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At an event hosted by Saint Mary’s Campus Ministry on Wednesday evening, Margaret Harper McCarthy from the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America spoke about contraception and religious freedom in light of the HHS mandate. The event, titled “The Contraceptive Mandate: What do Catholics Want When They Ask for Religious Freedom,” kicked off this semester’s “Theology On Fire” speaker series.McCarthy, an assistant professor of theology at Catholic University, focused her talk on contraception, noting that many who have spoken about the issue of religious freedom in the context of the HHS mandate have focused their attentions on the right to religious freedom and less on the topic of contraception itself.“The assumption is you cannot win if you talk about contraception,” McCarthy said. “It’s often said that the issue is not about contraception. It’s just about religious freedom.”She said focusing on religious freedom is a common strategy used to convince others that a company should not have to provide contraception benefits to its employees. McCarthy said contraception has become an issue that cannot be discussed in the public realm.According to the mandate, religious freedom allows for religious practice in private settings, such ceremonies in church and temples, McCarthy said. However, the mandate’s definition of religious freedom would restrict religious practices in a public setting, such as schools, universities, and businesses.“[Religious freedom] has just been relegated to a private faith, faith without public witness, a faith without works,” she said. McCarthy denied this definition and redefined it.“Religious Freedom is tied to an obligation to speak the truth and carry it into the world,” McCarthy said.Kaitie Maierhofer, a senior and ministry assistant in McCandless Hall, said attended previous “Theology on Fire” sessions and came to McCarthy’s speech Wednesday to learn more about the issue.“I use [these Theology on Fire sessions] more as information for me,” Maierhofer said. “Growing up, I was always only around one side of the argument or the issue wasn’t discussed at all and I had no idea there was an issue in the first place.Tags: Catholic Social Teaching, Contraception, HHS Mandate, theology on fire read more
The University of Georgia horticulture department and State Botanical Garden of Georgia will offer a tour of research plots, ornamental plant evaluations and gardens Friday, Sept. 28 in Athens, Ga.At the horticulture farm, see the latest research on landscape amendments. These include poultry-litter compost and products called stalite and zeolite.UGA Professor Mike Dirr will discuss the woody ornamentals in his plant evaluation program. At the new College Station Road shade garden, you’ll see Dirr’s collection of Calycanthus, camellia, Cephalotaxus, fothergilla, gardenia and more than 80 hydrangea cultivars.The annual and perennial trial garden on campus is always a favorite tour stop. Viewing an extensive evaluation of the newest annuals and perennials, you’ll want to make notes of those still doing well in the late-summer heat.Talk With FacultyThe tour will offer time to talk with UGA faculty from the Athens, Griffin and Tifton campuses. Lunch will be in the new Heritage Garden at the State Botanical Garden. The garden staff will be on hand to answer questions.Buses leave promptly at 9 a.m. from the upper parking lot of the State Botanical Garden at 2450 South Milledge Ave. (It’s about 1 mile outside the Athens Bypass). The tour will end at 4 p.m.The $20 fee covers the lunch and bus ride. The deadline to sign up is Sept. 21. Mail a check to “Georgia 4-H Foundation” to Extension Horticulture, Attn: Open House, 205 Hoke Smith Bldg., University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.Driving directions to the State Botanical Garden are on the Internet at www.uga.edu/~botgarden/ConDir.html. To learn more, phone (706) 542-2861, or e-mail Angela Anderson at [email protected] read more