Speaking of religious rallies, this Friday (March 23rd) will see nationwide protests outside federal office buildings by people of faith opposed to the HHS mandate:

The Nationwide Rally for Religious Freedom is set to take place on Friday, March 23, in more than 100 cities across the country. From Hawaii to Maine, citizens are preparing to let their voices be heard on the value of religious freedom. Meeting places include historic sites, congressional offices and federal buildings. The theme for the rally is “Stand Up for Religious Freedom — Stop the HHS Mandate!”

Coverage of the planned protest has been light so far outside of the media sources who follow the debate most closely (largely Catholic sites and action-oriented conservative clearinghouses), although it could also be partially due to the fact that this is a decentralized event, and that turnout will be difficult to estimate given that this is taking place midday during the week.

Nevertheless, these public demonstrations come on the heels of an apparent expansion of the HHS mandate to include all student healthcare plans alongside private, market-based ones. Whether the administration would go forward on this point was one of several details left ambiguous in the feint at “compromise” announced several weeks ago. Since the issue isn’t going away any time soon, one wonders if there aren’t plans in the works for a larger March on Washington-style event at some point in the future if the rule is not revised.

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