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Presidential Proclamation — Religious Freedom Day

The White House EmblemPresidential Proclamation — Religious Freedom Day

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, 2013

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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose. Today, we celebrate one of our Nation’s first laws to protect that right — the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Written by Thomas Jefferson and guided through the Virginia legislature by James Madison, the Statute affirmed that “Almighty God hath created the mind free” and “all men shall be free to profess . . . their opinions in matters of religion.” Years later, our Founders looked to the Statute as a model when they enshrined the principle of religious liberty in the Bill of Rights.

Because of the protections guaranteed by our Constitution, each of us has the right to practice our faith openly and as we choose. As a free country, our story has been shaped by every language and enriched by every culture. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers. Our patchwork heritage is a strength we owe to our religious freedom. Read more

RELIGION REMINDS SOCIETY OF OBJECTIVE MORAL NORMS

RELIGION REMINDS SOCIETY OF OBJECTIVE MORAL NORMS

Vatican City, 15 October 2012 (VIS) – On 14 October, Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, addressed the Istanbul World Forum, dedicated to the theme: “Justice and the Construction of a New Global Order”. In his remarks during the meeting, which took place from 13 to 14 October, Fr. Ayuso examined the essential contribution that social justice and religious freedom make to peace, and the indispensable role religions have in promoting peace and justice in global society.

“Religion”, said Fr. Ayuso speaking English, “has a role in contributing to the national conversation of any given society. That conversation needs to engage with all the complexities that societies face in the modem world. Concepts such as ‘justice’ and ‘social justice’ are an integral part of that conversation. Thus, we ask ourselves, what is the contribution of religion to the national conversation about ‘justice’ and ‘social justice’? Justice is a divine attribute, and religious teaching certainly contributes to the reflection on the right ordering of relationships, in other words, social justice. Catholic tradition, however, maintains that justice is accessible by means of human reason, to all men and women of goodwill, both religious and non religious”. Read more