Pick of the Web, week of 6/21/13

Important news from New York state today: the state senate just stopped an effort by Gov. Cuomo to expand abortion availability and to deny conscience protection to health care workers who choose not to participate in abortion. Read more about this encouraging news from New Yorkers for Life and Americans United for Life.

Fortnight for Freedom is underway. Leaven will be covering this project throughout the next two weeks. While the Fortnight was a project originating with the U.S. Catholic bishops, this is a time of unity and action for all Americans, regardless of faith. It’s time to remind our politicians that the First Amendment includes protections on religious liberty. http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/fortnight-for-freedom/index.cfm

How do you cope with being pro-life in a family that supports abortion? http://liveactionnews.org/my-coming-out-story/

Sandra Cano was “Mary Doe” in Doe v. Bolton, the companion case to Roe v. Wade. She never sought an abortion. How could this have happened? Read her story from Silent No More Awareness.


Fortnight for Freedom 2013 is coming

Last year, I wrote about Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week campaign of prayer and education to highlight the religious freedom threats posed by the “Affordable” Care Act in general and the HHS mandate in particular. The event was  initiated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Americans of all faiths participated in observances around the country.fortnight-4-freedom-logo-montage

The HHS mandate has not been repealed. Since last year, businesses of all sizes have challenged the mandate in court, with mixed results. The bishops have called for another Fortnight, appropriately ending on Independence Day, July 4. There’s a Facebook event page with more information.

Expect more on this project in the coming weeks on Leaven.

“Fortnight for Freedom” Begins Today

“We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar’s. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.”

This conclusion to the 2009 Manhattan Declaration is a particularly apt call today, which begins a two-week countdown to Independence Day called “Fortnight for Freedom.” The president and HHS Secretary Sebelius are not backing down from the odious HHS mandate, about which I’ve written many times before. In the best tradition of peaceful protest, the Catholic bishops of the United States have invited not only Catholics but all Americans of good will to join in two weeks of prayer, study, and public action calling for repeal of the mandate. Join as best you can, from wherever you are.

By now, everyone should understand that the mandate threatens ALL churches by allowing the federal government to determine which religious organizations are religious enough to meet exemption requirements. If the Catholic church is in administrative crosshairs today, other churches will be there later. Catholics simply don’t want to be penalized for rejecting the “Affordable” Care Act’s premise that pregnancy is a preventable disease.

Conscience and religious freedom rights are being knocked around locally, not just in Washington. The failure of a conscience clause bill in the most recent New Hampshire legislative session is a startling reminder that acting in defense of human life, even by refusing to participate in the provision of abortion or abortive drugs, can cost you your job. I heard legislators, Democrat and Republican, remark in public sessions that those who have moral objections to certain procedures should just choose other jobs. That means you, Mr. Pharmacist and Ms. Medical Assistant.

And so: the Fortnight. Text “Freedom” to 377377 for information on the event from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary parish in Rochester will have a program this evening from 6:30-8 p.m. You can participate online in a national “virtual vigil”; see fortnight.catholicadvocate.com. Over the next couple of weeks, re-read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution’s preamble and Bill of Rights, the Manhattan Declaration, King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail.

Anything going on in your area during the Fortnight? Post a comment about it & I’ll spread the news.