Saturday, January 16, 2010

Religious Freedom Day

Cranmer has been sent a missive by The White House:

Office of the Press Secretary


Long before our Nation's independence, weary settlers sought refuge on our shores to escape religious persecution on other continents. Recognizing their strife and toil, it was the genius of America's forefathers to protect our freedom of religion, including the freedom to practice none at all. Many faiths are now practiced in our Nation's houses of worship, and that diversity is built upon a rich tradition of religious tolerance. On this day, we commemorate an early realization of our Nation's founding ideals: Virginia's 1786 Statute for Religious Freedom.

The Virginia Statute was more than a law. It was a statement of principle, declaring freedom of religion as the natural right of all humanity – not a privilege for any government to give or take away. Penned by Thomas Jefferson and championed in the Virginia legislature by James Madison, it barred compulsory support of any church and ensured the freedom of all people to profess their faith openly, without fear of persecution. Five years later, the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights followed the Virginia Statute's model, stating, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...".

Our Nation's enduring commitment to the universal human right of religious freedom extends beyond our borders as we advocate for all who are denied the ability to choose and live their faith. My Administration will continue to oppose growing trends in many parts of the world to restrict religious expression.

Faith can bring us closer to one another, and our freedom to practice our faith and follow our conscience is central to our ability to live in harmony. On Religious Freedom Day, let us pledge our constant support to all who struggle against religious oppression and rededicate ourselves to fostering peace with those whose beliefs differ from our own. In doing so, we reaffirm our common humanity and respect for all people with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do more hereby proclaim January 16, 2010, as Religious Freedom Day.

I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that teach us about this critical foundation of our Nation's liberty, and show us how we can protect it for future
generations here and around the world.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.



“...a statement of principle, declaring freedom of religion as the natural right of all humanity – not a privilege for any government to give or take away... ensured the freedom of all people to profess their faith openly, without fear of persecution.”

Perhaps our Christian Prime Minister or Christian Leader of the Opposition might consider instituting such a day, if only to ward off the pathological secularising of the European Union.

We could call it ‘Reformation Day’...


Anonymous martin sewell said...

Notice that the terms of the Amendment are that "Congress" shall make no law regarding the establishment of religion". It operated as a prohibition only at a Federal level,largely because the States were unable to agree which denomination should be adopted if one were to be accepted as the State Church.That is should be other than Christian in character was inconceivable. States were ( and are) free to adopt a religious denomination on a State level, and for a short time in the early 1820's Massachusetts adopted Congregationalism. This is conveniently overlooked by such as the ACLU ( sometimes called the anti-chistian lawyers union) when they proclaim the Constitutional right to exclude God from the public place.

16 January 2010 at 11:36  
Blogger DDIM 'n HOFFI said...

Freedom to implement some of the less civilised elements of Sharia Law perhaps? How lovely!

16 January 2010 at 11:38  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

In practice the practice of one religion often impairs the practice of another.

16 January 2010 at 11:41  
Anonymous graham wood said...

YG If this message had not been posted by yourself I would have thought it some kind of weak joke.
What a strange declaration for Obama to make! Is he not aware of his own great Constitution which guarentees freedom of religious freedom, of thought, and assembly?
Why commemorate a day, when his Constitution clearly announces that religious freedom is a basic element of American life, the warp and woof of its society.
For Christians no such day of commemoration is necessary, for EVERY day, week,year, is one of complete freedom in Christ - who has:
"delivered us from the power of darkness, and has transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son
(Col 1:13)

16 January 2010 at 11:46  
Anonymous not a machine said...

The Jedis must be furious your grace

16 January 2010 at 12:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again Obama demonstrates his woeful ignorance of the Constitution and the history of the 57 States of the Union.
Martin Sewell is correct in his observation about State churches.
And where, pray tell, is the declaration 'America is Atheist' on the banner?

16 January 2010 at 12:24  
Blogger DNA said...

Individuals of religious faith make innumerable contributions to the wellbeing of the state and we should aspire to allow religious freedoms as society evolves. If a religious person believes that bread is the body of christ then that does no harm to a person of no religious faith. I listen to radio Scotland 'thought for the day' every morning and almost always agree with the message delivered by the priest, minister, bishop, cleric or rabbi until the end where the message is explicitly associated with a particular religious belief. I would prefer if it were left open to interpretation. Local radio in our area has the same but with more openly radical christian viewpoint which I cannot accept and ,as someone who cares for others ,I know that the sentiments expressed could actually be harmful and at least are intrusive when dispersed on a local radio medium.
When religious groups treat individuals differently because of personality traits or gender, when they restrict the teaching of science to children and when human or legal rights are threatened through religious groups interfering in politics ;that is when the religious groups need to be viewed as would a secular group who discriminate unfairly.
The church of England would be more secure in itself if it ordained women as bishops,didnt discriminate against personality traits and accepted the teaching of evolution and chaos theory alongside faith teaching in schools

16 January 2010 at 12:41  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Your Grace,

I would like to propose a different commemoration. A special day for the electorate to ward off the pathological despotism of the European Union.

