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The Knights of Columbus lead a parade through town last month as part of the celebration of Religious Freedom Day.
FILE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Pastor Robert Koehler's congregation, Redeemer Lutheran-Missouri Synod, brought far more people to the march under their banner than the atheists who have received disproportionate coverage. Conference organizers chose to honor Pastor Koehler, who is approaching retirement, for his community leadership by including him on the program.
What should be commended is that a private Knights of Columbus event drew many beyond the Roman Catholic world. The crowd of several hundred people included Protestant pastors and churches: The Rev. Doug Kittredge (New Life in Christ Presbyterian), Pastor Hashmel Turner, Pastor Michael Hirsch (Calvary Christian), Spotswood Baptist and Spotsylvania Presbyterian among them.
Virginia history shows that it was Presbyterians and Baptists who worked to protect liberty of conscience. Jefferson called forced contributions (taxes) to support "opinions which he disbelieves sinful and tyrannical."
Let us celebrate our heritage of religious freedom. The liberty of conscience battle continues today with the Obamacare contraceptive mandate on the federal level, and looming threats from the commonwealth.