It was on this date, January 16, 1786, that the Virginia Legislature adopted the “Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.” Written by Thomas Jefferson almost ten years earlier as “An Act for Establishing Religious Freedom,” and proposed to the legislature when Jefferson became Governor of Virginia in 1779, It took a mighty push from both Jefferson and James Madison – who wrote a “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments” in its support – before the “Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom” had overcame the objections of Patrick Henry and his allies to become law.
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Originally published January 2003 by Ronald Bruce Meyer.
Here’s your Week in Freethought History: This is more than just a calendar of events or mini-biographies – it’s a reminder that, no matter how isolated and alone we may feel at times, we as freethinkers are neither unique nor alone in the world. Last Sunday, June 3, but in 1727, the Scot called “the […]