On Sunday afternoon (October 14, 2012), Chicago area business and cultural leaders met in Lake Forest, Illinois to discuss a strategy, and make a statement in favor of Religious Freedom and support of the First Amendment. This is the statement that came out of the event.
At a time where Religious Freedom and the very heart of our mation is under attack, we stand together to both affirm our support and belief in our United States Constitution. We also agree to take action to inform and educate those around us that the rights of all, especially those rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, must be preserved.
We declare with our Founding Fathers and generations of Americans, that we are a free people and that this freedom is a gift from God, creator of human nature, and this freedom is also an inherent right in our nature.
We declare that the first of these Freedoms, Freedom of Religion, liberates us from restraint in seeking truth, following conscience and expressing belief in all manner of personal and private life, individually, communally and nationally.
We declare that the Religious Freedom established in our nation is for all people, all religions and all faiths. This openness to all is rooted in the Judeo-Christian foundations of the United States Constitution. To steward the nation and future generations into a tomorrow of stable and sustained human flourishing, we must honor this heritage personally and publicly.
We declare that Freedom of Religion is the indispensable means of ensuring the hopeful vitality of our people and Constitutional Republic, and to lose it is to lose the heart of the nation and the Republic itself.
We declare that, regrettably, over the course of the 20th Century our nation’s exceptional heritage has been progressively obscured, distorted and undermined, so that today it is largely absent in the national culture. Our Religious Freedom is under attack and grave consequences of its increasing diminishment are already evident.
We declare our opposition to these movements and ideologies that have attacked our freedoms. Most specifically we declare our opposition to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate and its directives that attack the very core of our First Amendment Rights. We seek the repeal of this mandate.
Therefore we call for all people to take strategic actions to reclaim our destiny as a nation to be a shining example of Religious Freedom. In recognizing the unique and indispensable role of religion in our society and in the development of people, we affirm the positive good that religion plays in resisting vice and degradation, and in building virtue and a more noble humanity. In this way, we will be fulfilling our duty to God and thus respecting all those whom He has created. In God we trust.
image shield of St. Thomas More