Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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10/11/11  7:43 pm
Commenter: Peter Church

Preserve Religious Freedom

I write as a citizen of Viriginia in support of the language originally approved by the State Board of Social Services on 20 April 2011, the language that protects religious freedom and protects many (if not most) child-placement agencies.  With six members of my immediate family adopted, adoption is something that is close to me and which I believe in.  I donate to one of the largest child-placement services operating in Virginia.  But if the regulations affecting child-placement agencies is changed from what was already approved on 20 April, I will most likely stop my donations.  Sadly, if the Board of Social Services votes to change the language of the regulations, it will force many adoption agencies to either get out of the adoption business or to compromise their consciences.  If agencies opt to get out of the business in order to maintain their ingrity, then those who will suffer most are the children who so desperately need loving families.  If agencies opt to compromise their conscences, then we will all lose something, as we will all have our rights of conscence threatened.  Virginia holds a special place in the history of the U.S., and inded the world, when it comes to the protection of religious liberty.  In its 1779 Statue for Religious Freedom, Virginia's General Assembly affirmed that, "to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty."  The Bill of Rights affirmed this general sentiment by ratifying that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."  If the State Board of Social Services reverses course on this vote, it will impede the free exercise of religion in so doing. 

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