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For months now, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been pushing a false definition of "religious freedom" in an attempt to expand and strengthen government privileging of religion and impose religion onto our secular laws. The worst part is that they are doing it all under a smoke screen of religious persecution.
The "Fortnight for Freedom" is simply another political campaign designed to chip away at the separation of government and religion. True religious freedom is the ability to practice your religion and your beliefs, as long as those beliefs do not infringe upon the rights of others to do the same. What the bishops are asking for is the ability to impose their religious beliefs on others and to discriminate while accepting taxpayer funding.
The concept of the separation of government and religion was deemed so important and essential to our identity as a nation that it is included in our Constitution. The eternal separation of government and religion is the best guarantee of freedom for everyone -- both the religious as well as the 40 million Americans who do not identify with any religion. Those who truly advocate for religious freedom should speak out and stand up in the fight to keep our government and laws secular and encourage others to do the same.
Reproductive health care is a fundamental human right. No one, especially Catholic bishops, should be allowed to force their religious beliefs on others.
First Published July 8, 2012 12:00 am