Fear Not! RosaryMeds is Alive and Well

Last week I posted an article that looked like a takedown notice from the Department of Justice. It appears many of you thought the notice was real. Part of my intent of writing that article was to grab your attention and maybe even have the post go viral (which unfortunately didn’t happen). I wrote that article in response to some concerning news articles I read. Instead of jumping straight into commentary and risk just going into a snarky rant, I decided to write the fake takedown notice to set the stage (pretty clever huh?).

First, I have some thoughts about the responses I received regarding my fake takedown notice. The fact that so many people thought that it was real struck me as very concerning. I find it alarming that many people believe that the government is taking legal action against people simply stating their religious beliefs. I would like to think that in saner times people would have immediately noticed the ridiculousness of such a post. That tells me that for many, the loss of religious freedom isn’t something that may happen one day but is already here.

Also alarming then is that we are just allowing the loss of our religious liberty without putting up much of a fight. If my article was real as many people thought it was, then besides of few “that sucks” or “really??!!!” comments, people just moved on with their lives. After all, who do you complain to? Is it really worth anyone’s time and energy to make a lot of hay over some obscure blog site being targeted by the US government?  Do you really want to stick your neck out and potentially being singled out for government harassment? Not that I want marches on Washington D.C. over RosaryMeds, but I wonder how many little nibbles the government can take into our religious liberties before we find that it’s gone entirely.

Yeah, that will show 'em we're serious.
Yeah, that will show ’em we’re serious.

Now let’s back up to what originally prompted me to write the satirical takedown notice.  After the Supreme Court made its gay marriage decision back in June, I immediately saw numerous commentaries suggesting reforms on religious institutions that object to gay marriage.  These commentators want to see the removal of tax exempt status for religious institutions and banning government aid to private colleges that object to gay marriage.  This is on top of the fines the government is already imposing on businesses (bakers primarily) who have a religious objection to participating in a gay marriage.

One of the main selling points of gay marriage was that it wouldn’t affect religious institutions or people who have a religious objection to it.  I heard over and over how the Catholic Church would never be forced to perform gay weddings.  And while that may technically be true, it seems like what was being muttered secretly by gay marriage advocates was “the Catholic Church will never be forced to perform gay weddings because the government is going to shut them down.

This should all seem like a rerun (or a reboot) of ObamaCare.  When it passed there were plenty of assurances that Catholic hospitals would never have to perform abortions or employers would have to provide abortive contraception coverage.  And yet millions of our tax dollars go to Planned Parenthood and the HHS Contraception Mandate has gone to the courts multiple times (thankfully the courts repeatedly rule in favor of religious liberty).  It’s still very unclear whether ObamaCare does fund abortion considering that the Executive branch has a habit of unilaterally changing the law when convenient.  It seems like assurances that religious beliefs will be respected are just platitudes and don’t carry much weight once the law is passed.

“The government is taking away our freedoms. Change the channel!”

Whether it’s gay marriage or health care, the trend is clear — we are entering a period of increased hostility to organized religion, especially Catholicism.  I believe that many in power would love nothing more than to see Christian organizations vanish and to scare Christian people from publicly voicing their faith.  The political class loves the idea that something is right or wrong based on whether they can convince enough people to vote and pass a law or mandate.  They hate the idea that there are universal truths that exist outside their power to change when it’s politically advantageous.  And that is why they will use any cause, whether it be health care, gay marriage, immigration, gun control, assisted suicide, etc. to rally people against religious truths.  Because if religion can be relegated to a church for one hour on a Sunday, politicians can pass all sorts of crazy laws without being bothered with people bringing up the moral implications.

This isn’t about Catholics wanting to codify our beliefs into law.  It’s not specifically about gay marriage or health care.  This is all about Catholics (and religions in general) fighting to preserve our God given right to our religious beliefs without being persecuted by the government by having our livelihood threatened.  The last time I checked, there was no Constitutional amendment repealing the First Amendment which reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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This Article Has Been Redacted by the DOJ

The blog article you are accessing has been indefinitely suspended by order of the United States Department of Justice due to content that some may find insensitive.

