Where is Christianity in the Constitution?

How do you answer the charge that America was not founded on Christian principles since there seems to be no religious language in the US Constitution? Here’s one answer: Christian language was in America’s State constitutions. And there was a lot of it.


Here is language from America’s first 24 State Constitutions filled with Christian references. The reason the US Constitution did not feature such language was because the State Constitutions already had it. This was the same reason why the Bill of Rights did not appear in the Constitution until 4 years after the US Constitution was written, the State versions already had their own Declarations of Rights.

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North Carolina—1776 

Section 32. That no person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the protestant religion, or the Divine authority of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the state, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit, in the civil department within this state. 

Article IV, Section 2. The thirty second of the Constitution shall be amended to read as follows: No person who shall deny the being of God, or the truth of the Christian religion, or the Divine authority of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the state, shall be capable of holding any office, or place of trust or profit, in the civil department within this state. 

Section 34. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious church or denomination in this state, in preference to any other; neither shall any person, on any pretense whatsoever, be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith or judgment, nor be obliged to pay for the purchase of any glebe or the building of any house of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes right, or has voluntarily and personally engaged to perform; but all persons shall be at liberty to exercise their own mode of worship: Provided that nothing herein contained that be construed to exempt preachers of treasonable or seditious discourses, from legal trial and punishment. 

Right 19 That all men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience. 

Right 21 That a frequent reccurence to fundamental principles is absolutely necessary to the preserve the blessings of liberty. 

New Jersey—1777 

Article 18 That no person, shall ever within this colony, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience: nor under any pretense whatever, be compelled to attend any place of worship, contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall any person in this colony ever be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rates, for the purposes of building or repairing any other church or churches, places or places of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or has deliberately and voluntarily engaged himself to perform. 

Article 19. That there shall be no establishment of any one religious sect in this province in preference to another; and that no protestant inhabitant of this colony shall be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principle; but that all persons professing a belief in the faith of any protestant sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government, as hereby established, shall be capable of being elected into any office of profit, or trust, or being a member of either branch of the legislature, and shall fully and freely enjoy every privilege and immunity enjoyed by others their fellow subjects. 

Massachusetts—1780 

Part I, Article 2. It is the right, as well as the duty, of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the Supreme Being, the Great Creator and Preserver of the Universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshiping God in the manner and seasons most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession, or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship. 

Part I, Article 3. As the happiness of a people, and good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion, and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused throughout the community, but they the institution of a public worship of God, and of public institutions in piety, religion, and morality; therefore, to promote their happiness, and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of God, and of the support ant maintenance of public protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality in all cases, where such provision shall not be made voluntarily. 

All the people of the commonwealth have a right to, and do, invest their legislature, with authority to enjoin upon all the subjects an attendance upon the instructions of public teachers, as foresaid, at stated times and seasons, if there be anyone whose instructions they cannot conscientiously and conveniently attend:— Provided, notwithstanding, that the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies politic, or religious societies, shall, at all times, have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and contract with them for their support and maintenance. 

All monies paid by the subject to the support of public worship, and of public teachers aforesaid, shall, if he require it, be uniformly applied to the subject of the public teacher or teachers of his own religious sect or denomination, provided there be any, on whose instructions he attends; otherwise it may be paid towards the support of the teacher or teachers of the parish or precinct in which the said monies are raised. 

And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves peaceably, and as good subjects of the commonwealth, shall be equally under the protection of the law; and no subordination of any sect or denomination to another shall ever be established by law. 

Part I, Article 18. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the Constitution, and a constant adherence to those of piety, justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the advantages of liberty, and to maintain a free government. The people ought, consequently, to have a particular attention to all those principles, in the choice of their officers and representatives, they shall have the right, to require of their lawgivers, and magistrates, an exact and constant observance of them, in the formation and execution of all laws necessary for the good administration of the commonwealth. 

Chapter VI, Article I Any person chosen governor or lieutenant–governor, counselor, senator or representative, and accepting the trust, shall, before he proceed to execute the duties of his place or office, make and subscribe the declaration, viz. 

I, A.B., do declare that I believe the Christian religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth; and that I am seized and possessed, in my own right, of the property required by the Constitution, as one qualification to the office or place to which I am elected. 

