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06/12/2024 11:29 PM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20210&cosponId=36349
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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: October 18, 2021 12:08 PM
From: Representative Rob W. Kauffman
To: All House members
Subject: Re-Affirming Religious Protection Resolution
 
As each one of us enters the Capitol, we can see the great influence that religious freedom has played in the formation of our Commonwealth, our nation, and in our way of life. The images and quotes that we see remind us of the religious beliefs and morals that are inextricably part of our identity.  It should inspire us as we walk beneath William Penn's words of freedom and hope, declaring, "There may be room there for such a holy experiment. For the nations want a precedent. And my God will make it the seed of the nation. That an example may be set up to the nations." 

Our state constitution has the strongest protections for religious activities in the nation.  This is a legacy of William Penn, who suffered persecution and imprisonment for his own faith, and it was his intent and greatest wish that no person would likewise suffer in this manner in Pennsylvania.  This legacy of religious freedom set the standard for the nation and the world and is why Pennsylvania has for centuries served as a refuge going back to the 1700s for the Amish, Anabaptists, Lutherans, Reformed, Moravians, Mennonites, Dissenters, Quakers, and numerous other religious groups.  

As not only Pennsylvania but also the whole United States faces great tests and challenges, our Founders knew that preserving the bedrock principle of religious freedom was essential to maintaining all of our fundamental democratic freedoms.   

Increasingly, I have come to see those who practice sincerely and deeply held religious beliefs burdened, obstructed from worship, and even subject to secular scorn. But the freedom to worship and acknowledge God, together with those of like minds and hearts, is essential to the well-being of those committed to their faith.  As Ronald Reagan said, "To those who cite the First Amendment as reason for excluding God from more and more of our institutions and everyday life, may I just say: The First Amendment of the Constitution was not written to protect the people of this country from religious values; it was written to protect religious values from government tyranny."

I hope you will join me in co-sponsoring a resolution to reaffirm our commitment - as the representatives of the People - to adhere to the strictest measures within our power to preserve religious freedom.



Introduced as HR164