Skip to comments.Faith, Freedom in the Center of the Storm
Posted on 11/03/2012 6:45:39 AM PDT by Kaslin
We usually assist in Africa and other impoverished areas around the world, just like Red Cross does, said Sgt. Angelo A. Sedacca of the NYPD, talking about his work with the Knights of Malta, a Catholic charitable organization in more 120 countries throughout the world. Now we're needed here in New York City in the aftermath of Sandy, he told the Catholic News Service.
If you happened to have a roof over your head and electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and could hear above the political noise over whether or not New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie helped President Obama's chances in next week's election, you were able to see the beauty of civil society in action.
Essential to the story of the preparation, rescue and recovery were men and women who work for the government --elected officials and bureaucrats as well as first responders on the ground. But they couldn't do their job without the existence of a support system of people who live to serve their fellows.
As happened in the wake of the terrorist attack on New York in 2001, the mayor's office in New York immediately pointed to the leading role of the faith-based Salvation Army in providing relief. And there was the member of St. Augustine's Catholic Church in Westchester County, organizing other parishioners in going door-to-door to check up on their neighbors and the elderly in the town making sure they have everything they need,& as the executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York told the story.
Our hearts are broken when you see the loss of life, the grieving families, the devastation, the ruination, people without their cherished possessions and their homes, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, observed in a television interview. But throughout all of it too, you begin to see a glimmer of light and hope. ... Once again, the best, the most noble sentiments of people are coming out as people are heroic and generous in serving those in need.
This notion of solidarity is one that has been dancing on the margins of presidential politics and public policy all year. Vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan once sought Dolan's spiritual guidance on federal policymaking when wrangling with the federal budget.
Faith is indispensible. It's why the increasingly narrow view of religious freedom that the Obama administration harbors is an issue of historic import. Even some of the president's own appointees on the Supreme Court have indicated that it's a step too far, slapping down an administration rule regarding hiring practices at an Evangelical Lutheran school.
This rebuke, however, did not make the impression it should have on the White House; the Department of Health and Human Services would go on, during the same month, to issue final regulations in regard to mandated abortion-drug, sterilization and contraception insurance coverage to employers. To this day, faith-based social-service entities -- including schools, hospitals and some of the very charities providing essential services in Sandy's wake -- face an unprovoked attack on their liberty, no matter what the White House spinmeisters say.
In the wake of disaster, though, we are reminded why it's in the best interest of everyone that we allow these faith-based entities to operate as their conscience guides them -- of why protecting religious freedom in America is the right thing to do not only because it is just, but also because it provides a practical benefit to the healthy life of a democracy. Without hope, without people motivated by something greater than a presidential-election victory or financial gain, we're a sadly limited lot.
Our hope, even for nonbelievers, is not in a political savior. It is in this nobility on display, rooted all so often in faith in God and His call to individuals to truly love one another. Can we translate this compassion into our civic choices, ensuring that we remain a people protecting what is most precious to us -- our first freedom, religious freedom?
Nothing stops liberals from implementing police powers to entrench their power. Nothing. Until we dismantle every institution of public education, from public schools to mass media, this process with continue inexorably.
Perhaps it is time for a 21st Century leader to call us, once again, to acknowledgement of the Source of true liberty, life, and rights.
The following Abraham Lincoln Proclamation is from that web site:
|Proclamation - Fasting Humiliation and Prayer - 1863|
|Abraham Lincoln - 03/30/1863|
This is the text of a Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer issued by President Abraham Lincoln as printed in The Liberator on April 24, 1863. The proclamation was issued on March 30, 1863, declaring April 30, 1863 as a national day of fasting.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the supreme authority and just government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation;
And whereas, it is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord;
And, inasmuch as we know that, by his divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God, we have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all people to abstain from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope, authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and restoration of our now divided and suffering country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-seventh.
By the President,