Seal of the United States Department of Justice

This article contained references to the Mormon practice of abstaining from caffeine and alcohol, the Muslim practice of abstaining from pork, and the Jewish practice of abstaining from shell fish. Since the consumption of caffeine, alcohol, pork, and shell fish are legal under United States law, any practice that discourages their use has been flagged as bigoted and hateful and has no place in public discourse.  Furthermore, the article encouraged actively engaging in prayer outside a house of worship which is a clear violation of the separation of Church and State.

The DOJ takes matters of religious freedom very seriously.  While we do respect the right for religions to hold their own beliefs and traditions, their practices must be sensitive to the beliefs of those who do not share that faith. We will take all measures to make sure that all references to religious dogma comply with United States laws and will take legal action, including loss of tax exempt status, of those religions that do not comply.

We’ve contacted the operator of this website and have informed him that we are not taking any legal action against him at this time because this is his first infraction. We have also informed him that he may be using outdated religious materials that are not updated to comply with the latest US laws. He has 30 days to update all articles on this website to confirm to teachings as stated in the The New American Bible, Supreme Court Edition, v2015.06. After 30 days, he will be subject to a $100 fine per article per day that does not conform to the NABSCE 2015.06.

The DOJ thanks the anonymous party that brought this offensive webpage to our attention.  While we use every resource available to us in partnership with the National Security Agency to keep offensive webpages like this one away from the public, our best resource is the ever vigilant, patriotic United States citizen.  Together we can ensure a safe and civilized internet experience free of any overtly religious or controversial discourse today and for generations to come.

Attorney General of the United States of America,

Loretta E. Lynch

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Big Wins for Life and Liberty!

We saw some huge wins for life and liberty this past week.  Texas governor, Rick Perry, signed into law a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks and also sets tighter restrictions on abortion clinics.  Those restrictions are so tight that currently only 5 of the 42 active abortion clinics in Texas meet the standards.  There are some that ask, “why not ban abortion outright?”  Why 20 weeks instead of 19, 18, or 1?  Why allow any abortion clinic to remain open in the state of Texas?  Remember, you don’t change culture overnight.  The culture of death has been working their way through society for decades one law at a time.  And so it will take many years and many small victories for the culture of life to undo the damage.  In the meantime, rejoice over the new lives that won’t be prematurely killed because of this new law.  Let’s hear it for the culture of life!

Texas Governor 's signature.
Texas Governor ‘s signature. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On a related note, the court granted retailer Hobby Lobby an injunction against the HHS Contraception Mandate.  Hobby Lobby is fighting the mandate on grounds that providing abortion services as part of their health plans violates their religious beliefs.  It looked like Hobby Lobby was going to face thousands of dollars in fines per day since the courts seemed to side with the Obama administration.  But now the courts are going to look into the matter more carefully and while they do so Hobby Lobby won’t face any fines.  The fight is just beginning, but at least it looks like there are cracks developing in the federal government’s push to trample our freedom of religion.  Let’s hear it for religious liberty!

English: Hobby Lobby store in Stow, Ohio
English: Hobby Lobby store in Stow, Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember, there is still a long fight ahead of us.  It will require your prayers and your support.

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The Battle Over Religious Freedom Intensifies

Prayer warriors, consider this article as your declaration of war and your rosaries as your draft card. Now that the election is over the government’s battle on religious freedom will turn from covert, guerrilla warfare to an all out, open attack. I wrote a few articles about the attacks on religious freedom such as the Health and Human Services Contraception Mandate and liberal Catholics marginalizing authentic Catholic teachings. But these issues are just the “opening shots” in the war against religion and morality (particularly against the Catholic Church). It’s a test of what type of defence the faithful will put up when attacked. The answer so far — not a very good one. And now the anti-religion lobby will feel all the more powerful to lay down a political blitzkrieg on the United States of America.

