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ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: The First Freedom: religious liberty as foundation of human liberty

ARCHBISHOP CHAPUT: The First Freedom: religious liberty as foundation of human liberty


  1. Freedom of religion needs to include the freedom from religion. Otherwise, it's a phoney "freedom."

    As for his complaint that Christians are being picked on, why does he think that is? It couldn't possibly have anything to do with the Christian missionarys' attitudes that if you're not "one of us" you're going to hell and you're not a real human person until you've bowed your head to my gods and left your own behind, could it?

    This "discrimination against Christians" is nothing more than a backlash for former injustices by former victims. And if the Hatfields and the McCoys could eventually sit down and share a roast of pork together, it's possible that warring religions will eventually become friends. But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen...there are a lot of victims out there who want their own turn to kick someone's ass in retribution.

  2. Lady Janus: (Please take this with the BEST of intentions) God bless you! You've helped me to see the difference in how we see the Archbishop's address.

    Every legitimate point you raised against the beliefs of 'Christians' is an expression of fundamentalist protestant theology (Jimmy "I have Sinned!" Swaggart being the exemplar). The Archbishop would not want that to be assessed using that hermeneutic. Catholic theology, especially on the subject of religious freedom (by which she means the free and unencumbered right for all to believe as they wish) is best expressed in the Vatican II document on Religious Freedom. Understood from this perspective what +Chaput was speaking as much for your freedoms as for mine.

    Simply put: we are all equal as being under a sovereign God. All of us infused with the right to choose how we wish to live our lives. Everyone has the same rights, in degree and number as everyone else.

    If I hold to the Christian proposition, then I will choose to order my life by its teachings. If someone holds that there is no God, then they are likely to do the same as me, and order their life by what they choose as 'good' (Aristolean sense here).

    This is what the Catholic Church teaches. This is what the Archbishop said.

    Now, on the life agenda (at least as reflected in civil laws) there will be no concession by the Church. It does so not because it wants to restrict anything other than the taking of an innocent life (I appreciate that we disagree on both terms - innocent and life).

    You might be closer to a clear breath sooner than you think! (smile)

    Fr. Tim

  3. "Please take this with the BEST of intentions."

    Of course! Such blessings from friends are always welcome!

    Yes, most of the current problems the rest of the world has with Christianity can be laid at the feet of utter rotters like that swine, Swaggart; but it wasn't Protestants who conducted the two-hundred-year-long exercise in bloody ethnic cleansing known as the Crusades. And written history has a long memory. And up till the point when Urban II mounted a declared war on Islam at the behest of the Byzantine Emperor, most religious scuffles were simply a by-product of a population boom among the differing cultures ("if we can't kill 'em, we'll outnumber 'em"), and the efforts of each to get living space and elbow room for themselves. It was essentially tribal, not world-wide.

    Then came expansionism, and empire-building in the New World, and religion became a numbers game -- whoever had the biggest numbers won the game. I don't know who was supposed to be adjudicating the mess, but there were three ways of boosting your numbers: 1) encourage -- nay, insist, that your side have more and more babies. Women became breeders for the cause, and resistance to the idea or outright disobedience was punished; 2) convert as many of the vanquished as you can manage; and, 3) whoever does not convert must be killed.

    Points one and three were already in existence to a degree, but not on a global scale, and not by religious law. Point two -- conversion of the vanquished -- became more and more the main objective, since when both sides practised one and three, they tended to cancel each other out (you have more babies, but when they grow up, I kill them all in war), and somebody finally figured out that the endless breeding/killing cycle was getting everyone nowhere fast.

    Of all the religions in the world, I can only think of one that absolutely does NOT allow converts, and that is Zoroastrianism. In order to qualify, you must be born to it. But of the rest of the world's religions, only Christianity is aggressive and offensive about it (and I use the term, "offensive," in both senses of that word, some sects being more offensive than others).

    It's still a numbers game. One I don't wish to play. Women are still considered to be breeders for the cause, and some fundamentalist types of various religions are still killing one another in the name of their peculiar dieties. I'm fed up with the entire lot of them, and want nothing to do with any of them, and that tends to make me a target. So be it. But I return fire. And what I aim at, I hit.

    "...we are all equal as being under a sovereign God. All of us infused with the right to choose how we wish to live our lives. Everyone has the same rights, in degree and number as everyone else."

    My objection to that is the phrase, "as being under a sovereign God." Yes, we are all equal, and yes, we all have the right to choose, but somewhere in there, the idea that we may choose NOT to belong to a "sovereign god" got lost. Rewrite that idea and leave out that phrase, and he'll have much more success. And THEN will I wish him luck!

    I just said this elsewhere, but let me repeat it here: I have absolutely no problem with the Church's teaching of its own to its own. Where my problem with the Church arises is when I am told that I must re-order my thinking to accomodate those teachings. I am not Catholic. Why would anyone try to make me live under Catholic Rule?


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