Ultra-Liberal Athens, Georgia Produces 300 Protesters

Posted by Heather Gardner (June 9, 2012 at 11:35 pm)

A crowd of 300 gathers to STAND UP in Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia is well known by its residents as a hub of liberal politics where anything with so much as a right-wing stripe is summarily dismissed. Yet, this hotbed of liberal ideology–the home of Georgia’s flagship university–still managed to produce 300 protesters for Friday’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally.

This level of attendance represents a 50 percent increase over the attendance at the March 23 Stand Up Rally in Athens. In a community where the prevailing viewpoint is left-leaning, to say the least, opposition to this administration’s obstruction of religious liberty is growing.

Many participants met at St. Joseph Catholic Church and marched about a half mile to the rally site at the R. G. Stephens Jr. Federal Building in downtown Athens.

The crowd gathered under partly cloudy skies to hear problems with the HHS Contraceptive Mandate discussed from all angles. Alison Duerr, a seventeen year-old student, told rally-goers how upset she is that by classifying contraception as “preventive care,” the government is essentially telling her that she needs contraception to be healthy.

Rally attendees also heard from Deacon John Duffield of Holy Family Catholic Church, Father Anthony Salzman of St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church and Dr. Adam Harwood of Truett-McConnell College which is a Baptist school. Dr. Harwood said he was happy to stand with his friends at the Roman Catholic Church, and that he plans to give up his own family’s health insurance if this mandate is not rescinded.

Proud to have Dr. Harwood participating in this event, Truett-McConnell College has published their own coverage of the rally here.

Regina Quick and Carter Kessler, both candidates for Georgia’s State House of Representatives, each discussed the Constitutional issues in play. State Senator Frank Ginn was in attendance as well as a member of Congressman Paul Broun’s staff who read a statement from the legislator.  And, the entire event was emceed by Congressional hopeful Martha Zoller.

Many rally-goers brought handmade signs

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens delivered the keynote speech which can be seen in its entirety on the Athens Patch website. Olens said that we all want Americans to have better health care, but it needs to be consensual and Constitutional.

The Athens Banner Herald also provided very fair coverage of the rally that includes several photos.

Photo Credits: Norm Miller, Truett-McConnell College

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