[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

Fw: Presidential Proclamation of Religious Freedom Day

Jan 16, 1998 02:52 PM
by John E Mead

FYI only....

> From: UUAWO <>
> To: CyberNewsletter of the UUA Washington Office <>
> Subject: FYI: Presidential Proclamation of Religious Freedom Day
> Date: Friday, January 16, 1998 4:48 PM
>                             RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, 1998
>                                     - - - - - - -
>                                    A PROCLAMATION
>                The right to worship according to one's own conscience is
>           essential to our dignity as human beings.  Whatever our
>           beliefs, they represent the essence of our personal values and
>           cannot be dictated to us.  Recognizing this truth, our founders
>           made religious liberty the first freedom guaranteed in the Bill
>           of Rights.  They wisely understood as well that in protecting
>           free exercise of religion, we must also prohibit the
>           establishment of religion by the state.
>                Among the early European settlers who came to our shores
>           were many seeking to escape the religious compulsion and
>           persecution they had endured in the lands of their birth.
>           William Penn, Roger Williams, and many others would strive to
>           make their settlements havens for freedom of conscience, laying
>           the foundation for the great tradition of religious liberty
>           would ultimately find expression in the First Amendment to the
>           Constitution.  Since those early days, our continuing
>           has been to banish lingering prejudice and increase religious
>           understanding and respect among our people.
>                Today, millions of people of different faiths call America
>           home.  The churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other
>           houses of worship they have built have become centers of
>           community life and service and a source of strength for our
>           Nation.  As our country becomes increasingly diverse, we must
>           reaffirm our efforts to reach out to one another and to see
>           our differences to the values we hold in common.
>                My Administration is striving to enhance this climate of
>           acceptance and respect, bringing people together across lines
>           faith.  Two years ago, with the help of a broad coalition of
>           religious and civic leaders, we created guidelines clarifying
>           nature of religious expression permitted in our public schools
>           and reaffirming that America's young people do not have to
>           their religious beliefs at the schoolhouse door.  With the help
>           of that same coalition, I issued additional guidelines last
>           August to reinforce the right of religious expression in the
>           Federal workplace.  Building on America's long-standing commit-
>           ment to freedom and fairness, these guidelines will ensure that
>           Federal employees may engage in personal religious expres-sion
>           the greatest extent possible, consistent with workplace
>           efficiency and the requirements of law.  The guidelines also
>           clarify that Federal employers may not discriminate in
>           on the basis of religion and that an agency must reasonably
>           accommodate employees' religious practices.
>                On Religious Freedom Day this year, as we celebrate and
>           cherish this precious right we enjoy as Americans, we must not
>           forget others who are less fortunate.  Throughout the world, in
>           many lands, too many people still suffer and die for their
>           beliefs, and lives, families, and communities are torn apart by
>           old hatreds and prejudices.  We must continue to proclaim the
>           fundamental right of all peoples to believe and worship
>           to their own conscience, to affirm their beliefs openly and
>           freely, and to practice their faith without fear or
>           The priceless gift we have inherited from past generations will
>           only grow in value as we share it with others.
>                NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the
>           United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in
>           by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby
>           proclaim January 16, 1998, as Religious Freedom Day.  I call
>           the people of the United States to observe this day with
>           appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs, and I urge
>           Americans to reaffirm their devotion to the fundamental
>           principles of religious freedom and religious tolerance.
>                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
>           fifteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord nineteen
>           hundred and ninety-eight, and of the Independence of the United
>           States of America the two hundred and twenty-second.

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application