Alumni start new group to defend religious liberty


The American Remnant joins many other groups in the struggle to preserve religious liberties that have been boldly undermined recently.

The organization was founded by a group of Franciscan University of Steubenville alumni in response to a recent health-care mandate from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The HHS mandate would require employers throughout the country to cover contraceptives as a part of their health care coverage, including Catholic universities such as Franciscan.

Ryan Janise recently graduated from Franciscan, having majored in theology and catechetics. He shared some information on the beginnings of the group with The Troubadour.

“It all started with the HHS mandate,” said Janise. “The website was started in March, but a group of us got together around January and February. It was a group of Franciscan alumni who wanted to do something, but didn’t know what. Our main purpose was to raise awareness of Christian liberty in this country.”

Janise expressed how ardent the desire was for the group to not be silent, but be active:

“We kind of felt like the prophet Jeremiah in the book of Jeremiah where he says in chapter 20, verse nine; ‘I say to myself, I will not mention him, I will speak in his name no more. But then it becomes like a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones, I grow weary of holding it in, I cannot endure it.’”

Since the members are recent graduates, the program is somewhat limited in its activities. The main function consists of blogging on current political issues on the group’s website,, and on their Facebook page, The American Remnant.

“For now we are just blogging and trying to give people an internet outlet,” said Janise. “Our hope in the future is to host events but for now, it’s in its infant stage.”

The posts on the website are mainly on issues that deal with patriotism, mixed with the truths of the faith. On their mission statement page they declare:

“We will not rest until all Americans can once again practice their respective faiths without fear or threat of coercion. Therefore, whenever ‘license’ threatens liberty, wherever ‘fairness’ invades equality, or the relativistic preys upon the true, wherever apathy empowers injustice, there you shall hear us, a cry from beyond the wilderness saying, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord!’”

Janise also sees future students from the university taking up the cause for freedom. In his opinion, the university is a way for them to learn to think and act rightly when the time comes to defend the faith and liberty.

“I think it prepares them to make educated decisions based on the truths of their faith,” he said. “We don’t have to make guesses or have politicians tell us. We can stand strong in what we know is true.”

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