Iowa Religious Freedom Day Celebrates Religious Diversity in 2019
On 10-11 April 2019, two events in Des Moines, Iowa, brought legal scholars, religious leaders, legislators, and citizens together to learn more about the current debate over religious freedom and associated rights in relation to other civil rights. An evening symposium on 10 April at the State Historical Museum featured three guest speakers and a panel discussion. Photos and video excerpts are below. On 11 April, the setting shifted to the State Capitol Rotunda after Governor Reynolds signed a proclamation honoring Religious Diversity in Iowa. In the Rotunda, Steven Collis shared stories about ordinary people fighting to preserve religious freedom despite facing difficult odds. Both events highlighted the need for disagreeing parties to listen, appreciate, respect, and seek common ground with each other. They also highlighted the value of compromise, even when one side in a debate holds power. In a democracy, power changes hands. It is wiser to seek to protect as many people as possible on both sides so that the ebb and flow of democracy does not constantly spark contentious battles over whose rights will be paramount.
Steven Collis Interview, with footage on proclamation signing
Steven Collis Presentation, Pt. 2
Steven Collis Presentation, Pt. 1
Robin Fretwell Wilson Presentation. See more of Robin on Newseum. And read Des Moines Register's commentary on her remarks.