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Thomas Declares He 'Stands With The Catholics In The Fight For Religious Freedom'

BOSTON (CBS) -- Tim Thomas'  Facebook page generated quite a bit of controversy last month when he announced his displeasure with the U.S. government to explain his decision to skip the Bruins' trip to the White House to meet President Barack Obama.

On Wednesday, Thomas' Facebook page again created some news, as the Bruins' goaltender issued an unsolicited statement in support of Catholics.

"I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom," Thomas wrote, followed by a quote from Martin Niemoller.

"In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist," Niemoller's quote begins. "Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Felger Goes Off On Tim Thomas: 

It's likely Thomas is referencing the ongoing debate regarding the Obama administration's decision to require religious organizations -- like hospitals and schools -- to provide free birth control to employees. The decision has been opposed strongly, with Christianity Today writing an open letter that used the same Niemoller quotes to illustrate its point.

"The Catholic bishops in America have responded quickly, decrying the Administration's decision for what it is -- an egregious, dangerous violation of religious liberty -- and mobilizing a vast grassroots movement to persuade the Administration to reverse its decision," the letter, written by Timothy George and Chuck Colson, states. "We evangelicals must stand unequivocally with our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters. Because when the government violates the religious liberty of one group, it threatens the religious liberty of all."

The fight may be making progress, as the White House "hinted at compromise" this week in the face of a vocal opposition.

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