New Hampshire—1792 

Part I, Article 6 As morality and piety, rightly grounded on evangelical principles, will give the best and greatest security to government, and will lay, in the hearts of men, the strongest obligations to due subjection; and as the knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society by the institution of the public worship of the Deity, and of public instruction in morality and religion; therefore, to promote these important purposes, the people of this state have a right to empower, and do hereby fully empower, their legislature, to authorize, from time to time, the several towns, parishes, bodies corporate, or religious societies, within this state, to make adequate provision at their own expense, for the support and maintenance of public protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality: 
Provided notwithstanding, that the several towns, parishes, bodies corporate or religious societies, shall at all times, have the exclusive right of electing their own public teachers, and of contracting with them for their support and maintenance: And no person, of any one particular religious sect or denomination, shall ever be compelled to pay towards the support of the teacher or teachers of another persuasion, sect. or denomination. 

And every denomination of Christians, demeaning themselves quietly, and as good citizens of the state, shall be under the equal protection of the law: and no subordination of any one sect or denomination to another, shall ever be established by law. 

And nothing herein shall be understood to affect any former contracts made for the support of the ministry; but all such contracts shall remain, and shall be in the same state, as if this Constitution had not been made. 

Part I, Article 38. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of the Constitution, and a constant adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, and all the social virtues, are indispensably necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and good government. The people ought, therefore, to have a particular regard to all those principles, in the choice of their officers and representatives: and they have the right, to require of their lawgivers, and magistrates, an exact and constant observance of them, in the formation and execution of the laws necessary for the good administration of the government. 

Vermont—1793 

Chapter I, Article 3. That all men have natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences and understandings, as in their opinion shall be regulated by the Word of God; and that no man ought to, or of right can, be compelled to attend any religious worship, or erect or support any place of worship, or maintain any minister, contrary to the dictates of his conscience; nor can any man be justly deprived or abridged of any civil right as a citizen, on account of his religious sentiments or peculiar mode of religious worship; and that no authority can or ought to be vested in, or assumed by, any power whatever, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control, the rights of conscience and the free exercise of religious worship. Nevertheless, every sect or denomination of Christians ought to observe the Sabbath, Lord's Day, and keep up some sort of religious worship, which to them shall seem most agreeable to the revealed will of God. 

Chapter I, Article 18. A frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles, and firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, industry, and frugality, are absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty and keep government free; the people ought, therefore, to pay particular attention to these points, in the choice of officers and representatives, and have the right, in a legal way, to exact a due and constant regard for them, from their legislators, and magistrates, in making and executing such laws as are necessary for the good government of the state. 

Chapter II, Section 41. Laws for the encouragement of virtue and prevention of vice and immorality, ought to be constantly kept in force and duly executed: and a competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town, for the convenient instruction of youth; and one or more grammar schools be incorporated, and properly supported, in each county in this state. And all religious societies or bodies of men that may be hereafter united or incorporated for the advancement of religion and learning, or for other pious and charitable purposes, shall be encouraged and protected in the enjoyment of the privileges , immunities, and estates, which they in justice ought to enjoy, under such regulations as the General Assembly of this state shall direct. 

Georgia—1798

Article II, Sec. 9 Divorces shall not be granted by the legislature, until the parties shall have a fair trial before the superior court, and a verdict shall have been obtained, authorizing a divorce upon legal principles. And in such cases, two–thirds of each branch of the legislature may pass acts of divorce accordingly. 

Article IV, Sec. 10 No person within this state shall, upon any pretense, be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in a manner agreeable to his own conscience, nor be compelled to attend any place of worship contrary to his own faith and judgment; nor shall he every be obliged to pay tithes, taxes, or any other rate, for the building or repairing of any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry, contrary to what he believes to be right, or has voluntarily engaged himself to do. No one religious sect shall every be established in this state, in preference to any other; nor shall any person be denied the enjoyment of any civil right, merely on account of his religious principles. 

Kentucky—1799

Article II, Sec. 26 No person, while he continues to exercise the function of a clergyman, priest, or teacher of any religious persuasion, society, or sect; nor whilst he holds or exercises any office of profit under this commonwealth, shall be eligible to the General Assembly; except attorney's at law, justices of the peace, and militia officers: Provided that justices of the courts of quarter sessions shall be ineligible so long as any compensation may be allowed them for their services: Provided, also, that attorneys for the commonwealth, who receive a fixed annual salary from the public treasury, shall be ineligible. 

Ohio—1802

Article VIII, Sec 3. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; that no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent; and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious society or mode of worship: and that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or trust or profit. But religion, morality, and knowledge, being essentially necessary to the government, and the happiness of mankind, schools, and the means of instruction, shall for ever be encouraged by legislative provision, not inconsistent with the rights of conscience. 

