June 18, 2012
For Fourteen Days
By Jason Godin *

By Jason Godin *

From June 21 to July 4, many Catholics across the United States will observe a “Fortnight for Freedom” in defense of religious liberty. They will conduct a two-week campaign inspired and guided by prayer, supplied by study, and informed by catechesis. They will act in peaceful solidarity with friends from other faiths. For fourteen days they will seek also to fortify the true character and heritage of freedom in the United States against false notions of freedom clearly and presently endangering it.

The True Character and Heritage of Freedom

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions” (1730). True freedom flows from the God-given grace of free will, emerging as “the power, rooted in reason and will, to act or not to act, to do this or that, and so to perform deliberate actions on one’s own responsibility.” In action, it becomes “a force for growth and maturity in truth and goodness” that “attains its perfection when directed toward God” (CCC, 1731). 

The Founding Fathers of the United States recognized this true character of freedom, its strengths and, more importantly, its earthly limits. The governing documents that they drafted express freedom as responsible, human interactions within a known natural order. The Declaration of Independence asserted as “self-evident” truth that liberty is among the “certain unalienable Rights” endowed by a “Creator”. The Bill of Rights later enshrined the true character of freedom as protected rights for all Americans.  The First Amendment provided safeguards against any official, established state religion. It also prohibited legal obstacles to the free exercise of faith.

False Notions of Freedom and Its Clear and Present Dangers  

But false notions of freedom today endanger the true character and heritage of freedom. An aggressive secularism – realized, for example, in the state mandating abortion, contraception, and sterilization as “preventative” health services as well as attempting to redefine church governance and structures – seeks to reduce freedom to mere license. The realities of false freedom run risks for us all.  They abandon responsibility and equate consent with imposing the will of a numerical minority upon a majority. Pledged to no single political party, they define faith simply as private worship that never deserves a place or influence in the public square. They construct a culture – and inform a type of politics – that elevates feeling good ahead of the commonwealth, expects and accepts progress whatever the cost to life, liberty, and happiness, and regresses toward a primitive absence of restraint. 

St. Teresa of Avila talked about interior castles of the soul. The “Fortnight for Freedom” presents Catholics an opportunity to fortify true freedom in the soul of the United States.  True freedom is never a flight from responsibility but recognition of it. Totalitarianism disguised as toleration is never an acceptable accommodation. True freedom challenges the individual, as it challenged our forefathers and will challenge future generations, to serve as guardian stewards to the point of martyrdom.

For fourteen days, as faithful Catholics and patriotic Americans, protect the character and heritage of true freedom before they’re replaced with false notions of freedom.

Jason Godin teaches United States history at Blinn College in Bryan, Texas. You can find him on Facebook here.

« Previous entry     Back to index     Next entry »
Ads by Google
(What's this?)
blog comments powered by Disqus


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 21, 2014

Monday within the Octave of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 2:14, 22-33
Gospel:: Mt 28:8-15

Saint of the Day

Holy Thursday »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: