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First Amendment: "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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Today is Another Day in U.S. History

Any day in history, in any country, can hardly portray an accurate perspective on the people and their lives.  It is necessary to look at some series of events to form an effective and truthful perception of what the people experience and suffer, and to understand what leads to their decisions.  However, there are also decisive moments, when the collective experience shouts within the people’s hearts:  “Enough!  The time is NOW!”  The decision to issue a Declaration of Independence was one such moment in time:  July 4, 1776.  That will have been 236 years ago, when we celebrate the Fourth of July this year.  May our moment in time refresh what has been handed down to us, through the blood of patriots.

At the end of this post, the text of the Declaration of Independence will be shown, with certain red text which seems most relevant to the recent experiences of many Americans.  Click on “Read More” to be able to view the document that is not only the basis of the founding of our country, but a torch of liberty which lit up the whole world, because it spoke to the thirst for Freedom which God Himself had put into the hearts of the people.  And any torch which God lights, will ultimately prevail.  The reference to the Creator is indeed one of the noble marks of our founding document. 

There are two other notable qualities of the Declaration of Independence which we are called upon to see today:  1) the assertion of the right of the people to oppose tyrannical government, and 2) that a “decent respect” for the opinions of all people requires that we list our grievances.  Moreover, as one can read in the Declaration of Independence, it is more than a “right,” it a Duty.

Originally, in preparing to “Renew Our Legacy,” as the March 23, 2012 Silent Procession was called, we also set out to examine just five years of governmental actions and how those actions have let to the situation in which we find ourselves today.  It turned out that just beginning with the current invasions into our Freedoms and only going back to the beginning of 2012 is sufficient, for the moment, to show what has been happening, what the Declaration refers to in the words:  “…a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny….”

It is useful to remember that it was not a single event, startling and unpleasant as each might have been, which led to the Revolutionary War or to the Declaration of Independence.   The Declaration even remarks on the “patient sufferance” through many events, and lists those events.  But in understanding the Design of the events, it became clear for the colonists (as it is to us today) that opposition was  the only alternative.  Surely it is clear that the Boston Tea Party and the tea tax did not cause the Declaration of Independence to be launched, nor did other oppressive taxes, or incursion into many areas of human rights.  Rather, it was the collective understanding of the intent of the oppressor.

So, too, it isn’t just a tax issue which drives the need to oppose the many actions thrust on us by the government, as in the example of the HHS Mandate, nor is it simply a financial issue, as in the meaningless insurance cost accommodation.  Rather it is a survival issue, of our Freedoms and of our Faith, against imposition revealed clearly in the multiplicity of actions that have most recently been effected by the government, and which show no signs of stopping.  No, the triggering event is the imposition of a requirement to sin, by supporting others financially in their sins of abortion, contraception and sterilization.  But the groundwork for this confrontation has been laid by the enactment of many other government initiatives.

For perspective, it does take some time to see an emerging pattern, to unite, and to fight.  Paul Revere rode about 15 months before the Declaration of Independence was signed (and John Hancock was one of the people to whom he would ride).  The “Shot heard round the world,” fired by the colonists at Concord Bridge against the invading British, was just four days later, on April 19, 1775. 

Now, let us have a decent respect for the opinions of others and list our grievances, just in the area of imposition and violation of our Freedom of Religion, leaving for another day more threats which are paralleling and  surprisingly  similar to certain words and complaint in the Declaration of Independence.   

Regarding violation of our Freedom of Religion, “To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.”  (Additions will be made here as new incursions are experienced):

DEVELOPMENTS NEGATIVELY IMPACTING FREEDOM OF RELIGION in the USA in 2012 

The concept of Freedom of Religion requires consideration too of Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Conscience.  Thus, attacks upon a parent’s obligation before God to educate their children, in teaching the child what is sin, and what isn’t, when interfered with by the state, constitutes a valid inclusion as persecution of religion.  It is only fair to warn, in advance, that several items may shock or offend.  Truth about evil has a way of doing so.

