Suggestions for Fortnight for Freedom activities
WASHINGTON D.C. — The Catholic Association has released a 14-point "action plan" for those who want to participate in the "Fortnight for Freedom" religious liberty advocacy event from June 21-July 4.
"It is so critical that Catholics stand together in defense of religious freedom and to preserve Catholic and other religious institutions' and employers' rights and ability to serve the common good," association senior policy advisor Maureen Ferguson said June 19.
She said the mandate forces faith-based entities to comply with a rule that "so deeply violates our faith and conscience" or pay "crippling" fines.
Ashley McGuire, a senior fellow with The Catholic Association, said the activities are non-partisan.
"This is not a Democrat or Republican issue, this is a freedom and First Amendment issue," she said.
A Department of Health and Human Services mandate requires employers, including many Catholic institutions, to provide employees with no co-pay insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception. The mandate's narrow religious exemption has drawn fire from Catholics and others who say providing the coverage violates their religious and moral beliefs.
Catholic and faith leaders others say a purported compromise from the Obama administration does not adequately address their concerns.
Many Catholic dioceses are organizing "Fortnight for Freedom" events to rally support for religious liberty.
The Catholic Association, a new group which says it aims to be "a faithful Catholic voice in the public square," has also published its own suggestions.
They are urging concerned citizens to call members of Congress to ask him or her to support religious freedom efforts and to oppose the HHS mandate.
"Tell the staff person you speak with that you would like a response from your representative and make sure they take down your address," the association suggests.
The association also echoed the Catholic bishops' call for prayer and fasting.
It said Catholics should pray the Fortnight for Freedom's "Prayer for Religious Liberty" or say a decade of the Rosary for religious freedom.
The Catholic Association noted that institutions that violate the mandate as currently written face a fine of $100 per employee per day, which it described as a "fine on faith."
The group suggested that Catholics respond by donating $14 to their favorite Catholic institution.
Churches will ring their bells in a coordinated act at 12 p.m. Eastern time July 4. The Catholic Association said that Catholics and others should send out a Facebook post or a tweet with the phrase "I Stand for Religious Freedom" at the same time.
Participants can share with others the U.S. bishops' document "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty." They can also sign petitions like the Beckett Fund's "I Still Believe" petition, the "Women Speak for Themselves" petition and the "Conscience Clause" petition.
The association also suggests participants invite14 friends to see the movie "For Greater Glory."
For more information, visit: http://www.thecatholicassociation.org.
— Catholic News Agency
Catholics have been asked by our bishops to take action in defense of our religious liberty in the two weeks leading up to the Fourth of July — a "Fortnight for Freedom." The Catholic Association (TCA) is responding to the call of the Catholic Church for members of the lay faithful to be witnesses for the Church in the public arena. You can help!
This is necessary because the Obama Administration has engaged in a stunning attack on our right to practice our faith, most notably by mandating that virtually all employers, including religious employers like Catholic charities, schools, and hospitals, provide free abortion inducing-drugs, contraception, and sterilization in their health plans.
You can help by committing yourself to the following daily action items over the 14 days of the Fortnight — each taking only two minutes or less.
Please start now by sharing this 14-point action plan with 14 of your friends and asking them to join you in standing up for religious freedom!
Share The Catholic Association's one-minute video with 14 of your friends through email, Twitter, or Facebook.
Call your Member of Congress to ask them to support efforts to protect religious liberty and to oppose the HHS mandate. Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121 and give the operator your zip code to be connected to your Representative's office. Tell the staff person you speak with that you would like a response from your Representative and make sure they take down your address.
The HHS mandate affects not just Catholics, but people of all faiths. Many Christian colleges and non-religious employers have also sued the Obama Administration because of this affront to the First Amendment. Watch this short video and forward it to 14 of your non-Catholic friends.
Say the following prayer for religious liberty that the bishops have asked us to pray — and share the prayer with 14 friends:
Almighty God, Father of all nations,
For freedom you have set us free in Christ Jesus (Gal 5:1).
We praise and bless you for the gift of religious liberty,
the foundation of human rights, justice, and the common good.
Grant to our leaders the wisdom to protect and promote our liberties;
By your grace may we have the courage to defend them, for ourselves and for all those who live in this blessed land.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary Immaculate, our patroness,
and in the name of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
with whom you live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Follow The Catholic Association on Twitter: @CatholicsAsOne.
Donate $14 to your favorite Catholic institution (whether a charity, school, hospital) threatened by the HHS mandate "fine on faith." See here for a list of just some of the institutions suing the Obama Administration. Catholic institutions such as these are facing fines of $100 per employee per day.
Let 14 friends know how your favorite Catholic institution is threatened by the mandate. The HHS mandate's "fine on faith" is $100 per employee per day. Employers like the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., or the University of Notre Dame will face fines of millions of dollars per year for noncompliance.
Make plans to go see the movie "For Greater Glory," a movie about the loss of religious freedom in the 1920's in Mexico. Invite 14 friends to come along.
Sign a petition protesting the HHS Mandate: "Women Speak for Themselves", the Becket Fund's "I Still Believe," and "Conscience Cause" all have great petitions.
Pray a decade of the rosary for religious freedom.
Let 14 friends know about these other threats to religious freedom that our bishops have outlined in their recent document, "Our First, Most Cherished Liberty."
Offer up one sacrifice today for the intention of religious freedom. The bishops have called for both prayer and fasting.
Send out a tweet or a Facebook post at noon EST on the Fourth of July with the words, "I Stand for Religious Freedom #Fortnight4Freedom" in synch with the nationwide-coordinated ringing of church bells on the Fourth of July.
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