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Religious Freedom Day: For A Real Celebration, Go To The Source

Jan. 16 is Religious Freedom Day. As American holidays go, this one tends to be overlooked. It's not even listed on my desk calendar.

That's a shame, because Religious Freedom Day commemorates an important event: passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. This landmark legislation, drafted by Thomas Jefferson and maneuvered through the Virginia legislature by James Madison, became law on Jan. 16, 1786. Scholars consider it a precursor to the First Amendment and a vital step along the way to securing the separation of church and state.

Sally Kern, Unpatriot: Why Does Oklahoma's Looney Lawmaker Hate America?

Everyone's favorite raging theocrat, Oklahoma House member Sally Kern, is at it again.

Numerous reports indicate that Kern and her supporters plan to publicly sign a document dubbed the "Oklahoma Citizen's Proclamation for Morality" declaring the United States a Christian nation tomorrow at the state capitol.

I've read Kern's resolution, and it's a whole lot of crazy crammed into one document. Dissecting the whole thing would take all day – and who has that much time?

Veto Power: What James Madison Can Teach Barack Obama

In the history of church-state separation, certain dates are special: On Dec. 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights was officially ratified. On Jan. 1, 1802, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptists containing the famous "wall of separation between church and state" metaphor. The U.S. Supreme Court spoke strongly in favor of separation in Everson v. Board of Education, issued on Feb. 10, 1947.

Faith-Based Advice: Coalition Urges Presidential Candidates To Change Bush's Initiative

In February of 1811, President James Madison vetoed a congressional bill incorporating an Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. Citing the First Amendment, Madison said the measure "exceeds the rightful authority to which governments are limited by the essential distinction between civil and religious functions."

Mr. Madison's Momentous Missive: Correcting That 'Old Error' About Religion And Government

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