Thursday, June 21, 2012

President Obama, Tear Down This Wall - Fortnight for Freedom, day 1

The fourteen days from June 21—the vigil of the Feasts of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More—to July 4, Independence Day, are dedicated to this “fortnight for freedom”—a great hymn of prayer for our country. Our liturgical calendar celebrates a series of great martyrs who remained faithful in the face of persecution by political power—St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More, St. John the Baptist, SS. Peter and Paul, and the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome. Culminating on Independence Day, this special period of prayer, study, catechesis, and public action will emphasize both our Christian and American heritage of liberty.
The reason for this Fortnight for Freedom is the government's HHS Mandate forcing every employer to provide contraception and sterilization coverage in almost all private health plans nationwide, with an extremely narrow “exemption” for some religious employers.

It is not just a threat to Catholics but to anyone who does not want to be forced to support financially (or otherwise) things that they feel are immoral. As such, it is a threat to Americans. The way that the administration has chosen to advance their cause of contraception seems to be designed to throw up a wall between those who see contraception as immoral and those who don't understand what the big deal is. Here are twelve things that everyone should know about the mandate, if you have questions.

For my own part, I would like to be allowed to have the "right to be wrong" and follow the dictates of my conscience and my faith ... as was proposed in a book I reviewed some time ago, but which is still applicable to this discussion.


This is the vigil of the feast day of St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More.

St. John Fisher is not as well known as St. Thomas More but he was a martyr to Henry VIII because he would not acknowledge Henry as head of the church. For this he was imprisoned and eventually was executed. After his trial, Fisher stated his opinion, which is one that we should read and take to heart.
My lords, I am here condemned before you of high treason, for denial of the king's supremacy over the Church of England. But by what order of justice I leave to God who is searcher of both of the king's majesty's conscience and yours. Nevertheless, being found guilty as it is termed, I am and must be contented with all that God shall send, to those whose will I wholly refer and submit myself.

And now to tell you more plainly my mind touching this matter of the king's supremacy: I think, indeed, and always have though, and do now lastly affirm, that his grace cannot justly claim any such supremacy over the church of God as he now takes upon him. Never has it been seen nor heard of that any temporal prince before his days has presumed to that dignity. So, if the king will now adventure himself in proceeding in this strange and unwonted case, no doubt but he shall deeply incur the displeasure of Almighty God. And this to the great danger of his own soul and of many others, and to the utter ruin of this realm committed to his charge. Because of this, some sharp punishment will come from God's hand. Thus, I pray God that his grace may remember himself in time and hearken to good counsel for the preservation of himself and his realm, and the quietness of all Christendom.
As Fisher worried about the state of the king's soul, so should we be worrying about the state of the souls of those who would wrest away our freedom. The "sharp punishment" gives modern minds pause in doubt, but I myself think that God lets us have our ways to our own ruin like the prodigal son ... so that we may return home. Letting us choose our own punishment, in reaping what we sow, is the ultimate justice while being a nice allowance of free will.

Let us pray for our freedom, for our country, and for the souls of those who do not really understand what religious liberty means.


From Margaret at Ten Thousand Places comes a slew of good links and practical recommendations to basic places. Which I completely forgot about giving. So I let her do the work.

  1. If you haven't done so already, sign the Women Speak for Themselves open letter to President Obama, spearheaded by Kim Daniels and Helen Alvare, and create a video adding your voice to the almost 30,000 women who have spoken up in this forum.
  2. Check out the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's information page.  The Becket Fund is representing the 43 individual organizations in the 12 federal law suits contesting the HHS Mandate. And they need our support.  (They have been on the front lines for a long time on this issue.)
  3. Check out the resources at the USCCB: Pray // Find events in your own Diocese // Learn more//Read Cardinal Dolan's new e-book // and, if nothing else, check out the 12 Things Everyone Should Know flyer (pdf)
  4. Contact Congress
  5. Pass along this video from Catholic Vote.
  6. Join us on July 4th at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for a Mass closing the Fortnight for Freedom, with Cardinal Wuerl as the main celebrant and Archbishop Charles Chaput as the homilist.
  7. (UPDATED) Read these articles by +Chaput and +Gomez


  1. I want to exempt myself as a Catholic concerned about the other issues to respecting life as well. For a bloated DOD budget.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry to seem stupid, but your comment isn't clear to me. Do you mean you have other issues which you deem more important? Or that you have additional issues which should be mentioned? Or that you aren't participating because of the DOD budget?

  4. thanks for all the links! I signed and posted the video. You rock!
    God bless!