Happy Constitution Day!
On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution, and it was soon ratified by the states. This established a framework for our government, our rights, and our freedoms. The Bill of Rights was soon added, including important individual rights like the freedoms of speech and religion.
Each year, we celebrate Constitution Day to remember the founding fathers’ wisdom in codifying individual rights that stem from God and nature rather from a king. Unlike England, the United States was a new nation to be governed by and for the people. The Constitution ensured that the people would be free to live their lives as they chose. This included the right to live out their faith, whatever that faith was.
Religious persecution drove thousands to flee Europe and build the communities that would eventually bind together to become the United States of America. That is why freedom of religion was so valued by the drafters of the Constitution that they included it in the very first amendment.
Now, 230 years later, freedom of religion is still vitally important. This freedom is a hallmark of American citizenship. It protects the right of each American to live by the dictates of their conscience, rather than the dictates of the government. But staggeringly, according to a new poll, only 15% of American can name religion as a 1st Amendment freedom.
This Constitution Day, we at the 1st Amendment Partnership want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the fundamental importance of the freedom of religion.
The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects freedom of religion for all people who live in the United States. We need state laws that allow space for people to live their lives without fear of government intrusion. Most importantly, we need a robust civil society that highly regards religious pluralism and celebrates the positive contributions of all religions.
Thank you for celebrating Constitution Day with 1AP and for helping us make sure these important conversations last throughout the year.
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