Virginia—1830 

Right 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance and love, and charity towards each other. 

South Carolina—1808

Article I, Section 23. And whereas the ministers of the Gospel are, by their profession, dedicated to the service of God and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions: therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or public preacher, of any religious persuasion, whilst he continues in the exercise of his pastoral functions, shall be eligible to the office of governor, lieutenant–governor, or a seat in the senate or house of representatives. 
Article VIII, Sec. 1 The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference shall, for ever hereafter, be allowed within this state to all mankind: Provided that the liberty of conscience thereby declared, shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of this state 

Maryland—1812

Right 33. That as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks is most acceptable to him, all persons professing the Christian religion are equally entitled to protection of their religious liberty; wherefore, no person ought by law to be molested in his person or estate, on account of his religious persuasion or profession, or for his religious practice; unless, under colour of religion, any man should disturb the good order, peace, or safety of the state, or shall infringe the laws of morality, or injure others in their natural, civil, or religious rights; nor ought any person to be compelled to frequent or maintain any place of worship, or any particular ministry; (yet the legislature may, in their discretion, lay a general and equal tax for the support of the Christian religion: leaving to each individual the power of appointing the payment over the money collected from him, to the support of any particular place of worship or minister, or for the benefit of the poor of his own denomination, or the poor in general of any particular county;) but the churches, chapels, glebe, and all other property, now belonging to the church of England, ought to remain to the church of England forever. And all acts of assembly lately passed, for collecting monies for building, or repairing particular churches or chapels of ease, shall continue in force, and be executed, unless the legislature shall, by act, supersede or repeal the same: but no county court shall assess any quantity or tobacco, or sum of money, hereafter, on the application of any vestryman or church wardens; and every incumbent of the church of England, who hath remained in his parish, and hath performed his duty, shall be entitled to receive the provision and support established by the act entitled, "and act for the support of the clergy in of the Church of England for this province," till the November court of this present year, to be held for the county in which his parish shall lie, or partly lie, or for such a time as he hath remained in his parish, and performed his duty. 

Right #34. That every gift, sale, or devise of lands, to any minister, public teacher, or preacher of the Gospel, as such, or to any religious sect, order, or denomination, or to or for the support, use, or benefit or, or in trust for, any minister, public teacher, or preacher of the Gospel, as such, or to any religious sect, order, or denomination; and every gift, or sale of goods or chattels, to go in succession, or to take place after the death of the seller or donor, to or for such support, use or benefit, and also every devise of good or chattels to or for the support, use, or any benefit of any minister, public teacher, or preacher of the Gospel, as such, or any religious order, sect, or denomination, without leave of the legislature, shall be void, except always any sale, gift, lease, or devise of any quantity of land not exceeding two acres, for a church, meeting, or other house of worship, and for burying ground, which shall be improved, enjoyed, or used only for such purpose, or such sale, gift, lease, or devise, shall be void. 
Right #35 That no other test or qualification ought to be required, on admission to any office of trust or profit, than such oath of support and fidelity to this state, and such oath of office, as shall be directed by this convention or the legislature of this state, and a declaration of the belief in the Christian religion. 

Right #36 That the manner of administering the oath to any person, ought to be such as those of the religious persuasion, profession, or denomination, of which such person is one, generally esteem the most effectual confirmation of the attestation of the Divine Being: and that the people called Quakers, those called Tunkers, and those called Menonists, holding unlawful to take an oath on any occasion, ought to be allowed to make their solemn affirmation in the manner that Quakers have been heretofore allowed to affirm; and to be the same avail as an oath in all such cases as the affirmation of Quakers hath been allowed and accepted within this state instead of an oath. And further, on such affirmation, warrants to search for stolen goods, or the apprehension or commitment of offenders, ought to be granted, or security for the peace awarded, and Quakers, Tunkers, or Menonists ought also on their solemn affirmation aforesaid, to be admitted as witnesses in all criminal cases, [not capital.] 

Louisiana—1812

Article II, Sec. 22. No person, while he continues to exercise the function of a clergyman, priest, or teacher, of any religious persuasion, society, or sect, shall be eligible to the General Assembly, or to any office of profit or trust in this state. 

Indiana—1816

Article I, Sec. 3 That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences: that no man shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent: that no human authority can, in any case whatsoever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience: and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious societies or modes of worship; and that no religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office of trust or profit. 

