The First Liberty: Religion and the American Republic
This extended essay traces the origins of the idea of the concept of religious liberty, chronicles the course of the First Amendment and its precursor, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and explores its role in contemporary political life
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Amendment American Anglican argument Assembly Assessment Backus Baptists belief bill of rights called Catholic certainly Christian citizens civil claim colonies Congress conscience Constitution convention course culture decision dissent doctrine enacted England Enlightenment established church establishment clause evangelical federal Federalist Founders free exercise human ideas important independent institutions intellectual Isaac Backus issue James Madison Jefferson and Madison Jews John Justice later legislative Massachusetts matters meaning Memorial and Remonstrance ment mind modern moral nation opinion particular Patrick Henry perhaps Perry Miller persecution Philadelphia political position Presbyterian principle proposed Protestant Protestantism Puritan Quakers radical reason Reformation Reformation Wall rejected religion religious freedom religious groups religious liberty republic republican Revolution Rhode Island Roger Williams role sects secular separation of church social society Thomas Jefferson tradition truth twentieth century U.S. Supreme Court Virginia statute virtue Williams's wrote