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Anti-Obamacare Rally Takes Over 4th St.

Around 150 people came out with signs and American flags Friday at the intersection of 4th Street and 22nd Avenue N to protest the Health and Human Services Mandate.

The Supreme Court of the United States is expected to rule on the critical portion of Obamcare later this month, but protesters did not wait until the Court's ruling on the individual mandate to take to the busy streets of St. Petersburg to protest the Health and Human Services Mandate. 

Around 150 people came out with signs, rosaries and American flags Friday at the intersection of 4th Street and 22nd Avenue N in opposition to what they say is government infringing on their religious rights. 

Event organizer Michael Brennan said never has religion been under attack by the government like it is now. 

"I'm here to support the 1st Amendment," Brennan said. "It says our government will not get in the way of religious freedom. 

"The problem with the Health and Human Services Mandate, it oppose more than the Catholic Church but other Christian communities as well," Brennan added. "Abortions, sterilization, and of course, that all important pill that we will have to be freely provided for all services aligned with churches."

On Thursday, According to the Washington Post, likely GOP-nominee Mitt Romney continued to hammer President Barack Obama on the healthcare mandate. 

“I am encouraged that the House has done the right thing and voted to repeal the medical device tax. With unemployment stuck over 8 percent for 40 months, we can’t afford policies that kill jobs and stifle innovation in one of America’s most dynamic industries. The ill-considered medical device tax is only one of many fatal flaws in Obamacare. As president, I will work from my first day in office to dismantle Barack Obama’s federal health-care takeover and replace it with real reform that strengthens our health care system and puts patients first.”

Friday's protest was one of many Stand Up for Religious Freedom rallies across the country protesting Obamacare.

According to the national website for 'Stand Up', more than 36,000 protesters participated in 76 events across the U.S. 

Friday was also the . More than 250 protesters s. 

“Let us be clear, pregnancy is not a disease, fertility is not an illness, and motherhood is not a medical condition," said Kristina Garza of Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust, speaking to more than 250 people at the March 23 protest.

"Contraception is not preventive care, and abortion-inducing drugs are not health care,” said Garza, who is campus outreach director for the group.

"This is about our moral right and what we believe to be sacred," Brennan said Friday. We are all Catholic now. The stuff has hit the wall and we better stand up or there will be nothing to stand up to. It’s like they said about Germany, 'they went after the Jews first and then they eventually came after me.'' 

