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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  July 3, 2012
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Topic category:  Elections - Politics, Polling, etc.

America Requires Genuine Freedom of Religion, Not Mere Freedom of Worship

If there is a silver lining is this shameless Obama Administration wordplay to impose Obamacare, it may be that Americans now will focus on its subtle shift from freedom of religion to freedom of worship.

Words matter greatly. They can be effectively used as political weapons and the Obama Administration is very adept.at wordplay and not especially concerned about consistency. In fact, it shamelessly flip flops. To pass Obamacare (barely), it vehemently denied that the individual mandate is a tax and insisted that it was a penalty under the Commerce Clause, not a tax under the taxing power. In court, however, it suddenly claimed that the "penalty" was a tax, in case (as turned out to be true) most Supreme Court Justices agreed that the Commerce Clause was not so broad as to authorize such a penalty. Now, with Obamacare's individual mandate having been upheld as constitutional under the taxing power, the Obama Administration is claiming that it's really a penalty, not a tax!

Just how gullible does our President thing we are?

If there is a silver lining is this shameless Obama Administration wordplay to impose Obamacare, it may be that Americans now will focus on its subtle shift from freedom of religion to freedom of worship.

Catholic Online reported: "The change in language was barely noticeable to the average citizen but political observers are raising red flags at the use of a new term 'freedom of worship' by President Obama and Secretary Clinton as a replacement for the term freedom of religion. This shift happened between the President's speech in Cairo where he showcased America's freedom of religion and his appearance in November at a memorial for the victims of Fort Hood, where he specifically used the term 'freedom of worship.' From that point on, it has become the term of choice for the president and Clinton.

In "UPDATED - Obama Moves away from 'Freedom of Religion' toward 'Freedom of Worship'?" (www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=45308&page=1), Randy Sly explained the significance of the sinister things afoot.

"Mark Twain used to say, 'The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.' As Catholics, this is an area where we must remain vigilant. These small changes can be used to change our perception of rights and freedoms. In retrosprect, the past hundred years gives us a number of significant issues in which this has already happened to one degree or another. Abortion, contraception, marriage, the family, and gender have all been re-engineered to fashion a new worldview.

"What may seem an innocent shift in language now could possibly end up as a 'tipping point' for our religious freedom. Make no mistake; this is the goal and desire of the many inside and outside our current administration."

If that was not clear when Sly first wrote it, it surely is now.

Sly detailed:

"Here is the shift to which we've referred:

In June 2009, the president highlighted religious freedom in his Cairo speech saying, 'Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.'

A few months later, in November, he was delivering remarks to the crowd gathered to remember the victims of the Fort Hood shooing when he said, 'We're a nation that guarantees the freedom to worship as one chooses.'

On the heels of that speech, he then delivered another in Tokyo that same month stating, 'The longing for liberty and dignity is a part of the story of all peoples. For there are certain aspirations that human beings hold in common: the freedom to speak your mind, and choose your leaders; the ability to access information, and worship how you please.'

He traveled on to China, where in speaking at a 'Town Hall' with future Chinese leaders he stated, 'These freedoms of expression and worship -- of access to information and political participation -- we believe are universal rights.'

This abrupt shift with reference to the constitutional freedom of religion was also noticed in the public discourse of Secretary Hillary Clinton."

Leonardo Leo, Chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, explained:

"in the world of foreign policy and diplomacy, where every word is carefully chosen to convey meaning and interest, there is an even more important situation that could be taken by some in the world community as a signal that freedom of religion or belief is not a priority for the administration.

"USCIRF notes that since the initially strong language on religious freedom used in President Obama's Cairo speech, presidential references to religious freedom have become rare, often replaced, at most, with references to freedom of worship. The same holds true for many of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speeches.

"This change in phraseology could well be viewed by human rights defenders and by officials in other countries as having concrete implications. Freedom of worship is only one aspect of religious freedom and a purposeful change in language could mean a much narrower view of the right, ignoring such components as religiously motivated expression and religious education as well as ignoring incursions such as discrimination in government benefits and privileges or the creation of climates of impunity, where private religiously-motivated violence isn't prevented and punished."

The Obama Administration's HHS mandate shows that it is redefining freedom of religion very narrowly, and that subtle shift in language was a harbinger of the kind of change that who make the Founders aghast.

The fact is that America was founded as a Christian nation.

John Adams wrote in 1813 that "[t]he general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were . . . the general principles of Christianity . . . ."

America's greatest chief justice, John Marshall, proclaimed in 1833: "The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and Religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations to it."

Justice Joseph Story, who was appointed to the US Supreme Court by "the Father of the Constitution,' James Madison, said in an 1829 speech at Harvard: "There never has been a period of history, in which the Common Law did not recognize Christianity as lying at its foundation."

In his Commentaries on Constitutional Law, Story explained:

"Probably, at the time of the adoption of the Constitution, and of the [First] Amendment...the general, if not the universal, sentiment in America was, that Christianity ought to receive encouragement from the State so far as was not incompatible with the private rights of conscience and the freedom of religious worship. Any attempt to level all religions, and to make it a matter of state policy to hold all in utter indifference, would have created universal disapprobation, if not universal indignation."

"The real object of the First Amendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mohammedanism, or Judaism, or infidelity, by prostrating Christianity, but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical patronage of the national government".

From the beginning, however, there were some who attacked Christianity in an effort to undermine the American republic.

As Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote: "Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime & pure, [and] which denounces against the wicked eternal misery, and [which] insured to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." (Source: Bernard C. Steiner, The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers, 1907), p. 475. In a letter from Charles Carroll to James McHenry of November 4, 1800.)

Now the American republic is gravely endangered because the Obama Administration is not even willing to respect the religious liberty and freedom of conscience of Christians.

President Obama told the truth when he said that he wanted to "fundamentally transform" America.

Tragically, his fundamental transformation would destroy America's robust first and most cherished freedom--freedom of religion.

The Patriotic Rosary for the Consecretion of Our Nation used during the Fortnight for Freedom protest upon President Obama's attack upon freedom of religion via his Administration's Health and Human Services regulations, includes this sage advice of Jedediah Morse (1761 1826), known as "father of American geography" and father of telegraphy pioneer and painter Samuel F. B. Morse.

"To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoys. In proportion as the genuine effects of Christianity are diminished in any nation, either through unbelief, or the corruption of its doctrines, or the neglect of its institutions; in the same proportion will the people of that nation recede from the blessings of genuine freedom, and approximate the miseries of complete despotism."

"All efforts to destroy the foundations of our Holy Religion, ultimately tend to the subversion also of our political freedom and happiness. Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all the blessings which flow from them, must fall with them."

"Whenever the pillars of Christianity shall be overthrown, our present republican forms of government, and all blessings which flow from them, must fall with them. '(Source: Jedidiah Morse, A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford: Hudson and Goodwin, 1799).

As Jefferson warned, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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