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Separation of Church and State: The Baptists

[1] Here, there will be no government-enforced religion, and everyone will be allowed to worship as they choose, without interference from the government. This arrangement demonstrates that the colonists feel it is not the government's place to choose how they will worship or what religion they embrace. Moreover, they are passionate about incorporating this freedom into their laws.

What today is termed "freedom of religion" was at the nation's beginnings called "free exercise."[2] This term was first used in an American legal document in 1648, "when Lord Baltimore required his new Protestant governor and councilors in Maryland to promise not to disturb the 'free exercise' of their religion."[3] In 1649, the Maryland Assembly passed a statute that boasted the first free exercise clause on the continent: "noe person...professing to believe in Jesus Christ, shall from henceforth bee any waies troubled...for...his or her religion nor in the free exercise thereof...nor any way [be] compelled to the beliefe or exercise of any other Religion against his or her consent."[4] Free exercise of religion was not necessarily associated with the separation of church and state in the minds of proponents, but there was one notable individual for whom it was-John Locke-who has been quoted as saying, "The Baptists were the first propounder


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Separation of Church and State: The Baptists. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:28, October 24, 2014, from
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