Thursday, June 21, 2012

Religious Liberty

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
These sixteen words have been the guarantor of the freedom of all religious men and women in our country. As a Virginian I must reach back to their predecessor, the 1779 Virginia statute on religious freedom
"[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."
Today people of many faiths including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are feeling pressures that would limit their ability to live their faith in their daily lives.
From today until the 4th of July we are entering a time of prayer. The U.S. bishops have called for a Fortnight for Freedom. For those not familiar with the term fortnight is a term for a two-week period. We are called to pray not just about one particular law but any attempts to limit non-violent exercise of religion, or to coerce persons to act contrary to their faith. Click the link above for more information.