Friday, April 20, 2012

Conscience and Religious Freedom: Fact Sheets; an Open Letter; More

Being Catholic means 'going to church on Sunday,' but we're also expected to act as if God and our faith mean something. Lately, that's been put us at odds with America's national government: a strangely comfortable position for me. In a way, I'm a "child of the '60s," and that's another topic.

Acting as if Faith Matters

Catholic bishops in America put together, and have been updating, a sort of resource page. It explains why murder is wrong, and what folks who agree can do about that counter-cultural belief:
Some of that page's content was added after the last time I did a 'what the bishops say' post.

From the Bishops: New or Urgent

Here's what I found that was new, or still urgent:
I strongly recommend checking the USCCB's Conscience Protection page yourself. They may have added something since I was there today, and I may have missed something.

From the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) thinks that being alive is important, for everybody. If you agree, here's a suggestion:
I've written Washington. But hey: no pressure.

Yet More 'Resource' Links

These links take you to 'bookmarks' in another post:
I could have set up a page with those links, and kept updating or revising it. So far, writing new posts as new material surfaces has seemed easier. These are the two most recent 'resource' posts before this one:

Conscience, Freedom, and Other Inconveniences

I think freedom is worth the fuss and bother of paying attention to issues, and voting sensibly. I also think having a functional conscience is preferable to the alternatives.

The good news is that Americans still enjoy a degree of freedom: even those of us who aren't quite on the same page as the establishment.

The bad news is that maintaining that freedom seems to take effort.

I think it's a good idea to have a clue about what's going on, so I went through resources, mostly from that USCCB 'Conscience' page, and put together those link list. It's helped me keep track of what's been said - and what's new. Your experience may vary.

Religious Freedom and the Bishops

Catholic bishops in America think that Catholics should be allowed to practice our faith. And since we're Catholics, "practicing our faith" means acting as if it's right to heal the sick; and wrong to kill innocent people. We're not even allowed to pay some assassin to do the job:

Religious Freedom and Me

I think freedom of religion is important. Since I'm a practicing Catholic, I have to. It's 'in the rules:'
" 'Nobody may be forced to act against his convictions, nor is anyone to be restrained from acting in accordance with his conscience in religious matters in private or in public, alone or in association with others, within due limits.'34 This right is based on the very nature of the human person, whose dignity enables him freely to assent to the divine truth which transcends the temporal order. For this reason it 'continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it.'35"
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2104)
That's from a longer discussion of religious freedom. (Catechism, 2104-2109)

I've given my take on freedom, particularly religious freedom, before. Basically, I think freedom is a good idea. Real freedom: not the 'free to agree with me' attitude that's been practiced from time to time.
More posts about forcing Catholics to violate our conscience:
The Department of Health and Human Services vs. Conscience

Related posts:

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.