Default Marriage has had its day at Court, but religious freedom could soon follow [CNA]

Washington D.C., Jun 27, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Friday’s Supreme Court ruling against the traditional understanding of marriage may pose huge obstacles to the free exercise of religion and conscience across the US, the nation’s bishops have said in response to the decision.

“The free exercise of religion means that we have a right not only to debate it openly in the public square, but to operate our ministries and to live our lives in accordance to the truth about marriage without violence, or being penalized, or losing our tax exemption, or losing our ability to serve the common good through our social services and through education,” Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chair of the U.S. bishops conference’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, told EWTN News Nightly June 26.

“The Church and its religious organizations serve millions of people with love and attention,” the archbishop said, adding that “it would be a shame to see that jeopardized. It would be a shame to see free exercise swallowed up in this decision.”

In a 5-4 decision on Friday, the Supreme Court ruled on Obergefell v. Hodges, deciding that states must grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.

The ruling was granted under the Fourteenth Amendment, which protects the rights of all citizens to “life, liberty, or property” under due process, and guarantees them equal protection of the laws in the states.

In this case, the Court ruled that the state laws defining marriage as between one man and one woman deprived same-sex couples of their right to legally marry.

The ruling overturned a November decision by the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld traditional marriage laws in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Same-sex marriage is now legal in all fifty states. States must also recognize one another’s marriage licenses regardless of the partners’ sexes.

Military chaplains will be protected by the First Amendment, Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services told CNA.

“In general, chaplains enjoy the First Amendment rights that all of us enjoy. And so they are forbidden to do anything that their endorser – or in this case, for Catholic priests, that would be me – forbids them to do, and they must the ability to do the things that the endorser requires of them. So at least on the legal level, they are protected.”

What is less clear is the other consequences the decision brings upon the military archdiocese, Archbishop Broglio said, conceding that problems previously unseen will now manifest themselves.

Though it is also unclear how the ruling will specifically affect Catholic individuals, families, businesses, and ministries, it is clearly far-reaching, Archbishop Lori said. It will affect a myriad of marriage laws and regulations at the state and local levels.

“Today’s ruling does not just affect one law, but in fact hundreds if not thousands of federal, state, and local laws and regulations that implicate marriage, spouses, and so forth,” he said. People of faith who believe in the traditional understanding of marriage “ may very well see a difficult road ahead.”

Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. bishops conference, addressed some specific areas where controversies might arise, such as tax exemptions, employee benefits, employment, and school accreditation.

“We’ve seen already many of these disputes emerge in states that have already recognized same-sex marriage. We’ve seen them in states that have aggressive sexual orientation, gender identity, and anti-discrimination laws,” he commented.

There will likely be social consequences for supporters of the traditional understanding of marriage, Picarello added.

The Supreme Court’s decision “makes a nod in the direction of religious liberty but not enough of one,” Archbishop Lori said.

While it grants the right of religions to teach and advocate about marriage, the majority opinion says nothing of the free exercise of religion that is central to the First Amendment – and this is extremely problematic, the archbishop explained.

The free exercise of religion means the ability for people to live their religious beliefs while “interacting with the broader society,” Archbishop Lori continued. For the majority of the court to omit this in its discussion of religious freedom could “give rise to a lot of legal controversies,” he warned.

Catholics must vigorously defend this right of free exercise, while respecting the beliefs of opponents, he added.

“To put a label on people as a way of closing off the debate, or as a way of vilifying those who disagree, really runs counter to what the First Amendment intends,” Archbishop Lori said.

“As believers, we should be prepared, whatever the cost is, to bear witness to our faith. To do it lovingly, but also to do it truthfully and to do it persistently.”

Catholics should take heart that this is not the first time they have faced the prospect of persecution in the U.S., Archbishop Broglio added.

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This is powerful

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Brother Knights, please read and share

Subject: Urgent Prayer Request (Franklin Graham)

Lacking any government authority to which to turn for help for these people, I can only look up – please consider doing the same.

Prayer Request Ladies & Gentlemen – this is an urgent prayer ​

FROM SAMARITAN’S PURSE MINISTRY: Dear brothers, got this as a very urgent request…counting on you guys to pray and also forward to others who will do the same…This is urgent news from Samaritans Purse. This was sent for prayer from Chaplains with Rapid Response Team. Pray & pass to others.

Dear Friends,

Just a few minutes ago the following text message was received from Sean Malone who leads Crisis Relief International (CRI). We then spoke briefly on the phone and I assured him that we would share this urgent prayer need with all of our contacts. “We lost the city of Queragosh (Qaraqosh). It fell to ISIS and they are beheading children systematically. This is the city we have been smuggling food to. ISIS has pushed back Peshmerga (Kurdish forces) and is within 10 minutes of where our CRI team is working. Thousands more fled into the city of Erbil last night. The UN evacuated its staff in Erbil. Our team is unmoved and will stay. Prayer cover needed!”

Please pray sincerely for the deliverance of the people of Northern Iraq from the terrible advancement of ISIS and its extreme Islamic goals for mass conversion or death for Christians across this region. May I plead with you not to ignore this e-mail. Do not forward it before you have prayed through it. Then send it to as many people as possible. Send it to friends and Christians you may know. Send it to your prayer group. We need to stand in the gap for our fellow Christians.

Franklin Graham

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40 Days For Life

Well, the end is drawing near, but that doesn’t mean that the fight is over. Please, after this spring campaign is over, continue to pray for the women who may be considering abortion as an option, and for the unborn children in which they hold their lives in their hands.

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40 Days For Life

Day 1 is coming to a close….come on out and join us in prayer in front of the Planned Parenthood of Victorville

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A Lesson for the President

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March For Life 2015 Photos

A very special thank you to Joshua Cunningham for the Photos provided, Great Job! Please click the page link for the March For Life 2015 at the top of the page or simply follow this link!

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