On this day in history 220 years ago — December 15, 1791 — Virginia became the 11th state to ratify proposed Articles of Amendment. Several states had reject rejected Articles I or II, with Articles III thru XII becoming the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These amendments are commonly called the Bill of Rights.
The Jefferson Madison Center wishes to recognize the contributions of its name sake James Madison for proposing a bill of rights and his leadership in the House of Representatives securing their passage in Congress.
While all of the amendments are important guarantees of our civil liberties, the first right — “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” — established a wall of separation between church and state and ended any possibility that the United States would be a Christian nation.
As a consequence, our governments may not prefer one religion over another, or religion over nonreligion. Simply put, government in America has no legitimate role to play in the religious sphere.
Thank you Mr. Madison for your outstanding service to this country.
Bob Ritter / JM Center