O'Brien: Md. right to recognize religious freedom

May 11, 2010

Matthew Hay Brown's fine article in Sunday's Sun ("The Road to Religion; Religious Freedom Byway in Maryland Charts Nation's Drive for 'Liberty of Conscience,'" May 9) was a thoughtful reminder of Maryland's unique and important place in the early history of our nation and as a beacon for religious freedom in the New World.

Though not always the case and, as Mr. Brown points out, not without great sacrifice, the allure of religious freedom paved the way for Maryland's growth as a colony and for its seminal role in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.

I applaud the Maryland State Highway Administration for placing importance in educating both citizens and visitors to the ebb and flow of the tides of religious freedom among Maryland's shores. Sadly, there are still people dying in our world today over this basic human right, one which too many of us take for granted.

No longer a part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the landmarks and other houses of worship in St. Mary's County, like that of our own Basilica in Baltimore, are living reminders of the sacrifices of both those who earned these rights on our behalf as well as those fought to preserve them.

Edwin F. O'Brien

The writer is archbishop of Baltimore.

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