Today we Americans celebrate our Declaration of Independence from Great Britain on July 4, 1776. In the 239 years since the proclamation of American freedom and the establishment of the American Republic, many events throughout history have conspired to defeat the American spirit of determination and the notion human freedoms. One movement that consistently seeks to destroy our Constitutional rights as Americans is the misdirected notion of secular freedoms as exclusively required parts of our religious freedoms. Fortunately, the Founding Fathers believed in a separation of Church and State. However, the freedoms we enjoy as contemporary Catholics are eroding with legislative and judicial decisions, compounded with executive actions from Washington, DC. Secular humanism threatens to diminish if not destroy religious liberty in the United States and it is pretending in appearance as constitutional rights, rather than the ugly reality it actually is…political correctness. The recent Supreme Court decision that provides legal affirmation to same sex unions (I use the term union, because marriage is between a male and female, for the purpose of developing mutual love between two people, and the openness to the potential of children,) erodes the entire canons of Judeo-Christian traditions that promote the natural family and abhors homosexual relationships. Once again, under the guise of constitutional rights, the Supreme Court has delivered another blow against the long held precepts of multiple religious entities and sided with the rule of law that has been misinterpreted as a concession to the secular leftists in our American society. Since the Supreme Court decision, it seems that there is no direction from our religious leaders in the Catholic Church. Have they again abrogated their moral teaching authority to Obamaism and the political movement towards secularism? On the other hand, have they subscribed to the revival of a pseudo-liberation theology that obscures the objective norms of moral certitude in favor of ruling on the side of the human beings, “free will,” which is sometimes incorrectly disposed? This is something to ponder as we approach another presidential election, and consider the continued diminishing religious faith has in an increasing world of secular humanism. On July 4, Catholics in America need to consider their moral assets collectively as individuals, as a group and finally as a political entity, that does not seek reconciliation with secularism, but an affirmation of our religious faith and our moral beliefs. Today we remember and celebrate the freedom realized after renouncing the burden of colonialism. As Catholics, we should use 4 July as a touchstone to rekindle our religious freedom, especially when the secular government imposes legislative actions that contradict religious faith traditions that are incumbent on Divine law, natural law and defined beliefs of many faiths. If the religious leaders in the Catholic Church do not defend our most sacred beliefs in the nature of the human marital bond and the sanctity of the family, perhaps the next interpretation of the Supreme Court will focus on religious freedoms. What would happen if the Supreme Court ruled that the intention of religious freedom envisioned by the Founding Fathers is outmoded, outdated, and uniquely quaint? Would our religious leaders stand by quietly if this became the case? Political notions of correctness are often examples of sociopathic tendencies of a malformed society. The Romans had a misplaced notion that is politically correct to persecute Christians. Slavery of many nationalities was politically accepted globally until the Intellectual movement. Germans in the 20th century during the Hitler era erroneously believed that the, “Nazi salute, Heil Hitler!” was politically correct and subjugation of blacks was politically correct in the United States until the Emancipation Proclamation and the rise of the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. In the case of the same sex decision by the United States Supreme Court,” Qui tacet consentiret!” Catholics that faithfully hold the moral precepts of our faith cannot be silent to the inappropriate applications of political correctness by the Supreme Court just as we cannot be complicit in other court decisions that were erroneous, for example Roe vrs Wade! Disintegration of social morality finds its foundation in a disregard for human life. In the case of Roe vrs Wade, the immoral act is evident. However, the decision of the High Court to legalize same sex unions is a more subtle, yet equally sinister decision; it too promotes an immorality that is incompatible with the proliferation of new human life. Contemporary Catholics need to revisit the documents, Humanae Vitae by Blessed Pope Paul VI, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 2357, promulgated by Saint John Paul II and the letter issued by then Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI), On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, article 7, “Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.” This letter from the Sacred Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith was approved and ordered for publication by Pope (Saint) John Paul II in 1986. Finally, the document further indicates an understanding of the popular culture that accepts the secular agenda that approves homosexuality. In article 9, “But she [the Church] is really concerned about the many who are not represented by the pro-homosexual movement and about those who may have been tempted to believe its deceitful propaganda. She is also aware that the view that homosexual activity is equivalent to, or as acceptable as, the sexual expression of conjugal love has a direct impact on society’s understanding of the nature and rights of the family and puts them in jeopardy.”
As we celebrate the American declaration of independence 239 years ago, Catholics should faithfully revisit the issues that endanger our Catholic religious freedoms that are developing from the realms of political correctness and recommit themselves to the Church’s teachings on the matters that threaten our true independence as Catholics and as Americans. Our Catholic religious freedom endangered by political interest groups needs our help and prayers. July 4th is a day to recall our independence, but it is also a day to reassert and protect our future religious freedoms are not compromised by legal decisions incorrectly influenced by special interest groups opposed to true religious freedom and tolerance for all of us that respectfully choose to disagree with their solipsistic understanding of life, faith and society.
If we as Catholics remain silent, then we will indeed consent to our own demise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Hugh J.McNichol is a Catholic author and journalist writing on Catholic topics and issues. He attended Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he studied both philosophy and theology. Hugh holds a Master’s Degree in Catholic Theology from Villanova University, with a concentration in Catholic historical theology.At the present time Hugh is working towards his Doctorate in Sacred Theology. Hugh is a member of The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, with the rank of Knight (Sir). This Equestrian Order is one of the oldest orders in the Catholic Church. It is a papal honor that dates back to circa 1100. He writes frequently at http://verbumcarofactumest.blogspot.com & http://nothing-left-unsaid.blogspot.com . Hugh writes about his Irish Catholic upbringing and educational experiences at http://graysferrygrapevine.blogspot.com . He has contributed works to Catholic News Agency, Catholic Online, The Irish Catholic, Dublin, the British Broadcasting Company, London and the Philadelphia Bulletin, Pewsitter.com, Blogger News Network & The Catholic Business Journal. Hugh welcomes comments at email@example.com.