The nationwide rally that took place on March 23, Stand Up For Religious Freedom, is being called a first step in waking the sleeping giant that is the Church in America. Dr. Monica Miller, the co-organizer of the event that was carried out in 140 cities, would have it no other way. “Our goal is to awaken the Church to what is happening to our religious freedom,” she said. “We want people of all faiths to understand the seriousness of this attack on our religious freedom and to become educated about it.”
Dr. Miller, better known for her work as a pro-life activist and doctor of moral theology, has seen this problem coming for a long time. Saying that legalized abortion has led us to the situation we are faced with today – the Health and Human Services Mandate requiring employers to pay for abortion drugs against their conscience – Miller makes the connection in her paper, “Seven Reasons Why Abortion is the Preeminent Political Issue.” She asserts: “The right to life is the most fundamental right that secures all others…the injustice (of abortion) threatens the broader application of justice itself in American society.”
The HHS Mandate is an unjust law that has come out of abortion “rights,” as reported by Deacon Keith Fournier, a rally emcee in Virginia. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. asked, “how does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man-made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.”
Miller describes how the breakdown affects everyone: “Through the law of abortion, the general citizenry is co-opted in support of abortion – as in forcing tax-payers to fund it.” This has been going on through federal grant money that is given to the largest abortion provider in the country, Planned Parenthood, through taxpayer wealth, and now, with the HHS Mandate, this co-opting threatens to be imposed even more directly on each one of us.
Says Dr. Miller, “Through the law of abortion the medical profession is put to the service of death as its members are called upon to facilitate the so-called right to abortion.” All businesses, even Catholic hospitals and doctors, are being made against their consciences to provide abortion drugs to their employees or face severe penalties that can put them out of business.
Fortunately, there are already thousands of people taking a stand for conscience rights against this direct assault. According to Deacon Fournier, “a new massive resistance movement has been birthed. Mark the day!”
And from the Detroit rally where Monica Miller emceed, people were thinking of Virginia, where the date, indeed, has been marked once before. In 1775, 237 years ago to the day, Patrick Henry spoke before the second Virginia Convention, uttering the immortal words “give me liberty or give me death!”
These very words, on the tongues of one thousand protesters led by Fr. Joseph Marquis of Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church, were chanted with enthusiasm and echoed loudly onto Michigan Avenue.
Patrick Henry would be proud. We know because we have his words to inspire us – words that come to our aid today:
It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.