Oops, I’m a day late posting this one. January 16th (yesterday) was Religious Freedom Day. This day was established back in 1996 to honor the 200th anniversary of the passage of Virginia’s landmark Statute of Religious Freedom.
For 2013, the President issued the customary proclamation, and at least we got a mention: “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.”
In 2010, the President’s proclamation said, “it was the genius of America’s forefathers to protect our freedom of religion, including the freedom to practice none at all.” Similarly, in 2011 the proclamation Â In 2011 he referenced “the ability of Americans to worship and practice religion as they choose, including the right to believe in no religion at all.” This year he got a little lazy and repeated word-for-word the language from 2012.
Anyway, at least he’s been throwing us a bone (or, depending on how you want to interpret it, reminding the majority that the freedom of religion includes the freedom to be irreligious). Neither Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush recognized non-believers in their proclamations.