Religious Freedom and Virginia

Did you think that being a State Senator would ever involve you in a struggle for religious freedom across the globe?

This afternoon, I was invited to a reception for the daughter of slain Pakistani politician Salman Taseer.   The hosting parties were Pakistani-American constituents, who have immigrated to the U.S. and settled in Oakton and Chantilly.

Mr. Taseer was the Governor of Punjab and a charismatic leader in Pakistan.  He was also outspoken against persecutions under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws against Christians who practiced their religion.

A few months ago he was assassinated by extremists who want to destroy the historic Christian community in Punjab.  Now his daughter is in the U.S. visiting with the Pakistani community, Muslim and Christian alike, to spread her message of forgiveness and religious fredom.

Also at the coffee were representatives from various NGO’s and Capitol Hill offices.  (Also present was the head of the Obama Administration’s Institute of Religious Freedom, who gave a disappointingly banal speech which totally failed to identify the problem, i.e. the persecution of Christians of Pakistan, and thus offered no solution).

Why is this relevant to Virginia?

First, there are thousands of Virginians with family overseas whose families are susceptible to religious violence.  Second, the state of Virginia actively promotes its image overseas in order to build commercial contacts.  It is no burden — and considerable benefit to the land which begat Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson — to ask our foreign trade partners about their policy regarding religious violence, before we invest our state dollars.

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  • ron rothman

    The other day I found your letter stuck inside my front door.
    Thank you for letting us know that because of redistricting we now have you representing us in Richmond.
    As a retired educator I need to point out that your proofreader missed something.
    In paragraph six you wrote that you are proud that “Virginia has been able to balance our budget…”. unless an individual named Vriginia did it alone. This is poor grammer just like the new chancellor for the D.C. Schools saying ain’t. The Virginia legislature or those in the Virginia legislature balanced the budget.

    • Chap

      Thank you for that comment and glad you got our door-to-door letter. I’ve been away from the computer for a couple days. A couple gentle rejoinders: first, there’s a minimum of space in writing those letters so it’s more efficient to just say “Virginia.” Secondly, I do consider the Assembly to speak for Virginia both in a legal and practical sense, whether for good or ill. Anyway, we may differ. thanks again.

    • FFx Mom


      GRAMMER? Really? Like, Kelsey on Frazier?
      No wonder our kids are so busy and confused. Know how to pick your battles and welcome to our Fairfax.

  • Joyce P

    Hey Ron… when criticizing grammar… use spell check ‘Vriginia’ … your comment has nothing to do with the article … which was sharing a genuine message…what the critical reader zoned in on what Chap’s ability to recognize and criticize an off the point ‘non-effective presentation’…