Stand Up for Religious Freedom​
 Johnson City, TN​

Stand Up for Religious Freedom

Religion is being slowly eliminated from the public square in the U.S. The stranglehold on the practice of our faith in all areas of civic life is tightening and it is time to break the death lock before it is too late.

Historically Americans have had wide latitude to practice their faith for the common good of the nation. However there is a cancerous mindset that sees religion as a private preference to be practiced within the walls of a church building and not beyond. With this mindset, eliminating acts of faith in the public square is seen as neutral in terms of the constitution. We know that the free exercise of religion is fundamental to the health of the United States, as religious practice requires free speech, free press, and peaceable assembly. Religious practice informs our civic life with principles and a foundation for our society. Without it would be barbarism.

The Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally held in Johnson City, TN and the other rallies like it, were to draw attention to this cancer so that it can be cured and our nation restored to health.

1st Amendment to the Constitution

"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."

News and Information
Rally to Stand Up for Religious Freedom
held June 21, 2012

​​​​Videos of Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally Speakers Johnson City, TN June 21 2012

Julianne Wiley​

Your freedom of religion is being destroyed.
Stand Up to defend your freedom of religion
Once your religious freedom is curtailed you will be constrained to only worship in your church building with no outside ministries and what you say may be monitored.

​​​​​​​​​Rep. Phil Roe
U.S. House of Rep.-1st District, TN 


​​​​​​​​​​Rebecca Ketchie ​- attorney, Alliance Defense Fund


​​​​​​Rep. ​Dale Ford - TN General Assembly - District 6

Rep. Matthew Hill - TN General
Assembly - District 7​

​Lisa Morris- Co-Regional Coordinator for East TN for the
​"Silent No More Awareness Campaign"

​​Peggy English ​​​​​​​​​​- Co-Regional Coordinator for East TN for the
"Silent No More Awareness Campaign"

You are a reasonable person of good will.

It disturbs you that Church-sponsored Adoption services​ have been shut down in IL, MA, CA and DC because of their ethical policy that it is best to place little children in homes with a (male) father and a (female) mother. It should disturb you even more that proposed legislation would make placement of children in homosexual households mandatory, thus shutting down Christian Adoption services coast-to-coast.

​​What are you going to do about it?

It bothers you that, according to Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon, “the main goal” of the HHS ("Obamacare") Contraception-Abortion Mandate, “is not, as HHS claimed, to protect women's health. It is rather a move to conscript religious organizations into a political agenda.” It should bother you even more that the HHS is determined to assert its power to force Christians, Orthodox Jews and other believers “to facilitate and fund services that violate their beliefs, within their own institutions.”

What are you going to do about it?

It strikes you as dictatorial that textbooks in military academies have been suppressed if they made positive reference to the great philosophers of Western civilization (like Augustine and Thomas Aquinas) who laid out the moral criteria for the just and ethical conduct of war.... because they were Christian thinkers.  

What are you going to do about it?

​​If you think it’s wrong for Caesar to demand the things that belong to God... If you are opposed to Washington DC dictating that our own Churches violate our own faith and morals within our own institutions... If you’re willing to stand up and defend Religious Liberty...
​​Rally Speakers ​

Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally
Murvin H. Perry
June 22, 2012

Despite a small windy squall and the threat of a thunderstorm, more than 250 people gathered in a Johnson City Park on Thursday evening, June 21, to take part in a Stand Up for Religious Freedom Rally in protest of the Health and Human Services mandate that all employers must provide health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and abortion causing drugs, despite traditional religious beliefs.

​​ The rally was organized cooperatively by representatives of St. Mary's Catholic Church, the Holston Baptist Association, and Antioch Baptist Church. It was supported by Heritage Baptist Church, the Knights of Columbus, Hosanna Fellowship Church, Tennessee Right to Life, Greater Kingsport Pro-life Volunteers and 40 Days for Life.

Remarks by Congressman Phil Roe of Johnson City highlighted the rally, who told the audience that the Affordable Care Act was a serious infringement on constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion and a clear threat to other First Amendment rights.

Other speakers included State Representatives Matthew Hill and Dale Ford, Julianne Wiley of St. Mary's Respect Life Committee, Rebecca Ketchie, Alliance Defense Fund attorney, and Peggy English and Lisa Morris of Silent No More, support group of women who have suffered from abortion.

The message was clear, "This protest is not about contraception. It is about Conscience!"

Local entertainer, "Lightin' Charlie," stirred audience enthusiasm leading the National Anthem, "God Bless America," and songs with lyrics specially written for the rally.
The patriotic atmosphere of the rally was further strengthened when a color guard provided by the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus of East Tennessee posted the United States flag and flags of Tennessee and the Diocese of Knoxville and led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Members of the organizing committee included, Julianne Wiley of St. Mary's Right to Life Committee, Tracy Teal of the Holston Baptist Association, the Rev. Pete Tackett, pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, Louise Jennings of Kingsport Pro-life Volunteers, Michelle Gantz of Tennessee Right to Life, Sheila Bedford, Jeanette Halkowitz, Genae and Richard Helmbrecht, Gail Taylor, Deacon Mike and Emma Jacobs, Geri Kistler, and Murv Perry of St. Mary's.

photo by Don Wiley