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AAR: Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally, Washington DC
March 23, 2012 | self

Posted on 03/23/2012 9:01:05 PM PDT by ottbmare

Today tens of thousands of Americans gathered in 140 cities to peacefully protest the "HHS Mandate". This recent mandate of the US Department of Health and Human Services requires religious institutions and faithful employers to provide insurance coverage of contraceptive drugs and devices, sterilization services, and abortion-producing drugs, even if this coverage is anathema to them. The mandate levies crushing fines on any institution that attempts to opt out of paying for such coverage. Catholics, Protestants, Orthodox Jews, and Muslims are all strongly opposed to providing coverage of such services, and since HHS and the Obama Administration have been absolutely adamant that they would not change this provision of Obamacare, these protests were organized.

In DC, the protest was held directly in front of HHS headquarters, where presumably Kathleen Sibelius and her minions could not be unaware of it. Organizers anticipated a few hundred demonstrators, but counted 1300 before they began the rally. In the unseasonably pleasant spring sunshine, families gathered with babies and older children; nuns, priests, and monks came to watch and pray; determined individuals brought large American flags, smaller signs, and splendid banners. Blacks, whites, Hispanics, and Asians were represented, and both Catholics and Protestants came to show support. With their signage, their prayers, and their massed voices, all proclaimed one message: We will not comply!

The principal speaker was Presbyterian minister Patrick Mahoney, the rally captain and organizer for DC. What a motivating, high-energy speaker he is!

Other speakers included--
--the splendid, electrifying Star Parker, a former welfare mother who stopped living a dissolute life and became a Christian speaker, broadcaster, and writer
--Dr Milton Lee, a Korean pastor who had flown in from Seoul to thank America for her friendship
--a truly electrifying black preacher who had some serious warnings for our stubborn, unChristian president about facing Christ when he dies
--the beautiful Lila Rose, who spoke against abortion from the perspective of one who had survived an attempt to abort her
--Father Marcel Guarnizo, a holy priest, a conservative, and a brilliant scholar.

I want particularly to note the concluding remarks of Father Marcel. Many of you will have heard of the recent controversy about him, when his gentle and quiet refusal to give the elements of Communion to an openly practicing lesbian created an international media firestorm. His quietly adamant position about this finally caused the gay-sympathizing Archdiocese of Washington to punish him, withdrawing his faculty to operate as a priest in the DC area. He has been in seclusion since the incident at the end of February, and this rally was his first public appearance since then. It was a risk, for his absolute dedication to the cause of Christ has brought unbelievable hatred as well as grave threats from liberals and gays.

Nevertheless, this courageous little man would not allow threats to silence him. He gave a closely-reasoned speech which made no appeal to emotion, but discussed our Constitution and the First Amendment. The crowd was spellbound as he created his case: that this matter is not just about healthcare, or contraception, or even abortion, but about the existence of the United States as a Constitutional republic. For in depriving us of our religious freedom and compelling us to subsidize a culture of death, the Obama Administration removes every freedom, in the manner of a totalitarian government. If this stands, he says, we have resigned all our freedoms and will be living under a totalitarian government.

TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: firstamendment; obamacare; prolife

1 posted on 03/23/2012 9:01:15 PM PDT by ottbmare
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To: NYer; Salvation

Ping! Please ping the Catholic list, if you would.

2 posted on 03/23/2012 9:02:30 PM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: ottbmare

We had one here, but I was leading a Scipture Study class at that time.

3 posted on 03/23/2012 9:16:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: ottbmare

AAR = American Academy of Religion

4 posted on 03/23/2012 9:37:28 PM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: Texas Fossil

AAR = After-action report. A very old military usage.

5 posted on 03/23/2012 9:47:00 PM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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I was among the 5000 or so people who gathered, under a steady rain, at the Chicago Federal building. Speakers included two members of congress, one a Democrat. Women appeared to outnumber men at the rally Local ABC and NBC affiliates ignored the rally, CBS reported it, putting the crowd at a laughingly low 300. Anyone who participated or even passed knows that this is a monstrous lie. The focus of the rally was not birth control or even abortion drugs, but the need to resist an all powerful state that seeks to crush religious freedom.

