(CNA News).- "In an exclusive interview obtained by CNA, Dr. John Haas of the National Catholic Bioethics Center asked Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington D.C. about some of the issues facing the Church in the “contemporary context.” In his reply, Archbishop Wuerl spoke about the role of and need for religious freedom in society, a role which is dramatically changing."
Phil Cooke points out how in America free speech is being stifled in the world of science. F.R. points out how the Supreme Court has infringed on our freedom of religion while allowing secularism to run rapant, pretty much unchallenged and unfetttered in our society while freedom of religious expression has been severely restricted and limited to approved areas in our society.
The Jeremiah Project points out several cases where encroaching secularism has violated our freedom of religious expression.
In Our Schools...
Freedom of speech and press is guaranteed to students unless the topic is religious, at which time such speech becomes unconstitutional. [Stein vs. Oshinski, 1965; Collins v. Chandler Unified School district, 644 F. 2d 759, 760 (9th Cir. 1981).]
Remove student prayer: "Prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation between Church and State." [Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 425 (1962).] On June 26, 1962, the Supreme Court bans the New York State school prayer, "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country."
It is unconstitutional for students to hear prayers of the Chaplain of the U.S. House or Senate. [State Board of Ed. vs. Board of Ed. of Netcong, 1970]
Remove benedictions and invocations from school activities: "Religious invocation...in high school commencement exercise conveyed message that district had given its endorsement to prayer and religion, so that school district was properly [prohibited] from including invocation in commencement exercise." [Graham v. Central Community School Distict of Decatur County, 608 F. Supp. 531, 536 (W.D.N.Y. 1985; Kay by Disselbrett v. Douglas School District 719 F. 2d 875 (or. Ct. App. 1986; Jager v. Douglas, 862 F. 2d 824, 825 (11th Cir. 1989).]
If a voluntary, nondenominational prayer is coercive, what would you call the left indoctrination that has become the staple of modern pedagogy, from condom distribution to AIDS education to multiculturalism to Earth worship?
Prayer before athletic events is unconstitutional. [Jager vs Douglas, 1989]
In Our Court Rooms...
Remove the Ten Commandments from view: "If the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the commandments...this...is not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause...The mere posting of the copies [of the Ten Commandments]...the [First Amendment] prohibits." [Stone v. Gramm, 449 U.S. 39, 42 (1980).]
The ACLU has filed suit against Etowah County Circuit Judge Roy S. Moore asking that prayer be banned from his chamber and that he be ordered to remove a copy of the Ten Commandments from the wall above his bench. [Birmingham News/Birmingham Post-Herald, April 1, 1995.]
In California and Pennsylvania, prosecutors were banned from referring to the Bible in state courtrooms. [Pat Robertson, newsletter, March 1993.]
In the Public Square...
The city of Vienna, Virginia put up a secular Christmas scene alongside a nativity scene to avoid trouble. But that wasn't good enough for the ACLU, who filed suit, won, and had the nativity scene removed. Intimidated by the ACLU, city leaders asked the Vienna city chorus to sing only secular songs at the Christmas program. To its credit, the chorus refused. Now the city has dropped the program altogether. [D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Ministries newsletter, October 31, 1994]