Michael F Brennan June 09, 2012 at 01:22 PM
95 of the 160 cities that held Stand-Up Rally in the U.S. have reported in the COUNT of 44,500 (65 to be heard from). Naples had 3,000. Sarasota beat us with 900--12 locations in Florida had a Rally. We appreciate the N.E. PATCH's courage to report our event. Four local media outlets spent time and money sending reporters to the Rally. Tampa Bay Times reporter was interviewing, taking photos and taking notes for two hours and did not get published in today's paper. 150 peaceful protesters are a local news event. There is a powerful blackout on these events in many a local press room. Michael F Brennan Rally Organizer, St Petersburg http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com
Gwen Thomas June 09, 2012 at 05:15 PM
I find it hard to understand what the point of fighting Obamacare has to do with 'religious freedom.' Obamacare is not forcing anyone to utilize birth control benefits or go out and get an abortion. What it does do, however, is provide benefits for women to utilize if they choose. In doing so, the tax burden of health care for unwanted pregnancies, orphans and pre-natal hospital units is greatly reduced. I always find it odd that protestors marching outside of birth control clinics haven't figured out that their time would be better spent raising an unwanted child.
Michael F Brennan June 09, 2012 at 06:37 PM
Gwen, The problem is the preservation of the First Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing Freedom of Religion. The Health and Human Services Mandate enforces 'Central Planning' from Washington D.C. and determines by force what a religion can believe and cannot believe is immoral without paying penalties in the many millions of dollars. Unless Bishop Lynch folds he would have to close St Anthony's Hospital, St Vincent de Paul, and other charities. Frankly, this secular ideology, i.e. a new religion would become an established ideology endangering all other beliefs in what is right and wrong. Forced acceptance of sterilization, abortifacients, and contraception pills are anathema to Catholic Church Teaching at the highest level. This is not about meat on Fridays. In addition, many Jews and Protestants find sterilization and abortion assistance acceptance a shocking attack from Big Government. The Catholic Bishops have been proponents of universal health care since 1918, and still are; as most of them have a deep love for 'The Social Gospel'. This would by-pass institutions directly to the individual. For U.S. Catholic Bishops to be forced to offer to employees what they know to be against God's law is anathema. They would be facing what we call 'white' martyrdom. Historically these things happen in other countries (China) not the U.S.A..'Central Planning' (HHS) may want to take over charities. Michael F Brennan http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com
Michael F Brennan June 09, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Gwen, In addition, I thought you were aware that Pregnancy Centers supported by Christians and Jews across this Nation offer material, emotional and spiritual support to women in an unwanted pregnancy condition. Adoption of the unborn certainly is part of the Pregnancy Center's modus operandi. Perhaps you forgot. Michael F Brennan
Robert Thompson June 10, 2012 at 01:17 AM
The state will never interfere with a person's religious conviction. But if a Protestant comes to a Catholic Hospital for a service the Catholics don't like, then they should only be open to Catholics with all Catholic employees, otherwise thy must abide by the law....Duh
Michael F Brennan June 10, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Robert, If you must have sterilization you have other hospitals to go for that specialized treatment. That is not a hard pill to handle. It allows a Catholic Hospital to continue to operate for the benefit of all Americans without breaking discrimination employment laws. Your opinion creates a conflict between your ideology and my religion, where it never legally existed before. The First Amendment points to the First Liberty: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." By enforcing the HHS Mandate, Obamacare would be actually establishing a 'secular belief system' that would operate as an established religion that would be superior to other religions. Our forefathers wanted to protect us from a government sponsored belief system inside Federal Law. That is why former Governor Huckabee [Evangelical] said: "We're all Catholics now." The threat is palpable. You may be very comfortable with the HHS Mandate. However, that is not the Nation you were born into. It is something very different. Once they got to the Catholics, would you be safe a few months or years down the road? Where would this 'belief system' stop as its 'Central Planing' ways and means continue.
Gwen Thomas June 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM
@Robert, no dear, I didn't forget that Catholic charities facilitates adoption. I meant that more unwanted babies wind up being put up for adoption and that anti-abortion protestors time would be better spent adopting one of these thousands of unwanted children. Meanwhile, St Anthony's hospital's staff of docotrs, nurses and administrators are Buddists, Hindus, Baptists, Moslims, Protestants and Christians of all variations. This hospital also treats these people, and most importantly, accepts money from the tax payers of all these walks of life. We respect each others differences and we live in a world that is diverse. Jesus taught tolerance, not war. To offer a hospital that only gives Catholic services is simple fear and prejudice riding on the back of religion.
JamieRauschy June 10, 2012 at 12:22 PM
the people at the rally look to be senior citizens. would they give up their current "Obamacare" benefits in order to purge their hypocritical stance? would catholic hospitals and churches give up ALL THAT TAXPAYER MILLIONS which comprises about 60% of their funding? Was religious freedom the main impetus that allowed young boys to be continuously raped (sometimes girls that gave birth to children of pedophile priests)? Was it religious freedom that permitted the priesthood hierarchy to cover up the rapes, sterilization, sale of unwanted babies (called closed adoption)? And isn't the same catholic church asking the court to throw out the remainder of the molestation cases against it, when it fought tooth and nail against reporting the egregious wrong-doing to the police? But back to Obamacare, would each person on the line give back their 'socialist' benefits? would the church and church hospitals give theirs back? HOW EVIL AND HYPOCRITICAL!
Michael F Brennan June 10, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Jamie & Gwen, Yes, a non-Catholic has the choice to work for a Catholic Hospital or to be cared for at a Catholic Hospital. The Emergency Room at St Anthony Hospital can verify that. Unlike many hospitals, management is successful in balancing its books year after year. Catholic hospitals across the country are well known for that quality. It's a solid tradition built by women of great talent and hard work. HHS or HUD takeover will not make it better. On the tragic scandal of pederast {not pedophile} priests, the victims were teen-agers 12 and over. 86% were male on male. This 'chicken hawk' defect is very well known in the homosexual community. The definitive analysis is the John Jay Report, which gives the facts while staying 'politically correct'. Most of the instances happened in the 70's. Less than 2% of our priesthood were involved. Unacceptable, but better or par with all institutions inter-acting with youth. Catholicism, related to deep pockets, its opposition to 'population control', Planned Parenthood, and LGBT agenda goals is a target of media and lawyers, An in-depth clean up has been successful in the last ten years. Frankly, too many bishops were incompetent in protecting the 'Faith of the Apostles', and our teen-agers. The current body of bishops in America has improved dramatically in both areas. They are standing up to protect the virtues we cherish and will stand against the 'secular belief system' that drives to strip our 1st amendment rights.
