16 January 2010

"The Mind Free": Religious Freedom Day

Happy National Religious Freedom Day!

224 years ago today, on January 16, 1786, the Virginia General Assembly formally adopted Thomas Jefferson's Statute on Religious Freedom, which guaranteed that "no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or [burdened] in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but [...] shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, [his] opinion[s] in matters of Religion."

The Statute served as the basis of The U.S. Constitution's First Amendment and is echoed in the Unitarian Universalist Association's fourth Principle, which promotes "the free and responsible search for truth and meaning."
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