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Faith and Pro-Life Leaders to Challenge Obama Mandate by Praying and Risking Arrest in Front of the White House

Contact: Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, 540-538-4741

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- The prayer vigil and public witness, will take place on Thursday, February 16, at 11:00 A.M.

It will be on the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW side.

The name of the event is called, "A Time to Stand."

"A Time to Stand" is in response to President Obama mandating religious institutions coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraception in their health plans.

"A Time to Stand" agrees with United States Catholic Conference of Bishops when they state:

"We note today's proposal (by the President) continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governances of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions.

"In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters.  The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to the rescind the mandate of these objectionable services."

It is also important to send a clear message to the Obama Administration that the faith community will spend time in jail rather than be coerced into complying with an immoral and unjust mandate.

Faith and pro-life leaders will be on a nationwide conference call this Monday discussing how to publicly respond to the Obama Administration mandates and the impact they will have on the 2012 elections.

The leaders will also be asked to sign and distribute the "A Time to Stand Declaration" and plan for the February 16 event.

The Declaration is included at the bottom of this news release.

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, says this about the planned arrests at the White House;

"The Obama Administration has attacked ideals, principles, and protections for which Americans have fought and died for.  Therefore, the reaction is not only in the press, in the courts, and in the Congress.  It is, should be, and will be in the streets.  Civil disobedience must be a part of the response."

Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, adds;

"The faith community can never be silent or indifferent when it comes to matters of justice, human rights and religious liberty. We want to make it clear to President Obama and all public officials that we would rather spend time in a dark prison cell than be coerced into complying with an immoral and unjust government mandate.

"We will be peaceful.  We will be humble.  We will be prayerful. But, we will stand!"

For more information or interviews call:
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney at  540.538.4741

"A Time to Stand Declaration"
 
Thomas Jefferson said over 200 years ago, "I consider the government of the United States as interdirected by the Constitution from intermeddling in religious institutions their doctrines, disciplines or exercises.

He went on to say, "No provision in our Constitution ought to be dearer to man than that which protects the right of conscience against the power of public functionaries..."
 
Jefferson understood that one of the primary goals of government is to respect religious liberty and the role faith plays in matters of the individual conscience.  

In a letter from Archbishop Dolan to his fellow Bishops, he states;
 
"No government has the right to intrude into the affairs of the Church, much less coerce, the Church faithful to engage or cooperate in any way with immoral practices."
 
"It is the place of the Church, not of government to define religious identity."
 
These words lay the foundation for the challenge the faith community faces regarding the dispute over President Obama's and the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate for religious institutions to provide health coverage which pay for abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization and contraceptives.

What should the response of the Church and people of goodwill be in this matter?

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides a clear and definitive answer to that question with this response:
 
"We note that today's proposal (by the President) continues to involve needless government intrusion in the internal governance of religious institutions, and to threaten government coercion of religious people and groups to violate their most deeply held convictions.
 
"In a nation dedicated to religious liberty as its first and founding principle, we should not be limited to negotiating within these parameters.  The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for HHS to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.
 
"We will therefore continue -- with no less vigor, no less sense of urgency -- our efforts to correct this problem through the other two branches of government.  For example, we renew our call on Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act."
 
As people of mercy, principle and justice, we also purpose in our hearts never to comply with an unjust or immoral government mandate which would require us to violate our conscience, the teachings of the Holy Scriptures and the historic teachings of the Church.
 
We will stand against injustice even if that means going to jail.
 
Pastor Rick Warren, Senior Pastor at Saddleback Church states concerning the Obama Mandate;
 
"I'd go to jail rather than cave in to a government mandate that violates what God commands us to do... Acts 5:29."
 
Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, challenges us this way;
 
"Therefore, the reaction is not only in the press, in the courts, and in the Congress.  It is, should be, and will be in the streets.  Civil disobedience must be part of the response."
 
For the faith community, we can never be silent or indifferent when it comes to matters of justice, human rights and religious liberty.  We want to make it clear to President Obama and all public officials that we would rather spend time in a dark prison cell than be coerced into complying with an immoral and unjust government mandate.

We will be peaceful.  We will be humble.  We will be prayerful.  But, we will stand!