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In addition to the 15 Catholic bishops scheduled to speak at Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom locations, countless other influential speakers from all walks of life will also be addressing rallies throughout the country this Friday, March 23.

The speakers at the more than 130 Rally sites represent a wide array of backgrounds and professions, including members of Congress, physicians, college presidents, pastors, radio hosts, law professors, heads of organizations, publishers, religious sisters, pregnancy resource directors, and rabbis.

The New York City Rally will feature several big names, including Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and pastoral associate of Priests for Life; Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Msgr. Philip Reilly, and Mother Mary Agnes Donovan, Superior General of the Sisters of Life.

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"For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter."

-- George Washington, address to the officers of the army, Mar. 15, 1783

 
 
FreeTheFirst.com

"The right of freely examining public characters and measures, and of free communication among the people thereon ... has ever been justly deemed the only effectual guardian of every other right."

 -- James Madison, Virginia Resolutions, 1798

 
 
America's Party Endorsed Independent Projects -> Free the First Amendment Committee

HHS tells religious believers to go to hell. The public notices.

Wall Street Journal


The political furor over [Alleged] President Obama's birth-control mandate continues to grow, even among those for whom contraception poses no moral qualms, and one needn't be a theologian to understand why. The country is being exposed to the raw political control that is the core of the Obama health-care plan, and Americans are seeing clearly for the first time how this will violate pluralism and liberty.

***In late January the Health and Human Services Department required almost all insurance plans to cover contraceptive and sterilization methods, including the morning-after pill. The decision came after passionate lobbying by religious groups and liberals from the likes of Planned Parenthood, amid government promises of compromise.

In the end, Planned Parenthood won. HHS chose to draw the rule's conscience exceptions for "religious employers" so narrowly that they will not be extended to religious charities, universities, schools, hospitals, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and other institutions that oppose contraception as a matter of religious belief.

The Affordable Care Act itself is ambiguous about what counts as a religious organization that deserves conscience protection. Like so much else in the rushed bill, this was left to administrative discretion. What the law does cement is the principle that the government will decide for everyone what "health care" must mean. The entire thrust of ObamaCare is to standardize benefits and how they must be paid for and provided, regardless of individual choices or ethical convictions.

To take a small example: The HHS rule prohibits out-of-pocket costs for birth control, simply because Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's regulators believe no woman should have to pay anything for it. To take a larger example: The Obama Administration's legal defense of the mandate to buy insurance or else pay a penalty is that the mere fact of being alive gives the government the right to regulate all Americans at every point in their lives. Practicing this kind of compulsion is routine and noncontroversial within Ms. Sebelius's ministry. That may explain why her staff didn't notice that the birth-control rule abridges the First Amendment's protections for religious freedom. Then again, maybe HHS thought the public had become inured to such edicts, which have arrived every few weeks since the Affordable Care Act passed.

Bad call. The decision has roused the Catholic bishops from their health-care naivete, but they've been joined by people of all faiths and even no faith, as it becomes clear that their own deepest moral beliefs may be thrown over eventually. 

Read this story at wsj.com ...

 
 
America's Party Endorsed Independent Projects -> Free the First Amendment Committee

BigGovernment.com

Ron Futrell

The media is calling the Barack Obama attack on the Catholic Church a “culture war.” Culture War. The words and graphics are everywhere. It was the ABC News headline one morning, “Candidate’s Culture War” is what the graphic said. As if this is some sort of battle between Obama and the Republican candidates. Yes, it is that, but it us much, much more.

This is also a fight much larger than “culture.” Culture is something that defines art and common belief. Culture is something that changes with the times and can actually be defined as you wish. Much of our culture today is not what it was 50, 100, or 200 years ago. What I think is culture, may not be what you think is culture. Yes, there is an “American culture, and I believe I know what it is, but I certainly don’t trust the media or this President (who would probably see me as a “bitter” American who “clings to guns and religion”) to tell me what it is.

