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Bill of Rights’ birthday to be celebrated in opposition to Obamacare.


MATTHEW A. RAREY

Source:
Nat. Cath. Register
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
6/5/2012

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ABSTRACTRallying Cry for Religious Freedom Goes Out This Friday | Daily News | NCRegister.com Print Edition:  June 3, 2012   Donate Archives Blogs Store Resources Advertise Jobs Radio Subscribe Make This My Homepage Resources Christmas Music Arts & Entertainment Books Commentary Culture of Life Education In Person News Opinion Sunday Guides Travel Vatican Dan Burke Edward Pentin Mark Shea Matthew Warner Jimmy Akin Matt & Pat Archbold Simcha Fisher Tito Edwards Jennifer Fulwiler Steven D. Greydanus Tim Drake Tom Wehner Our Latest Show About the Show About the Register Donate Subscribe Stations Schedule Other EWTN Shows Advertising Overview Editorial Calendar Order Web Ad Order Print Ad Print Article | Email Article | Write To Us Daily News Daily News Rallying Cry for Religious Freedom Goes Out This Friday (474) Bill of Rights’ birthday to be celebrated in opposition to Obamacare. Share by MATTHEW A. RAREY 06/05/2012 Comment Organizers of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally are hoping for an even bigger turnout than they had in March. This is a scene from that round of rallies, in Washington, D.C. – Michelle Bauman/CNA On Friday, June 8, the 223rd anniversary of James Madison’s introduction of the Bill of Rights to the first Congress, tens of thousands of people are expected to publicly defend a chief guarantee of the Bill of Right’s First Amendment, the free exercise of religion — and that in its fullest sense: not forcing people to violate their religious beliefs. At noon local time, the second Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will be held in more than 130 cities nationwide at federal buildings, congressional offices and historic sites. It is being staged in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s expected ruling in late June on the Affordable Care Act, including the controversial Department of Health and Human Services mandate requiring most private employers to provide co-pay-free contraceptive and sterilization coverage in health-care plans. “The first time around in March we got so much publicity that we think we’ll be able to educate an even wider section of the populace about threats to our religious liberties, particularly the threat posed by the HHS mandate,” said Eric Scheidler, Stand Up’s co-director. He is also executive director of the Pro-Life Action League , part of a coalition of 65 religious and civil-rights organizations supporting the rally. “I’m encouraged, because I think what we’re seeing emerge is a sort of wide-reaching pushback against the marginalization of the voice of faith in the public square.” An estimated 64,000 people participated in March. Scheidler hopes the number will increase this time due to improved communications, from standardized press releases and email templates to media alerts and talking points for rally captains organizing the events in their respective cities. Given the increased preparation time for this set of rallies than the previous one, there have been fewer problems obtaining permits to stage them. There also seems to be less pushback from authorities this time around, perhaps due to the media exposure, organizers surmise. “For the prior rallies, we had more trouble with the federal government than ever, in terms of getting permits to be on federal property for the rallies,” said Peter Breen, executive director and legal counsel of the Thomas More Society, a public-interest law firm that “defends religious liberty, marriage and the sanctity of human life in courtrooms across the country.” The society serves as legal counsel for the rallies. “The permit issues have been easier this time around, but there’ve been some challenges in various cities, and we’ve helped navigate those. In Miami, for example, the federal government had required that the name of an organization be placed on the permit application. In Dallas, the issue has been with the city of Dallas (regarding) some sort of 45-day advance requirement [to hold a rally]. But there were a lot of folks in Dallas who recently decided they wanted to come out for a rally, but [organizers] didn’t know 45 days ago that there was enough interest. We hope to work this out without going to court.”   Across Religious Lines With the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ high-profile opposition to the HHS mandate and scores of Catholic colleges, organizations and individuals filing lawsuits against the federal government for its repeal, the case for religious liberty might be publicly perceived as a Catholic issue. Not so, say rally organizers. Speakers from a variety of Christian denominations and other religious faiths will address the crowds, stressing that religious freedom is an issue of universal — small “c” catholic — importance. At Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago, Rabbi Philip Lefkowitz of Agudas Achim North Sh.......