Monday, January 14, 2008

Religious Freedom Celebration

Yesterday, Fredericksburg held its annual commemoration of Thomas Jefferson’s drafting of the “Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.” The Knights of Columbus (gotta love those hats) sponsor the event, which starts with a parade (a very tiny parade), and ends at the Monument for Religious Freedom on Washington Street, where, as I mentioned on Saturday, there were speeches. And prayers. Yup, speeches and prayers, with some patriotic songs thrown in for good measure, really sums up the event. With the Knights of Columbus in charge, it’s not exactly the celebration of religious diversity I would have liked. A few of yesterday’s distinguished guests were non-Christian, including a Buddhist monk who was invited to give the benediction. But along the way, we were asked at several junctions to bow our heads in prayer to God, and to pray in the name of Jesus Christ, and to acknowledge the Biblical teaching which says that man shall be the head of the household. Yes, I know the Knights of Columbus have the right to express their own personal religious beliefs--that's what the Statute is about, after all. But in a public ceremony like this, it would have been nice if the mayor, who was the keynote speaker, might have encouraged a bit more ecumenical approach to the public prayers. Next year, I think I’ll take a pass.

Here is the laying of the wreath ceremony at the monument. On the left is Mayor Tomzak, for whom I will always hold a soft spot in my heart, ever since he forcibly extracted my son from me 20 years ago (yes, he was my obstetrician).

This guy was protesting at the parade, although I'm not sure exactly what he was protesting:

And here's a car that my son says is a DeLorean, and therefore blogworthy:

I will leave you with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:
"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent."

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789


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I can always count on a chuckle from yur blog. Thank GOD for Dr.Tom

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