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SF 85

as introduced - 93rd Legislature (2023 - 2024) Posted on 01/10/2023 08:01am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A joint resolution
relating to Religious Freedom Day.

WHEREAS, on January 16, 1786, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which was
written by Thomas Jefferson and championed by James Madison and served as the model for the
relationship between religion and government taken by the Framers of the Constitution in 1787,
and the First Amendment in 1789, was enacted in Virginia; and

WHEREAS, today we understand that religious freedom is a fundamental American and
human right. We declare that religious freedom is a cornerstone of democracy. We declare that
religious freedom is not a privilege for the few, but a right for all. We embrace this fundamental
right as one that applies to people of all religious affiliations or beliefs and people of no religious
affiliations or beliefs; and

WHEREAS, we recognize that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom has equality as a
guiding and governing principle in declaring: "...all men shall be free to profess, and by argument
to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge,
or affect their civil capacities." Thomas Jefferson rightly understood that religious freedom
encompasses "the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of
every denomination"; and

WHEREAS, we hold that religious liberty remains essential to the health and future of our
democracy; and

WHEREAS, in 1992, Congress designated January 16th as Religious Freedom Day to
commemorate the enactment of the Virginia Statute; and

WHEREAS, in that spirit, we recall the centrality of the Virginia Statute in shaping religious
freedom as one of the highest aspirations of the American experiment; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it recognizes January
16th as Religious Freedom Day, a day in which the legislature celebrates the diversity of Minnesotans
and recognizes the right of each person to hold beliefs and practice religion according to their

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the State of Minnesota promotes and
encourages respect for all individuals regardless of their religious beliefs or affiliations or lack of
such beliefs.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it will work
to protect the rights of all people to practice their religion, free from interference in their beliefs,
whether from government or any other institution or group.