For the third consecutive year, President Donald Trump declared January 16 as “Religious Freedom Day” in the United States. On the official White House website, the President stated:
On this Religious Freedom Day, we reaffirm our commitment to protecting the precious and fundamental right of religious freedom, both at home and abroad. Our Founders entrusted the American people with a responsibility to protect religious liberty so that our Nation may stand as a bright beacon for the rest of the world. Today, we remain committed to that sacred endeavor and strive to support those around the world who still struggle under oppressive regimes that impose restrictions on freedom of religion.
First proclaimed in 1993, “Religious Freedom Day” was created to commemorate Thomas Jefferson’s “Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.” Adopted by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786, Jefferson’s landmark statute was the forerunner for the First Amendment’s establishment clause and was pivotal in securing freedom of religion on behalf of all Americans.
Alongside the proclamation of Religous Freedom Day, President Trump also issued a blockbuster series of Executive actions designed to safeguard American students and religious organizations. In part, these include:
- Protecting every student’s constitutional right to pray in school,
- Ensuring religious organizations are treated equally by the Federal government,
- Safeguarding the fundamental right to religious freedom at home and abroad.
Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) had a phenomenal post on the impact of the new rules. In particular, President Trump’s actions explicitly affirmed the results Trinity Lutheran v. Comer, a key ADF victory at the Supreme Court in 2017.
In addition, another fantastic California-based CFC ally called Gateways to Better Education met with President Trump inside the White House earlier today. See this encouraging video from their president Eric Buehrer!
While there is much to critique about our government, both in Sacramento and in Washington, Religous Freedom Day is something every resident of the United States should support. California Family Council thanks the Trump administration for continuing and expanding bi-partisan efforts to advance the free exercise of religion for all Americans and people around the world.