The reports from yesterday’s religious freedom rallies are remarkable in many ways. In Orlando, I stood next to a Jewish rabbi as we joined hundreds in listening to a black minister deliver the opening invocation. A choir of young black schoolchildren led us in singing God Bless America. Hispanic women came, bringing a crucifix that tears at the heart. Strong women leaders, including US Congresswoman Sandy Adams of Orlando, sounded a clear message that was echoed by state office holders, clergy of many faiths and
other concerned citizens who spoke. Their clarion call: Everyone’s First Amendment liberty — indeed, freedom of conscience itself — is under attack, and it is coming from action of the federal government that has no legal or historic precedent. The HHS mandate would coerce many people of conscience who employ others– even religious entities — to violate those consciences by providing insurance that must, in turn, include coverage for abortifacients, contraceptives and sterilization for their employees . The Orlando rally was one of 150 held yesterday in cities throughout the USA.
And thanks to Chris Slattery on Facebook, just look at these clips from the rally on Wall Street! The MC, Father Agostino Torres of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, introduced Dr. Martin Luther King’s courageous niece, Alveda King. Watch what the most exciting ordained
Presbyterian minister in America and a leading Orthodox Jewish Rabbi had to say! I guarantee you, this is not what you expect! Some might even say that Pastor Bill Devlin went off message. He didn’t just talk about religious liberty but spoke about his personal religious belief: surprising in fact in some ways, coming from a Presbyterian minister: “Contraception is the mother of abortion” See him here:
And the power of his message was matched by that of Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the founder of Congregation Mevakshei Hashem (Those Who Seek the Lord) Synagogue in Brooklyn (right near the Brooklyn Dodgers’ old Ebbetts Field in the Flatbush section!) . Besides being a charismatic speaker, Rabbi Levin also is the director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. Hear his disturbing yet inspiring message here, introduced by Fr. Agostino:
The message everywhere: pray and act. Silence is not an option.