Religious Freedom Day – Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom

On January 16th, 1786, Virginia finally passed Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom, nearly seven years after he first penned it.  It formed the basis of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, as well as serving as the model for many states’ constitutions.  I invite you all to read and reflect on the impact a single law can have.

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Religious Freedom Day – Memorial and Remonstrance

Jefferson’s Statute did not immediately get passed.  It languished until the second foundational document, Madison’s Memorial and Remonstrance, was produced.  Published on June 20, 1785, it contained the objections to a bill proposed by Patrick Henry the previous legislative session that would provide government support for Christian clergy.  It provided the impetus to pass Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom.

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Religious Freedom Day – Notes on the State of Virginia

Via Ed Brayton, I am reminded that today, January 16th is Religious Freedom Day.  It is the anniversary of the enactment of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.  The Statute is the model upon which the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment of the US Constitution is constructed, as well as many of the state constitutions.  By 1833, all states had officially eliminated establishment of religion.  Like many other laws, there are a series of documents leading up to the enactment, explaining the rationale behind the statute.  I am dedicating a short series of posts to the three foundational documents, including the Statute itself, that formed the basis of the Religion Clauses of the Constitution.

First in line is Query 17 of Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia.  The front matter of the Notes states:

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Friday Fisking – The Fafarman Files #1

This is the first in a series of posts analyzing Larry Fafarman’s 20 criticisms of Judge Jones’ decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover.  It was originally posted at Larry’s blog on June 2, 2006.  I have made some edits.

 (1) For perhaps only the second time in American history (the Selman v. Cobb County evolution-disclaimer textbook sticker case was possibly the first), a judge ruled that something — irreducible complexity in this case — that makes no mention of anything related to religion and that contains no religious symbols constitutes a government endorsement of religion. Whether or not irreducible complexity is bogus science is irrelevant, because there is no constitutional separation of bogus science and state.

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Friday Fisking

A weekly feature, often done on Fridays, has long been a staple of blogs.  Who am I to deny the tradition?  Each week, I will provide a detailed analysis of someone missing the point.

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What’s The Point?

 The point of this blog is to document the illogic of modern argumentative discourse.  Of particular focus are the arguments of pseudoscience and the nuances of First Amendment rights.

There were a number of circumstances surrounding the creation – resurrection, really – of this blog.  First, I’ve found myself holding back from commenting at other people’s blogs, either because my observation was tangential to the conversation or too long to post as a comment.  Second, I recently received encouragement to start my own blog.  Third, Lou FCD mentioned at After the Bar Closes (the forum for Panda’s Thumb)that he had a blog that he had created but never really used, and was offering it up because he didn’t want the name to go to waste.  Finally, I need to practice writing for purposes of therapy, so mainting this blog is my New Year’s Resolution. Read the rest of this entry »

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