Thanks to Thomas Jefferson, January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day.
Thomas Jefferson is rightly considered one of the greatest of the Founding Fathers. His accomplishments include being the primary author of the Declaration of Independence; our first Secretary of State; second Vice President; third President; mastermind of the Louisiana Purchase; founder of the University of Virginia; architect of the Lewis and Clark expedition; and on and on.
And yet, of all his monumental accomplishments, it is fascinating to note what he wanted most to be remembered for. Here is what he wanted written (and what actually is written) on the monument over his grave:
Here was buried
Author of the Declaration of American Independence
of the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom
Father of the University of Virginia
He said, “Because by these, as testimonials that I have lived, I wish most to be remembered.”
Notice any major omissions? No mention of being President, Vice President or some of those other achievements. Just those three. He obviously thought them very, very important.
It was this second accomplishment, the Statute of Virginia for religious freedom, ratified in 1786 that served as the basis for our First Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees our precious freedom of religion in this country.
So January 16th is National Religious Freedom Day (http://www.religiousfreedomday.com). Celebrate and thank God for our unparalleled religious freedom in this country, tell your children about it, enjoy the right to worship God as you see fit, go to your chosen house of worship this weekend, and never, ever take it for granted. As has been said before:
Freedom is not free. And it is never more than one generation away from extinction.
Let’s not let our children and grandchildren ever have to ask why we let its fire be extinguished on our watch. Our Founding Fathers, our men and women who have served and serve in the Armed Services, and most importantly our Lord and Savior Jesus have paid much too high a price to give it to us.