Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Illinois Shows It's Hatred of Catholicism in the Name of Tolerance & Inclusiveness

Yes, I know that sounds a little bit harsh, but it is true. Because of a new law that goes into effect in Illinois tommorrow, the Rockford Diocese held a press conference last Thursday where it was announced that effective 1 June Catholic Charities would no longer offer state-funded adoption & foster care services. The new law, ironicly called the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act, is actually taking away the religious freedom of the Catholic Church in Illinois. The law allows "unmarried cohabitating couples, whether same‐sex or opposite sex, to apply for adoptions and licenses to become foster parents." But the same law that gave them this right, does not exempt organizations like Catholic Charities from the requirement to accept these applications.

But, as Penny Wiegert, diocesan director of communication, explained, accepting those applications goes against "the mission, vision and teaching of the Catholic Church." She went on to add "As you may know, the Catholic Church does not condone same‐sex unions or unmarried cohabitation between individuals of the opposite sex. We believe in the natural order of marriage and the Sacrament of Matrimony between one man and one woman. We also believe and promote the optimal God‐given privilege of every child to be reared in a safe and loving family with a committed and loving male father and female mother whenever possible."

As a result over 100 years of providing help to children in need, beginning with orphanages to care for abandoned children to the current services, is now at an end. The state forced them to chose to compromise their faith or get out of providing those services. The diocese make the only decision they could.

As Ellen B. Lynch, general counsel for the Rockford Diocese, put it "Legally, albeit emotionally painful, we determined this was the right decision to make for the moral and financial future of the Diocese of Rockford.

The law of our land has always guaranteed its people freedom of religion. Denying this exemption to faith-based agencies leads one to believe that our lawmakers prefer laws that guarantee freedom from religion. We simply can not compromise the spirit that motivates us to deliver quality, professional services to families by letting our state define our religious teachings."

So Catholic Charities in no longer taking new applications. The process of closing out the foster care & adoption programs they currently operate, which includes transferring all cases to other agencies, is scheduled to end in August. As a result of the end of these programs 58 workers will lose their jobs. But, as was pointed out, for these people this is much more than just a job they are losing. "Our caseworkers do this work not just because it’s their job, but because it is their calling. The children and families they serve are just an extension of their commitment to our mission, which serving children is at its basic core, so it is a very grave loss for them as well as for everyone involved with charities."

This is just the latest example of subtle & not so subtle persecution of Catholics & other Christians who respect the God given right to life in a country that claims to allow free expression of religion. In February the Obama administration overturned some of the conscience protections the Bush administration put in place to protect pro-life medical workers who don’t want to be involved in certain medical procedures. & don't forget the debate during ObamaCare about whether it would force Catholic hospitals to do abortions or shut down, something that has still not been settled despite claims to the contrary by ObamaCare supporters.

This just shows how far we have come from the days of our Founding Fathers. As John Adams pointed out in a 28 June 1813 letter to Thomas Jefferson "The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence, were ... the general principles of Christianity, in which all those sects were united, and the general principles of English and American liberty, in which all those young men united, and which had united all parties in America, in majorities sufficient to assert and maintain her independence. Now I will avow, that I then believed and now believe that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God; and that those principles of liberty are as unalterable as human nature and our terrestrial, mundane system." (emphasis mine)

In a letter to to Zabdiel Adams on 21 June 21 1776 Adams wrote "[I]t is religion and morality alone which can establish the principles upon which freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free constitution is pure virtue."

& on 11 October 1798 he said "[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Now we see our government trying to force out the very foundation on which this nation was built. & if it suceeds in doing so, we will no longer be the "land of the free". Instead this country will either be a dictatorship or will no longer exist. What is going on in Illinois & elsewhere shows me that we are well down that road. But it is still not to late to turn back.

Those of us who are believers must pray. We must, like Daniel, repent for the sins of our nation. We must ask God for His Mercy. As it says in 2 Chronicles 7:14 "And my people, upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land." If ever there was a verse from the Bible that was a NOW word from God, this is it.

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