When Americans discuss religious freedom as it is referenced in the constitution, they generally refer to the First Amendment. However, Religion is also addressed in one other place in the body of the document. This is Article Six. In my opinion, this section is of great importance, even more than the first amendment, when determining what role religion would play in the formation of public policy and law in the new republic.
To clarify, let me quote the part of Article six that is essential to the discussion; "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
In the next part of this article, I will analyze the words contained in Article six and see if they conflict with the what is written in the first amendment. However, sometimes it is also beneficial to analyze what is not included. To be more specific, what words or phrases are not found in the Constitution and what we may infer from these exclusions.(Continued in a future posting.)
(ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 8/15/2013)