bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom -

"The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was drafted in 1777 (however it was not first introduced into the Virginia General Assembly until 1779)[1] by Thomas Jefferson in the city of Fredericksburg, Virginia. On January 16, 1786, the Assembly enacted the statute into the state's law. The statute disestablished the Church of England in Virginia and guaranteed freedom of religion to people of all religious faiths, including Catholics and Jews as well as members of all Protestant denominations.[2] The statute was a notable precursor of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Statute for Religious Freedom is one of only three accomplishments Jefferson instructed be put in his epitaph,"
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The text of the statute is behind this link.

Bigotted people may note that the religious freedom of Muslems and aborigines, were not specifically mentioned in the discussion leading up to the passing of this statute (Just as women were not specifically mentioned in the Declaration  of  Independence as having inalianable rights).   And probably the Eastern religions were beyond Virginians' ken, beyond their ability to visualize.

But since no specifice religion or denomination is named in the statute, i have to assume that all religions are protected (and. where appropriate, excluded) by the act.

So religious liberty is not just about MY right to practice MY religion, it is about everybody's right to practice (or not practice) any relgion while preventing any religion from having an undue influence on public policy and public life.
Tags: perspective on "history", religion
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