Some of the following are enacted by government, some current laws are ignored by government, and some are simply a growing indoctrination against people of religion by tolerating abuses against them.  Everyone may not agree in concern about each item.  Such disagreement begs the need for sincere dialogue.

 

#1:  Restriction of Religious Articles to Military Personnel:  In early 2012 we learned for the first time of a federal government action in September 2011, stating with respect to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the Bethesda Naval Hospital; i.e. that Navy officials had announced that “no religious items (including Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) were “allowed to be given away or used during a visit.”   There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution that empowers the government to stop family members from giving Bibles or crosses to their loved ones.  An outraged Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) took to the House floor, saying:  “Mr. Speaker, these military men and women who are recovering at Walter Reed and Bethesda have given their all forAmerica… They’ve defended and taken an oath to the Constitution, and … the people that come to visit them can’t bring a religious artifact?   They can’t bring a Bible? … A priest can’t walk in with the Eucharist and offer communion to a patient who might be on their deathbed because it’s prohibited in this memo from the Department of the Navy?”  Then on Dec. 5, 2011, The Blaze read: “Walter Reed Military Hospital Bans Bibles & Religious Materials — Then Overturns Policy.”  It says, in part: “By many accounts, anti-faith sentiment has been working its way into the U.S. military this year. While the examples are anecdotal, they are collectively creating some angst in religious circles …. Walter Reed National Military Medical Center implemented a policy that prevented family members of wounded military soldiers from bringing Bibles and other religious materials to their loved ones.  It stated:  “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.”  This policy … has now been overturned. But the fact that it was implemented in the first place only adds fuel to the fire when it comes to questions about the military’s take on faith.                                                        

#2  NDAA:  This would not ordinarily be a religion infringement issue, were it not for the 2009 Homeland Security identification of potentional terrorists as those motivated by issues like immigration, abortion, or opposition to “same sex marriage.”    The first news of 2012, unreported at the time, was President Obama’s executive order, signed on Dec. 31, 2011, the “National Defense Authorization Act,” NDAA, a “martial law matrix.”  It allows the president to hold enemy combatants in military detention facilities and to determine which groups may be considered terrorists without judicial or congressional oversight.    Constitutional attorney John Whitehead stated the law’s sweeping new powers “would allow the military to show up at your door if you’re [deemed] a ‘potential terrorist,’ and put you in military detention where seeing a lawyer is difficult.”   An August 2012 training session for federal law enforcement depicted the pro-life movement as a haven for violent extremists.  It “criminalizes differences in political views,” said Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall, adding that the right to habeas corpus is what “separates us from the likes of Nazis, Communists and other totalitarian governments.  No one should be entrusted with the totalitarian powers encompassed in NDAA.” 

 # NDRP:  National Defense Resources Preparedness was another executive order signed by President Obama (March 16, 2012).  It allows the federal government to seize all national resources (including food), draft civilians into the military or forced “labor,” regulate all communications, and ration health care to “promote the national defense.”  Congress may be briefed on the government’s actions but lacks any power to alter them.  This order adds to the NDAA “martial law matrix” that hands all national resources to the president, through his appointed Cabinet Secretaries; e.g. Secretary of Defense gets all power over all water resources in the country.  “These are entirely illegitimate powers from a Constitutional perspective,” author and editor William Norman Grigg  said. “There is not even a hint or a whisper or legitimacy here.”  This Act must be viewed in conjunction with #2 above.

#4 HHS Mandate reneged on President Obama’s promises to Cardinal Dolan, and was promulgated by HHS Secretary Sebelius on January 20, 2012.  It requires the Catholic Church to violate its own teachings by aiding and abetting, through insurance, the provision of contraceptive, abortifacient and sterilization coverage to its employees.  Implementation was delayed, but not changed, mobilizing the Church and her Faithful to fight for their Freedom of Religion and to avoid sin.  Prior to and following this mandate, the Catholic Church has continued to be attacked for her pro-life stance, necessitating the filing of lawsuits in May 2012, an unheard of situation in the US for the Catholic Church.

