At the June 2017 General Assembly, the USCCB approved the continuation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty to a permanent standing committee. This demonstrates the bishops’ commitment and the Church’s investment in assuring religious freedom for all people in America.
As Ryan Anderson points out, Americans tend not to value rights that they do not exercise. It is probably not too much of a leap to guess that the “elites” in America (celebrities, media personnel, politicians, CEO’s) are not that interested in religion, and therefore in religious freedom, especially its expression in the public square.
For this reason, it’s even more important for lay people in the Church to make it clear to their representatives and others that religious freedom is important to them. This is an issue that lay people must be engaged in, since the clergy enjoys more leeway because of their “official” ministerial positions, and could more easily be dismissed as not representative of “normal people.”
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