Fight for religious freedom

Fight for religious freedom

image This is a poster for war bonds from World War II, published by the US government and painted by Norman Rockwell. In case you can’t make it out, the tagline says, “Save Freedom of Worship: Each according to the dictates of his own conscience.” Among others, one of the people depicted is praying a Rosary.

If the US Treasury had commissioned this poster today, it wouldn’t even get out the door before the ACLU had filed a lawsuit and the mainstream media would be bemoaning the rise of a right-wing theocracy and the breaking of the long-held separation of church and state. Nevermind that religion in the public square has never been as marginalized and attacked as it is now.


Also notice that when our battle was against fascism, the people understood that one of the features of our republic that was most endangered was religious freedom. But should anyone ever point out that Islamofascism is an even greater danger to that freedom, and criticism from all sides, including the White House, would rain down upon them.

But the fact is that, despite the winds of political correctness, our freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience is under attack from all sides, not just from Muslim extremists, but also radical secularists, as we see in Canada.  It’s important that we not get complacent about our freedom to worship. The new wind is blowing and it’s not out of the realm of possibility that persecution and oppression are coming.

Image Credit

  • warbonds.jpg: Public domain | Public domain
  • It’s kind of sad that the “spirit of resistance” in the US comes, not from the Catholic Church, but from the Protestant evangelicals.  If the bishops could get their act together they could be a much stronger force in a secular society, but, instead, they seem to be busy about so many other things.

    As to martyrdom, if it came to that here in this country and in my lifetime (not likely), it would be fine with me, if only because it would tip the balance against my many sins and be an express ticket to heaven.  But I think I am more likely to see smaller difficulties.  I was in the checkout at Walmart the other day, and noticed all the cashiers were wearing buttons promoting the new Harry Potter book.  If I were a cashier, would they fire me if I refused to wear it because it violated my religious beliefs?  I don’t want to get into a Harry Potter debate here, but what would Walmart do (WWWD?).  Does this sound minor to you?  This is my final year of homeschooling, and I will be out looking for a job this time next year…Walmart is the only place in our rural MN area that consistently hires.  So, it’s not martyrdom, but I think about these things.

    I copied that poster; maybe it will become little pictures on address labels or bookmarks or something.  Just so I remember and don’t slide into complacency.  Thanks for posting that, Dom!

  • PS.  As we heard in the “Lord of the Rings” we should all “cling to hope.”  Right now, my hope is resting in the movement of the Holy Spirit through our Holy Father.  He is the right person in the right place at the right time, and I have some confidence that he is going to do much good for our Church and for the world at large.  Amen.  Now I’m done.

  • Dom,
    Please give one example of “Islamofascism is an even greater danger to that freedom [of worship]” than the ACLU.
    Please give one example of “Muslim extremists” interfering in our religious practices here in the US. You say “our freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our conscience is under attack from all sides, not just from Muslim extremists”.
    “Not just”? Was it “Muslim extremists” who litigated prayer out of school, creches out of the public square, “merry christmas” out of acceptable parlance, and who insinuate that faithful Catholics (who have “deeply held” beliefs) are not fit for public office?
    You were speaking of the US and the”attacks on our conscience” by “Muslim extremists”. Let’s see one example of that.

  • Dudley,

    Yo’ve set up a false premise. They haven’t exactly interfered with our religious freedom in the US… yet. But talk to Christians in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the former Yugoslav republics, the former Soviet republics, Turkey, Sudan, Germany, France, the Netherlands, and so on.

    If you’re really interested, you might take a look at Robert Spencer’s DhimmiWatch site. <;

    It’s not what they’ve done in the US that should scare us, but what they want to do. Not just here, but throughout the whole world.

  • On the topic of religious freedom and Canada, your readers might be interested in the following outrageous stories:

    That’s what I was talking about in the above post, Diogenes North.

    Monica, (re: Harry Potter promo)

    If I were a cashier, would they fire me if I refused to wear it because it violated my religious beliefs?

    Nothing like looking ahead! wink

    But in all seriousness, I don’t think they’d fire you. And, although it’s a fine line, the Holy Father’s comments weren’t made ex cathedra if that’s any help (probably not). But again, I doubt Walgreen’s would fire anybody if he or she refused to wear a promotional sticker, based on religious beliefs.

    Thank you for homeschooling! You moms are heros in my book.

    Here’s the Dhimmi Watch site in a clickable link:

  • The aim of Muslim extremists is to re-establish the Caliphate, which would extend secular and religious Islamic authority worldwide. I would recommend reading any of Bernard Lewis’ or Richard Spencer’s books for evidence of that.

    just how is our freedom to worship God under attack from Muslim extremists?

    Remember 9/11? See that was one battle in the war against the West. In the end they hope to cause the collapse of Christian civilization, resulting in the rise of Islam to worldwide dominance.

    Is it logical? No. Is it going to happen? If Christians stand up to them, then no.

    But if you think that Christians aren’t under threat from Islamic extremists in this country, then I suggest you read more widely. Like I said, read Dhimmi Watch and it’s companion site, Jihad Watch.

