Do you know that January 16 is annually declared by the President as Religious Freedom Day? Did you also know that our Governor, Doug Burgum, also recently signed a proclamation declaring Religious Freedom Day for our state? That’s excellent and we thank both of them for their actions, but I suspect that many of you have never even heard of Religious Freedom Day.
Religious Freedom Day celebrates the anniversary of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, signed in 1786. Thomas Jefferson’s landmark statute became the basis for the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Simply put, religious freedom is your freedom to live and work according to your beliefs.
Sadly, in the past few years private business owners adhering to their beliefs have been fined, subject to lawsuits, or had their licenses revoked. Some faith-based charitable organizations such as foster care and adoption agencies have been forced out altogether.
The Founders understood something we’ve forgotten: religious freedom matters because it ensures a free society in which the government doesn’t create rights. The role of government is to provide a framework for structured liberty and to recognize the rights that every person has because they are human.
We must defend religious freedom and oppose allowing those in power to use the force and weight of government to compel people to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. No one should be forced to choose between their faith and their livelihood. No one should have to retreat from civil and political life to follow their faith or conscience. You should never be asked to surrender a God-given right.
In America, people should be free to live and work according to their beliefs. It’s one of the principles on which this country was founded. You’re not free if your beliefs are confined to your mind. Everyone in world history under every sort of regime has been “free to believe.” What makes America unique is our freedom to peacefully live out those beliefs, and the Constitution protects that freedom.
Family Policy Alliance fights for religious freedom right here in our state and at the national level. If you want to help us in this continual defense of your religious freedom, please pass this message on to your friends and family and ask then to join our mailing list so they can stay informed on this topic and many others that affect our families. We can protect our freedoms if we remain vigilant and stand up for truth and our God-given rights.
President and Executive Director