#5 Discrimination in the Use of  Taxpayer’s Funds: Grants pulled from Catholic human trafficking ministryBOSTON, March 28, 2012 – A federal judge has ruled that allowing government grants to Catholic-run programs against human trafficking amounts to an unconstitutional endorsement of the Catholic religion because the Church does not facilitate abortions for trafficking victims.  U.S. District Court Judge Richard Stearns sided with the American Civil Liberties Union in its case, accusing the U.S. Health and Human Services of violating the Establishment Clause [of the Constitution] by allowing the Catholic Church’s teaching against abortion and contraception to “place a religiously motivated restriction on reproductive services” for human trafficking victims assisted by federal grant money.  (In 2011 similar forces were exerted against Catholic Social Service Agencies which refused to place children for adoption with same-sex couples.)

#6 Refusal to Obey Law in place regarding Freedom of Information:  A request for information about the current administration’s funding of New Hampshire Planned Parenthood over the state’s head has dragged on more than 130 days, even though it is only supposed to take 20 working days under the Freedom of Information Law.

#7  Interference by State in trying to force mentally ill Catholic woman to have an abortion.  BOSTON, February 2, 2012.  A petition that could have forced a 32-year-old mentally ill woman to abort her child against her religious objections has been withdrawn.  Former Norfolk Probate Judge Christina Harms had ruled on January 6, 2012 that the woman … could be “coaxed, bribed, or even enticed… by ruse” until she was sedated for an abortion, which her parents sought against her will.  Harms also ordered her sterilized.  (Just because cases are dropped when they receive media attention does not mean it will not happen again or hasn’t happened elsewhere.  Such judicial decisions, even if reversed, are deeply intrusive into religious beliefs, especially of a mentally ill person.)

#8 HHS mandate means ‘ongoing, comprehensive government surveillance’– two new colleges sue the current administration [which] “has purposely transformed a non-existent problem – access to contraception – into a constitutional crisis,” said Mike Johnson, dean of Louisiana College’s Pressler School of Law.  Feb. 20, 2012.

#9  Birth control mandate meant to squeeze churches out of healthcare, says Congressman (Jan.  27, 2012).  Two U.S. Congressmen, one Democrat and one Republican, have urged conservatives in strong terms to immediately fight the HHS mandate forcing religious institutions to provide free abortifacient birth control, calling it a “very, very real” threat to religious freedom.  One of the congressmen called the mandate an attempt to push the church out of healthcare.  U.S. Reps. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Dan Lipinski (D-IL) told pro-life leaders this week not to underestimate the magnitude of the announcement by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week that religious organizations like hospitals and universities have one year until they must comply with the order to provide the drugs free of copay.  Smith said that the order is in line with the administration’s attack on conscience rights to pave way for a future where “abortion will be construed as preventive health care,” and “religious hospitals will be squeezed out.”

#10 “Taxpayers fund abortions for illegal aliens under new Obama admin rules” (Mar 02, 2012).  Under new guidelines issued by the current administration, immigration agents must provide taxpayer-funded abortion services,  transportation to the abortion clinic, for illegal aliens awaiting deportation.  The policy overhaul is contained in the Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS)  issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), part of Homeland Security.  “A pregnant detainee in custody shall have access to pregnancy services including…abortion services”…“counseling and assistance for pregnant women.”  If the detainee says her pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, or if her life would be endangered, “ICE will assume the costs associated with a female detainee’s decision to terminate a pregnancy.” ICE agents must “arrange for transportation at no cost to the detainee for the medical appointment,” even for elective abortions.  One of the people outraged by the new policy is Congressman Lamar Smith, R-TX, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. “The … administration’s new detention manual is more like a hospitality guideline for illegal immigrants,…The administration goes beyond common sense to accommodate illegal immigrants and treats them better than citizens in federal custody.”

