Religious freedom rally draws hundreds to Toledo

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Written by ANGELA KESSLER, Chronicle Editor   
Saturday, 09 June 2012 04:00
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TOLEDO—Speakers urged people to continue to fight against the Obama administration’s Health and Human Services mandate and assured the hundreds of people that it is not only a Catholic issue.

Hundreds of people gathered in front of the Lucas County Courthouse June 8 for the second religious freedom rally this year organized by Annunciation Radio. The Toledo rally was one of 164 across the nation to support religious liberty and voice opposition to the mandate that requires employers to provide coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

Hundreds of people gathered outside of the Lucas Country Courthouse in Toledo June 8 during a religious freedom rally. Several Christian speakers talked about the need to continue to oppose the Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to provide contraceptive and sterilization coverage, along with abortion-inducing drugs. (Chronicle photo by Angela Kessler)

Hundreds of people gathered outside of the Lucas Country Courthouse in Toledo June 8 during a religious freedom rally. Several Christian speakers talked about the need to continue to oppose the Health and Human Services mandate that requires employers to provide contraceptive and sterilization coverage, along with abortion-inducing drugs. (Chronicle photo by Angela Kessler)

“Today we stand up for the first amendment and demand that our health care laws respect religious freedom,” said Jamey Schmitz, president and CEO of WLMB Channel 40 in Toledo. “This is not a Catholic issue, nor a Protestant issue, nor a Jewish issue, nor an Islamic issue; it is not even and issue for those who would define themselves as having no faith at all. This is, however, an American issue and as Americans we need to deal with it now.”

He continued that if Congress does not strike the health care law, there are only two other ways to defeat it: President Barack Obama will change his mind or he will lose the presidential election in November.

Other speakers at the rally included Father Mark Hodges, pastor of St. Stephen Orthodox Church in Lima; Andrew Edwards III, pastor of Northwest Baptist Church in Toledo; Renee Marazon, a member of Perrysburg Blessed John XXIII; Todd Hostetler, general manager of YES FM; Lee Strang, professor of law at the University of Toledo; and Kris Learned of Annunciation Radio.

After listing several other instances of attacks on religious liberty, Mr. Strang offered his thoughts on the motive behind the attacks.

“This intense challenge to religious liberty … is motivated by, I want to suggest, by claims that religious believers and churches in America are a threat, are competition to government dominance of American life.”

Regardless of the motivation, all speakers called on those present to continue to oppose the HHS mandate and stand up for religious liberty by contacting government leaders to continue the conversation about the issues.

“You cannot do this on your own,” Ms. Marazon said. “Take this issue to the Lord in prayer and listen first to what He has to say to you about this. He will strengthen you and give you the words you need.”

Toledo Central Catholic High School

Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2012 17:24