The “Stand up for Freedom” rally in downtown Tulsa Friday was much more than a Catholic event. As Rev Jim Miller, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church said in opening prayer, “this is not a Catholic issue or even a religious issue, but what appears to be an egregious disregard of the First Amendment.”
The Tulsa gathering was one of 160 rallies held at noon Friday in 49 states organized locally by the Family Life office of the Catholic Diocese of Tulsa.
“We are Catholics, Protestants and nonreligious people who believe freedom of religion is important.
Tulsa Today recorded several of the day’s presentations which are now posted on YouTube.
Constitutional attorney Leah Farish said the religious exemption for organizations that serve their own members “is such an alien understanding of Christian practice that one must conclude that either a militant ignorance or a true hostility to religion underlies the law.” Click here to view the video of Farish’s statements.
Bishop Edward J. Slattery of the Diocese of Tulsa said Tulsa Catholic institutions would not comply with the mandate.
“For the first time ever in the history of our nation, our government has issued its citizens an ultimatum that would force us to either to violate our conscience or violate the law of the land,” Slattery said.
“When it comes down to a choice between following our conscience or following the mandate, our path is clear. We will not comply. Neither will we withdraw from our religious commitment to serve all in need without regard to religion,” he said adding, “Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.”
Click here to view Bishop Slattery comments on YouTube.