The U.S. Constitution does not permit federal courts or government officials to be the ultimate arbiters of matters of faith.
Today, the government is seeking to transform the Religious Freedom Restoration Act's substantial burden analysis -- allowing for intrusion only in the "interests of the highest order" -- into what attorneys for the U.S. bishops call "an exercise in amateur moral theology."
The Declaration of Independence states we all have God-given rights -- not government-given rights, nor king-given rights -- and that the whole purpose of a government is to defend the rights that a government certainly has no right to take away. Among the most important of our God-given rights is the freedom of religion.
For the first time in U.S. history, we have a presidential administration that has chosen to use the words "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion" -- a dangerous shift of phraseology.
We are baptized into a family of faith, the Church, and we live out our Christian discipleship in communion with all our sisters and brothers (living and deceased) who make up the one Body of Christ. The social, or communal, dimension of Catholic belief and practice is every bit as important as the individual, or personal, dimension of Christian life.
WASHINGTON -- Oral arguments in two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court March 25 focused on whether for-profit corporations have religious grounds to object to the new health care law's requirement that most employers provide contraceptive coverage in their employee health plans.
Crowds on both sides of the issue gathered outside the Supreme Court on a cold, snowy morning, holding aloft signs and chanting for their cause.
Katie Hoormann stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. She waved the bat around and got set.
The young man who was the pitcher let an underhanded toss soar. Katie swung and made contact, driving in a run for the Little Sisters of the Poor residents' team. Applause erupted in the open-space auditorium.
"She's 96 years old," exclaimed a gentleman sitting in a chair, with his walker at his side.
Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases related to the Affordable Care Act and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that most employers provide coverage for contraceptives in employee health plans.
The arguments in Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties vs. Sebelius will be heard jointly beginning March 25. The cases focus on how the mandate applies to for-profit companies. It's a shift from previous debate about whether Church-affiliated institutions may be exempted.