear that he does not care that his far-left agenda is undermining our right to religious freedom.

“This isn’t just a Catholic issue; it’s a religious liberty issue that affects all Americans of faith.”

That’s why, on Oct. 27, Catholic Advocate launched a nationwide campaign calling on people of faith to join together to protect American religious liberties. As part of the campaign, Catholic Advocate has initiated a petition calling on President Obama to live up to his promises made at the University of Notre Dame in 2009.

Fighting to Retain Our Rights

In a September letter to his brother bishops, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, pointed out that the ongoing need to fight to preserve the inalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence—foremost among them, the right to life, a right that is increasingly under assault in this country.

“This is most particularly so in an increasing number of federal government programs or policies that would infringe upon the right of conscience of people of faith or otherwise harm the foundational principle of religious liberty,” Archbishop Dolan writes.

“As shepherds of over 70 million U.S. citizens we share a common and compelling responsibility to proclaim the truth of religious freedom for all, and so to protect our people from this assault which now appears to grow at an ever accelerating pace in ways most of us could never have imagined.”

While testifying before the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution on Oct. 26, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn.—the first chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty—pointed out that religious liberty is the first freedom listed in the Bill of Rights. As all people’s right to life is more and more swiftly being destroyed, so are our rights to freedom of religious expression.

For the people in the pews, it can be difficult to discern how to join the battle to preserve our religious liberties—which makes Catholic Advocate’s effort all the more important.

“President Obama has failed us,” says Hudson simply.

Demanding that he stop his onslaught on our religious liberty is up to us.

Watch the video of President Obama’s Notre Dame commencement speech—and sign the petition demanding he live up to his promises—at join.catholicadvocate.com/promises.

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage