God, Religion and the First President of the United States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gilbert_Stuart,_George_Washington_(Lansdowne_portrait,_1796).jpg

The other night I watched a video I received in the mail, documenting some of the writings of America’s Founding Fathers, in reference to the need for Godly principles in American public life and excerpts from court cases upholding those principles.

George Washington, himself, in his Farewell Address, wrote that our country would fail without them.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens…Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice ? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington’s_Farewell_Address

As I consider how successful special interest groups have been in removing God and religion from so much of our public life, I could not help but draw a parallel to this past Sunday’s first reading from Nehemiah 8:2-10.  After years of captivity and being forbidden to hear the Word of God in public or practice their religion, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.  “Ezra the priest…standing at the open place…read out of the book…and all the people listened…all the people were weeping as they heard the words…”  I cannot help but think that what was foretold by President Washington if we exclude religion, is coming to pass.  I do not believe religion or faith should be forced upon a person –  the Catholic Church practiced that grievous mistake for hundreds of years.  This, after having it practiced on us for hundreds of years in an attempt to suppress us.  God gave us free will that we may come to him willingly and joyfully if we so choose.

As a modern, American Catholic, I am very comfortable with my religious freedom.  Maybe even complacent.  However, I have been hearing warning bells, and must pull myself out of my complacency.  Lest we be dragged into the abyss of secular humanism, let those of us who have faith, pray.  Let those of us who have wits, join the fray and educate, legislate and lobby to keep our Constitutional rights.  Let those of us who waver, not be swayed by popular opinion, but seek truth on our own, delve deeper into the issues, and draw our own conclusions, instead of jumping on someone else’s bandwagon in ignorant bliss.

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The Atheist Inquisition

By Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición (Enciclopedia Española) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

So Happy 4th of July!  Before I even left for 6:30a.m. Mass yesterday, I saw the ad headline in the Los Angeles Times:   “Quit The Catholic Church”. I was miffed, but it had to wait until after Mass.  In fact, I made it wait until after breakfast, when I read the whole ad.  Then I just rolled my eyes. 

Somehow, a group that has only been able to amass (pun intended) 18,000 members since its founding in 1978, is running this full page ad as they are able to raise funds.  It appeared in the New York Times way back in March, so obviously, they don’t have a lot of support. Still, they are launching the same tired arguments about why the Catholic Church is such a bad guy. I say “tired”, because they are calling women, like me, who are loyal to the church “ignorant”, while they apparently refuse to acknowledge scientific evidence contrary to their primary argument, which is women’s “reproductive rights”.  I’m sorry, but as a mother of 4 children, I vote for the right of every woman to practice abstinence if she does not want to conceive, acquire an STD, or be a slave to her hormones.  To lower a woman’s dignity so far that you have to call it “reproductive rights”, is to say that she does not have the choice not to engage in sexual activity.  It is to say that she is too stupid to realize how babies are made.  That it is better for her to pump herself full of chemicals or extra hormones which will raise her risk of cancer, than it is for her to abstain from sex, or to have a baby. How can a woman possibly be happy and fulfilled if she is not having sex? Personally, that is more of a Dark Ages mentality than what the ad is accusing the church of.

Their other argument is that US healthcare reform is being held hostage by the Catholic Church. Not so. The church has worked hard towards affordable health care for all for years. The current health care law, in fact, coerces a faction of society, Catholics and Catholic Institutions, to pay for what they regard as murder, female oppression and religious persecution. In fact, if a non-Catholic, working at a Catholic Institution, wants free or low cost contraceptives, there are hundreds of family planning clinics they can get them from.

As for the sex-scandal issue, sex scandals and pedophilia, complicity, collusion and cover-ups are not exclusive to the Catholic Church. They are rampant at every level of society and in every institution in the United States.  Pointing the finger at the Catholic Church is just a smokescreen, using the currently popular bad guy, to cover up the fact that this is just an organization, like any other, trying to get more money to promote their agenda, which according to their own website is to educate the public on matters of non-theism.

We Catholics stopped murdering folks that refused to convert to our religion over a century ago. Don’t shove your atheism down our throats just because you don’t want to have kids to pass it on to.

They say “humanity above dogma”.

I say “the truth shall set you free”!

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