The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was sort of a precursor for the Establishment Clause in our Constitution. I will summarize a few of the most intriguing clauses that I read.

This document is a great resource when you are trying to figure out what exactly the founders intended by the Establishment Clause. It states, that no man will be compelled to attend/enter a religious building or gathering without his consent, and that everyone is free to believe what they wish. You cannot be persecuted for your beliefs, and they can’t hinder you from performing your civic duties. It also argues that no man should be forced to pay a tribute or taxes to any religious establishment that they do not agree with, and should not be prohibited from running for office or serving their country in other ways because of their beliefs.

This document not only argues to protect the people who are not religious and do not wish to believe in certain things, but it also guards those who do have strong religious beliefs from being persecuted.


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