There were some interesting speakers at many of the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies on March 23, but I’ve just received audio of the guy who might take the prize for Most Unique Speaker.
Many people have accused the Stand Up Rally effort of really just being about Catholicism—despite the panoply of different religions and denominations represented at the over 140 Rallies across the country.
But the Scranton Pennsylvania Rally, organized by Mary Ann Haas, featured Pagan High Priest Vincent Gaglione at their Rally, proving once and for all that this effort is about freedom for all religions. Vincent is a former Army officer in addition to his religious affiliation, and he is a very funny, affable and engaging speaker.
As Vincent says, “I’m a Pagan. You don’t have to agree with my religion, I don’t have to agree with your religion. What we have to do is respect each other’s right to practice our religions.”
Listen to Vincent’s comments at the link below:
Here at National Rally Headquarters we’ve been receiving reports from last Friday’s Rally for Religious Freedom from all across the country.
The sheer amount of reporting, both from the press and the local Rally Captains and attendees has been so huge it couldn’t possibly be cataloged in a blog post. So we’re going to bring you a selection of reports to give you a glimpse of the scope of this historic event.
Today we’ll look at San Francisco, California; Owensboro, Kentucky; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Goshen, New York.
One of the larger of the over 140 Rallies took place in San Francisco, California where over 1,000 came to Rally outside the HHS building.
You can see video of all their featured speakers here, but don’t miss the moving speech below from Fr. Joseph Fessio: [Continue reading ...]
The March 23 Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom was such a stunning success due in no small part to the tremendous outpouring of support from dozens of Catholic bishops—led by no less than Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Cardinal Dolan himself issued a letter of support that was read at the Rally for Religious Freedom held on Wall Street, in the heart of his Archdiocese.
Posted by Eric Scheidler (March 26, 2012 at 7:26 am)
Update: More Rally Captains have reported their head counts. See revised numbers below.
When my Rally co-director Monica Miller and I originally conceived the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally, I was hoping for 50 cities to sign on. Monica, more optimistically, hoped for 100.
We launched the project with 30 cities, which quickly grew to 50, then 80, then 100. In the final week before the Rally, we topped 140, with cities coming on board up to the last minute. The final tally was 143 cities from Portland, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii.
By that time the buzz surrounding the Rally was so great that I began to speculate that we just might top 10,000 participants across the country.
How little did I know what God had in store for this historic day!
With 106118122134143 145 cities tallied (most from Rally Captains on the ground, some from press reports) the count so far is 54,03957,10358,45561,23763,00563,945!
Posted by Monica Migliorino Miller (March 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm)
So What can we learn from what happened March 23? Why were these rallies—in over 140 cities and drawing more than 50,000 participants from a broad cross-section of America—such a tremendous success? And where do we go from here?
As co-director the the nationwide Stand Up for Religious Freedom and a pro-life activist with four decades of grassroots experience, I’d like to share the following observations:
The Church is beginning to wake-up!
Truly, we see that the Church is stepping up to the social and political attacks on faith that seek to send Christians (and all people of faith) back to the catacombs.
Pray for Catholic Bishops, pray for Protestant pastors, pray for all religious leaders that they will have the courage to not waver no matter what the People of God must suffer!
The grassroots faithful are taking a stand!
The only real explanation for the incredible turn-out for these rallies is that rank and file Christians and people of religious faith see that they must make a real, public response to this HHS Mandate and work to rescind it! This opposition must not die out! [Continue reading ...]
The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom was an outstanding success. So huge the media simply could not ignore the Rallies as they sometimes do with conservative events.
Rally co-chair Eric Scheidler appeared on Fox News twice in the leadup to the Rally—watch yesterday’s interview to the right—and they covered the New York City Rally live. Eric also appeared on the Laura Ingraham Show and other major commentators like Glenn Beck covered and promoted the Rallies.
I’ve been involved in grassroots activism for years, including protests that have drawn national attention, and I’ve never seen as much secular, mainstream media coverage as the Nationwide Rally garnered.
March 23, 2012 Trenton, NJ to Stand Up for Religious Freedom (NJRTL)
On March 23, New Jersey Right to Life hosted our First Religious Freedom Rally. Despite media reports to the contrary, there were at least 800 people in attendance. The weather was unusually warm for a March day in New Jersey so we were truly blessed to have such a nice weather. Bishop John Smith, Roman Catholic Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Trenton began the rally with a prayer. Other speakers included Dr. Matthew Franck from the Center on Religion and the Constitution with the Witherspoon Institute ini Princeton, N J, Fr. John Gordon from the ArchDiocese of Newark, Dan Rossi, State Deputy for the NJ Knights of Columbus, Christine Flaherty, Executive Director of LIFENET, Damon Owen, National Speaker for Theology of the Body Institute and Frequent Contributor and Host of 3 Series for EWTN, Mari Marroquin, Public Relations Coordinator for Seton Hall United for Life, Rebecca Purdy, Graduate Student at the College of NJ, Rebecca Madrigal, Student at the NJ Institute of Technologoy, Pam Swartzberg, Attorney and Chair of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark’s Women Commision, Dr. Alieta Eck, President of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Rev. Andrew Paton, Pastor of the Clinton Church of the Nazarene, Len Deo, President of the NJ Family Policy Council, Fr. Anthony from the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, Dr. Leonie Watson. Music was provided by Keaton Douglas and Steve Salerno who rallied the crowd with their stirring renditions of patriotic songs.
Posted by John Jansen (March 23, 2012 at 11:49 pm)
Today’s Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom today was an enormous success all across the country, with tens of thousands of Americans taking a public stand against the HHS Mandate.
In addition to the physical presence of the massive crowds outside Federal buildings, Congressional offices, and courthouses across the country, the Rally also, of course, had a sizable presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Beginning at 12 noon Eastern Time today, reports began to come in via Twitter from the 140+ cities that hosted Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rallies using the hashtags #StandUpRally and #StopHHS.