So what is the real definition of religious freedom? The first religious liberty law ever passed was written by none other than Thomas Jefferson. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was the Founding Father's way of countering the early colonies, which in the 1700s existed as miniature theocracies. The bill not only removed the Anglican Church as the official state church, but provided that no one can be compelled to attend any religious institution or to underwrite it with taxes; that individuals are free to believe as they will; and that their beliefs or non-beliefs "shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."The Long View
How important was this groundbreaking concept to Jefferson? On his tombstone, he listed his top three accomplishments in life: writing the Declaration of Independence, founding the University of Virginia and writing the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Even his presidency wasn't as important.—Salt Lake City Weekly
In the years since ViCAP was first conceived, data-mining has grown vastly more sophisticated, and computing power has become cheaper and more readily available. Corporations can link the food you purchase, the clothes you buy, and the websites you browse. The FBI can parse your emails, cellphone records and airline itineraries. In a world where everything is measured, data is ubiquitous — from the number of pieces of candy that a Marine hands out on patrol in Kandahar, to your heart rate as you walk up the stairs at work.
That’s what’s striking about ViCAP today: the paucity of information it contains. Only about 1,400 police agencies in the U.S., out of roughly 18,000, participate in the system. The database receives reports from far less than 1 percent of the violent crimes committed annually. It’s not even clear how many crimes the database has helped solve. The FBI does not release any figures. A review in the 1990s found it had linked only 33 crimes in 12 years.—ProPublica