Supreme Knight, Carl A. Anderson on Religious Liberty # 1 of 6
In pursuit of the truth - www.cinopsbegoneblogspot.com - Wed. May 17/12
Preface: The following is Carl Anderson’s whole address to the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on “Religious Freedom.” Washington, D.C. April 19th 2012. My purpose is to inform K. of C. members, other Catholics and Christians of the very serious attacks on the U.S. Catholic Church and persuade all to participate in some activity during “Fortnight of
Freedom” throughout the nation - June 21st to July 4th
“We come together at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast to publicly offer thanks for the blessings of American liberty, a freedom which, in its extent and its endurance, is unique in human history.
We also come to publicly affirm our determination to preserve that liberty, for us and for our fellow citizens, and to ask the Lord’s guidance in doing so.
There are times when we need that help more than others. This is such a time.
I venture to say that, never in the lifetime of anyone present here, has the religious liberty of the American people been as threatened as it is today…
There are some truths and some historical realities which should not need repeating. But in today’s society & in this year’s official Washington we must repeat them.
We must remind our fellow Americans, and especially those who exercise power, that religious liberty - the freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment - has been essential to the founding, development, and improvement of the American Republic.
Before there was an American Revolution, there was what historians called the First Great Awakening, which swept through the colonies and transformed their outlook.
The Second Great Awakening led to the abolition of slavery, as well as the other great reform movements of the nineteenth century.
The third wave of religious energy led to reforms in education, labor, and women’s rights.
Alexis de Tocqueville observed the profound connection between religion and liberty in our national life. “Religion does not give [Americans’ their taste for freedom, he said. “It singularly facilitates their use of it.” We may ask: Is this historical connection between Christianity and liberty an accident of history or is it something fundamental?
Our Founders answered that question unequivocally. They declared that we are “endowed” by our “Creator” with inalienable rights.
Washington’s Farewell Address insisted that religion and morality are “indispensable supports of our political prosperity,” warning that “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can be retained without religion.”
Adams asserted that “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is “he said, “wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Those views have echoed down through our history. Perhaps most notable in 1961 when President Kennedy, in his inaugural Address, spoke of the rights for which our “forbears fought,” namely, “the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” According to a poll we conducted for the 50th anniversary of that speech, 85 percent of the Americans still agree with Kennedy…
No one needs to be reminded that this belief was the driving force behind the life’s work of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. In his historic letter from the Birmingham jail, Rev. King said that he and his followers “were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judeo-Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to these great wells of democracy which,” he said, “were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and our Declaration of Independence.”… to be continued. George H. Kubeck