6 posted on 03/23/2012 10:06:34 PM PDT by Godwin1
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To: Godwin1

Even the Nashville Tennessean (justly called “Pravda on the Cumberland”) reported that there were 500 attendees at the Nashville rally. If there were 500 in Nashville, I’m pretty sure there were more than 300 in Chicago.

7 posted on 03/24/2012 6:09:11 AM PDT by Campion ("It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins." -- Franklin)
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To: ottbmare

Thank you very much for this great after action report.

Citizen Media reporting at its finest.

Shared with all my friends across the country.

8 posted on 03/24/2012 6:23:12 AM PDT by EternalVigilance (In self-evident truth, in timeless principle, in the people themselves, lie our republic's only hope)
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To: ottbmare

Sorry, it was not clear to me what you meant, and I could find no reference in media. Which was your point.


9 posted on 03/24/2012 6:40:33 AM PDT by Texas Fossil (Government, even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one)
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To: ottbmare

In St. Cloud, MN we had about 350 at our rally for religious freedom. Although the local newspaper announced the rally in the Thursday paper and referenced the Tea Party as organizers, they were incorrect as the local Knights of Columbus were the most influential organizers. It was a great turnout after a morning of drizzle.

One of my friends called the newspaper office to report the large gathering and “were they intending to cover the rally?” The response was, “Oh, yes we heard there was going to be a group of people going to Al Franken’s office today.”

They did not cover the rally and never showed up to take any photos or interview anyone. A local radio station had good coverage and interviewed four of the people on air following the rally - for 20 minutes. Thank God for local talk radio.

Our local newspaper always shows photos of anti-war demonstrators even if there are only 5-10 people with signs along a highway.

I am certain that the majority of local people have no idea that we had such a good turnout and that the event even took place.

10 posted on 03/24/2012 9:44:05 AM PDT by Gumdrop
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To: ottbmare
It is good to know that it is still possible to resist tyranny.

A FReeper actually asked me if that is the right word to use to define the HHS mandate. I answered that the --- what can I call it? the 'apparat'? --- apparently expects the Catholic Church to say, "Yes, we believe that these things are moral evils, and yes, we're going to provide them as benefits to our employees."

Church-related organizations --- in fact, all the rest of us, too --- 'must' do that, or pay punitive penalties, or cease to exist.

What else can you call it? Tyranny.

11 posted on 03/24/2012 1:29:55 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Justice and judgment are the foundation of His throne.")
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To: ottbmare
Insight Scoop

Jesuit priest ascribes miraculous powers to President Obama

Aren't you getting tired of this sort of nonsense? Haven't you had enough of Catholics—even priests!—ascribing supernatural powers to a mere mortal? First, some context, from the San Jose Mercury Times:

A religious freedom rally in San Francisco on Friday attracted nearly 500 people from throughout the Bay Area vehemently opposed to a new federal requirement that insurers provide free contraception to workers.

Some waved flags. Others waved rosary beads. Many shouted "unbelievable" as speakers outlined the controversial policy in the national health reform law.

"This affects all of us as Americans, because our first freedom is freedom of religion," said Salvatore Cordileone, Bishop of Oakland.

"How dare the government define for us our religious mission?" he said. "Yes, get the government out of our church."

Initially, the regulation required employers to cover birth control and other preventive services for women without a co-pay or deductible beginning in August.

Now, brace yourself:

At the rally, Father Joseph Fessio of Ignatius Press told the crowd that when Obama was elected, "some people thought they were voting for a Messiah."

"Last month, he performed a true miracle," Fessio said. "He united all of the Catholic bishops in the U.S."


12 posted on 03/24/2012 2:54:10 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: wagglebee

Media blackout ping

13 posted on 03/24/2012 3:23:26 PM PDT by OneLoyalAmerican (In God I trust, all others provide citations.)
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To: OneLoyalAmerican

It wasn’t blacked out altogether. NPR had a lengthy radio report (unsurprisingly, in its customary snarky tone). The report, which you can listen to online, had snippets from the event organizer, Reverend Mahoney, as well as some in the crowd.

