STAND UP FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Seattle: An Awesome Protest March and Rally!

Posted by Patricia Ullman (October 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm)

March in Seattle

All photos by Robert Ludwig, God's World Photography

In Seattle, rain is ever-present. Our summer, for instance, may start the day AFTER 4th of July. This year, summer arrived in early August.

So Seattle rally organizers were not surprised by weather reports early last week threatening 60% chance of rain for Saturday. But come time for Saturday’s rally, temperatures were cold, but the skies revealed big patches of blue with no precipitation in sight and, this, just in time for over 200 people to step-off on the .8-mile, pre-rally protest march from St. James Cathedral to the steps of the US District Courthouse.

Those of us waiting on the steps of the US District Courthouse for marchers to arrive were awed as our marchers came into view rounding the last corner……escorted by 14 Seattle motorcycle police officers donning “white” helmets, lights on the motorcycles flashing “blue and red”. It was perfect symbolism for the rally mere moments away.

450 people participated in the march and rally. The energy of our speakers and our attendees made the air sizzle with excitement and determination to abolish the HHS Mandate. Seattle’s team of rally organizers thank everyone who attended the march and rally, our incredible speakers, the Seattle police officers assigned to escort the march and watch over the rally and to officials with the US District Courthouse who approved our petition to use the grounds for the rally.

We also thank our national leadership – Eric Scheidler, Monica Miller, Matt Yonke, Tom Ciesielka and their colleagues who brought together tens of thousands of people for three amazing opportunities to both witness our faith in the public arena and to join voices in our fight against injustice. The Seattle Rally team also thanks our own “Fearless Leader”, our rally captain, Patricia Ullman. Each of you are inspirations and true patriots. God Bless You!!!

March in SeattleBEWARE: Mainstream Media is too often a purveyor of misconstrued information: Seattle’s ABC TV affilliate, KOMO-TV, arrived pre-rally and interviewed an attendee of the rally as well as Fr. Jim Northrop, a Seattle Archdiocesan priest, one of about a half-dozen archdiocesan priests who have firmly stood with rally organizers and attendees in opposition to the HHS Mandate over the last 9 months of preparation and production.

To the best of my knowledge – gained from the vantage point of my seat on the dais - KOMO did not stay for any of the speeches. Although having received our national’s organizers’ “early release” and two informative news releases and a media alert from the Seattle organizing team, KOMO’s Evening News on Saturday evening totally botched the 90-second story by reporting the protest as “…a boisterous rally [implying "...by Catholics..."] against birth control…”

FYI: We took them to task on this issue. Many of our attendees and facebook friends emailed the news department expressing their disapproval of the story and requesting an on-air correction. As I write this post, it is 9:55am on Tuesday, 10/23…still no outreach from KOMO.

Here is the post-event news release distributed by Seattle organizers on Monday:

Contact: Cyndie, WebberUlrich Media, LLC  / 425-830-9296

NEW RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE USE

Religious Freedom Issue Draws 450 to Protest March & Rally

Most Media Continue to Misunderstand Reason for National Rallies Over 9 Months

October 22, 2012 – Seattle: Today, organizers of Saturday’s (Oct. 20) Stand Up for Religious Freedom March and Rally in Seattle announced the success of the event. Escorted by 14 motorcycle officers from the Seattle Police Department, the march launched at approximately 11:15am with over 200 marchers carrying signs and chanting against the HHS Mandate as they traveled en masse just under a mile from the steps of St. James Cathedral to the steps of the US District Courthouse at 7th and Stewart Streets.

The rally began at high noon with 450 people representing a wide range of demographics attending.

Motivating speeches on the topic of the First Amendment, especially the freedom of religion and conscience rights clauses, were given by speakers from public policy oversight organizations, the political arena and from the regional religious community. Speakers included:

  • Dr. Joe Fuiten, pastor of Bothell’s Cedar Park Church
  • Scott Roberts,  Citizens’ Action Network Director, Freedom Foundation
  • Rebekah Barnes, NW Regional Coordinator, Students for Life for America
  • John Geis, Director of Government Affairs, Family Policy Institute of Washington
  • Fr. Jim Northrop, Pastor, St. Brendan Parish, Bothell
  • Dino Rossi, Washington State Senator
  • Dr. Tom Curran, Exec. Dir. MyCatholicFaith.org; host, Sound Insights, KBLE AM1050.

According to Seattle Stand Up rally organizers, they and national organizers have been quite clear in relaying the purpose of the rally in news releases and other messaging. They maintain the growing disapproval of the HHS Mandate is only minimally about birth control.

“The media continue to misconstrue the reason tens of thousands of people, among them religious, secular and atheists, continue to publicly protest the HHS mandate,” says Pat Ullman, captain of the Seattle rally organizing team. “Our protests are about the Obama administration’s erosion of First Amendment rights through enactment of the HHS Mandate and dangerous elements within it. The President is attacking the integral elements of First Amendment freedoms, specifically religious liberty and conscience rights. His attack on the Constitution is unprecedented in the history of our country. If not repealed, the HHS Mandate as a precedent setting doctrine will drastically change life in America.”

Ullman says the media, and through the media the public, appear fixated on birth control as the prime issue of disapproval of the HHS Mandate.

Ullman continues, “The issue is this: the HHS Mandate, through extraordinary penalty of law and without allowance for exemption, forces businesses, organizations and individuals to kowtow to the whims and ultimatums of the federal government.”

She says, “This mandate is unprecedented and unconstitutional and such a draconian measure has no place in America.”

“The Obama administration demands citizens abandon our God-given liberties and become lemmings; that we leave our rights and our consciences behind when we step into the public arena,” says Ullman.

“We will be compelled to abide by government definitions of our religious beliefs, and then how we use them to guide our actions,” Ullman continues.  “It unconstitutionally restricts moral, conscientious decision making, especially in health care, upon which patients must be able to rely.”

Ullman concludes, “The HHS Mandate is unconscionable and totally un-American. We are determined to have the Mandate abolished. The fight was thrust upon us. We are not going away.”   # # #

Nope. We’re not going away.  .  .

Related Links

Seattle march and rally organizers were blessed by the surprise appearance of Robert Ludwig, a Christian and professional photographer whose website is: godsworldphotography.org.

Ludwig captured outstanding stills of the march and rally. The photo stream can be found right here.

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