Perhaps we could call it 'Independence Day'

16 January 2010 at 12:57  
Anonymous len said...

America once a great Christian Nation proclaiming all faiths, all religions.
How the mighty have fallen.
I would rather Christianity was banned than see it put alongside all the other Gods in the temple.
What message does this give to the unsaved? All paths, all religions lead to God?
There is only one way to God the Lord Jesus Christ all else is delusion.
America like the UK has sold it soul for sake of Political Correctness.

16 January 2010 at 14:45  
Blogger Dr.D said...

Graham Woods has pointed to the crux of the matter. Obama wants to act as if this was something new, novel, something of his creation, which it most certainly is not. He has done much to damage the cause of religion in America, and this "proclamation" will do nothing to enhance it.

The Obama administration has pushed the idea that America is made up of people holding many different faiths and no faith at all. This is true, but it is misleading. America is still predominantly Christian, at least nominally. Christianity in America is not nearly as strong as it once was, but is is still by far the dominate faith and the basis for society. To suggest that Buddhism, Taoism, or vile izlam, have any where near the sway in America that Christianity has is simply false and misleading. Obama knows this, but in this, as in all things, his desire is to mislead. The man is an ardent liar, one who dispises the Truth.

16 January 2010 at 15:08  
Anonymous graham wood said...

Fully agree with both Ien's and Dr D's comment and especially the implied patronising of Christianity as to be merely another religion on par with all the others.
But...... there is......
"ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism" !

16 January 2010 at 15:22  
Anonymous graham wood said...

Excellent suggestion from Knighthawk.
Now there is a real possibility.
Who will start the ball rolling and declare a personal UDI from the EU, together with a renunciation of EU, so called, "citizenship"?
Actually, I have a formal pre-printed card which declares just that, and which can be sent to Mr Brown, HMQ, the FCO, or all three.. It starts:

"I hereby renounce European (EU) citizenship which was imposed upon me through the treaties of Rome and Maastricht..... etc "
It then goes on to declare rejection of all things EU and particularly any loyalty or allegiance to same

16 January 2010 at 15:26  
Blogger Links said...

It is of no surprise that it doesn't mention John Adams, Washington of political systems, governance and diplomacy and probably the most important man in the struggle for independance...

In his wonderful Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (1780), oldest functioning written constitution, there is no mention of religious freedom whatsoever....only the guarentee that "no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, or for his religious profession or sentiments, provided he doth not disturb the public peace or obstruct others in their religious worship."

I think it was quite sensible.

16 January 2010 at 18:32  
Blogger PJH said...

I'm sure that graphic could incorporate the whole [latin] alphabet downwards (first letter of each.)

Are there any starting with the letter 'pi' ? Perhaps there could be a greek one. Or a Russian one?

16 January 2010 at 21:15  
Blogger Michal said...

There's nothing wrong with secularization, lest Cranmer seeks to return us to 15th century. Let politicians take care of worldly affairs, and clergy of the spiritual.

It is only advisable that public affairs and private beliefs remain separate...unless Cranmer is secretly delighted by the thought of pushing his Christian beliefs on the rest of the populace.

16 January 2010 at 22:10  
Anonymous len said...


God gave a set of laws to enable a society to function ,
They are,
You shall have no other Gods but me.
You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.
Respect your father and mother.
You must not kill.
You must not commit adultery.
You must not steal.
You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.
You must not be envious of your neighbour's goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.

Which of these do you object to and why?
I have noticed as we drift further away from God our society seems to be breaking down, there is a general attitude of lawlessness,families are disintegrating,violence is on our streets,morals are under attack,if these are the fruits of secularization it doesn`t seem to be working very well does it?

As for pushing Christian beliefs the secular world is at war with Christianity and is doing all it can to prohibit Christianity.
When were you last sacked for expressing a secular belief?

17 January 2010 at 01:13  
Blogger Michal said...

Murder, vice, immorality and criminality flowered in all eras, especially in the chaotic yet religiously faithful medieval times.

To say that these are a product of society where religion does not become a political policy would be foolish. Lest we forget papal pardons or inquisition.

As a sidenote, It is hilarious that in one post Cranmer rallies against ban on burka as an affront to British liberalism, yet, simultaneously, in another wishes to bring back to politics values which are, well, illiberal no matter how you look at it. Religious.

I object to anyone's right to push on me his artificial norms of behaviour.

Do you really want to live in a future where Christianity has re-introduced itself into politics, and where disbelief in God (I am profoundly guilty of that) is punishable?

What about divorce rate of 50%? Do you want all those people to be punished for adultery? And who are going to be the people judging them?

What about people worshipping pop idols, or great atheist figures? Or other religions? Should that be punishable as per standards of Christian god?

What if I say the name of your lord in vain? Do you want to fine me for that too?

17 January 2010 at 01:27  
Anonymous len said...

What do you want to replace christian morals and ethics with?

17 January 2010 at 01:45  
Anonymous len said...

It is no mere accident of history that family relationships have always been the very nucleus of all human civilization. According to Scripture, that is precisely the way God designed it to be. And therefore, if the family crumbles as an institution, all of civilization will ultimately crumble along with it.

