In March of 1775, Patrick Henry, a delegate of the Second Virginia Convention, addressed the Convention with a speech that stirred the minds and hearts of all who heard it. The final words: “Give me liberty or give me death” are part of the fabric of America and the courageous hallmark of a valiant patriot.

Henry spoke as the inevitability of war with England loomed as an ever more dreary and unfortunate menace.  Henry, like others of his time, was filled with a love of freedom and an understanding of personal liberty that could be achieved in a “United States” truly independent from the tyranny of the King of England.

“For my own part,” Henry said, “I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfil the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offence, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the majesty of heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.”

The question of “freedom or slavery” we face today is every bit as consequential as is was for Patrick Henry. Our country, founded on the self-evident truths of our creation as free human beings, now faces a new subjugation by the repudiation and foreswearing of the basis of human liberty enshrined in our founding documents.

The bishops of the United States, driven by a sense of divine justice and patriotism, have accepted the challenge thrust upon us by a government that seeks to abandon the reasonableness of law, limit legitimate freedoms, and deny constitutional liberty, by imposing restrictions such as the HHS mandate and other unbearable burdens thus limiting the free exercise of our religious freedoms.

At the end of last week, the Administration offered an extension to the deadline of 1 August 2013, when the HHS mandate was to become law for everyone. Indeed, there is still hope and there is cause for diligent prayer. The Fortnight for Freedom continues to produce saints and patriots (not just football players…) who are eager to stand for liberty and promote justice. Stay with us, folks. Keep on praying and supporting the cause for justice and freedom. Saints and patriots continue to walk among us desiring the liberty and protection of law and the guarantee of freedom of conscience. Liberty is always a cause worth fighting for. Happy Independence Day!

Celebrate freedom by attending Sunday Mass.

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