Year of Youth 2018

Ryan Anderson: Evangelizing for Religious Liberty

Last edited 21st April 2016

Ryan Anderson: Evangelizing for Religious Liberty

“We’ve got a culture that’s got marriage wrong,” Anderson began. “And we’ve got a legal culture that’s got it wrong, starting with no-fault divorce.” No-fault divorce, Anderson argued, made marriage all about the couple itself and their feelings, rather than about children, as marriage had always been. Legalized abortion followed, and now, as of last year, legalized same-sex marriage.

The idea of allowing same-sex marriage has become so ingrained in our culture that the majority of people – including many Catholics – simply accept it without thinking of the moral and cultural effects it has. To them, it is simply the way of the modern world. With same-sex marriage now accepted into our legal system, even more people will look at countries and institutions that do not accept same-sex marriage and wonder how they can be so backwards. Catholics are leaving the Church over the issue, Anderson said.

“’If the Church is wrong on something as obvious as marriage, what about the other teachings of the Church?’ That’s what these people are thinking,” he told his audience. “It’s going to be harder for the Church to do her job in a culture where the teachings of Jesus on marriage are illegal,” he went on. Policies allowing religious liberty are necessary, but, “we’re seeing now a reaction from the elite to attack this,” Anderson said.MemorareMonday “Why do I talk about this?” he asked.

“Why do I talk about a bunch of policies? Because these bills, post-Roe v. Wade, are what has allowed the Catholic schools, the Catholic hospitals, the Catholic adoption agencies, to do what they do.” With the HHS mandate and legalized same-sex marriage, Catholic-run adoption agencies fought for their right to refuse adoption to same-sex couples. “‘Can we be left alone to find these children homes?’” Anderson paraphrased adoption agencies as asking. “Districts all said no,” he continued.

“Whether it’s grace or ‘Catholic guilt’ – or both, as I believe – Catholic adoption agencies have the most success in placing children.” “Bakers, florists, photographers … They don’t separate what they do on Sunday morning from what they do Monday through Friday,” he said.

“They want to live an integrated life.” “Why all this at a conference on the New Evangelization?” he asked. “It’s going to create the condition” in which the Church can thrive again. It will give the Church the “ability to be the field hospital.”


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