by Nelson Price

JOHN 8: 32
JESUS CHRIST said, "You shall know the truth and the truth
shall make you free."
Our forefathers came to these shores seeking freedom from
religious persecution. They came here from countries where there
were state churches and church states. That is, in most of the
countries of Europe the monarchs had established a particular
church as the one officially sponsored by the government. All
other faiths were greatly discriminated against.
When our forebears wrote our constitution, it became apparent it
would not be ratified by the states because there was no
guarantee of religious freedom assured in it. A Baptist minister
in Virginia, John Leland, met with James Madison in Richmond, at
the corner of what is now Madison and Leland Avenues, and
assured him that he and his colleagues would work for
ratification of the proposed Constitution if he would push for a
first amendment which would guarantee religious freedom. Thus,
the First Amendment to our Constitution, adopted in 1791,
states: "Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
At that time, following the tradition of their ancestors in
Europe, some of the colonies had already established state
churches that received tax support. Connecticut, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and South Carolina each had
established churches. The first amendment forbade the federal
government from interfering with these state laws. The
FirstAmendment gave people of all faith freedom to exercise that
faith. The amendment put great restraints on the government.
Note: "Congress shall m ...

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