A small town in Vermont has recently been ordered to cease its immemorial tradition of opening meetings with a prayer.
The order came from a judge who does not live near. A public school in the city where I am writing these words has banners hanging from its gymnasium ceiling, one of which featured a prayer written by a student of the school many decades ago. It has been removed, also by order of a distant judge.
Since the citizens of the town and the school district no longer govern themselves but have become dependent upon regular infusions of green federal blood, they could not reply, "You and whose army?" The prayer and the banner are gone.
We Catholics hold that man, unique among creatures on earth, finds his fulfillment only in what transcends him. He will not compose symphonies in honor of a good housing market. He does not whistle an air for low inflation. He will pen poetry born of love, but if the object of his love is a Clodia rather than a Beatrice, even his love poetry will degenerate into satire and cynicism. Man is made for God. That marks both his duty and his glory. Therefore any attempt to sever man from his devotion to God is an attack upon man's soul. It reduces man to a counter in an economic or political game, a consumer of creature comforts, or a competitor for wealth and prestige.
The argument of the aggressors in this case is indirect and sly. It is the argument of the serpent in the garden, who suggests to Eve that she can only be like God by being free from the laws of God. ...
ANTHONY ESOLEN (Crises Magazine