VIRGINIA

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CERTIFICATE of RECOGNITION

By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

THE 8THANNUAL CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK

WHEREAS, the Constitution of Virginia states, “That religion or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction; not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience”; and

WHEREAS, George Washington, our nation’s first President, proclaimed that we are, “animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and conducting ourselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, we may enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity”; and

WHEREAS, Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence posed the question, “Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”; and

WHEREAS, James Madison, who is known as the father of the Constitution of the United States of America, advocated “the diffusion of the light of Christianity in our nation” in his Memorial and Remonstrance;and

WHEREAS, Patrick Henry quoted Proverbs 14:34 for our nation, saying, “Righteousness alone can exalt a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people”; and

WHEREAS, George Mason affirmed in the Virginia Declaration of Rights, forerunner to our United States Bill of Rights, “That it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other”; and

WHEREAS, these Virginians, and many other truly great men and women of America, were statesmen of caliber and integrity, giants in the structuring of American government and history and men unafraid to express their Christian faith in Almighty God;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, James S. Gilmore, III, do hereby recognize March 11-17, 2001 as THE 8THANNUAL CHRISTIAN HERITAGE WEEK in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

James S. Gilmore

Governor

Anne P. Petera

Secretary of the Commonwealth

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