Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally, Concord NH, Federal Courthouse at the corner of Pleasant & South Streets, tomorrow, Friday 6/8, at noon. Please tell your friends & neighbors and – this is important – your pastors & your elected representatives. The event will last one hour. Signs will be available there. Bring your kids, & dress for the weather. Logistical details are at the end of this post.
While this is not a Cornerstone-sponsored event, the organizers were kind enough to invite us to participate. Ellen Kolb will speak on Cornerstone’s behalf.
The HHS mandate is still coming as part of Obamacare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), regardless of what you’ve heard about “accommodation” for religious institutions. As with a similar rally day on March 23, people in over 130 U.S. cities will stand up on Friday and say no to the mandate.
Brief summary of life under the yet-to-be-fully-implemented mandate: Health insurance will be mandatory for all. Pregnancy will apparently be classified as a disease, since contraceptives and abortifacient drugs will be counted as “preventive care.” Preventive care will be free to the consumer, meaning all participants in the system will subsidize it via premiums. Institutions seeking exemptions on religious grounds can go whistle Dixie, since the federal government will be the sole arbiter of what is and is not a sufficiently “religious” organization. And therein lies the problem with the mandate.
The recent lawsuits filed in twelve federal courts by over 40 Catholic institutions against implementation of the mandate probably surprised a few D.C. bureaucrats. They may be surprised again when more lawsuits are filed, as other religious entities and people of faith realize that this mandate attacks all religions. Even our neighbors who profess no religious faith whatsoever have reason to be concerned when the First Amendment is threatened.
And so, led by New Hampshire residents who recognize the threat, we’ll rally tomorrow, peaceful and resolute.
For more information or to find out about rallies in other cities, check out the Facebook page here or the web page here . Concord details: parking is not allowed in the courthouse lot or at Sacred Heart Church across the street, but on-street parking is available nearby. Bring a few quarters. The rally will be held on a sidewalk, without shelter or restrooms, so plan accordingly. If it’s a warm day, you’ll want to bring a bottle of water. Directions to the courthouse are at http://1.usa.gov/M55C2e . And if you’re ready for lunch afterward, Concord’s Main Street has a number of options; if fast food is more your thing, head south on Main Street towards exit 13 for I-93.