The third, ‘Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally’ will be held in Detroit at noon on Saturday, October 20, 2012. Dr. Monica Miller (Citizens for a Pro-Life Society) and Eric Scheidler (Pro-Life Action League in Chicago) are co-directing the nationwide rallies that began this year in March and June, and have grown to over 160 participating cities.
Why another rally? Says Miller, ‘It is imperative (that) we continue to be a public voice of protest! We must send to our government and our nation a strong message that the HHS Mandate will not be tolerated no matter who occupies the White House after the November election!’
Originally organized as a protest of the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate forcing all employers, including religious organizations, to provide and pay for employees’ contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs against their religion, the rallies now include other areas of religious freedom violations listed in a document that prompts the laity to act now.
Among concerns are:
* Discrimination: against Catholic humanitarian services; laws punishing charity to undocumented immigrants; a proposal to restructure Catholic parish corporations to limit the bishop’s role and a state university’s excluding a religious student group because it limits leadership positions to those who share the group’s religion.
* Local Catholic adoption or foster care services in Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia and Illinois were driven out of business because they refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit.
* Other topics include the recent tactic of reducing freedom of religion to freedom of worship, the distinction between conscientious objection to a just law, and civil disobedience of an unjust law, the primacy of religious freedom among civil liberties, the need for active vigilance in protecting that freedom, and concern for religious liberty among interfaith and ecumenical groups and across partisan lines.
“We have been staunch defenders of religious liberty in the past. We have a solemn duty to discharge that duty today,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said in the document, “… for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad. We ask nothing more than that our God-given right to religious liberty be respected… nothing less than that the Constitution and laws of the United States, which recognize that right, be respected.”
The document ends with a call to action specifically to the laity, those in public office, heads of Catholic charitable agencies, priests, experts in communication, urging each to employ the gifts and talents of its members for religious liberty.
To get resources for a successful rally or check out what cities may be holding a rally go to: www.standuprally.com
To become a rally captain write to Eric Scheidler at firstname.lastname@example.org - include your phone number