With all the false arguments about what separation of church and
state means in the Establishment Clause, it really means the government
can’t establish a state religion, and you’re free to worship as you
believe in America.

Here’s a reminder:

Today is Religious Freedom Day. Chances are, you didn’t know that. It’s not seomething the media would focus on.

But it’s an important occasion and a noble observance, and it was
one of the final acts George W. Bush made as president: designating
this day for that honor.

Here’s the president’s statement:

Religious freedom is the foundation of a healthy and
hopeful society.  On Religious Freedom Day, we recognize the importance
of the 1786 passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.  We
also celebrate the first liberties enshrined in our Constitution’s Bill
of Rights, which guarantee the free exercise of religion for all
Americans and prohibit an establishment of religion.

Our Nation was founded by people seeking haven from religious
persecution, and the religious liberty they found here remains one of
this land’s greatest blessings.  As Americans, we believe that all
people have inherent dignity and worth.  Though we may profess
different creeds and worship in different manners and places, we
respect each other’s humanity and expression of faith.  People with
diverse views can practice their faiths here while living together in
peace and harmony, carrying on our Nation’s noble tradition of
religious freedom.

The United States also stands with religious dissidents and
believers from around the globe who practice their faith peacefully. 
Freedom is not a grant of government or a right for Americans alone; it
is the birthright of every man, woman, and child throughout the world. 
No human freedom is more fundamental than the right to worship in
accordance with one’s conscience.

Religious Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate our legacy of
religious liberty, foster a culture of tolerance and peace, and renew
commitments to ensure that every person on Earth can enjoy these basic
human rights.

I call on all Americans to reflect on the great blessing of
religious liberty, endeavor to preserve this freedom for future
generations, and commemorate this day with appropriate events and
activities.

Here are a couple of ideas: Give honor to God, and service to the
public in some way. The public square needs religious minded people.

When Pope Benedict addressed the United Nations last April, he said
human rights must be grounded in religious freedom. Global dialogue has
to use moral language, he said. In fact, religious rights need to be
protected from secular ideology in the culture, and no one should have
to deny God to enjoy their civil rights. Pope Benedict told the UN that
religious freedom can’t be limited to just the right to worship freely.
It requires that believers have a role in building social order.

Don’t wait to be asked.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....