Extract from Thomas Jefferson’s Draft Autobiography
|Feb. 6 |
The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. it still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally past; and a singular proposition proved that it’s protection of opinion was meant to be universal. where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the words ‘Jesus Christ’ so that it should read ‘a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion’ the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it’s protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.