The bishops then discuss American history with great clarity, noting:
Today it is no longer the case, as it was for our country’s Founders, that religion can provide a shared moral framework and vocabulary for a pluralistic democracy. In fact, Americans would do well to realize that many of our country’s leading thinkers in law, higher education, and the social sciences simply no longer believe in the idea of inalienable natural rights guaranteed by a Creator higher than the State – one of the cornerstone principles of the American experiment.And what follows is quite specific:
This has serious implications because many of our most urgent political issues – ranging from the economy, immigration, and abortion to global security – raise profoundly moral questions. These questions cannot be resolved without a common understanding of right and wrong. Consider today’s aggressive efforts to redefine the nature of marriage, to exclude parental authority in the choice of the best education for their children, and to force Catholic healthcare and social services to end their ministries unless they violate their religious identities through mandated support of practices contrary to the very sanctity of human life.