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

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20

Text only

Follow us: