A Heart on Fire: Archbishop Chaput's meditation on secularism in the U.S.

'A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America' by Archbishop Charles Chaput gives a warning against burgeoning secularism in the USA.

The leader of the Catholic League, a New York-based advocacy group, gave a positive review of the e-book by Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. Available at Barnes&Noble and Amazon, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America speaks to what some regard as a growing hostility to religion - especially Catholicism - in the United States.

Archbishop Chaput, who has served previously as archbishop of Denver, has been known to opine on issues ranging from films (e.g The Golden Compass) to Catholic politicians (e.g. John Kerry). He has also registered dislike towards what he regards as a "spirit of adulation bordering on servility" that exists towards President Barack Obama. The prelate has remarked about Obama, "in democracies, we elect public servants, not messiahs." Joining with other bishops in opposing the Obama administration's stance towards abortion, Archbishop Chaput says that President Obama has masked  his record on abortion and other issues with "rosy marketing about unity, hope, and change."

As to the archbishop's book, Donohue wrote "This is the right book by the right author at the right time. Archbishop Chaput calls our attention to the growing hostility to religion in public life. “In government, the media, academia, in the business community and in the wider culture,” he says, “many of our leaders no longer seem to regard religious faith as a healthy force.” Indeed, “The America emerging in the next several decades is likely to be much less friendly to Christian faith than anything in our country’s past.” He is particularly concerned about the way this “new orthodoxy” is impacting young people."
 
Donohue continued, "It would be wrong to conclude that Archbishop Chaput is demonizing the elites. No, there is a lot of blame to go around. “We can blame the mass media, or the academy, or science, or special-interest groups for creating the environment we now face,” he writes. “But we Christians—including we Catholics—helped shape it with our eagerness to fit in, our distractions and overconfidence, and our own lukewarm faith.”
 
Over the March 24-25 weekend, thousands of people, Catholics and non-Catholics, gathered in Washington DC and cities all over the U.S. to demonstrate their concern over the contraception and sterilization mandate imposed by Obama administration's healthcare reform. This week, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments from the administrations and plaintiffs over the constitutionality of the signature legislation of this administration.

Said Donohue, "Catholics, and people of all faiths, are genuinely concerned about the way the Health and Human Services mandate will weaken our First Amendment right to religious liberty,...radical secularism has become increasingly aggressive in our culture.
 

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