Beliefs Politics

Conservatives rally across U.S. for ‘religious freedom’

To many evangelicals, such as U.S. Rep Michele Bachmann, shown here at a 2012 rally legal battle over the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act was a test of religious liberty. RNS photo by Chris Lisee

WASHINGTON (RNS) Hundreds gathered on Capitol Hill and at rallies across the nation on Friday (June 8) in a double-barreled attack on President Obama's health care law and a mandate to require employers to provide insurance coverage of birth control.

Speakers such as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and anti-abortion activist Lila Rose rallied conservatives in one of 160 coordinated noontime rallies across the country.

Bachmann, a former GOP presidential candidate, emphasized that the fight over the insurance mandate is not about birth control or women's rights, but the freedom to practice religion without government involvement.

“This is about, at its heart and soul, religious liberty first and religious liberty always,” she said. “We will fight this and we will win.”

The rally comes on the heels of 12 lawsuits filed by 43 Catholic groups against the Department of Health and Human Services in May over the insurance mandate. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on Obama's landmark 2010 health care law.

Rose, who's been criticized for her undercover tactics against abortion providers, said opposing the HHS mandate is not part of the “war on women,” but instead, “The real war on women is what’s happening every day in abortion clinics across the country.”

“The women of my generation know better. We know that these kinds of activities do not liberate us, but can enslave us,” she said. “It is a war against us.”

The twin fights over religious liberty and abortion dominated the Religious Freedom Rally. Activists cheered as pastors and priests fiercely defended the importance of religious autonomy, the sanctity of life, and their support of fighting the health care legislation.

Diane Sachs of Chantilly, Va., (pictured here) said her Catholic faith requires her to take a stand against the birth control mandate. “We have the admonition, ‘Don’t be cafeteria Catholics.’ Well we’re not cafeteria constitutionalists. It’s all a very important package,” she said.

Diane Sachs of Chantilly, Va., (pictured here) said her Catholic faith requires her to take a stand against the birth control mandate. “We have the admonition, ‘Don’t be cafeteria Catholics.’ Well we’re not cafeteria constitutionalists. It’s all a very important package,” she said.

Diane Sachs of Chantilly, Va., said her Catholic faith requires her to take a stand against the birth control mandate. “We have the admonition, ‘Don’t be cafeteria Catholics.’ Well we’re not cafeteria constitutionalists. It’s all a very important package,” she said.

“Religious freedom, like the Holy Father says, is a gift of God. It’s not negotiable. It is a requirement of being of God’s creation, especially in this country because we all have freedom of religion, at least for now. We need to speak up for everyone.”

 

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Chris Lisee

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  • Dave,Great post. You absolutely cepaurtd the essence of Lean in terms of how it impacts our attitudes (even more so than our work sometimes). Womack is a realist. He’s seen far more companies fail than succeed with Lean. And the primary reason they fail is they don’t recognize the value of respect for people. Group Health is starting to really get it on that front. We will succeed with Lean only if we keep our patients and our employees front and center during (and well after) our Lean transformation. I’ve been fortunate enough in my past to be a part of several tipping points during Lean transformations at other companies. It is a feeling of accomplishment and rocognition for all the hard work that I can’t describe in words. Group Health isn’t there yet, but we are starting to see glimpses that it just might be possible And how cool is that!?!?And always remember Dave: Some folks think the glass half full, while others think it half empty. But a Lean person knows you simply have twice as much glass as you need

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