“…powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg.”
– Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia
Difficulties over religion caused many of the first settlers in America to leave the Old World for the new. When the Bill of Rights was written the first clause of the first amendment protected the freedom of religion. There has however been some argument over what that means.
I want you to figure it out.
Below I’ve linked two videos, which give some opinions on the ideas of religious freedom and what our founding fathers thought about religion. By themselves the videos aren’t enough though. I want you too read the first amendment (posted below). Also find at least three separate quotations from people who helped write the constitution (You can’t use Thomas Jefferson). All the quotations need to say something about religion and government or the freedom of religion.
Lastly, I want you to write in plain ordinary language what you believe the founders of our country meant when they wrote the first amendment. What is the government’s responsibility when it comes to religion?
You can write the answers to these questions out by hand or type them and email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This guy is kind-of a dork but his arguments about politics and religion are interesting and will probably make people on all sides of the issue a bit uncomfortable/angry.
Short and easy to understand video on the beliefs of our founding fathers.
The First Amendment to
Constitution of The United States