In response to the controversial mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, on March 27th some religious leaders in Missouri, along with many church members, held a Rally for Religious Liberty at the capitol building in Jefferson City. I am not going to devote this post to the issues of religious liberty and contraception; instead, I want to make a couple of observations about the rally that trouble me. First, the Saint Louis Review, which is my archdiocesan newspaper, posted tips for attending the rally–one of which was to wear red. Why? I could not find an explanation. You may see the pics from the rally here, depicting a lot of red shirts protesting President Obama’s policies. I hope I’m not reading too much into this, but it struck me as being dangerously close to a partisan (red = Republican) thing to do. Why not rather have Christians wear purple given that this was during the penitential season of Lent? Second, and this is where my Yoderian and Hauerwasian training is more apparent (even though I am also to an extent usually on board with John Courtney Murray, SJ), one of the photos shows children reciting the U.S. pledge of allegiance; I hope as much attention was devoted to our baptismal vows as Catholics, to which we owe our ultimate allegiance–even though, of course, the other major Christian (Baptists, Missouri Synod Lutherans, Assemblies of God) participants at this so-called “ecumenical” event may not recognize our baptismal practice as valid.