Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies draw tens of thousands nationwide against the HHS mandate
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, (LifeSiteNews.com) June 7, 2012, â€“ The second wave of religious freedom rallies took place on Friday, filling courthouse squares, federal buildings, and university centers from New York to Los Angeles with the Founding Fathersâ€™ views of liberty and conscience.
Tens of thousands participated in the more than 150 events organized by the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.
Early media coverage showed hundreds of people attended each major rally, holding yellow balloons that say â€śReligious Libertyâ€ť and waving signs that read, â€śStop the HHS Mandate.â€ť
In the nationâ€™s capital, Michele Bachmann and Lila Rose expounded upon the Constitutional liberties enshrined in the First Amendment.
Jill Stanek spoke in Chicago. The San Francisco rally was emceed by Dana Cody of the Life Legal Defense Foundation. In Montana, a crowd gathered outside the officers of U.S. Senator Max Baucus, a Democrat who supports the mandate.
Attendees in Miami heard Archbishop Thomas Wenski say the HHS accommodation is no compromise, because â€ścompromises are not usually arrived at unilaterally.â€ť He said a fundamental principle of health care is that it â€śshouldnâ€™t kill anybody.â€ť
LifeSiteNews.com U.S. Bureau Chief Ben Johnson told a crowd of hundreds he was â€śastoundedâ€ť as a journalist when he saw that â€śthe best and brightest minds of Washingtonâ€ť decided â€śthe most important aspect of the health care billâ€¦was that every American, including post-menopausal women and gay men, needed access to birth control.â€ť
Citing the history of Eastern Europe he said â€ślight and transient offenses against our religious liberty never remain light and transient offenses,â€ť but are usually the opening salvos of a greater war â€śto deny all our religious liberties. â€śItâ€™s a test of our strength and our resolve, an attempt to set a binding precedent, and itâ€™s an attempt to weaken our resources against the more serious assaults that are to come,â€ť he said.
â€śWe know that nature abhors a vacuum and that every inch that is yielded by the Church will be filled by a rushing, virulent secularism.â€ť Quoting Patrick Henryâ€™s â€śGive Me Liberty or Give Me Deathâ€ť speech, he said, â€śWe must fight, I repeat it sir, we must fight!â€ť
Nick Thomm, the proprietor of StopHHS.com and an organizer of the local rally in Ann Arbor, noted the media blackout. â€śWe cannot rely on the secular media to keep this issue alive before the American people in a way we would recognize as fair and accurate,â€ť he said.
Johnson assured that LifeSiteNews.com will continue to provide accurate coverage.
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Scores of rallies across the nation occurred on this date, because it marked the 223rd anniversary of James Madisonâ€™s introduction of the Bill of Rights. Constitutional limits on government power figured heavily in the observance.
Rev. Sammie Maletta, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church asked the crowd in northwest Indiana, â€śIf this government can wipe out 200 years of constitutional practice by this illegal mandate, how safe will you be from this governmentâ€™s abuse when their extreme agenda tells you how to live?â€ť
â€śThere is a reason that tyrants (and) dictatorsâ€¦always go after religious freedom first. They know that faith in God sets men free,â€ť said Jerry Cox, the president of the Family Council at a rally in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Elder Levon Yuille of Ypsilanti Bible Church in Michigan and director of the National Pro-Life Congress told LifeSiteNews.com he got involved, because â€śthe HHS mandate and the hate crimes speechâ€ť represent â€śa direct attack on the religious faith of America.â€ť
He said the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally was â€śone of the best grassroots gatherings Iâ€™ve seen in 30 years inâ€¦ the pro-life field.â€ť
Stand Up Rally national co-director Monica Miller said, â€śIf ObamaCare is not struck down, weâ€™ll be sending the federal authorities a clear message that the faith based institutions and private businesses affected by the HHS Mandate simply will not comply with it.
Bishop Anthony Taylor of Little Rock made perhaps the most pithy explanation of todayâ€™s protests. â€śCivil law must never require what conscience forbids, nor forbid what conscience requires,â€ť he said