Our friends at St. Ann’s Church in Avon have alerted us to this event which we strongly encourage Family Institute of Connecticut members to attend:

Defenders of Faith Ministry Presents: The Catholic Church in The Public Square November 10, 2013 On Sunday, November 10, 2013, at 2:00 PM, the Church of Saint Ann [289 Arch Street] Defenders of Faith Ministry will host A Forum: The Catholic Church in the Public Square. Presenters will be Jim Vicevich, the Radio Host of Sound Off Connecticut, and Michael Culhane, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Catholic Conference. The Forum will be moderated by Chris Keating, Capitol Bureau Chief of The Hartford Courant. See the insert in this week’s bulletin for more information. Please note that seating is limited. E-mail (saintann4@yahoo.com) or call the church office reserve a seat. A reception will follow the presentation

According to the bulletin insert, there will be a free will offering to benefit the Lupus Foundation (the illness that Jim Vicevich is fighting) and the forum itself “will address issues of religious freedom rights, rights of conscience and first amendment rights.”

This very likely means the HHS Mandate, which is why FIC strongly encourages all of our members to attend this event.

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Mandate forces religious organizations and believers to provide and pay for abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilizations in violation of their faith. It is being litigated now, but unless the courts stop it, the rule permitting this outrageous attack on our First Amendment right to religious liberty is going into effect.

Educating the public about the danger posed by the HHS Mandate was the single biggest project undertaken by FIC in 2012: four rallies, almost forty speeches in dozens of churches, op-eds, media appearances and more. Never before or since has FIC given this much attention to a federal issue.

The reason is that, if we lose this battle, we lose the First Amendment as we have known it. If our First Amendment right to free exercise of our religion means anything, it means the federal government cannot coerce us to pay for and provide abortion-inducing drugs in violation of our consciences.

Another reason we took on this fight is FIC’s storied history in protecting religious liberty in the State of Connecticut. In 2009, FIC helped turn back an outrageous attack by our state government against the freedom of the Catholic Church to manage its own affairs. FIC played a key role in utilizing the backlash from that outrage to pass into law the strongest religious liberty exemptions to same-sex “marriage” in the entire nation.

We were not alone in those fights. Then-Bishop of Bridgeport William Lori learned much about secularist hatred of religious liberty during those battles in Connecticut, insights he now applies to the federal fight against the HHS Mandate as the Archbishop of Baltimore. In 2012, FIC awarded Archbishop Lori the Charles Stetson Award for Pro-Family Courage because of his fortitude in leading the fight for religious liberty on the national stage.

These are just some of the Connecticut connections between recent fights for religious liberty in our home state and the federal fight to save our First Amendment liberties that are threatened by the HHS Mandate. As with the Connecticut attack on the Catholic Church, the HHS Mandate seems to target one particular denomination in a way that is a threat to the religious liberties of all of us, no matter what our beliefs.

That is why we encourage all our members to attend the Jim Vicevich event this Saturday, November 10th at St. Ann’s We hope to see you there.