Thomas Jefferson, the First Amendment, and Why We’ll Still Be Fighting About Religious Freedom 200 Years From NowLeave a comment
07/23/2014 by syrbal-labrys
Important, freedom to religious OPINION, mind you — not to religious ACTIONS. Especially upon others, after all — are the dear Catholic justices going to ok someone’s desire for human sacrifice because to not do so interferes with their religious freedom?
In 1878, the Supreme Court of the United States wrestled with a religious freedom case focused on Mormons and polygamy. In the written decision, Chief Justice Morrison Waite explained the court’s attempt to discern the intent of the First Amendment. He turned to someone who had been in the room when the Amendment was written—Thomas Jefferson:
Mr. Jefferson afterwards, in reply to an address to him by a committee of the Danbury Baptist Association (8 id. 113), took occasion to say: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions,—I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment…
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