By Arlin M. Adams
Here's a concise review of the ancient improvement and judicial interpretation of the 1st modification faith clauses. It starts with a survey of the heritage of yank non secular liberty, is going directly to current the perspectives of the Founding Fathers, after which considers the center price of spiritual liberty and the constitutional reasons that enforce that price.
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Additional info for A Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty
Cottons Letter Lately Printed, Examined and Answered, 1644 97 Roger Williams, The Bloudy Tenent, of Persecution, for Cause of Conscience, 1644 97 Roger Williams, Letter to the Town of Providence, 1655 98 William Penn, The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience, 1671 99 Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773 102 James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments, 1785 104 Page xi Thomas Jefferson, A Bill For Establishing Religious Freedom, 1785 110 Thomas Jefferson, Reply to the Danbury Baptist Association, 1802 112 George Washington, Proclamation: A National Thanksgiving, 1789 113 George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796 114 Appendix Two Early Declarations and Constitutional Provisions on Religion 115 The Declaration of Independence, 1776 115 State Constitutional Provisions Before the Federal Constitution 115 The Constitution of the United States of America, 1787 120 Appendix Three Leading Supreme Court Decisions on Religious Liberty 122 Notes 126 Bibliography 161 Index 164 Page xiii Foreword Some extremists see the risk of an "established" or "state" church looming up when any state action benefits one or all religions.
Refusing to take such oaths because of a belief in papal authority, Catholics were regarded as unpatriotic and deprived of civil liberties such as the right to vote, hold public office, and present grievances in court. Quakers refused on Biblical grounds to subscribe to oaths or "swear" allegiance to the Crown and therefore received similar treatment. The American colonists adapted English test oaths to support Anglican and Congregational establishments. State constitutions enacted during the war commonly required test oaths for holding public office.
We make room for as wide a variety of beliefs and creeds as the spiritual needs of man deem necessary. We sponsor an attitude on the part of government that shows no partiality to any one group and that lets each flourish according to the zeal of its adherents and the appeal of its dogma. When the state encourages religious instruction or cooperates with religious authorities by adjusting the schedule of public events to sectarian needs, it follows the best of our traditions. For it then respects the religious nature of our people and accommodates the public service to their spiritual needs.