Photos from Williamsport, Pennsylvania’s Stand up for Religious Freedom Rally

Posted by Kristen Hayes-Yearick (June 27, 2012 at 11:12 am)

More than 100 men, women and children stood together  in front of the Federal Building on West 3rd street on June 8th to defend our fundamental right to Religious Freedom.

When Williamsport held its first rally in March, leaders Kristen Hayes and Sarah Reid knew a second rally would be inevitable if Health and Human Services did not rescind the mandate.

Pictured left are the Williamsport Stand up Rally organizers, left to right:  Sarah Reid, Mark Schall and Kristen Hayes.

Speaker Sarah Reid said, “Because nothing in this world means more to me, and I’m sure to most, if not all, of you that our great God and being able to practice our religion freely,”

“We … didn’t pick this fight.  We didn’t want this fight. But we are in this fight”, said Mark Schall.

“It’s apparent on the federal and state levels that our rights our being stripped from us, one by one.  “If we don’t stand up now, we’ll lose the rights that our Founding Fathers put in place for us and brave men and women, past and present, fight to defend”,  said Kristen Hayes.

Alex Rall singing The Star-Spangled Banner

“While the founding fathers had different opinions of scripture interpretation, most had common faith in the Bible”, said the Rev. Charlie Winkelman, pastor of Jersey Shore Presbyterian Church.

June 8th was chosen for the second protest because it marked the 223rd anniversary of the day James Madison introduced the Bill of Rights to the First Congress.

“The issue is not about contraception!  The issue before us is religious freedom”,  said Father David Bechtel, chaplain and theology teacher at St. John Neumann Regional Academy and assistant pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Parish.

Saint Joseph The Worker Parish Christian Women:

“Stand Up For Religious Freedom”

“With the people waving American flags and singing patriotic songs such as America the Beautiful, it almost seemed like a holiday celebration. The only exception to the usual festivities were the signs people held to the passing cars on West Third Street. Some of the drivers honked and gave thumbs up as they continued driving,” said Alyssa Murphy from the Williamsport SunGazette in her article about the Rally.

Jeremiah 1:5

“Before I formed you in the womb I knewyou,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. ”

We will continue to STAND together to defend our fundamental right to Freedom of Religion.  So in the future when our children ask what we did to defend those rights, we can respond– WE DID NOT COMPLY!

Closing prayer with Father Shane Kirby Pastor at Saint Joseph the Worker Parish in Williamsport.

We ended the Rally by chanting,  We will NOT comply!  We will NOT comply!

Hey Washington, do you hear us?  WE WILL NOT COMPLY!

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