Freedom To Act According To Conscience In America

As there are some people, who, from religious principles, cannot bear arms in any case, this Congress intend no violence to their consciences, but earnestly recommend it to them, to contribute liberally in this time of universal calamity, to the relief of their distressed brethren in the several colonies, and to do all other services to their oppressed Country, which they can consistently with their religious principles.

—The Continental Congress in 1775 quoted by Michael McConnell, “The Origins and Historical Understanding of Free Exercise of Religion,” Harvard Law Review (1990) (HT: Jay Sekulow)

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