Today begins the Fortnight for Freedom, an initiative of prayer that has been convoked by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The reason it has been called is to pray and act to address the threats to religious liberty. In the Archdiocese of Denver, our bishop has provided a calendar of events to follow and a Facebook event to support the cause.
Providing visible witness
The first activity suggested is a day of fasting, in the style of Good Friday and Ash Wednesday. I was planning my day such that I could have dinner with my family, so I was presented with a nice opportunity for evangelization when I was asked to lunch by a coworker. I told him that it was a fasting day in support of protecting our religious freedom, and explained a bit about the Fortnight for Freedom.
He scoffed at this, asking “what is going on that religious freedom is in trouble?” So many things… marriage redefinition, constant legal attacks against the sanctity of human life, high-level politicians that are Catholic in name only… but I decided to name the Health and Human Services Mandate. I explained that the enforcement of this mandate was threatening the livelihood of Christian-based businesses, charities, and adoption agencies that wish to operate according to their beliefs. I explained that this is not only a Catholic problem, that all religious institutions will likely be impacted in some way. He leaned back in his chair and trailed off without a retort, so maybe I gave him something to think about.
What you can do
First off, pray. If your diocese or parish doesn’t have activities planned for the Fortnight for Freedom, ask someone about it. I’m sure the Archdiocese of Denver won’t mind if you follow their calendar of events that I linked above. Second, act. Write your congressmen and senators. Talk to your local politicians. Pray in public in order to make your faith more visible. Be an advocate for living your Catholic faith in the public square even in small ways, like I did in talking to my coworker today. You never know what small act will change a mind.