Kofi Hunt June 10, 2012 at 04:06 PM
If the church would like to provide its own insurance personally and run the risk of those who partake of that insurance dropping them for not providing complete coverage, that's one thing. But if the church pays people money and then they use that to pay for insurance through a private insurer, the church has no right to tell those people how they can and cannot use care THEY are buying. In that instance, the church is infringing on the rights of their parishioners...
Mary Brennan June 10, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Please have you not read anything, or seen what happens to women after they have abortions. Please get in touch with silent no more. and who are we to take life at any stage? Can we not become a people of care, love one other and help each other when problems comes, and find better ways of doing things in stead of killing. May our hearst be warm , with true love, perhaps we will have a greater respect for each other in this inperfected world untill it becomes complete Peace, Mary
Michael F Brennan June 10, 2012 at 05:23 PM
On the previous query about photos of elderly at June 8 Rally. The photos are an editorial decision. They would not have been our choice. We would have liked more youth, but the majority of the 150 present were in their 40's to early 50's. The 150 number reflects the fear of a rain/lightning day we had on Friday/June 8, Kofi and everyone else completely focuses on what he believes to be 'fairness' without addressing the First Amendment to the U.S.Constitution, which protects religious freedom in the United States of America. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The Health and Human Services Mandate limits that protection to the neighborhood church or parish where all involved are of the one religion. 501 charities that originated and supported by those very local entities are not protected. Faith based initiatives like hospitals and charities have always been able to stay solid inside its own Church Teaching parameters. The development creates an "established religion," which trumps all others. That is not the Nation we were born into. It is more in line with China's 'Central Planning" ideology. Rally organizer-St Petersburg http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com
Lynda June 10, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Wow. Mr. Brennan has an answer for everything and just eliminates facts or opinions he disagrees with Priestly sexual adventures with minors? Must all have been done by those nasty "homo's" in the 70's! Respecting the religious freedom of employees and clients? Just go somewhere else for help or a job! What I get from his rally is Catholics want everyone in the USA to believe as they do. If laws are passed based on beliefs held by others than those laws are by definition invalid. So Mr. Brennan, do you organize rallies against executions in Florida? Against gun violence? Against the invasion and occupation of Iraq? Against childhood poverty? Do you organize rallies protesting the failure of society to follow Catholic values on any subject except abortion or hormonal birth control? Or are you just riding the emotional train of "Don't touch my religion by mandating insurance companies provide preventative care for people (including women who pay for their insurance) without additional copays?" This manufactured religious freedom argument promoted by hysterical, easily manipulated people is as bogus as an argument can be. I have only one thing to say to Mr. Brennan and his 150 protesters against insurance mandates: Try being a 21st century citizen of the USA for a change instead of someone whose thought processes are dominated by a German Pope residing in Italy representing a church stuck in the past which refuses to see women as fit to be priests.
Michael F Brennan June 10, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Lynda ends with "Try being a 21st century citizen of the USA for a change instead of someone whose thought processes are dominated by a German Pope residing in Italy representing a church stuck in the past which refuses to see women as fit to be priests." Yes, Lynda. Jesus Christ appointed only males to His priesthood, and Catholicism worldwide dares not usurp His example as per John Paul II. In addition, Jesus placed Peter as the Apostles primary religious leader no matter where in the world those first bishops went. And yes, the Catholic Church continues to graft onto its roots throughout the past 21 centuries. Even during periods of deplorable human weakness and betrayal of our own (Judas was an apostle); the Church looks to its roots for Faith and Reason to prevail, by the Grace of God. Yes and you do raise a most salient point. Will the 21st Century citizen, convinced they have the best of intentions, usurp the First Amendment of the U.S.Constituion, i.e." .....OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF......"??? Perhaps your '21st century citizen ideology' is to be an established religion of its own based on pure democracy, which was disdained and feared by our American Founders because it would ultimately be a dictatorship of the majority. The Founders chose to build a Republic that could provide rights for all while encouraging their energy and brains. Pure democracy was anathema to them and you should research that please.
S. Ripley June 11, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Is it just me? When I hear in advance that somebody is protesting at 4th & 22nd I just avoid the area. I could give a rat’s arse about the protest topic – even if a cause I support – that is just a terrible place to gather. A huge distraction for drivers at major intersection. It calls into question the group’s credibility when they choose that location to spread their message. I know it is permitted by law, but not by good judgment.
Michael F Brennan June 11, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Mr. Ripley, You deserve an explanation. The national organizers requested we rally at and around a Federal Building. They wanted the Feds in particular to get the message. while they are working on a Friday that we are voters this federal administration has lost. We do not have a federal building in St Petersburg. Surrounding Mirror Lake or/and the Court House block (6th st 1st Ave. North) may have been a better idea. However our location near Crescent Lake provided parking for 150 to 250 cars. In additon, the location provided major visibility to thousands of Tampa/St Petersburg voters (300 signs saying STAND UP FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM [OR] STOP OBAMA'S HHS MANDATE) made 4th St and 22nd Ave North an excellent substitute. FYI 57,000 Rally citizens in 144 cities of the 165 city total are currently tallied and reported as present and accounted for. The numbers will continue to rise. You can check http://standuprally.com for yourself. Michael F Brennan Rally Organizer St Petersburg http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com .
MARIE CHRISTNER June 17, 2012 at 05:57 PM
if women had some respect for themselves they would only be in a position to produce a child when they are loved and married and if anyone can look at a baby and not love it as part of them and the love of GOD THEY NEED TO KEEP THEIR LEGS CROSSED AT ALL TIMES

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