Fortnight resource combines religious liberty, outreach to disabled
“We hope you take advantage of these resources and share them with others,” said the National Catholic Bioethics Center in a June 18 statement announcing the initiative.
The bioethics center has joined with the National Catholic Partnership on Disability – a group that works to help those with disabilities participate fully in the Church and in society – to create a list of 14 actions aimed at supporting religious freedom and reaching out to the disabled.
The list of daily activities is available on printable fliers and business cards online. It contains several religious activities, including fasting, attending a holy hour and praying a rosary for religious liberty.
It also includes advocacy efforts, such as voicing concerns over religious liberty to one’s Congressional representatives.
In addition, it incorporates outreach to disabled individuals in its religious liberty efforts.
“Make a donation to support disabled veterans who have defended our liberty,” the list suggests.
It also recommends encouraging “people with disabilities and their family members to attend local events,” adding that one should also “offer assistance to event planners to provide needed accommodations.”
The list of activities is part of the currently-underway Fortnight for Freedom, a 14-day period of prayer, education and advocacy in support of religious liberty.
The initiative, which runs from June 21 to July 4, was announced by the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty in response to growing threats to religious freedom both at home and abroad.
Chief among these threats is a mandate that will require employers to offer health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their consciences.
While the mandate includes a religious exemption, it applies only to nonprofit groups that exist primarily to inculcate religious values and that employ and serve primarily members of their own faith. Therefore, most religious organizations – including schools, hospitals and charitable agencies – would not qualify for the exemption.
Despite widespread protest and lawsuits filed by more than 50 plaintiffs across the country, the Obama administration has refused to broaden the exemption. [More]