    To give just one instance, Rod Dreher has documented the existence of an extremist Islamic faction in Dallas inciting hatred against Christians and Americans.

    I never thought I’d see the day that someone would deny that extremists Muslims want to attack and destroy Christianity. Dudley, get your head out of the deep dark hole and look around you.

  • The illustration above was not “commissioned by the US Treasury”. It was one in a series of 4 covers for the Saturday Evening Post published in 1943 and based on FDR’s pre-Pearl Harbor Jan. 1941 State of the Union speech. The “Four Freedoms” were what he hoped to see everywhere in the future: freedom of speech and expression, freedom to worship God in your own way, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. FDR: “The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into
      world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to
      such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation
      will be in a position to commit an act of physical
      aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world”. 

  • Oh, and one other thing.
    9/11 was an attack on our freedom to worship God? Not according to the 9/11 Commission Report. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, “the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks” (p.145)  was motivated “not by his experiences there [the U.S.A.] as a student but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel” (p.147).
    As for Christendom, it is already collapsed and it wasn’t “Islamofascists” or spaghettios who did it.

  • Yeah, that’s why Osama and his cronies keep calling Westerners Crusaders. Doesn’t have anything to do with religion. Wake up.

    They see US foreign policy that favors Israel as the Christian West’s continuation of the Crusades.

    But the official line from the Bush White House has been that the War on Terror has nothing to do with religion. That’s baloney designed to appease the politically correct crowd. All you have to do is read al- Jazeera and other writings from Islamic radicals. I don’t care what others say their motivation is; just listen to the radicals themselves and they’ll tell you.

  • No, Dom, I’m asking you, since you made the charge: please give one example of Muslims attacking and plotting to destroy our freedom of worship. Telling me to “wake up” is not an answer but is an evasion and an admission that you don’t have an example among what should be – if you are correct – hundreds of examples.
    Tell me, Dom, do you read al-Jazeera? Or do you just pass along what someone else has told you is an accurate translation? Why not name your source? And, Dom, in your readings and/or your pass alongs, where is an example of “Islamofascists” saying they want to destroy freedom of worship in America?

  • You didn’t respond to the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission that we were attacked on 9/11 because of KSM’s resentment of our policies towards Israel and Palestine.
    Are you saying their Report is “baloney designed to appease the politically correct crowd”? Is it “politically correct” to assert, as it does, that we were attacked because we have backed up Israeli activities? (Whether or not we were right to do so). Was Philip Zelikow, the Executive Director of the Commission, being “politically correct” when he said, at UVA on Sept. 10, 2002 at a panel of foreign policy experts assessing 9/11, that we would be invading Iraq because of “the threat against Israel”? Is that “politically correct”?
    Obviously not. So how is the conclusion of the Commission that 9/11 was not about taking rosaries out of the hands of old ladies “politically correct”?

  • “All you have to do is read al- Jazeera”

    Isn’t alJazeera a television network?
    If you mean the website, in the few times I’ve scanned it, I saw nothing about Caliphates.
    Didn’t I see you in line at midnight to buy the new Harry Potter fantasy story?

  • Israel could disappear tomorrow and the terrorists would still be attacking the West…

    Check this thread out at…



  • Just as a possible point of interest to anyone who likes to read, you might want to take a look at Michael C. O’Brien’s books. He’s a great Catholic fiction writer although his novels are based on a lot of fact.

    The Canadian situation is projected in these three novels:
    1) Strangers and Sojourners
    2) Plague Journal
    3) Eclipse of the Sun

    And I highly recommend “Father Elijah”—- couldn’t put it down.

  • You can’t seperate 9/11 from the culture which spawned it, specifically the terrorist subculture in Islam. “Make them stop praying to the imperfect prophet!” is a less immediate, and thus less effective, cry than “Get them out of Israel!” So, no points made, via the commission report, really.

    Also, you seem to equate effectiveness with intent. Just because they cannot implement their extremist views here does not exonerate them. In the Sudan, they can, so bingo, they do.

    And, for the record, Islamofascism is an even greater threat than the ACLU because the ACLU doesn’t kill its enemies. It’s not an example, it’s a quality, and a fact.

  • Colleen,

      Thanks for the tip. O’Brien is indeed a shining star among our Catholic artists in Canada, though he is ignored by the established Catholic media in this country. Notice that his books are published by Ignatius—which is all the way in San Francisco. I’m told the largest Catholic publication company in Canada, Novalis, didn’t want anything to do with him.

  • Dudley needs to be reminded of the Draconian restrictions on Catholic practice in Saudi Arabia—not in Mecca, or Medina—but EVERYWHERE. 

    Catholics who work for US petroleum companies are forced to attend Mass in clandestine locations, and carefully guard their destinations.

    Further, during GulfWar One, US troops were required to remove any crosses or crucifixes worn on their dogtag chains while the troops were in Saudi Arabia.

    Frankly, Dudley, you’re blindness can only be described as willful neglect.