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Crowd protests Obama contraceptive coverage mandate

Post by Steve Maynard / The News Tribune on March 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm with 31 Comments »
March 23, 2012 4:48 pm

More than 300 people rallied in downtown Tacoma today, protesting a federal government mandate that employee health plans inlclude free contraceptive coverage.

Catholic, evangelical Christian and Greek Orthodox speakers urged the crowd at Tollefson Plaza to unite and take action.

“I, like you, have been called to be a soldier in the battle for religious freedom,” Tacoma resident Kristine Mauss told the crowd at Tollefson Plaza. “We can’t just sit back.”

Many in the crowd carried signs that staked their ground: “Stop Obama’s HHS Mandate,” “Protect the First Amendment,” and “One Nation Under God.”

The rally was one of 140 held nationwide today by a coalition called Stand Up for Religious Freedom. Others in Washington took place in Seattle, Spokane and Walla Walla.

At the national level, the rallies were organized by Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.

“This mandate is a challenge to the fabric, the core of our lives,” said Angela Connelly, a Tacoma mother of nine children and wife of lawyer Jack Connelly.

She said the issue centers around “the right to religion and to follow our conscience.”

The conflict centers around the Obama administration’s mandate that employee health plans include free contraceptive coverage. Religious hospitals and universities were initially included in the requirement. After conservatives objected, Obama said in February that religiously affiliated institutions could opt out, but insurers must pay for the coverage.

That didn’t solve the problem, according to Stand Up for Religious Freedom’s website, because the mandate still forces employers to provide health plans with free contraception and sterilizations.

Leave a comment Comments → 31
  1. cadana1961 says:

    After reading this, since the church and all of its so-called leaders want to influence politics, I think it’s time to tax churches and church charities … That should take care of the huge deficit …

  2. cadana1961 says:

    After reading this, since the church and all of its so-called leaders want to influence politics and the political arena, I think it’s time to tax churches and church charities … That should take care of the huge deficit …

  3. tacomajoe says:

    Nine children? Obviously no one is forcing contraception on this woman – what’s her beef?

  4. Completely agree. I am sick to death of the churches not paying taxes and being so involved in politics. My friend says in the south they actually tell them how to vote — especially the Southern Baptist. So I say it stops right now — tax them all

  5. tacomajoe says:

    These rallies brought to you by Put a White Man Back in the White House.

  6. “free” My rearend.

    Oh, and when you have nothing else play the race card right tacomajoe?

  7. Do not click on lesliemj’s link. It is a web trap.

  8. LornaDoone says:

    Now we know that those churches didn’t solicite people to show up from the pulpit and violate their non-profit status, did they?

    DHT – if that’s the race card than this is the religion card.

  9. It appears the christian community has struck a chord with the anti christian crowd. After all, why should these people of faith be allowed to voice their opinion and take advantage of their rights under the constitution and law?

  10. headshaker says:

    I like the lady with the sign, “when you &^%$, it should count”

  11. Wrapper98439 says:

    Maybe the taxfree churches don’t have a right to sway politics. But, all of the tax paying members do. I don’t understand why anyone thinks that contraceptives should be covered unless it is for medical reasons other than birth control. I can even see it for people with a high risk for themselves or a potential child. But the average couple should not be covered. It’s like requiring them to cover a routine facelift. Religion should not need to be a factor. Common sense should say that contraceptives are elective, not required for health.

  12. 300 people? That’s all that showed up? That’s almost a non-event. WalMart can get more people to show up for a $1.88 Cherry Twizzler special.

  13. mmboys07 says:

    It is amazing to me how little knowledge many have about our constitution regarding the First Amendment and laws regarding the place of religious institutions in our history. Religious institutions that hold a moral objection to providing contraceptive coverage have 0 obligation to do so; nor do they have any obligation to obey an unjust mandate that would require them to do so.

  14. dinseattle says:

    What happened to the clause in the constitution about separation of church and state?

  15. Lets be fair now.

    So a bunch of people do not want a mandatory contribution for something they disagree with imposed on them because the government said they have to?

    Okay, we bring back the draft, and regardless of your stance on that, every able bodied liberal will devote three years of their life to whatever national service the government MANDATES.

