Amendment I (Religion)
George Mason, Amendment to the Bill Exempting Dissenters from Contributions to the Established Church5 Dec. 1776Papers 1:318
[To stand before the preamble.]
Whereas several oppressive Acts of Parliament respecting Religion have been formerly enacted, and Doubts have arisen and may hereafter arise whether the same are in Force within this Common-Wealth or not, for Prevention whereof Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Common-Wealth of Virginia, and it is hereby enacted by the Authority of the same, That all and every Act or Statute either of the Parliament of England, or of Great Britain, by whatsoever Title known or distinguished, which renders criminal the maintaining of any Opinions in Matters of Religion, forbearing to repair to Church, or the exercising any Mode of worship whatsoever, or which prescribes punishments for the same, shall henceforth be of no Validity or Force within this Common-Wealth.
The Papers of George Mason, 1725--1792. Edited by Robert A. Rutland. 3 vols. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago