This week’s Principal’s Message is a response to the growing threat to religious freedom in the United States and around the world. It seems as though people supposedly on the side of tolerance and acceptance only truly care about those opinions and beliefs that align with theirs. In other words, “you either toe the party line or you will be silenced”. This does not sound like tolerance and freedom to me!
Webster’s Dictionary defines “tolerance” as a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own. Interestingly, I wrote the first paragraph before writing this definition. It was from my heart, so in this regard I feel extremely satisfied that my perspective on this issue is correct. What’s happening abroad and right here at home should send chills up the backs of all people who take freedom in general, and religious freedom in particular, seriously. If you see these two things as integral to whom we are as a society and a nation, then you cannot put your head in the sand and pretend it will “just go away”. It’s time to take a stand and proclaim our God-given right to worship as we please, and who we please, if we choose to worship at all. You see, that’s what was meant by the separation of church and state. The government shall not impose any religion on the people it portends to represent. It was never meant to exclude government from the public arena.
As the world becomes more liberal, clothed in a “cloak of progressivism”, the burning of churches and house of worship, the desecration of holy relics and emblems, the elimination of religious symbols from public places, the cheapening of life whether in the womb, immediately after birth or in the octogenarian years, and the murder of people of faith have all become common occurrences, lightly addressed by the present-day media and deemed acceptable by many. Inaction on our part simply condones these behaviors and makes us all culpable in their propagation. We cannot, no, must not be “Sunday only” Catholics. We must get in the game and refute these actions and views. The only way to do so is to be informed about our faith and what religious freedom actually looks like.
I am currently reading a book entitled On Faith, Lessons from an American Believer, about the late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia’s reflections on his own faith, on the challenges that religious believers face in modern America, and on the religious freedoms protected by the Constitution. Antonin Scalia was a Catholic and has a son who is a Catholic priest. He reflected deeply on matters of religion and shared his insights with many audiences over the course of his remarkable career. As a Supreme Court justice for three decades, he vigorously defended the American constitutional tradition of allowing religion a prominent place in the public square. As a man of faith, he recognized the special challenges of living a distinctively religious life in modern America, and he inspired other believers to meet those challenges. It is my hope that reading this book will better equip me to defend my faith and not shrink from the battle we all are involved in, whether we’re aware of it or not. It’s time for us to let our voices be heard and not remain the “silent majority” any longer!
Please check our website, Facebook page and the Church bulletin for updates and upcoming events that you can enjoy with us. Please continue to pray for our school, its staff, students and families, and our clergy as we strive to provide an education that is unapologetically Catholic, family centered, caring to others and respectful to all. “It’s a great day to be a Saint!”