This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

US Catholic bishops' abuse of 'religious freedom'

The founding fathers saw the state as guarantor of freedom from persecution. Now, the Church is trying to cast it as persecutor


The US Conference of Catholic Bishops in session in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month. Photograph: Tami Chappell/Reuters

It is a terrible thing when a once-noble phrase gets beaten to a meaningless pulp. The time has now come to rescue the phrase "religious freedom" from its abusers. In the writings and speeches of Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders in recent months, "religious freedom" has come to mean something close to its opposite. It now stands for "religious privilege". It is a coded way for them to state their demand that religious institutions should be allowed special powers that exempt them from the laws of the land.

On 22 June, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops kicked off its "Fortnight for Freedom", a campaign of complaints about alleged persecution of the largest, most powerful and politically influential religious denominations in the United States. Religious freedom is "in jeopardy in America", says Archbishop Jose H Gomez in a prominent article in the theological journal First Things. Let's consider some of the alleged assaults.

At St Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois, the adjunct professors had not had a raise in five years, according to Tom Suhrbur, an organizer with the Illinois Education Association. In 2010, in hopes of securing higher pay and benefits, they sought to organize themselves into a union.

Read more

TAGGED: LAW, POLITICS, RELIGION, VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM


RELATED CONTENT

Letter to Trevor Phillips, Chair of...

- - Maryam Namazie Comments

Letter to Trevor Phillips, Chair of Equality and Human Rights Commission

Enforce federal 501(c)(3) regulations...

- - We The People Comments

Enforce federal 501(c)(3) regulations by removing the tax-exempt status from churches that engage in political activity.

The rebranding of circumcision as...

Brendan O'Neill - The Telegraph Comments

The rebranding of circumcision as 'child abuse' echoes the ugly anti-Semitism of medieval Europe

German court rules religious...

- - MedicalXpress Comments

German court rules religious circumcision on boys an assault

Stop the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer...

Jimmy Wales - Change.org & The... Comments

.@ukhomeoffice: Stop the extradition of Richard O'Dwyer to the USA #SaveRichard

Update on Bei Bei Shuai: Bad News From...

Katha Pollitt - The Nation Comments

Update on Bei Bei Shuai: Bad News From Indiana

MORE

MORE BY KATHERINE STEWART

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments

How Obama's healthcare reform boosted abstinence-only sex education

Loretta Preska's judicial crusade to...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian Comments

[Update] How Christian fundamentalists...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian 36 Comments

How Christian fundamentalists plan to teach genocide to schoolchildren

Tennessee Goes Monkey Again

Katherine Stewart - RichardDawkins.net 44 Comments

Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

Katherine Stewart - Ms. blog 36 Comments

Just Say Yes…To Sexist Stereotyping?

Australia's blurred separation between...

Katherine Stewart - The Guardian 30 Comments

Australia's blurred separation between church and state
Constitutional ambiguity has allowed religion an excessive influence in schools, and Australia is not alone in this respect

MORE

Comments

Please Login to RDFRS to Comment

Sign in to RDF

blog comments powered by Disqus