The “Fortnight for Freedom” and established religion…

With the Catholic Church in the United States deep into its “Fortnight for Freedom,” The Motley Monk thinks it useful to contemplate the blessing of religious liberty called the “Establishment Clause” and the “Free Exercise Clause.”  That is, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

Other nations aren’t so richly blessed.

Grundtvig’s Church, Denmark

Take Denmark, for example, where the Vatican Insider reports that Parliament recently voted 85 to 24 to compel churches in the established Evangelical Lutheran Church to perform homosexual “marriage” ceremonies—identical to those performed for heterosexual couples—inside their sanctuaries.  The new law took effect on June 15th.

One third of the denomination’s ministers say they will not participate in these rituals and may use the law’s “opt out for theological reasons” clause to do so.  However, a bishop must arrange for a replacement.

Okay, The Motley Monk “gets it.”  The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark is an established church and, in fact, has been Denmark’s established church since 1849.  As such, Denmark’s House of Parliament is free to exert its will upon the church as it pleases.  If a minister won’t do what Parliament demands, Parliament has every right to tell the bishop to do what Parliament demands.

Thank God that’s not how it works in the United States.

But, this particular establishment story doesn’t end there.

Better yet is the genesis of the legislation establishing homosexual “marriages” in Denmark’s established church.

The bill’s primary sponsor was Denmark’s Minister of Equality and Church and Nordic Cooperation, Manu Sareen. 

Manu Sareen

Mr. Sareen is an agnostic.

The Motley Monk is down on his knees thanking God for the blessing of religious liberty. 


To read the Vatican Insider article, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:


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The Motley Monk

The Motley Monk is Fr. Richard Jacobs, O.S.A., a Professor of Public Administration at Villanova University. His academic specialities include: organizational theory; leadership ethics; Catholic educational leadership; and, U.S. Catholic educational history. Check out Fr. Jacobs' daily blog at http://www.richard-jacobs-blog.com/omnibus.html.


  1. The irony of the so-called Reformation is that on the face of it people sought to “free” themselves from the Catholic Church only to surrender their faith to the whims of the State and/or useful idiots.

  2. This causes one to question why is took the Nazis 16 hours to convince the Dansk government to surrender.

    That pagan barbarian was required to cajole an elected legislature to enact such a travesty.

    The gangster regime ruining America doesn’t need to do it like that.

  3. I first read about this on Catholic Answers. Could not believe it. Bad enough that same sex marriage is legal but what i cannot fathom is the idea of same sex marriage being legal in churches. Truly disturbing.

  4. “2. This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits.

    The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself.(2) This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right.

    It is in accordance with their dignity as persons-that is, beings endowed with reason and free will and therefore privileged to bear personal responsibility-that all men should be at once impelled by nature and also bound by a moral obligation to seek the truth, especially religious truth. They are also bound to adhere to the truth, once it is known, and to order their whole lives in accord with the demands of truth However, men cannot discharge these obligations in a manner in keeping with their own nature unless they enjoy immunity from external coercion as well as psychological freedom. Therefore the right to religious freedom has its foundation not in the subjective disposition of the person, but in his very nature. In consequence, the right to this immunity continues to exist even in those who do not live up to their obligation of seeking the truth and adhering to it and the exercise of this right is not to be impeded, provided that just public order be observed.”


  5. Established churches, especially where they are faced with little or no competition from rival sects, tend either to theocracy or erastianism.

    The idea of a church as a voluntary association of believers is quite alien to most Europeans and, going back to the French Revolution, there is a tendency to be suspicious of such organisations – Recall the famous declaration of August 18, 1792: “A State that is truly free ought not to suffer within its bosom any corporation, not even such as, being dedicated to public instruction, have merited well of the country” The only exception is when the group’s one and only purpose ias making money. The alternative is a state church, staffed by salaried public officials. Believers, too, tend to regard the ordinances of religion – christenings, weddings, funerals – as a public service, which, as tax-payers, they expect the state to provide for them. In Sweden, the church was disestablished only because lack of demand for its services.

  6. Congress is ill equiped to make laws concerning the establishment of religion, man’s response to the gift of Faith from God, because Congress is not our conscience, not individually or collectively. This Obamacare has done, has become the citizens’ conscience, individually and collectively. To do this, Congress must deny to the person his soul and become the soul for the person, like homicide is the taking of a person’s life, Obamacare is the taking of a man’s soul. Soul murder.

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