U.S Postage Stamp, 1957There were many wasted opportunities for the people of the United States to show that we would not stand for an assault on religious freedom. When the Obama administration announced the HHS Mandate, it was still questionable whether Obamacare was going to stand in the Supreme Court. But it did. It was then questionable whether Obama was going to win re-election. He dodged both of those hurdles with relative ease. But the HHS contraception mandate is really just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, I think the HHS mandate isn’t so much about contraception as it is about the Obama administration testing to see the effects of attacking a pillar of American democracy — the freedom of religion. Unfortunately, the Obama administration learned that they can get away with their attacks on religion since nothing he did stopped the American people (even 50% of the voting Catholics) from re-electing him. If Obama can force employers to pay for contraception or force states to fund Planned Parenthood and still get support from the American people, what’s to stop him from pushing the assault on the faithful even further?

Many people and groups are really starting to ratchet up the pressure to compromise on issues of morality and religious freedom. Right after the election, the president of Planned Parenthood called on the GOP to drop their pro-life base. Basically, she said that the Republicans tried that whole pro-life message and failed to beat Obama. So they should give up that “extreme” position to win the women’s vote. Similarly, Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal called on conservatives to “tone down the abortion extremism.” How dare people pray in front of abortion clinics! Evangelical writer Jim Wallis said that ” it appears that a strategy of citing a “war on religion”— and doubling down on the long-failed strategy of citing abortion and traditional marriage as the two “non-negotiable” religious issues — once again failed.” And the Department of Justice said that you give up your freedom of religion when you go into business.

In my opinion, the people who want to curb religion’s influence on society are striking while the iron is hot after a large Obama victory. They want to plant those seeds of doubt on organized religion, morality, and natural law now so that later restrictions on religious freedom might become codified in the law. If they continue to present this narrative that traditional values and morality just don’t work in today’s world, people will start to buy into it making it easier for government to curb religious liberty even further. And why would government want to do that? Morality based on a natural law is something that the government cannot control. It means that they have to accept that a higher power than government guides peoples’ views. But if government and the groups that heavily depend on the government (I’m looking at you Planned Parenthood) can lead people to believe that natural law and Church teachings are wrong or short-sighted, then the government can control morality through the law. The country becomes a place where right and wrong are defined by the law (and hence political campaigns, lobbyists, and other influential sources), and not the other way around where the law recognizes and enforces what is intrinsically good or bad.

What Does the Rosary Teach Us?

When looking at the challenges religious liberty in the United States faces, it’s important to meditate on the Fifth Joyful Mystery — the Finding of Jesus in the Temple. There are several analogies between this mystery and current events. First, look at how Mary and Joseph, when travelling away from Jerusalem, didn’t realize that Jesus was not with them. I think this symbolizes the state of many Catholics today who have drifted away from the core teachings of their faith and don’t even realize it. Because they don’t make understanding the authentic Catholic faith a priority in their lives, politicians’ passionate speeches that tug at the heartstrings but might run contrary to Church teachings lure people away. The Fifth Joyful Mystery reminds us how important it is to keep Jesus “in our sights.” It’s important to do routine spiritual “gut checks” through prayer, meditation, reading the Bible, learning the Church’s teachings, attending Mass, and receiving the sacraments. When we make an effort to embrace our faith, we will have a better awareness when people are trying to influence us to act contrary to that faith.

The other important aspect of the Fifth Joyful Mystery is that Mary and Joseph searched for Jesus for three days before finding Him. In this politically charged environment, it is so easy to become depressed when you see your deeply held beliefs torn down by the institutions that are supposed to protect them. Much like how Mary and Joseph’s search was fruitless for several days, so it may seem like our efforts of praying and living the faith do not lead us or this world to a better place. But our faith tells us that our efforts will bear fruit one day if we just keep searching for Jesus in our lives. If we are lucky, maybe there will be an awakening of conscience and a call from the people for our leaders to protect our religious freedom, not attack it. But even if the world spirals permanently downward we can take comfort that we will find eternal joy and perfection in Heaven. And in the end, isn’t that what truly matters? The politicians may strip religion from our laws but they can never strip the reality of morality, God, and Heaven from our souls.

Fight the good fight and live to pray another day!

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