Friday, November 21, 2008

A Decade of a Week of Awareness - the 2008 Proclamation

The first Interfaith Awareness Week Proclamation was signed by Governor
Tommy Thompson in 1998 and it has been proclaimed every year since! It is
the first state in the USA to make such a proclamation. Here is the text of
the proclamation.


THE STATE of WISCONSIN
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
A Proclamation

WHEREAS, Wisconsin has a long history of celebrating the diversity of
belief; and
WHEREAS, Wisconsin has been a leader in human rights throughout 160 years of
statehood; and
WHEREAS, December 10, 2008 is Human Rights Day designated by the United
Nations and the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, which states in Article 18 that "Everyone has the right to freedom
of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change
his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with
others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in
teaching, practice, worship and observance;" and
WHEREAS, the State has developed great spiritual and religious diversity and
diverse beliefs have played an important role in the development of our
State; and
WHEREAS, the celebration of diversity diminishes no one, but enriches
everyone; and
WHEREAS, we affirm the right of every person to believe and act according to
their beliefs as long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others; and
WHEREAS, interfaith and multifaith efforts of different churches and faith
groups have a rich history in the State; and
WHEREAS, interfaith and multifaith coalitions, dialogues and activities
continue to grow in importance locally, regionally, nationally and
internationally; and
WHEREAS, the Capitol of the State of Wisconsin is located on an isthmus,
which is considered a place of peace and reconciliation; and
WHEREAS, December 2008 holds holy days of many religious and faith groups;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, James Doyle, Governor, do hereby proclaim December 7-13,
2008 as INTERFAITH AWARENESS WEEK
in the State of Wisconsin and encourage citizens to learn more about each
others' beliefs in the spirit of community.

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