(CNSNews.com) – Speaking at one of the more than 130 “Stand Up for Religious Freedom” rallies around the country on Friday, activist and author Star Parker told the crowd gathered at the Health and Human Services building in Washington, D.C., that the government is trying to force its ideology on the people.
“Mountains of data point to the connection between traditional marriage and religion to civil order and economic prosperity,” Parker said. “Yet, we are here today, because our times necessitate that we defend both sexual integrity and religion from the onslaught of the same big government and social engineers that gave us the sexual revolution and the war on poverty.
“No more should my auto insurance cover your tune up, should my health insurance cover your sex life,” Parker said. “Not your Viagra, not your condoms, not your birth control devices, not your abortions.”
Parker said the Constitution was designed to protect people from that kind of government infringement.
“I see nowhere in the Constitution that politicians have a right to force religious institutions or religious individuals to subsidize activities, behaviors or lifestyle choices that they consider abhorrent and a violation to the tenets of their faith,” Parker said.
Parker was the keynote speaker at the noon rally, organized by a coalition of dozens of pro-life and pro-family groups, led by the Pro-Life Action League and Citizens for a Pro-Life Society.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Fund, opened the event by addressing the critics who claim opposing the mandate amounts to a “war on women,” including President Barack Obama.
“We would respectfully tell the president, you really don’t understand women,” Mahoney said. “They are concerned about matters of conscience, religious freedom, how they will raise their children, how they will educate their children, how they will run their families and they do not want the government telling them how to do that.”
Lila Rose, founder of the pro-life group Live Action, was one of the women who spoke at the rally.
“We will not comply with this mandate, because we value, because we hold the right to life as fundamental, the right to life of all people from conception to natural death – all of our unborn brothers and sisters,” Rose said.
The crowd repeatedly chanted, “We will not comply” throughout the event and carried signs ranging from “Protect Religious Freedom” to “Stop Obama’s HHS Mandate” and “Defund Planned Parenthood.”