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Jefferson's epitaph: A legacy of liberty page 3
Jefferson's Legacy of Religious Liberty, by Mary Walsh

 Jefferson listed the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom as one of his three crowning accomplishments.
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Date published: 1/13/2013


He concludes: "My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American--and no American business--should have to make." Thomas Jefferson must be rolling over in his grave.

On Washington Avenue in downtown Fredericksburg sits a monument to religious freedom and the efforts of Thomas Jefferson and his committee--George Mason, Edmund Pendleton, George Wythe, and Thomas Ludwell Lee. Erected in 1932, it has been honored since 1955 by the Fredericksburg-area Knights of Columbus every second Sunday in January. Today they will again mark its importance with a parade and wreath-laying to commemorate this pivotal moment of religious freedom in these United States.


January is a typically frigid month. Its mornings awaken us to frozen ground, bare branches, and bleak gray skies. It's almost haunting. Perhaps it's because post-Christmas we recall the slaughter of the Holy Innocents by Herod to protect his throne. But in America, we don't protect thrones, we protect convenience. January this year brings the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. In its wake exists a divided nation, dismembered bodies, and wounded hearts and souls. Once again, this January, hundreds of thousands of pro-life Americans will exercise their rights under the First Amendment to participate in the March for Life in opposition to that dreadful decision of 1973.

'Tis better to light a candle than curse the darkness. "For the light shines in the darkness and the darkness grasps it not."

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Mary Walsh is a freelance writer in Spotsylvania County.