Tag: Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

January 16, 2014 / Entanglement
created image of a wall between words Church and State

Today is Religious Freedom Day and President Obama issued a Proclamation to honor the day. The text included atheists as part of the religious diversity and cultural fabric of the United States. He also mentioned the important thing isn’t someone’s faith but that we all should support freedom, equality, justice, and separation of church and state.

Religious Freedom Day marks the day in 1786 when the first religious freedom law – Statute for Religious Freedom – was passed in Virginia.

January 10, 2012 / Definitions
image of the logo for Religious Freedom Day

January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day. The day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly’s adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. The Virginia Statute was the basis of the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution and also can be used to support Jefferson’s idea of the separation of church and state. The Religious Right have of course co-opted the day by mass marketing misleading information about what real religious freedom means in this country. Luckily, Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) has some help available to tell the truth.

The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was passed at a time when state support and protection of churches was the norm in what would become the United States. Thomas Jefferson offered the statute as a way to protect the church and the state. It is obvious from reading the text that separating church and state was the goal.