COMMENTARY | The Roman Catholic Church announced it will take aggressive measures to combat what it calls "growing threats to religious liberty in the United States," according to a CNN report. The plan, as described in the article, is a horrible idea both in concept and execution.
For starters, there is no serious threat to religious liberty in the United States. I have never heard a politician advocate the mass closing of churches or adding amendments to the U.S. Constitution banning the practice of religious worship.
The Roman Catholic Church is up in arms over President Obama's upcoming rule requiring "Catholic institutions" to provide free contraceptive coverage in their health care plans. That's hogwash because the institutions themselves are not Catholic. They are business entities, not living humans with brains, and as such can hold no religious belief. They are not Catholic institutions. They are institutions run by Catholic people.
The Catholic Church is really objecting to Catholic executives being unable to impose their dogma on others. Question: Whose religion prevails if the employee's religion requires sexual acts?
The CNN report also mentions the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) releasing a document called "Our First, Most Cherished Freedom" which repeats the claim that religious liberty is under attack. Unless "freedom to impose your religious will on others who do not want it" is the definition of religious liberty, it's not under attack at all.
They should review the First Amendment:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…"
The wording says nothing providing a right to force one's belief on others.
The Catholic Church reports it plans a several-year campaign including "encouraging priests to address religious liberty concerns in church." That sounds suspiciously like priests are going to be told to attack certain politicians and legislative views from the pulpit. The Church is essentially encouraging priests to do during services the same thing they object to being done in science classes that teach evolution. In short, this move reeks of hypocrisy.
It's time we started recognizing that being free to worship as we please is not equivalent to being free to force our will on others. Bible.com shows Matthew 7:6 prohibits casting pearls before swine. It's doesn't require forcing their jaws open and force-feeding them, either.