Proposed comments to be used at religious freedom rally Pensacola 23 Mar

Proposed comments for demonstration 23 Mar Pensacola Fl

Jim Gschwind….PHD

“The Despondent Correspondent”


We are gathered here today not as just Catholics as many of our brothers and sisters from other churches in this area have gathered with us to show one common voice and solidarity as Americans regarding our heritage and our future in this great country.

One by one the America we knew growing up has had various freedoms and liberties chipped away from the original building blocks of our heritage, that is……our constitution.   A constitution that was forged with the blood of patriots who came from many nations to this melting pot.  

What bound those early immigrants starting with the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock together was not only their Christianity and faith in God, but, they were ALL bound by the common desire to worship as they saw fit without government interference.   We can all trace our roots to early settlers who moved from the old world to this new land to escape religious persecution and tyranny of all types throughout the centuries of our existence.   This may have started with the Pilgrims who were escaping English persecution of their religion, to the Irish Catholics fleeing discrimination in Northern Ireland in the last century to the immigration of Russian Jews fleeing Soviet persecution before the fall of the iron wall.   Even today we see middle eastern Christians fleeing, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Coptic Egyptians as they flee persecution to the only country that in the past two hundred and thirty five years that has allowed anyone to practice their religion freely with the passage of the bill of rights to the constitution that prohibited the US Government from violating religious freedom and prevented the government from backing any particular religion.

Why are we here today?   We are here because this principle which we have held so dearly in the past has been twisted and violated to the point where the government no longer believes it has this duty to protect individual religious freedom.  This is despite the fact that all government leaders have sworn an oath on the bible that they would defend these freedoms from all threats both foreign and domestic.

Well the threat today IS domestic and threatens every church, synagogue and yes…also every mosque and Jehovah Witness hall in the nation.  Our elected politicians have chosen to try to destroy the very foundation of constitutional law in our country which they themselves swore an oath to protect.

Do not believe the “destroyers” of liberty when they tell you that this is about “women’s health” as we have survived for many thousands of years without being told that something as natural as pregnancy and survival of the species is suddenly a “health” hazard.   But, this is not about conception or contraception nor abortion nor anti-abortion, it is about something more basic and non-complex.  This involves the government believing they can dictate to church members of any religion that they must violate their church moral teachings in favor of government interpretation and mandates against those moral teachings.

This is NOT a fight for or against abortion nor is it a fight for or against contraceptives…this my friends is a fight for the very basic religious freedoms that have been guaranteed within our own constitution preventing government from interfering with the right of individuals to follow a religion of their choice.

My question for you today is…..if we let this affront to our rights stand today, what then should we expect next?   Will the police then start labeling individuals as they did in Fascist Germany with Stars of David or crosses on their clothing?  Will license numbers of cars parked outside churches begin to be recorded?   Will you be automatically audited by the police arm of the state (i.e. IRS) if you are Methodist, Baptist, Jehovahs Witness, Catholic, Moslem or Mormon?   Will churches who oppose this mandate and actually support the constitution of the United State and our traditional “rule of law” lose their non-profit status?  You may consider this absurd but this administration has used the IRS and other agencies as its own personal army against what it perceives as those who oppose it.

My response to all of you is this……I don’t want to wait to see “what is next”?   We must not allow this unjust “nightmare” to continue and we must make our stand today, for tomorrow will be too late.