Iowa Statehouse Dome Square(Des Moines, IA) A bipartisan group of state senators is working together to sponsor an informal forum in support of religious freedom, focusing on the value of a robust and diverse religious culture that benefits Iowa’s communities through selfless service, education, and public advocacy.

State Senator Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Falls) supports the event because “there are a lot of misunderstandings about religious liberty principles in these times” and he wants to help bring people together for meaningful discussion.

State Senator Jake Chapman (R-Adel), the primary organizer, is pleased that so many colleagues have expressed interest in broadening the conversation about religious freedom to build on common ground.

The public is invited to participate on April 13 in the Capitol Rotunda (11:30 am to 1:00 pm); a short program featuring commentary from community leaders will begin at noon. Senators stress this is not an official legislative event nor a political rally of any kind. No legislation regarding religious freedom is under consideration at this time. The event is meant to be welcoming and not adversarial.

Community supporters hope the event will remind Iowans of the benefits associated with a strong, diverse, and free religious climate, where all citizens are free to express and act on what they deeply believe.

The date for the event coincides with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. He penned the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom that inspired the First Amendment to the US Constitution. The Virginia statute envisions a society where no one is compelled to support or denounce any particular religious viewpoint, but that all are free to argue their opinions in matters of religion without fear of public censure.

For more information about the April 13 event, visit iowareligiousfreedomday.org.

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