Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rhode Island Constitution - Almighty God hath created the mind free

The State Constitution of Rhode Island (1842) says in its Preamble:

"We, the people of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, grateful to Almighty God for the civil and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and to transmit the same, unimpaired, to succeeding generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution of government."

Later in the Rhode Island Constitution we find these passages:

"Section 3. Freedom of religion.
Whereas Almighty God hath created the mind free; and all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness; and whereas a principal object of our venerable ancestors, in their migration to this country and their settlement of this state, was, as they expressed it, to hold forth a lively experiment that a flourishing civil state may stand and be best maintained with full liberty in religious concernments;..."

"Section 3. Oath of general officers.
All general officers shall take the following engagement...'to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you God.'"

Read the entire Rhode Island Constitution

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