Let Freedom Ring!

Last night, I had the honor to speak at the annual John Carroll Society Lecture about religious freedom. I thought I would share a copy of my talk with all of you.

Here is an excerpt:

Thus, the defense of religious freedom is not some evangelical Christian polemic, or wiley strategy of discredited Catholic bishops, but the quintessential American cause, the first line in the defense of and protection of human rights.

See, religious freedom has always been understood in this land as one of a cluster of fundamental freedoms; that is, spheres of free thought and action essential to individual liberty and a civil society. The normative idea of a constitutionally, democratically restrained government – - a government that makes no theological judgments (religious freedom), that does not handcuff the media (freedom of the press), that does not dictate thought or culture (free speech), and that does not dominate all the room a humane society needs (freedom of assembly) – - is predicated on the belief in human equality and dignity.

So, my proposition is that, in “letting freedom ring,” we citizens of any and all faiths, or none at all, are not just paranoid and self-serving in defending what we hoard as “ours,” but we are, in fact, protecting America. We act not as sectarians, but as responsible citizens. We act on behalf of the truth about the human person.

Click here to view my speech as a PDF.

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5 Responses to “Let Freedom Ring!”

  1. Colleen says:

    Awesome, awesome speech!

    I love how you went back in the history of this country to explain just what religious freedom has always meant to us. Thank you and God bless you, Cardinal Dolan.

  2. gtbradshaw says:

    Dear Cardinal Dolan,
    This is how you inspired me by what you did at the DNC:
    http://yearoffaith2013.com/2012/09/09/following-cardinal-dolan/

  3. Once again, right on!

  4. Mark Alves says:

    This speech is too important to be locked up in a PDF so I’m hoping you’ll consider publishing the entire text in your post above.

    To help with this process, I’ve converted the PDF into formats that your web producer can easily copy. Here’s the plain text version:
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B7h2HaSU905AR1RLVEN1S2paTFk
    And an HTML version:
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B7h2HaSU905AM0FjbllRazBRVVU

    Thank you for sharing the Gospel in the digital age.

  5. Ruth says:

    Will the Catholic Church being joining the PULPIT FREEDOM SUNDAY – OCTOBER 7, 2012? The future of religious freedom depends on a free pulpit to communicate fundamental, biblical principles to congregations across America. Join a growing movement of bold pastors preaching biblical Truth about candidates and elections from their pulpits on October 7, 2012.
    Jim Garlow With Mike Huckabee Discussing Pulpit Freedom Sunday http://blog.speakupmovement.org/church/churches-and-politics/jim-garlow-with-mike-huckabee-discussing-pulpit-freedom-sunday/