Do we have freedom?

Religion [cannot] be relegated to the inner sanctum of personal life, without influence on societal and national life. 
 -Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 183.

This short video from the Unites States Conference of Catholic Bishops on religious freedom has got me thinking today. How free are we in our country today? I am in awe of the men and women who have given selflessly in our military to ensure our country’s freedoms. Yet I wonder where we are headed.

I have friends who are atheist who want to have freedom FROM religion. And I understand that and respect that. But it seems more and more the culture we live in is suppressing (or trying to suppress) religion. Maybe it is a reaction against the “in your face” kinds of religious expressions we have in the Protestant worldviews. Or a reaction against a Catholic institution which holds to foundational truths that won’t budge with a changing modern world.

Ultimately, freedom has to somehow allow all of us to practice, or not practice, our faith in a way that respects the dignity of all people. This video has certainly encouraged me to read Dignitatis Humanae to better understand the issues of freedom and human dignity.

May the God and Father of all grant that the human family, through careful observance of the principle of religious freedom in society, may be brought by the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to the sublime and unending and “glorious freedom of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:21). — DIGNITATIS HUMANAE — POPE PAUL VI
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