Rally for religious freedom by Larry Plachno

Freeport, IL – (ProLifeCorner.com) – 3-24-2012 –Larry Plachno has contributed many articles to the Pro Life Corner.  Larry and his family honored us with their presence at the Freeport Stand Up For Religious Freedom Rally held yesterday in Freeport.  The article below gives Larry’s views of both the rally and the HHS mandate.  The beautiful pictures included in this article were taken by Larry.  Many thanks for all your hard work, Larry.

Rally for Religious Freedom
Friday, March 23, 2012 in Freeport
by Larry Plachno –
On Friday, March 23 at Noon at approximately 139 locations around
the United States, people joined rallies to protest and defeat the recent mandate
by Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requiring
employers to cover the cost of abortion-causing devices and drugs.
Moreover, they must also promote early-term abortions, sterilizations and
Because of misleading information in the news, many people including
Catholics do not understand why huge numbers of people, including
many non-Catholics are protesting and demanding that this mandate be
set aside. The two major reasons for this concern are Freedom of Religion as
well as the economy and jobs.
The new HHS mandate does not deny anyone access to contraception
or abortion. If the mandate is set aside, the same access to contraception
and abortion will continue as it is today. The only difference the new mandate
makes is that employers would be expected to pay for them. Hence,
the only thing being denied under the new mandate is the employer’s
Freedom of Religion.
What is behind the new mandate is a major change in our society and
total government control. The mandate takes the position that government
should replace religion in determining good and evil. People will no longer
be permitted to have morals and religion will no longer be permitted to
determine good and evil. Instead of “Our Father, who art in heaven . . .” our
new prayer will be “Our Father, who art in Washington . . . .” If the mandate
stands, religion and the people can no longer determine good and evil, that
now becomes the government’s job.
The second concern is our economy and jobs since our elected officials
seem to have no idea how to attract and keep business and jobs. The HHS
mandate will have a substantial negative impact on jobs and the economy.
Almost totally ignored by our elected officials is the fact that improvements
in transportation and communication have put us into a world economy
for many years. You can go to your computer today, go to the Apple
Web site, and order an iPod from China and even have your name
engraved on it. It will show up in your mailbox in three or four days. Not
that many years ago, this would have been considered a miracle.
Most people do not realize how easy it is to move certainly types of jobs
these days. With VOIP phones, a computer and a good internet connection,
any place in the world becomes a modern office. I know of companies that
do not even have a real office. Their operation is set up so that all of their
staff work out of their homes and all are in different locations. In recent
years this has even moved to retail and services since you can now buy
items from foreign countries, programming, and Web site work through the
In the past, most of the reasons for outsourcing jobs have been economic.
Employers had to outsource in order to complete with our companies
in the global marketplace. Contrary to much public opinion, the real reasons
for outsourcing jobs are not so much wages and salary as they are
taxes and regulations. Liechtenstein, a small country in Europe, has wages
very similar to the United States. But they have twice as many corporations
as residents and must bring in workers from Switzerland and Austria to handle
all of their jobs. The reason for their success with business and jobs stems
from having a maximum corporate tax rate of 18 percent and regulations
that encourage business.
With the new Sebelius HHS mandate, employers will now have a
moral reason as well as an economic reason for creating, terminating or
moving jobs. One has to seriously question whether this is a good move in
this time of economic problems and unemployment. We recently had a
taste of this in Illinois when the state mandated that adoption agencies must
also give babies for adoption to homosexual couples. Rather than comply,
Catholic adoption offices were closed, putting people out of work and eliminating
services to others.
This same thing is happening now on a national level with the HHS
mandate. What will happen to jobs and the economy if Catholic hospitals
and schools are forced to close down? What will happen to the people left
without medical or educational services? How many private companies will
adhere to their moral values and either shut down or move their jobs elsewhere?
How will all of this affect our economy and unemployment?
Take the next step. What happens when Obamacare continues to
unfold and increases the cost of health care and medical insurance? Will
you be able to pay for it? Will employers have to shut down or move out to
places that do not have these costs?
In common with the other Defense of Religious Freedom rallies
throughout the United States, the rally in Freeport started shortly after noon
on Friday, March 23 in Debate Square – the location of one of the famous
Lincoln-Douglas debates. Frank Munda from the Stephenson Country right
to Life and prolifecorner.com was responsible for the excellent planning.
After the Ortega family sang “America the Beautiful,” Christopher Clukey
from Stephenson Country Right to Life welcomed those attending and introduced
a series of speakers.
Pastor Steven Barr, pastor of East Gate Christian Center, had most people
kneeling for an opening prayer. His comments, including mentioning
that we are “All Catholics Now,” brought applause and affirmation from the
crowd. Father Timothy Barr, pastor of St. Joseph’s and St. Mary’s churches
explained about the mandate and was met with much support and affirmation.
Retired Judge Charles Hartman spoke about some of the legal ramifications.
Next came Pastor John Singleton, pastor of Embury Methodist
Church. He brought along and used a rams horn that was a historic call to
prayer and repentance. He was followed by Ellen Slick, a retired Catholic
and public school administrator.
Christopher Clukey entertained the group with his interesting suggestion
that follows up on the HHS mandate including contraception and abortion
as health care. He suggested that since bacon was so healthy and beneficial,
the government might want to mandate that the Jewish people and
Muslims eat it.
Msgr. William McDonnell, pastor of St. Thomas Church, offered his closing
remarks and a prayer. The rally ended with the Ortega family leading
the group in singing “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
Clearly, the United States is faced with major decisions in regard to
Freedom of Religion, jobs and the economy. Think about where your support
should be.
–– Larry Plachno

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