I don’t watch TV, but others have told me that the event had some coverage on local network-affiliate TV news programs. Certainly we saw big professional cameras set up there and there were quite a few people walking around with monstrous cameras and press credentials dangling on their chests.

But if the national press didn’t cover it adequately, I’d place part of the blame on the event organizers. Here I am, an involved and media-attuned Catholic, and I didn’t hear about the thing until a few days before it took place. So something is wrong with the media contact.

14 posted on 03/24/2012 4:17:17 PM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: ottbmare; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...
Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list

15 posted on 03/24/2012 4:25:02 PM PDT by NYer (He who hides in his heart the remembrance of wrongs is like a man who feeds a snake on his chest. St)
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To: ottbmare

Excellent report! Thanks!

16 posted on 03/24/2012 4:33:24 PM PDT by maryz
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To: ottbmare

Greetings ottbmare:

We did receive an e-mail alert about a Chicago event for the Federal Building Plaza noon Friday. In my case, a job committment superceeds a noontime rally.

And given NPR is not on my listen list, not a peep about this or the Chicago event in the Chicago MSM market. In fact, this “After Action Report” is the first report read anywhere online.

Frankly, the FloriDUH! shooting circus is seems like a magician’s slight of hand gimmick. Last week was “gun free” Chicagotopia’s 500th 2012 shooting victim and 100th 2012 murder, yet all the MSM covers is FloriDUH!


17 posted on 03/24/2012 11:36:37 PM PDT by OneLoyalAmerican (In God I trust, all others provide citations.)
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To: OneLoyalAmerican; All

I don’t know what can be done to get the word out better. Websites, commercial air time, and social media campaigns are not always easy to arrange and can cost money, which may not be available. Some folks may not be media-savvy enough to figure out the ways the media can be used for free PR. And I’ll bet that the usual outlets, like broadcast and cable news sources, don’t see this as a sexy, fascinating story, so they don’t want to cover it. “If it bleeds, it leads,” as you probably have heard, and we aren’t bleeding. That is one reason I had kind of hoped there would be a counter-protest and perhaps some mild conflict at the rally on the 23rd in DC: it would draw press coverage and gain attention to the problem.

As it is, I see some of the organizers attempting to use social media marketing on FB and Twitter, but very few people respond. Even on Free Republic, I see only seventeen posts on this thread, out of 100,000 Freepers. Did people not see the original thread, or do they just not care? Do they think that if they’re not Roman Catholic that this isn’t an issue for them?

If so, they’re wrong.

Folks, what Father Marcel Guarnizo said in his stirring speech was absolutely true. This fight against the US Department of Health and Human Services is not really about contraception. It’s not about abortion. It’s not about money. It’s about whether an agency of the US government, acting at the will of the president, can take away your First Amendment right to freedom of religion. Can the government force you to do something evil?

If that is the case—if millions of freedom-loving Americans will simply acquiesce while Barack Obama quietly removes our right to believe as we wish—our First Amendment right to freedom of religion will not be our only loss. We will have lost all our Constitutional rights. For if they can take one right, they can take any of them. The HHS mandate establishes the precedent. Gently, almost without notice, we will have been put in the power of a totalitarian government. Without shots being fired; without an invasion; without a goose-stepping army; without a dictator screaming hysterically and giving a Nazi salute. But the effect will be the same. We will have lost our freedom. And once it’s lost, what president will give it back?

Today at 2 p.m., the day before the US Supreme Court begins considering the Constitutionality of Obamacare, the building will be surrounded with praying Americans. I’ll be there, but the weather is supposed to be bad so I suspect not many other people will be. I don’t want to get on the train and go down there myself on a soaking wet afternoon—there are a thousand other things I’d rather do. But someone has to go, and clearly they aren’t getting to the faithful to come out.

18 posted on 03/25/2012 7:39:28 AM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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