Which is the consequence of rejecting Godly values and introducing some sort of secular theology which seems to be not to try to raise society up but to lower it to the lowest common denominator.

17 January 2010 at 02:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This document can only mean that the Obamster, himself a professed Muslim, means to grease the skids of Islam. Nothing this creep does is good, nothing

Michal: Put a sock in it.

17 January 2010 at 03:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. I read 'America Is Taoist' as 'America Is Toast'.

17 January 2010 at 08:41  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Did he send a copy to his folks in kenya,or were they too busy with thier pangas?.

17 January 2010 at 10:15  
Anonymous Child of the sixties said...

Your Grace I beg to differ on your central point regarding Europe, this country and religion.

When I was growing up in the sixties religion was seen as something only your parents may have gotten up to, and for not much longer.

The Pope especially was all but perfectly ignored, and NEVER appeared on the TV. Muslims were somewhere else, and when seen at all, were rightly regarded as strangely peaceful. Jews were only seen in 2WW documentaries, and in places such as Stanford Hill, and Golder Green.

Religion by the seventies was either not seen at all, unless you were looking for it, or only on The BBC/TV between 5-6 on a Sunday evening.

Please feel free to contrast this state of affairs with today.

Religion is EVERYWHERE, and almost constantly so. The establishments very own personal broadcaster The BBC is now obsessed by all forms of religion, ( Paganism, and MMGW for example ) and all other more openly established religions.

However there is one particular form of established religion that is getting repeatedly ignored or marginalized by the BBC. Which is clearly all religions set up specifically as protestant to the utter power of The Roman Catholic Church.

I believe I know why this is so. Perhaps your Grace could give this ever more obvious situation an increasing amount of your attention, rather then going off on dangerously misleading tangents.

IMO religion is being more obviously united under one religious body. In the same way, and for the EXACT same reason that national governments are being systematically destroyed or brought under more direct control.

Put another way.

Religion as an expression of our individuality, is going the same way as all other expressions of our individuality are going. Which is to a papist run hell in an establishment rented hand-cart.


A One World Order very much requires a One World Religion, or most surly one that is secretly or ultimately controlled by just one religious leader.

Perhaps some may care to guess, who this one leader, undoubtedly and by all logical thought has to be, and it sure is not a true Hindu, Muslim, The ABofC, or The Chief Rabbi.

17 January 2010 at 13:12  
Anonymous The Glovner said...

Since when is the notion of a family group an exclusive christian idea? There were family groups long before christianity added it to the list of things they stole and tried to pass off as their own.

17 January 2010 at 21:18  
Anonymous len said...

The family group is an exclusive God idea,
welcome back Mr G.

17 January 2010 at 22:12  
Blogger greenalien said...

Someone call the Chinese and tell them they have no right to family life because they're atheist.

18 January 2010 at 00:32  
Anonymous len said...

Lots of christians in china, more than in the UK.
In fact christianity is growing faster in the east than in the west.

18 January 2010 at 07:39  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Nice to be back, although a little sad how American airports can operate fine with up to 5 feet of snow, yet when I touch down in Heathrow I am forced to take a bus from London to Edinburgh as the airport must close its runways with about half a foot of snow. Guess that's just good old Blighty though, a well oiled machine.

Anyways, Family group, exclusively god idea? Nope sorry, doesn't sit with me, nearly all animals have some sembelance of a family group/structure with no input from any type of god head. Also there were family groups long before the idea of god stunted our growth as a race.

Certainly religious groups of many types would like to be able to claim the idea of family group as their own but the statement just doesn't hold water.

18 January 2010 at 13:26  
Anonymous len said...

God created humans to be guided by the Holy Spirit and created animals to have instinct inbred in them.
The family unit is a basic building block of society.God has ordained how husbands should treat wives, and wives husbands, also children parents, and parents children.
The family unit breaking down is the forerunner of the society breaking down.

18 January 2010 at 20:00  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"The family unit breaking down is the forerunner of the society breaking down."

That I will agree with in part (I still don't believe it is healthy to be in a hateful relationship purely to say you are in a family unit, but the end of the family unit is by no means a great outcome either, but still better than being brought up in a hateful environment), but I will say again, this has nothing to do with god be it christian or otherwise.

The family unit is not a religiously exlusive idea no matter how much you want to pretend it is.

19 January 2010 at 11:01  
Blogger Peter Risdon said...

The Virginia Declaration was a secularist document. You plainly do not even understand the meaning of the word "secular". "No religious test for public office" is a pretty good definition.

20 January 2010 at 07:43  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

Trust nothing Obama says. He wants to force all citizens to pay for abortions. He hardly cares about freedom of conscience. His ploy in this declaration is to divorce America from its Judaeo-Christian roots!

24 January 2010 at 17:46  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Child of the Sixties is correct, a One World Govt might need a One World Religion.
Doesn't have to be so but it looks like that is what has been decided.
This is blairs job, to mind meld all the religions with his faith academies perhaps.

26 January 2010 at 16:56  

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