Rally puts emphasis on religious freedom

  • Follow Metro

When Mark Tribby reached the back of the small crowd gathered Monday night on the steps of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, he unfurled a white flag bearing a pine tree and the words “Appeal to Heaven.”

Back | Next
Mark Tribby holds a religious flag as local Catholics gather on the steps of Church of the Most Holy Trinity for a second annual Rally for Religious Freedomon Monday in Augusta. The event is part of the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and events that began June 21 and ends on Independence Day.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
Mark Tribby holds a religious flag as local Catholics gather on the steps of Church of the Most Holy Trinity for a second annual Rally for Religious Freedomon Monday in Augusta. The event is part of the Fortnight for Freedom, a two-week period of prayer and events that began June 21 and ends on Independence Day.

With the flag hoisted above the crowd of more than 80, he listened as speakers took to the podium for the Second Annual Rally for Religious Freedom.

The rally was part of the Fortnight for Freedom, which is a two-week period of prayer and events introduced by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It began June 21 and ends on Independence Day. The group called for the observance to address “many current challenges to religious liberty,” according to the USCCB Web site.

Speakers took turns at the podium, shifting from readings of scripture and scholarly articles to songs of praise. The rally, which lasted more than an hour, was bookended by the patriotic lyrics of the national anthem and America the Beautiful.

The Rev. Jerry Ragan, of St. Mary on the Hill Catholic Church, said the rally was held largely due to uncertainty of what future government actions and court rulings hold.

“If it proceeds like this, some of the traditional values that society is based on will begin to fade away,” he said.

Among the issues discussed were same-sex marriage, an issue that Ragan said, if made legal, would infringe on Catholic beliefs.

“It’s important that we show tolerance toward all people, and we let all people know that they are loved and welcomed by God,” he said. “But God has called us to live in a certain way.”

Nicole Rangel, who is working toward a master’s degree in Catholic theology at the Catholic Distance University, addressed the crowd on Christian persecution around the globe.

“I just want to acknowledge that there are people dying for doing what we are doing today,” she said. “It’s not like in the Bible where you read about the saints getting killed back then. It’s current. We’re blessed to be in a country where we can do something like this today.”

With a focus on domestic issuses, Tribby said he attended the event for the opportunity to peacefully protest against the U.S. government. “It’s forcing us to choose between obedience to God or obedience to the government,” he said. “It shouldn’t be that way in America.”

Tribby explained his decision to bring his flag, often called the Appeal to Heaven Flag or the Pine Tree Flag, was symbolic.

“It comes from a saying that if all appeals to government or legislatures failed, all we have left is appeal to heaven,” he said. “It’s a statement that we need to appeal to God for freedom.”

Comments (4) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
lovingthesouth72
1368
Points
lovingthesouth72 06/25/13 - 08:36 am
0
0
the irony

It's quite ironic that those Catholic/ Christians rallying around the nation for this cause are the same ones that voted for this president in the first place. They have caused their own misery.

Bodhisattva
6216
Points
Bodhisattva 06/25/13 - 11:47 am
0
0
Grand idea. How many

Grand idea. How many different religions were represented? It would really be nice for groups of different religions to get together so they can understand that this country is made up of people of many faiths and none are given preference over others. That's why our laws are secular and don't reflect any particular faith's beliefs. Isn't this a great country and didn't our forefathers have great insight to create a secular government instead of a theocracy like the countries we see in the Middle East?

InChristLove
22473
Points
InChristLove 06/25/13 - 12:45 pm
0
0
(Bod) "It would really be

(Bod) "It would really be nice for groups of different religions to get together so they can understand that this country is made up of people of many faiths and none are given preference over others"

Bod, this rally wasn't about one religion being a preference over another. It was about the Catholic church taking a stand and acknowledging religious freedom. I'm sure the Baptist, Methodist, Episcopians, Presbyterians, etc all could have formed a rally to celebrate the same thing. This just happened to be the Catholic church.

In your opinion our laws don't reflect beliefs shared by most of these faiths and that is okay.....others do. No one is claiming they want a theocracy but personally a government who would ahear a little more to what the Heavenly Father thinks is wise instead of what the secular father of this world wants, wouldn't be such a bad idea.

Bodhisattva
6216
Points
Bodhisattva 06/26/13 - 09:41 am
0
0
Baptists, Methodists,

Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, etc., are all of the same faith. Had there been Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and others, it would have been a meeting of different faiths. That is why we have a secular government. All of these religions are welcome and our laws protect each of them while at the same time not codifying their religious beliefs into law. The best of all systems.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs