Extract from Thomas Jefferson’s “Bill for establishing Religious Freedom”

That our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than on our opinions in physicks or geometry. ... We the General Assembly of Virginia do enact, that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any relig[i]ous Worship, place or Ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

Printed text (Dixon & Holt, 1784); no manuscript copy survives. Published in PTJ, 2:302–313.
Date Range
January 1, 1777 to December 31, 1777
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