The Knights of Columbus promotes a robust vision of religious liberty that embraces religion’s proper role in both its private and public dimensions. As both Catholics and Americans, we celebrate the essential relationship shared between religion and liberty, a relationship which has uniquely defined our country’s identity and has fostered its development.
Every major achievement that has taken place within the American enterprise—the American Revolution; the abolition of slavery; the civil rights movement; reforms in education, labor and woman’s rights—has been at the urging of religious people seeking a more just and humane society.
Because of this, the Knights of Columbus recognizes religious liberty as an indispensable condition for authentic human development.
We are called to defend religious liberty against cultural trends that are increasingly hostile to Christianity and are preventing men and women from living in accordance with it.
St. John Paul II witnessed that when a society attempts to close the door to religion, it inevitably falls prey to a totalitarian reading of the human person that recognizes only the state as the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong. It is our duty as men of both Catholic faith and patriotism to resist militant secularism and to defend religious liberty at the international, national, state, and local levels. Without this necessary check on the power of the state, no principled limit can be recognized to prevent the expansion of government’s power at the expense of personal liberty.