#11  The Taxpayer also pays for transgender illegal immigrants to continue receiving hormone treatments  (Mar. 2, 2012) to “transition” to their new sex.  When new arrivals show up, ICE must “inquire into a transgender detainee’s gender self-identification and history of transition-related care.”  Transgender detainees will get to choose who does their body search “whenever possible,” and the search must be conducted in private. Housing for transgender detainees “shall consider the detainee’s gender self-identification and an assessment of placement on the detainee’s mental health and well-being.”  “Placement decisions should not be based solely” on the “physical anatomy of the detainee.  Transgender detainees shall have access to mental health care, and related health care and medication based on medical need.  “Treatment shall follow accepted guidelines regarding medically necessary transition-related care.”  Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies,  said: “The reason you have medical care for illegal immigrants in detention is that you make sure they are healthy enough to be deported … not to be a full-service medical provider.   “It’s temporary, transitional, and the idea that you’re supposed to [get] dental care and hormone treatments is just ridiculous.”

#12 Right to Life says HHS mandate ‘scam’ paves way for national abortion mandate.  The President had suggested that insurers can provide the drugs [contraception, abortifacients] for free because” fewer children means less overall health costs”… May lead to mandated abortion coverage as well.

#13  Another  reversal forces Texas to continue funding Planned Parenthood until case is settled.

#14 Religious institutions to be fined $100 a day per employee for failing to provide contraception.  Dr. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), testified before Congress that his denomination could face “tens of millions of dollars” in fines.

#15  Blunt Amendment to protect religious liberty under HHS mandate failed in U.S. Senate 51-48, Feb.22, 2012.  Thirteen of 24 Catholic Senators voted against it, including Sen. Gillibrand.  The proposed measure would have given employers and insurers the possibility to opt out of paying for contraceptives and sterilizations.

#16  DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act):  President Obama has refused to enforce DOMA, a law already in place when he was elected.  His refusal has doubtless encouraged passage of “gay marriage” at the state level, including NYS, and encouraged attacks against the Catholic Church for her faithfulness to teaching against homosexual life style, gay activism.

#17  Court rules California amendment defending marriage is ‘unconstitutional’  (Feb. 8, 2012).  The federal appeals court rules Proposition 8 which declared marriage to be between a man and a woman and was passed by the voters to be unconstitutional; but pro-family activists promise to fight all the way to the Supreme Court.  The California Court upheld a 2010 decision of a homosexual judge in the lower court against Proposition 8.

#18 Lesbian judge refuses to marry heterosexual couples (Dallas, Feb. 28, 2012)[She] says she will not perform wedding ceremonies for heterosexuals until the state allows homosexuals to “marry” as well, that it would be “oxymoronic” for her to perform wedding ceremonies that can’t be performed for her.  She directs them to another judge, but not before giving “them a lesson about marriage equality.”

#19 NJ Judge Rules Christian facility cannot ban same-sex civil union ceremony on its own premises  saying that the Constitution allows “some intrusion into religious freedom to balance other important societal goals.” (Jan. 13, 2012).

#20  Washington governor signs gay ‘marriage’ bill without religious protections: The bill clearly states that it will force church-owned facilities to accommodate homosexual ceremonies. (Feb. 13, 2012).

#21 Interference with Free Speech on Religious Topic:  A 14-year-old home-schooler who testified before the Maryland state senate against a bill redefining marriage has been the subject of cyberbullying, vicious name-calling, and death threats.  (Feb. 22, 2012,)  Sarah Crank, 14, told the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee she believes children need a mother and a father“I really feel bad for the kids who have two parents of the same gender …even though some kids think it’s fine, they have no idea what kind of wonderful experiences they miss out on.  People say that they were born that way, but I’ve met really nice adults who did change.  Today’s my 14th birthday, and it would be the best birthday present ever if you would vote ‘no’ on gay marriage,” she said.   On line threats included “If I ever meet her, I’ll kill her.”

 The above stories are principally from www.LifeSiteNews.com and

from www.Zenit.org

and from www.RealCatholicTV.com

and from the American Center for Law and Justice at www.ACLJ.org 

 

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