I have been doing research for a talk later this month on the original intent of the establishment and free exercise clauses of the First Amendment. One of the most remarkable documents related to the subject is then-President George Washington’s well-known August 1790 letter to the Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island.
It is in that letter that Washington famously observed: “It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”
Washington closed prayerfully: “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
“Proclaim Liberty throughout All the land unto All the Inhabitants Thereof.” Inscription on the Liberty Bell