Saturday is Religious Freedom Day. While it’s not one of our most well-known or popular holidays, Religious Freedom Day shouldn’t be overlooked. Our country is in the middle of a campaign, spearheaded by far-right religious groups and their political allies, to redefine religious freedom. We cannot allow this to happen.
Two weeks from today, the nation will celebrate Religious Freedom Day.
Don’t feel bad if you were not aware of that. Most people aren’t. Religious Freedom Day, which is celebrated every Jan. 16, tends to be somewhat obscure. My desk calendar, which includes Groundhog Day, Armed Forces Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday, does not list Religious Freedom Day.
I still use a large desk calendar, one made out of paper. (Yep, I admit I’m a dinosaur.)
This calendar thoughtfully fills me in on holidays major and minor. On March 17, I can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Benito Juarez’s Birthday. I wouldn’t want to miss Administrative Professionals Day on April 23, and Victoria Day (May 19) is a big deal in Canada. For you internationalists, Oct. 24 is United Nations Day.
But one holiday that does not appear is Religious Freedom Day, which is today, Jan. 16.
Your calendar might not note this, but today is Religious Freedom Day, an event that celebrates passage of Thomas Jefferson’s pioneering Statute for Religious Freedom in Virginia.
Some quick background: In 1784, Patrick Henry introduced a bill in the Virginia legislature that would have required all residents to pay a tax “for the support of the Christian religion, or of some Christian church, denomination or communion of Christians, or for some form of Christian worship.”
I’m all for “Religious Freedom Day,” an annual nationwide event that takes place Jan. 16 to mark the passage of one of the great milestone of freedom of conscience in America: passage of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statue for Religious Freedom.
But I’m not for people using the anniversary of this important document to spread misinformation about church-state separation and religious freedom in America – and that’s just what the Religious Right is doing.
Jan. 16 is Religious Freedom Day. As American holidays go, this one tends to be overlooked. It's not even listed on my desk calendar.
That's a shame, because Religious Freedom Day commemorates an important event: passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. This landmark legislation, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and maneuvered through the Virginia legislature by James Madison, became law on Jan. 16, 1786. Scholars consider it a precursor to the First Amendment and a vital step along the way to securing the separation of church and state.
Today is Religious Freedom Day. Why is this day important? Consider the following story: In 380 A.D., three Roman emperors of the east and west issued a joint edict on religion.
January 16th is "Religious Freedom Day," an annual event that commemorates one of the greatest documents promoting religious liberty ever written – Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
Many scholars believe the Virginia Statute was an inspiration for the First Amendment. In eloquent language, the measure ended Virginia's state church and guaranteed religious liberty for all. If you haven't read it, you should.
Jan. 16 is "Religious Freedom Day," an occasion to commemorate the passage of Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.
The Statute is an eloquent indictment of government meddling in religion. Drafted by Jefferson 12 years before the ratification of the First Amendment's religion clauses, it laid the ground work for the separation of church and state we enjoy today.