A Cornhusker's Stand for Freedom

January 14, 2020

Religious Freedom Day isn't until Thursday, but Governor Pete Ricketts (R-Nebr.) is getting a head start on the celebration. The longtime conservative didn't waste any time promoting the occasion, which marks the date that Virginia passed its 1786 statute that laid the foundation for our First Amendment.

Ricketts already made fans out of pro-lifers after declaring this year's anniversary of Roe v. Wade a statewide day of prayer for the unborn. But apparently, he wasn't done yet. The Nebraska leader had conservatives cheering again this week when he held a special ceremony with state senators, faith leaders, educators, and representatives from the Nebraska Family Alliance and Nebraska Catholic Conference.

"Religious freedom is the first freedom listed in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution," Ricketts said. "That's no accident." It's "the cornerstone of a free society. The Founders of the U.S. recognized the importance of religion to the health of our republic. They also knew that religion flourishes best when practiced without coercion. Nebraskans are blessed with religious liberty, and they exercise this freedom by standing up for the most vulnerable, serving the disadvantaged, and seeking the well-being of their neighbors."

Ricketts, who's personally championed legislation to protect religious expression, explained that the attacks on men and women of faith continue. But, he said, "Our ancestors came to this country in part to have religious freedom" -- and it's up to us to defend it. Public statements like his certainly help. We applaud the governor for taking a stand and serving as a model for other leaders to do the same!

If you're looking for ways to observe Religious Freedom Day, join FRC for a special live event highlighting religious liberty around the world. Jewher Ilham, whose scholar father has been held in a Uyghur prison camp, will give a first-hand testimony of what America's example means to the world. To register or watch online, click here.