Comments from national and state legislators will be featured at a Stand up for Religious Freedom Rally on Thursday, June 21, at Metro-Kiwanis Park at the intersection of Knob Creek Road and Guaranda Drive in Johnson City to protest government violations of the Constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.
Congressman Phil Roe and State representatives Matt Hill and Dale Ford will take part in the rally along with Alliance Defense Fund Attorney Rebecca Ketchie, and Peggy English and Lisa Morris of ”Silent No More,” a support group for women who have suffered from abortion.
The rally will take place at the Arch of Friendship in Metro-Kiwanis Park from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
An ad hoc committee, headed by Julianne Wiley of St Mary’s Catholic Church and Tracy Teal of the Holston Baptist Association is making arrangements for the event. The Holston Baptist Association includes more than 100 Baptist churches in the area. Others co-sponsors include Heritage Baptist Church, Hosanna Fellowship Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Antioch Baptist Church, Greater Kingsport Pro-Life Volunteers, and 40 Days for Life.
While the filing of 43 lawsuits against one controversial “Obamacare” HHS mandate has spotlighted churches’ objections to being forced to fund abortive pills like “Ella,” the rally is not about opposing contraception. It is about the violation of the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom by the administration which is forcing religious institutions to directly take part in practices that are in conflict with their religious beliefs.
In an affiliated “Stand Up” rally earlier this year, Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Conference told a crowd of 500 people gathered on the steps on the Tennessee capitol:
”This is not a Catholic issue — it’s not a Baptist issue. It’s an issue of freedom. This is about religious freedom, not reproductive freedom. This is about conscience, not contraception.”
Land said that Baptists stand ”shoulder-to-shoulder” with Catholics and other people of faith ”for our God-given, First Amendment, religious freedom rights.”
All people who value First Amendments rights are urged to attend this Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally.