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Posted by on May 12, 2007 in Politics, Religion | 8 comments

No Religious Test

Book Cover


One of the books I am reading is FREETHINKERS: A History of American Secularism by Susan Jacoby. A passage that particularly struck me in the light of current events follows:

But the secularism of the Constitution did produce substantial controversy during the ratification debates conducted by state conventions. The framers were denounced by religious traditionalists both for the Constitution’s ban on religious tests for public office and for its failure to acknowledge God as the ultimate governmental authority. The opposition to article 6 frequently took an anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic tone. At the Massachusetts convention, one speaker warned that unless the chief executive was required to take a religious oath, “a Turk, a Jew, a Roman Catholic, and what is worse than all, a Universalist, may be President of the United States.” In the New York Daily Advertiser, a writer noted that since the president was designated commander in chief of the armed forces, “should he thereafter be a Jew our dear posterity may be ordered to rebuild Jerusalem.”

Rather than retyping this paragraph from p. 29, I ran a search and found it (and more) online HERE.

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