Dear Marriage Supporter,
Wrapping up our coverage of Pope Francis' historic visit to the United States, it is clear that he delivered a resounding pro-family, pro-marriage message to the American people. While the mainstream media did all they could to portray the Pope in liberal political terms, focusing their reporting on issues like climate change, as the Pope promised when he arrived in Washington the overall theme of his visit was the importance of upholding the family, including supporting men and women as husband and wife, father and mother.
It was recently revealed that Pope Francis met privately in Washington with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who was jailed for refusing to sacrifice her conscience and authorize same-sex 'marriages' that violate her deeply held religious beliefs. As you know, NOM has helped lead efforts to support Kim during this difficult time, generating substantial public support and even raising money to help her family handle any added expenses they may have incurred. Pope Francis thanked Ms. Davis for her courageous stand and encouraged her to continue to "stay strong" in the face of adversity.
Kim Davis has become a symbol for the millions of Americans who refuse to accept the legitimacy of the US Supreme Court's ruling purporting to redefine marriage. Such a ruling has no constitutional basis and NOM has urged that it be ignored by elected officials just as President Lincoln refused to accept the legitimacy of the infamous Dred Scott decision finding that African Americans were not US citizens and could be considered the property of their slave masters.
Pope Francis told the media on his way home to Rome that individuals, including government officials, have a basic human right to object to participation in acts based on religious concerns. The Pope said that is imperative that government respect the "human right" to conscientiously object to things they reject. He told the media, "if someone does not allow others to object on the basis of conscience, he denies a right."
At the United Nations, the Pope called on world leaders for respect of "a moral law written into human nature itself, one which includes the natural difference between man and woman..."
In an address to US Bishops who attended the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, the Pope alluded to the disconnect between the truth of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and attempts to redefine it. He said, "Until recently, we lived in a social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the Christian sacrament were considerable and shared. The two were interrelated and mutually supportive. This is no longer the case."
And throughout his trip, at virtually every opportunity, the Pope sounded a clarion call for respect for religious liberty, the right not only to believe and worship, but to live out those beliefs in daily life. He said that religious liberty "transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families" and is "a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own." And to make the point crystal clear, the Pope made a surprise visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor to show his support for their battle against Obamacare which purports to require them to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.
In contrast to the Pope's clear and consistent comments on religious liberty, President Obama performed as he often does, giving speeches designed to appeal to a particular audience even when his actions are completely opposite of his words. For example, the president told Pope Francis that America "stand[s] with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation." Meanwhile, according to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, his administration is attempting to force 140 religious ministries and institutions to accept regulations that require them to pay for health plans that cover contraception, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs and devices.
And after Pope Francis left America, President Obama cleared up any confusion his supportive comments to the Pope about religious liberty might have engendered, making clear to a far-left LGBT group that "religious freedom doesn't grant us the freedom to deny our fellow Americans their constitutional rights." In other words, Kim Davis has the religious freedom to refuse to issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses provided that she doesn't refuse to issue same-sex 'marriage' licenses.
Pope Francis' host at the World Meeting of Families, Archbishop Charles Chaput, said something quite apt about the disconnect the surrounds us when he commented, "We live at an odd time in history. When the Church defends marriage and the family, the unborn child and the purpose of human sexuality, she's attacked as too harsh. When she defends immigrant workers and families that are broken up by deportation, she's attacked as too soft. And yet she is neither of those things."
I feel a sense of renewal and energy coming out of the Pope's visit to America. I was in Washington, DC when he was there, and my family and I attended many of the events in Philadelphia. There's no question that he has brought a sense of energy and compassion to how people view the Catholic Church, and people across the globe are responding to his message. He is the most popular person in the world today, and he is on our side regarding the debate about marriage and religious liberty.
The challenge for NOM will be to continue to build on the momentum of the Pope's visit to America. For example:
- We must make the concept of religious liberty real for supporters of marriage, by convincing the Congress and states to pass the First Amendment Defense Act to prohibit government from discriminating against and punishing people who support traditional marriage.
- We must elect a president who will appoint federal judges who will uphold the constitution, refusing to invent "rights" like same-sex marriage while protecting enumerated constitutional rights like the free exercise of religion.
- We must reengage the American people in a discussion about the nature of marriage — its roots, its societal benefits and most especially its inherent complementarity between the sexes, bringing the two halves of humanity together for their own benefit, and for that of any children born of their union.
- And we must vigilantly and courageously defend victims like Kim Davis whose rights have been violated by the government in an attempt to force acceptance of and compliance with the lie that is 'gay marriage.'
All these things are part of our work plan. We respectfully ask you for your support to turn our plan into reality by making a contribution of whatever you can afford, whether that be $25, or $250 or more. Whatever you can afford to contribute will be gratefully appreciated, and because of the support of a generous donor who is committed to preserving marriage and religious liberty, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar. So there has never been a better time to support NOM than right now.
Please help us capitalize on the momentum for marriage and religious liberty generated by Pope Francis' visit by making a donation today.
PS — Every donation you make through the end of the year will be matched by a generous supporter who agrees with Pope Francis that it is worthwhile to fight for marriage and religious liberty. This means that if you contribute $25, NOM will receive $50, and if you give $50, we will receive $100. Please make your most generous contribution possible. Thank you.