Christian heritage; recognizes influence in Virginia. (HR297)

Introduced By

Del. Jason Miyares (R-Virginia Beach) with support from co-patron Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Christian heritage. Recognizes the influence of Christian heritage in Virginia. Read the Bill »


01/24/2017: Passed the House


01/13/2017Presented and ordered printed 17101971D
01/13/2017Referred to Committee on Rules
01/19/2017Reported from Rules (12-Y 0-N)
01/19/2017Reported from Rules (11-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/24/2017Taken up
01/24/2017Engrossed by House
01/24/2017Agreed to by House (76-Y 7-N)
01/24/2017VOTE: ADOPTION (76-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
01/24/2017Bill text as passed House (HR297ER)


JoAnne Norton writes:

If we pass this bill, we have to initiate one for other religions whose heritage is in the USA>

Eva King writes:

So, after passing this one, we set up "Native American Heritage", "Jewish Heritage", "Muslim Heritage", "Hindu Heritage", "Humanist Heritage", etc.?
Because if we don't, then the whole "Freedom of Religion" thing is just an open scam!

charlotte writes:

So once again, we want to glorify colonization and the devastation of indigenous people in service of the religion that has caused more death and destruction on this planet than any other. I can appreciate my Christian brothers and sisters and the good works they do without this being a part of our state record. Pass.

Teggie writes:

Let's use facts. The "colony" was started for financial gain. The English used religion as a means to steal Native American land. Pocahontas most likely converted under duress as she was a prisoner and a child at the time. Our spirituality existed on this land tens of thousands of years before the English bought their God here.

Bridgette Huff writes:

This bill clearly violates the separation of church and state. First Amendment to the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This bill should never have made it out of committee. Instead of actually doing REAL work, the sponsors of this ridiculous bill are wasting tax payers' money. Strongly oppose.

Kathy writes:

This is not only a waste of time for our elected officials but a violation of the separation of church and state. So now are we also going to initiate legislation for all the other religions that are a part of our so called "heritage"? I strongly oppose this action and sure hope anyone who wants to be re-elected does too. Ridiculous...

Colleen writes:

Get real folks - there are other religions that have had a meaningful impact on Virginia heritage and Christianity needs no special recognition. If you personally want to recognize that impact, go to the Christian church of your choice and reflect, but keep all religion out of our legislation. What does this bill do to move things forward or make life better for citizens of Virginia? Spend your time on meaningful legislation and not political posturing. Waste of time, waste of my taxpayer dollars AND a lawsuit magnet.

Casey writes:

This is anti-American. We don't make laws establishing government sponsorship of any region here. You'd think elected people would have a better working knowledge of that. the American people are sick of this ridiculous posturing.

Kim writes:

What a phenominal waste of tax payer's dollars. Are there no REAL issues that need handleing?Recognize your "Christian heritage" on your own time and dime!

Tracy Gaulton writes:

No, you may not. Let's just get this straight, shall we? We are not a theocracy, never have been, never were meant to be: "Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right." ~ Thomas Jefferson.

Beth Clark writes:

Why aren't you spending time on real issues. This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayer money. How about introducing bills that actually help Virginians instead?

Robin P writes:

Completely baffled. What is Christianity? Never heard of it and I'm assuming it does not cure cancer or feed my kids.

Kristen Hoffman writes:

Separation of Church and state. PERIOD. Give up the religiosity and do something valuable with my tax payer dollar.

Mary-Helen Sullivan writes:

Please tell me this isn't part of a white European Christian nationalist agenda, because that hasn't worked out very well for the world in the past. We have separation of church and state, and of his many accomplishments Thomas Jefferson was most proud of his Virginia freedom of religion stance. Please spend your time working on that state budget, boosting support for K-12 public education, and taking measures to protect our state from the ever-increasing effects of climate change.

Brooke Newman writes:

This resolution is an insult to Native peoples and the citizens and taxpayers of Virginia. To celebrate English colonialism, the kidnapping and forced conversion of Pocahontas by Jamestown settlers, and the implicit denigration of all non-Christians, all in the name of a celebration of "Christian heritage" is wholly inappropriate and ahistorical and will not be tolerated.

