Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the archbishop of New York, is a prominent figure in the Catholic Church in the United States. He is known for his advocacy for religious freedom and his outspokenness on issues that affect the Church and its members. Recently, Cardinal Dolan wrote a column in the New York Post titled "Stand up for religious freedom — or surrender your rights to the government," in which he addressed the threats to religious freedom in the United States and called on Catholics and people of faith to stand up for their rights.
In the column, Cardinal Dolan begins by citing the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the free exercise of religion. He notes that this right is under attack in the United States, as evidenced by recent court cases and government actions that have sought to restrict the religious freedom of individuals and organizations. He writes: "Religious freedom is under siege in America. It’s not just about wedding cakes or contraception. It’s about the ability of religious people to live out their faith in daily life and do good works in the public square without fear of government interference or discrimination." Cardinal Dolan goes on to cite several examples of religious freedom being threatened in the United States, including the case of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious order that has been fighting a legal battle against the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate. He also highlights the case of Catholic Charities in Illinois, which was forced to stop providing adoption and foster care services because of the state's requirement that they place children with same-sex couples.
Cardinal Dolan argues that these cases are not isolated incidents, but part of a larger trend of government overreach that seeks to limit the freedom of individuals and organizations to practice their faith. He writes: "The government is telling us that we have to choose between our faith and our ability to serve the common good. That’s a false choice. We can and must do both. But to do so, we need to stand up and defend our rights." Cardinal Dolan's column is a call to action for Catholics and people of faith to stand up for their rights and resist government overreach. He argues that if we do not defend our religious freedom, we risk surrendering our rights to the government. He writes: "If we don’t defend religious freedom now, we may lose it forever. If we don’t stand up for our rights, we may surrender them to the government. And if we don’t protect the common good, we may find that it is no longer common." Cardinal Dolan's column has been met with both praise and criticism. Supporters of religious freedom have hailed his message as an important call to action, while critics have accused him of using fear-mongering tactics and overstating the threat to religious freedom in the United States. However, regardless of one's opinion on the issue, it is clear that Cardinal Dolan's message is an important one that deserves to be heard. As Cardinal Dolan notes in his column, religious freedom is not just about the ability of individuals and organizations to practice their faith in private. It is about the ability of people of faith to live out their beliefs in the public square, to help those in need, and to contribute to the common good. If we allow the government to restrict religious freedom, we risk losing one of the fundamental values that has made America great. In conclusion, Timothy Cardinal Dolan's column in the New York Post is an important reminder of the threats to religious freedom in the United States and the need for Catholics and people of faith to stand up for their rights. His message is a call to action for all Americans who value freedom and the ability to live out their beliefs in public life. As Cardinal Dolan writes:
"We can’t let that happen. We must stand up for religious freedom, defend our rights, and protect the common good. We must do it now, before it’s too late."