Republican Rep. Joe Walsh told supporters that they have to be prepared to go to prison in order to protect the freedoms and liberties they now enjoy.
Walsh’s five-minute speech, delivered at a rally for religious liberty at Federal Plaza in Chicago, evoked a Braveheart-like response as the crowd chanted, “Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!” upon its completion.
“We have to be prepared to go to jail. Are we prepared?” Walsh asked rhetorically.
The crowd responded with a boisterous, “Yes!”
The ever-provocative Walsh raised the stakes again with his next comment: “If you’re not prepared to go to jail to stand up for your freedoms, you don’t understand what this election is about.”
Walsh referred back to being willing to go to jail throughout the speech, which was ostensibly about religious freedom. Walsh spoke in front of a crowd of nearly 1,000 people who braved a steady rain in the Windy City to attend the rally.
“We knew then, and we know now, that Obamacare would devastate businesses in this country. We knew then, and we know, that it will get rid of physicians as we know them — health insurance as we know it,” Walsh continued. “We knew then, and we know now, that Obamacare will bankrupt this country.”
After the speech, when asked to explain in more detail what he meant by his jail reference, Walsh told The Daily Caller that he didn’t believe the government has the power to force him — or any American — into buying anything, including health insurance. Continuing, he said that the government doesn’t have the power to make him pay a fine if he doesn’t comply. He concluded that if Obamacare plays out a certain way, he’s prepared to go to jail before he complies.
Dr. Tony Caruso echoed Walsh’s sentiments when he addressed the crowd shortly after Walsh spoke. Dr. Caruso referred to himself as a “Catholic doctor” and he said that he’d go to jail before he’d perform a procedure that goes against his conscience.
TheDC had no trouble finding other volunteers among the crowd ready to go to jail to protect everyone’s religious liberties.
Cris Crisaffuli was holding a sign that read, “Women want religious freedom!!!” On whether or not she’d be willing to go to jail for this cause, she said, “I might be, I might be,” adding, “give or take exactly what this is all about.”
Irene Doyle-Sadler was more emphatic. “I would, I would. This is just unbelievable what they are forcing the Catholic Church to do.”
The rally in Chicago was one of more than 100 held at noon, local time, all around the country on Friday. They were held on the two-year anniversary of the passage of Obamacare to protest the Health and Human Services mandate that will force all religiously-affiliated institutions to provide health insurance coverage to their employees that includes free contraception and abortion procedures. Much like April 15, 2009, was a launching pad for the Tea Party movement, organizers are hoping this event will launch the religious liberty movement as an electoral force.