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Jeffrey Peters: Government attacks religious freedom

Last weekend, Cardinal O'Brien wrote a letter to the Catholic Churches of the Archdiocese Baltimore that warned of attacks on the Catholic faith. Freedom of religion is a founding principle of our great nation, but it seems that our government no longer cares.

The current presidential administration has decided that all health insurance must provide birth control and abortion-related drugs. By making this bold proclamation, they have forced religious employers to go against their conscience.

Some will say that forcing religious employers to provide such coverage does no harm. However, religious organizations will be forced into providing a service they deem a grave sin. Those most affected will be Catholic schools, where their anti-abortion message will be undermined.

The Catholic Church has stated that it will not comply with the ruling, and there is no legal obligation to do so under the First Amendment. Why would the presidential administration even bother? It is a way to push his personal ideology.

The president ran four years ago on a platform that included a proposed law that would remove all restrictions on abortion. This current move is merely an attack on those who stood against the previous measure.

But the attacks on religion are not just from the federal government. Locally, our own governor has set himself against his proclaimed religion and is warring against them. While claiming that a proposed "gay marriage" bill would protect religions, the whole purpose of the matter is to radically redefine marriage to satisfy a political ideology.

Marriage, in the Catholic Church, is a Sacrament and is a fundamental aspect of faith. It is defined in the Catholic Catechism as a combination of love and openness to reproduction: Marriage "aims at a deeply personal unity, a unity that, beyond union in one flesh, leads to forming one heart and soul; it demands indissolubility and faithfulness in definitive mutual giving; and it is open to fertility."

Marriage is not just about love, but requires openness to starting a family. There cannot be "gay marriage" in the Catholic sense because there is no ability for the two same-sex individuals to reproduce. It is not enough to "love" another person, and Jesus made it clear that we are supposed to love everyone.

By forcing Catholic institutions, charities and organizations to accept a redefinition of marriage in any form, even just for insurance purposes, the government is forcing them to accept a definition that radically differs from their faith. This is more absurd and morally wrong than if the governor forced math teachers to accept that 2 plus 2 equals 7.

The first lady of Maryland declared that anyone opposing a gay marriage bill does so out of cowardice. She is unwilling to accept that people do not want a radical redefinition of marriage that insults religious organizations. It is true cowardice to abandon one's faith and push a radical social agenda to gain a few votes.

The church has been attacked by power hungry secular authorities for a very long time, but our First Amendment was created to stop that. There is absolutely no justification for the behavior of the president or the governor.

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