National Religious Freedom Day - January 16
A day to learn, celebrate and thank God…
Each year since 1993, the President declares January 16th to be "Religious Freedom Day," and calls upon Americans to "observe this day through appropriate events and activities in homes, schools, and places of worship."(1)
January 16 is the anniversary of the passage, in 1786, of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson, and is the model for the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. It is a statement about freedom of conscience that protects the rights of people to express their religious believes without suffering discrimination. Also, the government is banned from interference in religion and individual beliefs as well as taxing people to pay for the support of the local church.
This principle of a "wall of separation between church and state," was written by Pres. Jefferson in 1802 to further clarify and support individual freedom of conscience and the open practice of faith without government interference, as intended in the First Amendment.
"On Religious Freedom Day, we celebrate our Nation's long-standing commitment to freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one's own faith. The right to religious freedom is innate to the dignity of every human person and is fundamental to the pursuit of truth." (2) President Trump Proclamation, 2019
(gateways.org (1); virginiahistory.org; billofrightsinstitute.org; time.com, 1/16/18;
whitehouse.gov, 1/15/19 (2)
"Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain ..." Thomas Jefferson