One would think that Virginians would be united and steadfast in their devotion to the Statute for Religious Freedom, written by Thomas Jefferson, adopted by the General Assembly in 1786, and since then praised by liberty-loving persons throughout the world. Currently, however, a group spearheaded by a few professors at Christopher Newport University and by the editor of the Religious Herald, the newspaper of the largest association of Baptists in Virginia, wants to "update" Jefferson's statute so that it guarantees religious people a "right to participate in the public forum, and express their points of view." On Jan. 24, The Times-Dispatch published a copy of the proposed legislation along with an op/ed written on its behalf by Stephen Strehle.

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Copyright © 2009 Richmond Newspapers, Inc. This article first appeared in Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 7, 2009, A 11 sec.

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