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

Philippines birth control: Filipinos...

Kenneth R. Weiss - LA Times Comments

In the Philippines, access to contraceptives is limited for the most part to those with the means to pay. The Catholic Church has fought a "reproductive health bill" in the legislature that would change that.

Pope's ex-butler Paolo Gabriele to...

- - BBC News Comments

The former butler to Pope Benedict XVI will stand trial for stealing confidential papers and leaking them to the press, a magistrate has ruled.

Archbishop of Glasgow: Labour MP David...

George Eaton - NewStateman Comments

Archbishop of Glasgow: Labour MP David Cairns died because he was gay

Former Argentinian dictator says he...

Tom Hennigan - IrishTimes.com Comments

ARGENTINA’S FORMER military dictator said he kept the country’s Catholic hierarchy informed about his regime’s policy of “disappearing” political opponents, and that Catholic leaders offered advice on how to “manage” the policy.

Helping victims of a College Education

Gerard Murphy - Catholic monthly... Comments

Roman Catholic Church official...

NBC News - MNSBC Comments

A Roman Catholic church official was convicted Friday of child endangerment but acquitted of conspiracy in a groundbreaking clergy-abuse trial

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