George Washington’s Vision for Religious Freedom and Church-State Relations

The Ethics and Public Policy Center takes pleasure in announcing the inaugural event of its American Religious Freedom Program.

President Washington’s vision for religious freedom and church-state relations established enduring precedents to guide American political life and civil society. His Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, Letter to the Newport Synagogue, Farewell Address, and similar acts and statements set the stage for America’s history of protecting robust religious rights and freedoms for persons of all faiths.

The event’s speakers will be religious freedom advocates Senator Joseph Lieberman, Michael W. McConnell and Vincent Phillip Muñoz. Senator Lieberman’s writings and speeches celebrate the vision of America’s Founders of the appropriate relationship between government and religion.

Helping to launch the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s American Religious Freedom Program, two of the nation’s foremost religious-freedom scholars will address Washington’s vision. Michael W. McConnell served from 2002 to 2009 on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and now directs Stanford Law School’s Constitutional Law Center. Vincent Phillip Muñoz is Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion & Public Life at the University of Notre Dame and recently authored the book God and the Founders, a study of the religious-freedom views of Washington, Madison, and Jefferson.

Brian Walsh, executive director of EPPC’s American Religious Freedom Program, will introduce the event and a new national survey of Americans’ views on religious freedom.