Tuesday, March 20, 2012

URGENT - 2nd Rally Location in CT!
Friday, March 23, 2012
Noon – 1 PM
      U.S. COURT HOUSE                     U.S. COURT HOUSE
      450 MAIN STREET                        141 CHURCH STREET
      HARTFORD                                 NEW HAVEN

Featured speaker in Hartford - Joe Scheidler - Pro-life Action League - Chicago
       (For more information, call Bob Muckle at 203-753-1312)
This coming Friday, March 23, 2012 there will be a nationwide rally for religious freedom at about 100 locations across the country, including federal buildings, district congressional offices, and historic sites.
The reason for these rallies is to counter the increasing and unprecedented unconstitutional attacks on our religious freedom at all levels of government.
Years ago prayer was banned in schools. Then there were efforts to ban Christmas displays on public greens. Those attempts to ban religion now seem tame compared to new efforts in just the last few months that are pushing religion further out of society and into the churches.
The First Amendment guarantees "freedom of religion," which allows believers to practice their religion not only in Church, but in society as well. However, the President and the Secretary of State have repeatedly used the phrase, "freedom to worship," which many would contend limits freedom of religion to only religious ceremonies in church.
Now, in the new national health care law, the government is mandating that church related institutions and religious individuals must buy or provide health insurance that covers abortifacients, sterilizations, contraceptives, and abortions in violation of their religious beliefs and rights of conscience.
In New York City, the Board of Education recently ruled that churches could no longer rent space for religious services in city schools. Over 150 churches will be forced out of the schools. The city’s Housing Authority also ruled that churches could no longer rent space in city owned community housing projects.
A recent U.S. Supreme Court case (Hosanna-Tabor Church v Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) concerned a teacher in a Lutheran school who taught several courses, including a religion class. The church considered the teacher a minister, and sought to fire her for violating religious doctrine. The government sought to define who is or is not a church employee. Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that there is a "ministerial exception" to employment discrimination laws and that churches must be free to choose and dismiss their leaders without government interference.
A final example concerns Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, the military's largest medical facility for military personnel and veterans. A memo was issued this past November by the hospital’s Chief of Staff stating, “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading material, and/or artifacts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” That would mean family and friends could not bring in Bibles, rosaries, religious medals, scapulars, prayer cards, etc. Congressman Steve King of Iowa immediately denounced the policy on the House floor, stating, "That means you can't bring a Bible and read from it when you visit your son or daughter, perhaps - or your wife or husband. It means a priest that might be coming in to visit someone on their deathbed couldn't bring the Eucharist, couldn't offer last rites. This is the most outrageous affront." The ban was rescinded after the congressmen's comments and the Family Research Council collected 20,000 signatures within 24 hours on an on-line petition.
These attacks on religion and conscience have been repeated and in many areas. Though some of these attacks have been successfully rebuffed, others have not been, and the direction of the administration in Washington, in Hartford, in the military, and in local governments concerning religious liberty is clear.
We must stand up to defend our religious freedom!
In Connecticut, rallies will be held at two locations this Friday: in New Haven at the Richard C. Lee U.S. Courthouse, 141 Church Street, across from the New Haven Green, and in Hartford at the Abraham Ribicoff U.S. Court House, 450 Main Street, a few doors down from the Hartford Public Library. Both rallies will be held from noon to 1 PM on Friday.
This is part of a national rally, sponsored by www.standupforreligiousfreedom.com.  The Hartford rally is sponsored by the Connecticut Right to Life Corporation and Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut will be master of ceremonies.
Call the Connecticut Right to Life Corporation at 203-753-1312 for more information.

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