Thomas Jefferson

Early Career

What other famous document about religious freedom did Jefferson draft?

In 1777 Jefferson drafted the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which the Virginia legislature enacted into law in 1786. The document called for government to respect the religious preferences of individuals and forbade government from establishing a particular religion. For example, a passage in the law provided: “Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief.”


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