Christian Heritage Week


WHEREAS, the protection of religious freedom in the United States was inspired by the Virginian Statute for Religious Freedom, and is guaranteed to all Americans by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States, and it is important to recognize and respect the tremendous religious diversity in Virginia and throughout our nation; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution of Virginia states, “That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction; not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience”; and

WHEREAS, the founders of our country were great men and women from many religious denominations, races and cultures, who came here from all over the world to establish a country “with liberty and justice for all,” and the Christian faith is an integral part of this rich heritage which merits recognition; and

WHEREAS, today, our Commonwealth continues to assimilate many different faiths, cultures and races, and such diversity and pluralism are essential in maintaining and strengthening the rich and colorful fabric of our state and nation; and

WHEREAS, George Mason wrote in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, forerunner to our United States Bill of Rights, “That it is the mutual duty to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other”;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize March 9-15, 2014 as CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observation to the attention of all our citizens.