Los Angeles, California
More than 100 people from across southern California and from as far away as Texas gathered on Saturday in Los Angeles to march for faith. They brought banners, signs, American flags and Bibles to the plaza across the street from Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church where, in 1781, a group of Spanish settlers founded the City of Angels.
Mrs. Susan Arnall, president and co-founder of March for Faith, articulated the purpose of the march:
Politicians are targeting us now because of our faith, because of our religion. The state is making the faithful homeless, literally kicking us out of our houses of worship, forcing us to worship on sidewalks and parking lots. To paraphrase ArchBishop Cordileone, we are being put at the back of the line…. Our rights come from God, not government. There are forces within our government that are attacking our God-given liberties. They are not going to stop unless we stand up to them as a coalition of faith in the public square.
A Carmelite priest, Fr. Phillip of St. Therese in Alhambra, gave a stirring invocation that “religion is essential.” He quoted Blessed Titus Brandsma, a Catholic priest imprisoned in Dacau and killed in WWI: “Those who want to win the world for Christ must have the courage to come into conflict with the world.”
[P]ray for our Governor and other politicians who have wrongfully and unconstitutionally declared churches unessential. I strongly believe that churches are not museums for saints but that they are hospitals for the sick….[P]ray today…for religious leaders…that they with their God-given authority will push back an overreaching government… Prayer is power.
He praised San Francisco’s Archbishop Cordileone’s recent rally to “Free the Mass,” noting that “today the churches in San Francisco are once again open.”
Mike Alexander from California School Choice urged citizens to “protest the seizure of our rights….This government…seeks to supplant the Church….We’re Americans. We’re not going to put up with this.”
Constitutional attorney Dean Broyles from The National Center for Law & Policy drove almost two hours to speak. He quoted the First Amendment, reminding marchers that:
God does not coerce belief and neither should the state. The state has no jurisdiction whatsoever to suspend our faith…The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the law and is not suspended by a virus…The Church must remain sovereign in its authority. We must resist, denounce and destroy any argument that the state has any authority to control the church including its beliefs and practices.
In closing Broyles drew vigorous applause, thanking the faithful who had come to march, “When do we care enough about our faith to march in the streets?….Today you are marching and I thank God I have lived to see this day. May God bless you and may God bless America.”
Attorney Brad Dacus from The Pacific Justice Institute was the final speaker. Mr. Dacus illustrated the looming constitutional crises facing people of faith today: “How many of you would have thought for one moment that we would be potentially arrested or tried because we went to church or had a church service? That’s what we are facing here in United States today.”
In Seattle, churches are allowed to open at 25% capacity. Movie theaters can operate at 50% capacity. Is our body impacted differently medically if you’re sitting there watching a movie versus hearing a sermon? No it’s not. This is overt state hostility against people of faith.
Dacus paraphrased a Pennsylvania judge, proclaiming “Government cannot forever, under the cloak of emergency and crises, step and trounce upon our fundamental rights under the Constitution.”
The Pacific Justice Institute is currently representing 52 cases in active litigation on various matters involving civil liberties.
Following the speeches, the crowd peacefully marched back to La Placita.
Watch the event stream on Facebook HERE. The speakers’ addresses begin at approximately 32:30.