Denver, Colo., Nov 3, 2012 / 12:02 pm (CNA).- A group of lay Catholics in Colorado is placing a full-page ad in the Sunday edition of the Denver Post to drive home the importance of religious freedom in the upcoming election.
“I think the folks who organized getting the ad together want to ensure everybody understands what’s at stake not only for the Church, but for the country, when religious liberty is compromised,” said J.D. Flynn, chancellor of the Denver archdiocese.
The full-page ad, which will run in the Sunday, Nov. 4 edition of The Denver Post, will feature the full text of the Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila’s Nov. 1 letter on religious freedom and the election.
Flynn said that purchasing the ad in the Sunday edition, which reaches 964,000 readers, “isn’t cheap,” but the fact that over 20 Denver-area Catholics committed to fund it shows that they “support the archbishop in his public ministry.”
“I just think it speaks to the quality and commitment of the lay people in the Archdiocese of Denver that they want to support the archbishop in this way,” he commented.
Flynn said he hopes this advertisement will highlight the importance of protecting religious liberty in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
“Our country is the product of religious liberty,” Flynn stated. “When we undermine that for something as short-sighted as free contraception, everybody is in serious trouble.
“I just hope people are hearing that.”
The idea for the advertisement was the result of a group of lay Catholics asking how they could support the archbishop in his efforts to uphold religious liberty.
“I think there are a lot of people who don’t appreciate the significance of the election for the Church’s activity in this country, and also the significance of this election for Catholics in this country,” Flynn said.
In his letter, Archbishop Aquila emphasized religious freedom as a foundational American value.
“Our founding fathers understood that without these freedoms, especially religious liberty, our democratic experiment would fail,” he wrote.
However, religious liberty faces “an unprecedented threat” from the Health and Human Services mandate, which “undermines the promise of the First Amendment,” Archbishop Aquila said.
The Obama administration’s contraception mandate requires employers to provide health insurance plans that cover contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, even if doing so violates their beliefs.
It has drawn nearly 40 lawsuits by more than 110 plaintiffs since its announcement earlier this year.
“No one should ever be forced to choose between integrity and charity, or to violate their conscience in business,” the archbishop said.