Religious Tests

Constitution Sunday: Isaac Backus on Religion and the State, Slavery, and Nobility

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention February 4, 1788 Some governmental systems are engines of tyranny. They may be dressed up as virtuous systems, ones that account for all members of society, but the consequences flowing from the system always speak louder than the rhetoric its leaders spout. At the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, in February 1788, Isaac Backus […]


Constitution Sunday: Reverend Daniel Shute on Religious Tests and Christian Belief

Massachusetts Ratifying Convention. January 31, 1788 Reverend Daniel Shute rose at the convention to speak not for—but against—adding a religious test as a qualification for offices that the Constitution created. He opined that such tests “would be attended with injurious consequences to some individuals, and with no advantage to the whole.”