Friday, November 17th, 2017

Religious Freedom and the “Slippery Slope”

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Posted on Monday, March 26, 2012 by Deb Phillips | 16 Comments 

ARE WE TOO BUSY, or too disinterested, to be bothered by incremental losses of freedom? If our lives are not directly affected by such losses, one might be tempted to think, Why bother getting involved in political issues? Yet to fail to do so to some extent is to neglect what the Founders prescribed — that the American people themselves must be the guardians of the Republic. Borrowing from Ben Franklin: The Republic is ours to keep, or to lose.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

What happened to freedom of religion? It’s a freedom that increasingly is being repressed and redefined by “progressive” lawmakers, bureaucrats and presidents who want America to be far removed from the principles upon which she was founded. Such a transformed America would be one in which government is god; and liberty is no more, except for those who belong to the privileged ruling class.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally – Winston-Salem, NC

At noon on Friday, March 23, 2012, across the country, thousands of citizens came together at Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies in nearly 200 cities, according to LifeNews.com. Several hundred citizens met in Winston-Salem, NC to rally for the cause of religious freedom and the right of conscience.

The rally program included various members of the community speaking on current issues that are threatening religious liberty. Program participants included:

  • Pattie Curran — Rally Organizer (and quite the passionate patriot!)
  • Father John Eckert — Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro
  • Lori Clark — Worship Vocalist; Substitute Teacher
  • Debra Conrad — Forsyth County Board of Commissioners; Candidate for N.C. House 74 (Republican)
  • Mark Baker — Principal, Salem Baptist High School; Tobaccoville Village Councilman; Candidate for Forsyth County Board of Commissioners (District B, Republican)
  • Pastor James Knott — The Journey Church of the Triad
  • Stu Epperson, Jr. — President, Truth Broadcasting Corporation
  • Buddy Timm — Former Missionary Pilot/Mechanic
  • Pastor Michael Carbone — Crossbound Community Church, Clemmons

Many thanks to the organizers, sponsors and speakers who helped make Winston-Salem’s rally possible.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

Citizens gathered in front of the Hiram H. Ward Federal Building in Winston-Salem, NC on Friday, March 23, 2012 to demonstrate against the Obama administration’s assaults on religious liberty and freedom of conscience.

Who Goes to a Religious Freedom Rally?

My goal in documenting this rally was to faithfully portray the people who attended it, showing that it is decent, upstanding people – not radical extremists – who value religious liberty. I wanted to go beyond the typical veteran-saluting-the-flag shot (not that there’s anything wrong with that), as well as the shot of the rare “extreme” protest sign that’s typically misused by detractors to stereotype and stigmatize an entire group or cause.

I believe I met my goal, and I hope you enjoy the selection of photos on this page, as well as the entire collection of edited photos in a separate photo gallery. You’ll notice that none of the rally speakers is shown on this page. However, their photos, and the photos of other rally attendees, can be viewed in the photo gallery.

NOTE: The link to the PHOTO GALLERY is provided at the bottom of this page.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

If you don’t like paying for someone else’s birth control, how do you feel about a portion of your health-insurance premium directly paying for someone else’s surgical or drug-induced abortion? Well, that’s just one of the hundreds of open-ended directives given to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary under The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise unaffectionately known by many as ObamaCare. The HHS Secretary and her designees eventually will determine for you many of the health-care decisions that once were largely matters discussed between you, your family and your doctors.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

“There are two victims in every abortion: a dead baby and a dead conscience.” ~Mother Teresa

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

Francis Cardinal George, archbishop of Barack Obama’s home town of Chicago stated on Lent Sunday: “The provision of health care should not demand ‘giving up’ religious liberty. Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship. Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship – no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.”

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

James 5:16: “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much.” In other words, their prayers will not be ignored.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

The HHS mandate not only includes the coverage of contraceptives but also includes the coverage of sterilization and abortifacients (abortion-inducing pills). In this “enlightened” age where “choice” is said to be paramount, ironically, under ObamaCare, no one will have a choice on whether a portion of our health plan’s premium will fund the killing of unborn babies.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

Think about this: The U.S. government is mandating that individuals, employers and faith-based organizations must violate their own moral or religious conscience. That is not an American value — it is a violation of a basic human right, under God. When man’s laws conflict with God’s laws, we must be ready and willing to take the higher road, regardless of the consequences.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

As far as the so-called “War on Women,” the ones who are actually waging war on women are organizations such as Planned Parenthood, whose business model is centered on abortion. With nearly one billion dollars in net assets, Planned Parenthood is an independently wealthy entity, and should not be receiving any taxpayer money to support their assault on women and their unborn babies. Additionally reprehensible is the fact that Planned Parenthood will become even richer under ObamaCare, should that law withstand Supreme Court scrutiny.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

Rally attendees pay rapt attention to the ideas presented by one of the speakers.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

The hands of a parent and child.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

The hands of a pray-er.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

Naturally, Winston-Salem’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally opened and closed with prayer.

