Saturday, September 26, 2015

Freedom of Religion

Heartened to hear Pope Francis, in his speech from Philadelphia, affirm the crucial reality that the right to religious freedom (affirmed in the very first amendment of our Bill of Rights) is by no means restricted to the 'freedom to worship' (the phrase characteristically used by President Obama and Hillary Clinton), but also the freedom to practice and live out one's religious commitments in every sphere of life -- "in the public square", culturally, politically, vocationally, etc.

The conclusion to his speech: "May this country and each of you be renewed in gratitude for the many blessings and freedoms that you enjoy. And may you defend these rights, especially your religious freedom, for it has been given to you by God himself...."

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." -- "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights' (via the United Nations"

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