Leftists who plan to invade Catholic parishes on Sunday to interfere with worship services by staging disruptive pro-abortion protests could pay dearly if Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has anything to say about it.
The Commonwealth’s top legal official is threatening to “bring suit” against those who seek to deprive Virginians of their right to religious freedom, something that the angry left has repeatedly shown that they have contempt for on a national level.
On Saturday, Miyares issued a statement, taking to Twitter to put groups such as Ruth Sent Us on notice that there will be consequences for their actions.
“I deeply respect the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly. But no one has the right to interfere with the fundamental and natural right of all Virginians to practice their religion in peace,” he wrote.
I deeply respect the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly. But no one has the right to interfere with the fundamental and natural right of all Virginians to practice their religion in peace. pic.twitter.com/LgNrhpPhdD
— Jason Miyares (@JasonMiyaresVA) May 7, 2022
“Some on the extreme left have responded to this week’s reprehensible leak of a Supreme Court opinion by calling for pro-abortion protests inside and outside of Catholic parishes this Sunday,” his statement reads. “I deeply respect the First Amendment rights of speech and assembly. But no one has the right to interfere with the fundamental and natural right of all Virginians to practice their religion in peace.”
The group Ruth Sent Us, which emerged from obscurity following the leak of the SCOTUS draft opinion that suggested Roe v. Wade could be overturned, has positioned itself at the forefront of leftist efforts to intimidate conservative justices whose homes were descended upon by angry mobs on Saturday.
Ruth Sent Us has called for a national turnout on Mother’s Day Sunday at Catholic churches.
“Whether you’re a “Catholic for Choice”, ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe. Stand at or in a local Catholic Church Sun May 8,” the group posted to its Twitter account last week in a call to action.
Whether you’re a “Catholic for Choice”, ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe. Stand at or in a local Catholic Church Sun May 8. #WarOnWomen #MothersDayStrike pic.twitter.com/v2vtpd12Gp
— Ruth Sent Us 🪧 (@RuthSentUs) May 3, 2022
Attorney General Miyares reached back to the earliest days of the Republic and one of the nation’s founding fathers to emphasize how sacred that the right to free exercise of religion is.
“Virginia’s long tradition of protecting religious liberty dates back to the founding of our Commonwealth, when Thomas Jefferson penned the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom that is now enshrined in our Commonwealth’s Constitution,” he wrote. “As Attorney General, I am charged with protecting this sacred right for all Virginians.”
“Federal law makes it a felony to intimidate, interfere with, or obstruct any person who is seeking to exercise his or her First Amendment right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship. Similarly, Virginia criminal law prohibits obstructing the free movement of other persons, trespassing on church property, or obstructing proper ingress to and egress from a church. My office will be monitoring protest activities directed at houses of worship and will refer criminal violations to the United States Department of Justice or to the appropriate Commonwealth’s Attorney,” he wrote, putting leftist disruptors on notice.
He also warned leftists of the potential of civil lawsuits, “Furthermore, Federal law authorizes states to bring civil suits to protect their citizens’ free exercise of religion. If protest activities directed at houses of worship cross the line to illegal obstruction, intimidation, or interference, I will not hesitate to bring suit to protect the religious freedoms of the citizens of this Commonwealth.”
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