Why is Religious Freedom Important for a Free Society?

The erosion of religious liberty and free speech is one of the first signs that a government is turning away from being a society that protects freedom to a society that represses freedom. The freedoms protected in the First Amendment are paramount to us all, whether or not one is religious.

If perchance you’re one who doesn’t believe the Obama administration is indeed encroaching upon religious liberty, I invite you to read a fully footnoted article on WallBuilders.com, titled “America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U.S. President.” The article lists, in chronological order, scores of steps that the Obama administration has taken since the beginning of Obama’s term in January 2009. Links to the original sources are provided for each point. It’s a stunning record of egregious actions taken by the Obama administration against religious liberty.

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally - Winston-Salem, NC - March 23, 2012 - Deb Phillips, Photographer

Not only does the First Amendment protect the “free exercise” of religion and other forms of speech, but it is also the “First Freedom” upon which the rest of the Bill of Rights stands. We must value the First Amendment for its pivotal role in the maintenance of a free society — and we must guard it with unfailing zeal.

Get Involved

There’s plenty of work to be done between now and November 6, and there’s a role that everyone can play. Find a place where you can contribute your talents, skills — and maybe even some of your hard-earned money — toward defeating Barack Obama. There — I said it!

Even if you at this very moment really like Barack Obama, I ask you to consider how little regard he has exhibited thus far for the Constitution and for the rule of law. But maybe you’re not even aware that that’s true. If that’s the case, you better do some homework. You can find the truth on the Internet, if you want to see it.

At the very least, I hope you will realize that a second term for Barack Obama will mean that, apart from divine intervention, the America you grew up in — with its boundless opportunities and the freedom to pursue your happiness — will cease to exist. If that’s what you want, you have every right to vote for Barack Obama. But if that is not what you want, you’d better get busy doing whatever you legally can do to help deny Barack Obama a second term as President of the United States of America.

Visit the Photo Gallery

To view more scenes from the Winston-Salem rally, CLICK to visit the Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally photo gallery.

YouTube Videos

If you happened to have missed the rally — or even if you were there — you might want to check out the numerous YouTube videos of many of the rally’s speakers and the song segments, as well as interviews with a number of the rally attendees. CLICK to watch Winston-Salem’s Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally videos.

About Deb Phillips
Deb Phillips is a freelance photographer and writer based in Lewisville, NC (USA). In addition to reviewing Deb's documentary coverage here at 912Photos.com, check out her inspirational photo blog at LewisvillePhotos.com and her personal photo portfolio at Deb Phillips Photography, where Art & Life Converge.

Comments

16 Responses to “Religious Freedom and the “Slippery Slope””
  1. Scott says:

    Great blog! Thanks!

  2. Steven Wiles, Jr says:

    I attended and WOW what a great crowd! God met, and it was a wonderful and peaceful time. I am always so moved to see Americans standing for their rights, whether it be for religious freedoms or for any other constitutional rights. I am so humbled to have been a part of this meeting of Americans.

  3. Ann Templeton says:

    I enjoyed the pictures and stories. Wish I could have been there with my sign.

    • Deb Phillips says:

      Thanks so much, Ann. I’m sorry you couldn’t come, but be ready for whatever comes next! 🙂

      • Ann Templeton says:

        You just let me know. You may be ashamed to meet me because I really do stand up for I believe. I have never gotten involved in anything like this before, but I feel the time is right now for hard work to stop what is happening. Especially, when I saw Obama whispering to the president of Russia to wait until he was reelected before they discussed weapons. Wish everyone in America could see that. If that wouldn’t wake up people, then I don’t know what else it will take. Why did he whisper? Seems like plan to me.

        Ann

  4. Pattie says:

    Great message and great photos! Thanks for coming out to document the rally!

  5. Carole McGee says:

    Thanks for setting up this blog! Great Photos! Can’t wait to see and hear more!

  6. Rosemarie says:

    Very nice photos, Deb! I’ll visit the gallery to view the others. You are so talented, and I thank you for having the courage of your convictions. In my book you have the credibility of Paul Harvey, in that I know your opinions are well researched – hope you take that as a compliment :)!

  7. Jone Reid says:

    Thanks for summarizing and reporting what really happened on the plaza of the Federal Building in Winston-Salem. It was a peaceful, respectful and concerned gathering of citizens who exercised our privilege and right to express discontent on taxpayer grounds. As I looked around at those tall buildings, I was amazed that those who worked downtown chose to walk by instead of joining us. I hope people who are concerned about the government’s desire to increase control and strangle our freedom don’t wait too late to express their concerns. The time is now to get involved.

    • Deb Phillips says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the rally and your concern over the direction in which the country is headed, Jone. We must do all that we can to educate everyone we know just how criitical this next election is to our freedom and to the future of the Republic.

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