Interview with Supreme Knight Carl Anderson

From Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the K of C:



The Next Great Awakening

‘If we want to have our First Amendment rights tomorrow, we must defend them today, wherever they may be threatened.” Carl Anderson, the head of the Knights of Columbus, is the author of your pre-election weekend reading, the new e-book: Proclaim Liberty: Notes on the Next Great Awakening in America, which puts this moment for Catholics and freedom in America in perspective. He discusses the book with National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez.
KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: You write, “Whether we will continue to live in a country blessed with the freedom to practice our religion free of government interference, or whether constitutional liberties will be subordinated to the demands of the state, remains to be seen.” How much does this one election mean in determining the answer to this question?

CARL ANDERSON: I think that over the past year and a half, we have seen an increasing coalition of people of faith defending the First Amendment. We have a conflict in this country between a small, militant group of secularists, and the vast majority of Americans, who, our polling has shown, broadly support the First Amendment right to religious freedom. They also support exemptions based on conscience and religious belief from objectionable laws. Obviously the HHS mandate is a very high-profile battle in this larger context. Governor Romney has promised to repeal Obamacare — which includes the mandate. President Obama has promised to keep the mandate in place. The issue of the federal government pursuing an agenda at odds with the First Amendment could end with this election, but regardless of who wins the election, we aren’t likely see an end to secularist attacks on religious liberty — at the state and local level, in the courts, etc. If we want to have our First Amendment rights tomorrow, we must defend them today, wherever they may be threatened.

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