Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments

From BibleStrength

The legislation was authored by James Madison, originally published anonymously[1], declaring religious freedom dependent upon a Creator to ensure all could worship said Creator freely. Madison wrote this as a petition arguing against another bill, "the Bill Establishing a Provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion", which would have instituted a general assessment or statewide tax to support clergy of Christian denominations in the state. The petition argued the dangers of saying "the Civil Magistrate is a competent Judge of Religious Truth"(5) or "suffering any Sect to invade those [equal rights] of another"(8); repeatedly arguing that entrenching a single denomination as a state institution "is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity"(12). The Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments proved successful in stopping the assessments tax, and led to introduction of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom shortly thereafter.[2]

Text of legislation


  1. Ragosta, John A. "James Madison: Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments." University of Virginia. MileStone Documents.
  2. "Petitioning in Eighteenth-Century Virginia."
  3. Atkinson, Kathleen (2007). "Early Virginians and Religious Freedom for Americans." Virginia Commonwealth University. The World Religions in Richmond Project.

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