Iowa Religious Freedom Day is April 13
On February 5th, 2020, Governor Kim Reynolds signed the proclamation setting April 13, 2020, as the 7th annual Iowa Religious Freedom Day. We thank her for recognizing the importance of faith for all Iowans.
The scheduled public program on April 13th in the Capitol Rotunda was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but plans are underway for 2021. In the meantime, read the proclamation and consider how you can respect and value a diverse and free religious landscape.
As responsible faith communities have worked hard during the pandemic to honor necessary government restrictions on gathering, and as some of those restrictions have eased in Iowa and elsewhere, it is important to reflect on the vital role religion plays in society. At times, faith communities were more restricted in their ability to function than a grocery store, law office, car dealership, or other areas of society. The debate over what is "essential" and "non-essential" raised serious concerns in the United States and abroad. Our 2021 forum will explore this dichotomy, while affirming that religion is, indeed, essential. The debate should shift, in fact, to questions of constitutional limits on how government can control faith communities in times of peace or disaster.