Religious Liberty under threat in the United States

Some commentators are suggesting that religious liberty is under threat in the United States  in both the legislature and the courts.

At least one Bishop thinks there is a possibility that the Church will no longer be free to preach the truth from the pulpit or to present Catholic teaching.

Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, North Dakota cited two recent examples where he believes religious liberty is being undermined: the closure of Catholic adoption agencies in states that have legislated for same-sex marriage and the new government health mandate requiring private insurers to provide women with coverage for contraception and sterilization.

“It’s very, very important for us to realize that we are in a very real clash between the culture of death and a culture of life,” said Bishop Aquila, summing up the former culture as one where “rights are eroded and where lies are being presented as truth.”

And last week  in the the Supreme Court, the US government is arguing before a panel of six Catholic and three Jewish Supreme Court justices that religious institutions should be treated like any other institution in matters of hiring.

“This is extraordinary—extraordinary,” Justice Antonin Scalia said to the government’s lawyer during oral arguments Wednesday. “There’s nothing explicitly in the Constitution that prevents the government from mucking around in a labor organization. But there in black and white in the Constitution are special protections for religion.”

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