I Stood For Religious Freedom in Norfolk, Virginia: Freedom Movement in America
That Right to the Free Exercise of religion has been called the FIRST FREEDOM in the American tradition for good reason
There were 140 rallies on March 23, 2012. It is only the beginning. We gathered in collaborative citizen Action in response to an unjust and unconstitutional Edict issued by On January 20, 2012 by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The mandate requires all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, to cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception in their health care plans. At risk is the future of the American experiment in ordered liberty and we will not cease our work until this horrid HHS Mandate is rescinded.
Rally for Religious Freedom in Norfolk, Virginia. This new freedom movement is a response to the growing hostility toward - and threats against - the first freedom, religious freedom. There were 140 rallies held on March 23, 2012. It is only the beginning. At risk is the future of the American experiment in ordered liberty and we will not cease our work until this horrid HHS Mandate is rescinded.
NORFOLK, VA (Catholic Online) - I stood for Religious Freedom on March 23, 2012.I joined thousands throughout the Nation in the beginning of a massive resistance movement. I emceed the rally in Norfolk, Virginia and was also privileged to speak. I live in the next city over, beautiful Chesapeake, Virginia.
This new freedom movement is a response to the growing hostility toward - and threats against - the first freedom, religious freedom. There were 140 rallies held on March 23, 2012. It is only the beginning. At risk is the future of the American experiment in ordered liberty - and we will not cease our work until this horrid HHS Mandate is rescinded.
I stood with other brothers in the Diaconate serving the Roman Catholic Church in my home Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, Deacon Bob Durel and Deacon Darrell Wentworth. I had the joy of introducing other Christian leaders from the "Hampton Roads" Christian community, of various Christian traditions.
Deacon Bob read a letter from our Bishop Francis DiLorenzo who assured us, "The Diocese of Richmond deeply appreciates the efforts of so many women and men who have joined together across denominational and religious lines to advance the cause of religious liberty in our society."
"The Diocese stands united with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, resolved to work with all people of good will to preserve, protect, and promote the fundamental human right to the free exercise of religion."
"Be assured of our prayers and our support as we continue to defend the rights of citizens to freely exercise their consciences, and the rights of religious institutions to exercise their ministries with fidelity to their tradition."
His words were part of the extraordinary support every Catholic Bishop in the United States is giving to the defense of the fundamental right to Religious Freedom.
As I stood with other Christians, other people of faith, and the many people of good will who had gathered in Norfolk, I was aware of the important role that the Catholic Church is playing in this struggle to protect the first freedom, religious freedom.
I was keenly aware of the urgency of the hour. Among the several Protestant clergy I introduced was Bishop Earl Jackson. Bishop Jackson is an old friend who is passionate in his love for the Lord, and for this nation. He is running for the U.S Senate this fall. The Bishop, like me, is also a lawyer, a 1978 graduate of Harvard Law School.
I first met him in the nineties when he led "The Samaritan Project", a national outreach and racial reconciliation effort. We were doing evangelical and Catholic cooperation before it became "cool". It was such a joy to be with him after all these years.It inpsired me to see his fidelity to the work to which he has dedicated his life.
I introduced Bishop Frank Allen of the Church of God and Bishop Anne Gimenez of Rock Church. I introduced courageous Catholic delegate Bob Marshall from Manassas, Virginia, one of my heroes in public service who actually walks the talk.
Young people read quotes from the founding fathers of our Nation extolling Religious Freedom. The Knights of Columbus stood guard, displaying their dedication to all that is good and true about authentic patriotism informed by genuine faith. It was a beautiful sunny day and it gave me great hope.
We gathered in collaborative citizen Action in response to an unjust and unconstitutional Edict issued by On January 20, 2012 by Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of Health and Human Services. The mandate requires all employers, including Catholic and other religious employers, to cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception in their health care plans.
The alleged exemption provided for religious employers did not cover hospitals, universities, soup kitchens, outreaches to the poor and many other vital expressions of our Catholic faith and mission. The purported accommodation which followed was a fraud, a shell game, which accomplished nothing. When the Mandate was recorded in the Federal Register, nothing had changed.
Catholics, like many other Christians and people of faith, believe that the Gospel of Jesus Christ demands a response which goes beyond the walls of our Church buildings. We are our brother and sister's keeper. We do not reach out to people in need because they are Catholic. We reach out to people in need because we are Catholic.
This HHS Edict is a violation of the Free Exercise of Religion which is protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF!
That Right to the Free Exercise of religion has been ...
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