Friday, March 23, 2012

Rally for Religious Liberty denounces the "Rape of the Soul."

Rally for Religious Freedom, Nashville
A crowd of about 500 to 700 gathered on the south steps of the Capitol today for a noon rally for religious liberty. I arrived late and missed earlier remarks but as I was walking across the Memorial Plaza, Carol Swain, a Professor of Law and Political Science at Vanderbilt University, was wrapping up her remarks, denouncing the trend across the nation of curtailing religious freedom on college campuses.

 Recently, Vanderbilt University placed five longtime extracurricular religious groups on "provisional status" — jeopardizing their continued role on campus — because these groups required their leaders to share the groups' core religious beliefs. In so doing, the University abandoned its long tradition of religious tolerance, forcing the groups into adopting moral viewpoints contrary to thousands of years of Judeo-Christian teaching. This new policy of religious intolerance is being justified in the name of "diversity."  Professor Swain has been a champion for religious liberty on Vanderbilt campus.

Richard Land
Richard Land President of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention gave a rousing speech denouncing the Obama administration for forcing the Catholic Church to provide contraception coverage to women who are employed by Church entities. He said that President Obama had offered to make accommodation to the Church. “Who do they think they are,“ he rhetorically asked to enthusiastic applause. "It is not up to the government to grant concessions," he explained. “The restrictions in the First Amendment are on the government; not the people,” he said. He quoted Roger Williams saying that when government forces one to violate their conscience it is, “rape of the soul.”

The rally was a testimony to the ecumenical nature of the fight for religious liberty. I remember a time when Catholics and Baptist would not have occupied the same stage. Several nuns were in the audience and several people attending the rally held signs which would indicate they were Catholic. Other speakers and a singer, were probably protestants but their religious affiliation was not mentioned. The closing prayer was by a Lutheran minister.

I missed her remarks if she spoke, but on the stage was Bobbie Patray of Tennessee Eagle Forum. I did not get her name, but a lady delivered a  beautiful and emotional a cappella rendition of "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah."

People leaving the rally for Religious Liberty
This was a great event. Like never before in recent history, the government and secular institutions are waging war on people of faith. All of us who cherish liberty must come to the defense of those whose religious liberty is under attack.

For other coverage of this event see below:

Hundreds Attend Nashville ‘Rally For Religious Freedom'

Rally for Religious Freedom today at Capitol

Crowd gathers for religious freedom rally at Capitol Hill

  video coverage of today's rally Top Stories - Protesters Call for Political Revival at State Capitol

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