Eliza Woolf writes:

All delegates need to read the Virginia statute for religious freedom, drafted by the man himself: Thomas Jefferson.

Nellie writes:

Please focus on important issues like education. Separation of church and state. This is a useless waste of my tax payer dollars. Do your job.

Mary Boyes writes:

This looks like a slippery slope to me.

Mary writes:

My delegate, Chris Peace, voted yea to this ridiculous resolution. We do not elect delegates to waste taxpayer dollars trying to establish a "Christian" rewriting of history. I will remember this when time to vote again. Why don't you spend your time on something useful and find more jobs for Virginians? And stop patting yourselves on the back for doing Absolutely nothing but posturing.

Rob Waters writes:

It is utterly disgusting that 15 Democrats didn't even bother to vote on this bill. Eileen Filler-Corn, Kaye Kory, Delores McQuinn, Ken Plumm, Marcia Price, Marcus Simon, and David Toscano.... thank you for recognizing that we're not all Christians and that the First Amendment clearly states that no religion should be specifically recognized. Native Americans, atheists, Muslims, Jews, and Pagans all are now minimized as "not as significant" in the eyes of the House of Delegates. I hope voters remember that the House refused to heed the ideas that the legendary minds of Virginia put forth stating that religion and government should be separate.

Linda B. Moore writes:

I am a Christian and firmly assert that separation of church and state should remain inviolate. Our constitution is very clear that everyone should be treated equally with respect to religious freedom.

Sarah E Sussan writes:

We need to keep the separation of Church and State, as provided for in first Amendment to the US Constitution. The fact that the Founding Fathers made it part of the First Amendment speaks to its importance. Thomas Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom, which was signed into law in 1786, was the basis for the later First Amendment.
The statute guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations. It dislodged the Church of England as "the" religion in VA.

Since all religions are to be of equal status, to pass a resolution raising on religion above all others is inappropriate. Christians, which I am one of, should not need to have themselves raised up to be praised for their influence on Virginia's history.
It is a slap in the face to the other religions represented in Virginia to even propose this resolution. Our Native American citizens, our non-Christian citizens, our Christian citizens have ALL contributed throughout our Commonwealth's colorful history.
That being said, I suggest the Delegates spend their limited time and resources working on the business of the Commonwealth-- the budget, protecting the air we breathe the water we drink and recreate in (forget giving the gas companies an exemption from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act).

Get down to business-- let us Christians get our "attaboys" in Church.

Kellen Berry writes:

Del. Jason Miyares and Del. Mark Cole eh? Guess we know who to make sure doesn't come back into office next re-election.

I am seriously disappointed that you would violate the separation of church and state like this.

We are here in America - you want to recognize the influence of Christianity - or ANY religion - in any state you do it on your own time.

I mean seriously, why are you legislating how we remember history?

Are you also going to legislate into history how the Puritans rounded up innocent people and slaughtered them for "being witches"?

No - because this shouldn't even be happening to begin with.

Undo this ASAP. We *will* remember your names.

William Fleming writes:

This resolution is a violation of Thomas Jefferson's Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. The religious extreme right has been trying to brainwash people into thinking that our country is based on the Christian Bible, but this is not true. Our founding fathers were educated and informed by philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment. If Miyares was really educated about Western Civilization he would know this, but he doesn't.

Mary King writes:

I am appalled that this would be rushed through in 10 days. The early settlers came to get away from religious persecution. Our country is founded on separation of church and state. This is totally inappropriate, and a slap in the face to all non-Christian Virginians. We are not one nation under God. Eisenhower added that after WWII. We are one nation comprised of many faiths and nationalities. This is a first step toward declaring Virginia and the U.S. as Christian with only one God. Christians don't own God. Chris Jones, we don't appreciate you wasting your time and out taxpayer dollars on personal agendas. You represent ALL of us.