    Well there ya go, that about ends this silly barney.

  16. dstarfire says:

    Am I the only one that’s figured out the necessary corollary to freedom of religion: that freedom to practice my religion includes freedom to NOT practice anybody else’s religion?

    I saw this protest I was driving by, actually thought that’s what they were about (not being aware, at the time, of any other current event that threatened freedom of religion.)

  17. We actually have something in common with Afghanistan, this is what it looked like just as the religious zealots (taliban) took over.

  18. No “dstarfire”…and that is so typical of what so many think, and the left loves to use it because it paints such a believable picture for so many who don’t think for themselves (who liberals love by the way!)….

    I believe this group is protesting the demand to practice YOUR “religion”.

  19. No “dstarfire”…and that is so typical of what so many think, and the left loves to use it because it paints such a believable picture for so many who don’t think for themselves (who liberals love by the way!)….

    I believe this group is protesting the government mandate to practice YOUR “religion”.

  20. The catholic way: just use altar boys.

  21. Oh puhleeeeeeze “Frida”….Jeeeeze you people come up with the most ludicrous statements!

    These people are equal to the Taliban because they choose not to participate in a government mandated financial support of abortion?

    I bet your glad your mommy didn’t have one!…..or are you?

  22. Awesome! Wish I could have been there.

  23. dstarfire says:

    @Dcr628 How do you understand this as somebody else forcing their religion on you?

    The way I understand it, religious institutions are exempted, and nothing requires employees (or employers) to actually use the contraceptives, just that they’re freely available to any employee that does choose to use them.

  24. corndog87 says:

    Who said anything about forcing our religious beliefs on you? No one is trying to take your birth control, we are just saying do not make those who are morally opposed to it pay for it. To do so would be a violation of the 1st Amendment. There are plenty of places where you can get free/low cost birth control. This is NOT about birth control. This is NOT about being pro-life. This is NOT about being Catholic. This is about the government trying to force their beliefs on us by attempting to violate our Constitutional rights. Something that everyone should be outraged by!

  25. corndog87 says:

    @TheSlag: Right, and all school teachers are pedophiles, all cops are rapists, and all doctors molest their patients while they are under??

  26. It figures the religous people would take this the wrong way. Just because Obama is wanting the insurance companies to required to cover birth control for free, doesn’t mean he’s forcing women to take birth control. What he trying to do is reduce the amount of unwanted babies in this country. And if they’re worried about the population reducing I think the parents of 19 kids and counting are taking care of the population.

  27. Objective says:

    Frida stated-We actually have something in common with Afghanistan, this is what it looked like just as the religious zealots (taliban) took over.
    ________________________________________________________

    So are you saying we live in a communist country right now? That is who was running the country prior to the taliban.

  28. smcelhiney says:

    Where is a picture showing “over 300 people”? Hey, let’s pull a few lines from anti Occupy… “Get a Job!” “Bet these leaches are on government handouts while whining about WORKERS getting insurance coverage”

    What other medical procedures/medicine are they protesting? How many of these people are Employers being forced to provide medical coverage they disagree with? I’m guessing roughly…. zero.

    “9 kids? Guess the asprin between the knees didn’t work”.

  29. smcelhiney says:

    Oh… I’ve got one… no fair being forced to pay for circumcisions for jewish baby boys when the mom works for the church! Freeeeeedom!

  30. Tax religion.

  31. There is no constitutional right for a business, charity or not, that competes in the public arena, serves all people and does not provide a religious service no matter who they are owned by to be exempt from public laws. Congress and legislators can exempt charitable organiozagtions from some aspects if it is in the public good, like taxes, but it is hardly an “establishment of religion” to require businesses to follow secular laws.

    The Supreme Court recently made it very clear that secular law applies in all instances to a business owned by a religious organization, except for the part of the organization that actually provides religious instruction, determines or manages religious doctrine or provides religious rites.

    Alito, a conservative justice, remarked in the ruling that no exceptions should be granted unless the person met that test.

    Hospitals, hotels and other businesses owned by the Catholic church or other churches are not religious institutions. They are charitable organizations that must follow all secular laws.

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