Minnesota Senate









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Authors and Status

S.R. No. 53, as introduced: 91st Legislative Session (2019-2020) Posted on January 14, 2019

1.1A Senate resolution
1.2expressing the sense of the Minnesota Senate concerning Religious Freedom Day.
1.3WHEREAS, on January 16, 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was
1.4written by Thomas Jefferson and championed by James Madison and served as the model for the
1.5relationship between religion and government taken by the Framers of the Constitution in 1787,
1.6and the First Amendment in 1789, was enacted in Virginia; and
1.7WHEREAS, today we understand that religious freedom is a fundamental American and
1.8human right. We declare that religious freedom is a cornerstone of democracy. We declare that
1.9religious freedom is not a privilege for the few, but a right for all. We embrace this fundamental
1.10right as one that applies to people of all religious affiliations or beliefs and people of no religious
1.11affiliations or beliefs; and
1.12WHEREAS, we recognize that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom has equality as a
1.13guiding and governing principle in declaring: "...all men shall be free to profess, and by argument
1.14to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge,
1.15or affect their civil capacities." Thomas Jefferson made it clear that religious freedom encompasses
1.16"the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every
1.17denomination"; and
1.18WHEREAS, we hold that religious liberty remains essential to the health and future of our
1.19democracy; and
1.20WHEREAS, in 1992, Congress designated January 16th as Religious Freedom Day, to
1.21celebrate the enactment of the Virginia Statute; and
1.22WHEREAS, in that spirit we recall the centrality of the Virginia Statute in shaping religious
1.23freedom as one of the highest aspirations of the American experiment; and
2.1NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota that it
2.2recognizes January 16th as Religious Freedom Day, a day in which we celebrate the diversity of
2.3Minnesotans and recognize the right of each person to hold beliefs and practice religion according
2.4to their conscience.
2.5BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we promote and encourage respect for all others regardless
2.6of their religious beliefs or affiliations or lack of such beliefs.
2.7BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Senate of the State of Minnesota that it will work to
2.8protect the rights of all people to practice their religion, free from interference in their beliefs,
2.9whether from government or any other institution or group.

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