Illinois—1818

Article VIII, Sec. 3 That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own conscience; that no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent; and that no human authority can in any case whatsoever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience: and that no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishments or mode of worship 

Article VIII, Sec 4 That no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office of public trust under this state. 
Article VIII, Sec. 18 That a frequent recurrence to the fundamental principles of civil government is absolutely necessary to preserve the blessings of liberty. 

Connecticut—1818

Article I, Sec. 3. The exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be free to all persons in this state, provided that the right hereby declared and established shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or to justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. 

Article I, Sec. 4. No preference shall ever be given by law to any Christian sect or mode of worship. 

Article VII, Sec. 1. It being the duty of all men to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the Universe, and their right to render that worship in the mode most consistent with the dictates of their consciences: no person shall, by law, be compelled to join or support, nor be classed with, or associated to, any congregation, church, or religious association. But every person now belonging to such congregation, church, or religious association, shall remain a member thereof, until he shall have separated himself therefrom, in the manner hereinafter provided. And each and every society and denomination of Christians in this state, shall have and enjoy the same and equal powers, rights, and privileges: and shall have the power and authority to support and maintain the ministers or teachers of their respective denominations, and to build and repair houses for public worship, by a tax on the members of any such society only, to be laid by a major vote of the legal voters assembled at any society meeting, warned and held according to law, or in any other manner. 

Article VII, Sec. 2 If any person shall choose to separate himself from the society or denomination of Christians to which he may belong, and shall leave a written notice thereof with the clerk of such society, he shall thereupon no longer be liable for any future expenses which may be incurred by said society. 

Maine—1819

Article I, Sec. 3. All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; and no one shall be hurt, molested, or restrained in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping God in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience, nor for his religious profession or sentiments, provided he does not disturb the public peace, nor obstruct others in their religious worship;—and all persons demeaning themselves peaceably, as good members of the state, shall be equally under the protection of the laws, and no subordination nor preference, of any one sect or denomination to another, shall ever be established by law, nor shall any religious test be required as a qualification for any office or trust under this state; and all religious societies in this state, whether incorporate, or unincorporated, shall at all times have the exclusive right of electing their public teachers, and contracting with them for their support and maintenance. 

Alabama—1819

Article I, Sec. 3. No person within this state, upon any pretense, shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in the manner most agreeable to his own conscience; nor be compelled to attend any place or worship; nor shall anyone every be obliged to pay any tithes, taxes, or other rate, for the building or repairing any place of worship, or for the maintenance of any minister or ministry. 

Article I, Sec. 4. No human authority ought, in any case whatsoever, to control or interfere with the rights of conscience. 

Article I, Sec. 5. No person shall be hurt, molested or restrained, in his religious profession, sentiments, or persuasions, provided he does not disturb others in their religious worship. 

Article I, Sec. 6. The civil rights, privileges, or capacities of any citizen, shall in no way be diminished, or enlarged, on account of his religious principles. 

Article I, Sec. 7. There shall be no establishment of religion by law; no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, society, denomination, or mode of worship: and no religious test shall every be required as a qualification to any office or public trust within this state. 

Article VI, Sec. 13. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be granted but for cases provided for by law, by suit in chancery: and no decree for such divorce shall have effect until the same shall be sanctioned by two-thirds of both houses of the General Assembly. 

Missouri—1820

Article XIII, Sec. 4. That all men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; that no man can be compelled to erect, support, or attend any place of worship, or to maintain any minister of the Gospel or teacher of religion; that no human authority can control or interfere with the rights on conscience; that no person can ever be hurt, molested, or restrained in his religious profession, or sentiments, if he does not disturb others in their religious worship. 

Article XIII, Sec. 5. That no person, on account of his religious opinions, can be rendered ineligible to any office of trust or profit under this state; that no preference can every be given by law to any sect or mode of worship; and that no religious corporation can every be established in this state. 

Article XIII, Sec. 18. That no person who is religiously scrupulous of bearing arms can be compelled to do so, but may be compelled to pay an equivalent for military service, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law,; and that no priest, preacher of the Gospel, or teacher of any religious persuasion or sect, regularly ordained as such, be subject to militia duty, or compelled to bear arms. 

New York—1821

Article VII, Sec. 3. The free exercise of religious profession and worship, without discrimination or preference, shall forever be allowed in this state to all mankind: but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of this state. 

Article VII, Sec. 4. And whereas the ministers of the Gospel are, by their profession, dedicated to the service of God , and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions: therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatsoever, shall, at any time hereafter, under any pretense or description whatever, be eligible of holding any civil or military office or place within this state. 

