NEW YORK, NY — Students of American history know that on April 30, 1789, at the site of what is now the Federal Hall National Memorial, George Washington was sworn in as the first president of the United States. But this Wall Street monument to liberty is famous for much more.
In 1735, newspaper editor John Peter Zenger was tried and acquitted there on charges of sedition after exposing government corruption in his paper, the New York Weekly Journal.
In 1765, the Stamp Act Congress was assembled there to protest taxation without representation.
And on Sept. 25, 1789, the First Congress met there to adopt the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
On Friday, June 8, a cross-section of Americans who cherish their First Amendment rights will gather at noon outside Federal Hall to protest a blatant attempt by the Obama administration to curtail religious liberty.
The Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally will be one of 150 such rallies to take place simultaneously across the country in protest of a Health and Human Services mandate that would force employers to include coverage for contraception, sterilization and abortifacient drugs in the health insurance plans they offer. The mandate is in direct violation of the moral law.
“This is an assault on the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech granted to all Americans by the First Amendment,” said Father Frank Pavone. The Staten Island-based ministry is organizing the New York City event.
“The Administration is offering some groups a year to ‘adapt’ to the rule. But you don’t ‘adapt’ to injustice. You oppose it. We are opposing it in the courts, because Priests for Life launched the fourth lawsuit against this mandate back in February,” Father Pavone said. “This Friday, we will oppose it also in the streets, as we help to organize and promote these rallies nationwide.”
Friday’s NY City rally is the second one at the site. More than 1,200 people attended the first Stand up Rally on March 23.
Speakers on Friday will include Dr. Alveda King, full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life and the niece of Martin Luther King Jr.; Father Agustino Torres of the Franciscan Friars; Chris Bell, founder of Good Counsel Homes, and Dr. Anne Nolte of the St. Gianna Center for Women’s Health.
“Anyone who cares about the rights that my Uncle Martin died for should make time to come to this rally,” Dr. King said. “What’s at stake here goes way beyond contraception.”
Federal Hall National Memorial is at 26 Wall Street. To find a rally elsewhere in the country, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 347-286-7250.