When I was little, the most important thing in my life was my faith. As I got older, God came to be a greater focus in my life. Even now, sometimes he is the only person in my life when everyone else is gone and I feel alone.
Unsurprisingly, this means that my loyalty to God, his church, his word and his vision is of utmost importance.
So I got a rather surprising jolt in 2012. On a trip out to Washington D.C., I attended a Mass with my Bishop. During the homily, he warned those in attendance that the Obama administration would be penalizing businesses, charities and hospitals that failed to provide contraception. Ignoring the questionable economics behind this proposal, this move was a direct attack on my faith.
Businesses were being threatened with heavy fines or outright shutting down, charities like the Little Sisters of the Poor being punished and blocked from providing charitable work for people since it doesn’t fit in with the administration’s rules and there was even the possibility of jail time for those who do something they find to be morally objectionable.
Now in the past year, I believe we have seen several steps backwards, not forwards. Death threats were launched against the owners of a small pizza business for not wanting to provide services to an event they were against, the state of Oregon removed free speech rights from the owners of another business for refusing to follow laws that violated their faith so they could not complain, and there have actually been several arrests of people for doing acts of faith that were in no way a threat to the general public (such as Rastafarians who smoke pot).
This is neither fair nor moral. We live in the land of the free, but despite first amendment protections, we clearly need legislation to defend and carry it out. It is my hope that we will work to protect these rights and defend faith because without conscience, society will fall apart. My God Bless this country because no one else will.