Article VII, Sec. 5. The militia of the state shall, at all time hereafter, be armed and disciplined, and in readiness for service; but all such inhabitants of this state, of any religious denomination whatever, as from scruples of conscience may be averse to bearing arms, shall be excused therefrom, by paying to this state an equivalent in money: and the legislature shall provide by law for the collection of such equivalent to be estimated according to the expense in time and money of an ordinary able-bodied militia man. 

Delaware—1831

Article I, Sec. 1. Although it is the duty of all men to frequently assemble together for the public worship f the Author of the Universe, and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are thereby promoted; yet no man shall, or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or be the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent; and no power shall be, or ought to be vested in or assumed by any magistrate, that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship: nor shall a preference be given by law to any religious societies, denominations, or modes of worship. 

Article I, Sec. 2. No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under this state. 

Article VII, Sec. 8. The rights, privileges, immunities, and estates of religious societies and corporate bodies shall remain as if the constitution of this state had not been altered. No [ordained] clergyman or [ordained] preacher of the Gospel of any denomination shall be capable of holding any civil office in the state, or of being a member of either branch of the legislature while he continues in the exercise of the pastoral or clerical functions. 

Tennessee—1834

Article I, Sec. 4. That no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust within this state. 

Article IX, Sec. 1. Whereas the ministers of the Gospel are, by their profession, dedicated to the service of God, and the care of souls, and ought not to be diverted from the great duties of their functions: therefore, no minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination whatsoever, shall be eligible to a seat in either house of the legislature. 

Article IX, Sec. 2. No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state. 


Article XI, Sec. 4. The legislature shall have no power to grant divorces, but may authorize the courts of justice to grant them for such causes as may be specified by law: provided that such laws be general and uniform in their operation throughout the state. 

Pennsylvania—1838

Article IX, Sec. 4. That no person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments, shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this commonwealth. 

Mississippi—1833

Article I, Sec. 3. The exercise of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall for ever be free to all persons in this state: provided that the right hereby declared and established shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. 

Article I, Sec. 4. No preference shall ever be given by law to any religious sect, or mode of worship. 

Article I, Sec. 5. That no person shall be molested for his opinions on any subject whatever, nor suffer any civil or political incapacity, or acquire any civil or political advantage, in consequence of such opinions, except in cases provided for in this constitution. 

Article VII, Sec. 5. No person who denies the being of a God, or a future state of rewards and punishment, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state. 

Article VII, Sec. 14. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government, the preservation of liberty, and the happiness of mankind, schools, and the means of education, shall for ever be encouraged in this state. 

Article VII, Sec. 15. Divorces from the bonds of matrimony shall not be granted, but in cases provided for by law, but suit in chancery. 

Rhode Island

Section from original charter: Paragraph 3

Now know ye, that we being willing to encourage the hopeful undertaking of our said loyal and loving subjects, and to secure them in the free exercise and enjoyment of all the civil and religious rights appertaining to them, as our loving subjects: and to preserve unto them that liberty in the true Christian faith and worship of God which they have sought with so much travail, and with peaceable minds and loyal subjection to our royal progenitors and ourselves, to enjoy: and because some of the inhabitants of this same colony cannot, in their private opinion, conform to the public exercise of religion, according to the liturgy, form, and ceremonies of the church of England, to take or subscribe to the oaths or articles made and established in that behalf; and for that the same, by reason of the remote distances of those places, will, as we hope, be no breach of the unity and uniformity established in this nation, have therefore thought fit, and to hereby publish, grant, ordain, and declare, that our royal will and please is:


Paragraph 4 That no person within said colony, at any time hereafter, shall be anywise molested, punished, disquieted, or called in question, for any differences in opinion in matters of religion, who do not actually disturb the civil peace of our said colony; but that all and every person and persons may, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, freely and fully have and enjoy his own and their judgments and consciences, throughout the tract of land hereafter mentioned, they behaving themselves, peaceably and quietly, and not using this liberty to licentiousness and profaneness, nor to the civil injury or outward disturbance of others; any laws, statute, or clause therein contained, or to be contained, usage, or custom of the realm, to the contrary hereof, in any wise notwithstanding.

 
Paragraph 5 And that they may be in the better capacity to defend themselves, in their just rights and liberties, against all the enemies of the Christian faith, and others, in all respects, we have further thought fit....

www.tomthinking.com. 

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