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Should Americans Be Forced To Choose Between Patriotism And Faith?

04/13/2012 United States (The Christian Post) - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a proclamation Thursday in which it calls for the U.S. government, among others, to stop "discriminating" against the church -- for the sake of all Americans.

The bishops claim in their statement that religious freedom is under attack at home because the U.S. government is exercising nation-wide anti-Catholic policies, mainly in three areas -- enforcing the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate on religious institutions and allegedly driving Catholic foster care and adoption services out of business and discriminating against Catholic humanitarian services.

"What we ask is nothing more than that our God-given right to religious liberty be respected. We ask nothing less than that the Constitution and laws of the United States, which recognize that right, be respected," USCCB said in the statement.

"To be Catholic and American should mean not having to choose one over the other," the bishops wrote.

Without being able to cherish full benefits of religious freedom at home, the church is less able to help those persecuted abroad, the bishops said.

"If religious liberty is eroded here at home, American defense of religious liberty abroad is less credible. And one common threat, spanning both the international and domestic arenas, is the tendency to reduce the freedom of religion to the mere freedom of worship," the statement reads.

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