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Silk: most religious leaders don’t think their freedom is in danger

Silk: most religious leaders don’t think their freedom is in danger

Mark Silk says the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ second Fortnight of Freedom has become an embarrassment.

To celebrate the USCCB’s Fortnight for Freedom, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who’s in charge of the thing, has rolled out “Standing Together for Religious Freedom,” an open letter denouncing Obamacare’s contraception mandate for businesses as a fundamental threat to religious liberty in America. Let’s just say that, based on the 100 or so signatories, an awful lot of the American religious community doesn’t see it that way.

With the exception of the president of Catholic University and Lori himself, the Catholic names — which make up over half the list — are all associated with institutions on the right fringe of American Catholicism. Places like Ave Maria University and the Franciscan University at Steubenville and John Paul the Great University.

There are the usual suspects from the conservative evangelical world: Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council and Samuel Rodriguez of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention and George O. Wood of the Assemblies of God. Plus the president of the National Association of Evangelicals and the president of the Missouri Synod Lutherans and an LDS general authority. But there’s nary a mainline Protestant to be found.


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@JBC: it’s legit to question whether our freedom is threatened. But to say it’s about “religious freedom” being threatened, is to Play Victim.

JC Fisher


Geoffrey, if you were familiar w/ Franciscan University of Steubenville, you’d know that “right fringe” fits it perfectly (it’s practically the defacto higher ed arm of EWTN. It’s a universe away from Il Poverello begging for bread and preaching to the birds).

JC Fisher

John B. Chilton

Silk could have also included ACNA in this set — but for the fact that they are the size of a flea.

On the other hand, shouldn’t mainstream churches have some concern that religious freedom is threatened? In particular, in a world where our email and snailmail metadata is collected shouldn’t we be concerned that could be misused against innocent Muslims, or even vocal progressive Christians?

Geoffrey McLarney

I don’t claim to be familiar with Steubenville, but “Franciscan” and “right fringe” are not phrases you hear juxtaposed that often.

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