Saturday, December 11, 2010

George Mason ( December 11, 1725)

George Mason, one of the Founding Fathers of the USA, wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Adopted in 1776 by the Virginia Constitutional Convention, this document became the model for the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution and similar individual state documents. I admire  him for defining many of our constitutional rights, and in this context, especially appreciate the following:

Section 1. That all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society, they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessing property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.
Section 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other.

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