The Constitution doesn’t work that way, certainly not the First Amendment which guarantees religious liberty and expression. I would like to think the Constitution would define our culture, but sadly that is not always the case. For the media to call this a “culture war” greatly diminishes its value, this is a battle over the First amendment of the US Constitution. Obama wants the Constitution circumvented to pander to his base, I would hope that most of us would be united with the Catholic Church in wanting it protected.

The new part of the ObamaCare law (that nobody read before they voted on it) says that churches that provide health care and insurance, must also provide contraceptives. The Catholic Church opposes contraception.

Read this story at biggovernment.com ...

 
 
__America's Principles In Public Policy -> Free the First Amendment Committee

American Thinker

Cindy Simpson

Last week, I noted that Obama turned his back not just on Arizona's Governor Jan Brewer, but also on the laws of the State of Georgia. I closed my column, "Georgia Ballot Challenge: Obama Walks on By," with the observation: "And most of the media has followed along right behind him."

At the time, I had just witnessed an historic hearing that actually discussed the eligibility of the sitting president of the United States to run for a second term. The president had been subpoenaed to appear, and instead of his attorney respectfully following protocol to have that subpoena recalled, both Obama and his attorney, Michael Jablonski, simply failed to show up at all or offer any defense whatsoever.

Isn't there a headline in there somewhere?

Read this story at americanthinker.com ...

Also: Obama’s Contempt for the Rule of Law

 
 
American Minute

Bill Federer

William Orville Douglas died JANUARY 19, 1980.

He was a Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for 36 years, after having taught law at Yale and Columbia University.

In the 1952 case of Zorach v. Clauson, Justice Douglas wrote:

"The First Amendment, however, does not say that in every and all respects there shall be a separation of Church and State...Otherwise the state and religion would be aliens to each other - hostile, suspicious, and even unfriendly...

Municipalities would not be permitted to render police or fire protection to religious groups. Policemen who helped parishioners into their places of worship would violate the Constitution. Prayers in our legislative halls; the appeals to the Almighty in the messages of the Chief Executive; the proclamations making Thanksgiving Day a holiday; "so help me God" in our courtroom oaths - these and all other references to the Almighty that run through our laws, our public rituals, our ceremonies would be flouting the First Amendment.

A fastidious atheist or agnostic could even object to the supplication with which the Court opens each session: 'God save the United States and this Honorable Court...'"

Justice Douglas continued:

"We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being...

When the state encourages religious instruction...it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs.

To hold that it may not would be to find in the Constitution a requirement that the government show a callous indifference to religious groups. That would be preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe."

Justice William Douglas concluded:

"We find no constitutional requirement which makes it necessary for government to be hostile to religion...We cannot read into the Bill of Rights such a philosophy of hostility to religion."

 
 
_Free the First Amendment Committee

webtoday.tv

Lawmakers in Washington are well known for using the calendar to sneak past the American voters political decisions certain to be unpopular. Take the holiday season, for example, when we’re all preoccupied with events completely unrelated to politics.

According to attorney Gary Kreep, President of the United States Justice Foundation (USJF), this season is no different, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV) is preparing to fast track through the Senate a bill that has Constitutionalists like Kreep very concerned.

Now, after learning from his Washington insiders that Reid has planned a snap final vote on the Senate version of this bill immediately upon returning from holiday break, Kreep has shifted his Paul Revere warning run into overdrive. He explains:

“This bill (S. 968) is disguised as a measure to stop online piracy. However, there are already plenty of laws on the books to protect copyrighted material on the Internet. This is an Internet takeover bill, pure and simple.

This measure will give Eric Holder and Barack Hussein Obama the power to ‘police’ the Internet, “sanitize” web searches and shut down anti-Obama websites.

Just one ‘complaint’ from a liberal activist, or a government agent, that you are indirectly violating an obscure copyright rule, and your website could be fined huge sums, and it could be blacklisted.

Meanwhile, the left-wing mainstream media companies are campaigning all out for this bill, too. They want the government to shut down all the blogs, political forums, and independent news sites, so that they, once again, have a monopoly on the news you and I are allowed to see.”

So, how can this bill, so ominous in its potential, be on the verge of becoming law? What’s next and how should we respond?

Read this story at 888webtoday.com ...