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A Chicken Sandwich & Religious Liberty

By Cardinal Roger M. Mahony Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs L.A.
Posted on: Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Original publication date: July 28th, 2012

In the past several months the Catholic Church has been alerting everyone in the nation to the great new dangers affecting religious freedom: The government determining what constitutes a Church, who belongs, and what services they may or may not offer, and to whom.

The end of June leading to the 4th of July we Catholics celebrated a “Fortnight for Freedom” to highlight the present dangers to our constitutional religious freedoms, and to point out how the federal government increasingly attempts to restrict those freedoms, as well as to regulate how Churches live out their freedoms.

The latest visible and glaring example of people in government punishing people for holding differing beliefs from government leaders focuses on a chicken sandwich.

Chick-fil-A is a national restaurant chain which specializes in chicken sandwiches, other chicken foods, as well as various sides, drinks, and desserts.

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has consistently backed “the biblical definition of a family,” and his foundation has contributed to groups working to maintain the traditional definition of a marriage-one man and one woman. He later added, “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say, ‘We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage’.”

Sounds to me like speech from a son of God and speech guaranteed by the First Amendment to our Constitution.

Follow this link to read more.

About Preserve Religious Freedom

This lawsuit is about religious freedom and our ability to serve the public, not about contraception. The Church maintains that the First Amendment protects the Catholic Church's ability to serve the public in accordance with its faith and to operate its religious institutions without government interference. The argument challenges the way the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) defines what is, and is not, a religious institution. By including an exemption at all, the government apparently agrees that, in keeping with decades of practice and precedent, religious institutions should not be compelled to purchase drugs or procedures that violate deeply held religious or moral beliefs.

But, the Administration's HHS mandate defines religious ministry so narrowly that religious schools, hospitals, and social services don't qualify as religious, and must therefore provide these drugs and procedures. This violates the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. It forces religious organizations to sacrifice their beliefs in order to be able to continue their mission of serving the public. Read more about the plaintiffs filing this lawsuit here.

Preserve Religious Freedom
c/o Archdiocese of Washington
P.O. Box 29260
Washington, DC 20017-0260

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