|The Constitutional Principle: Separation of Church and State|
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|Please note that we have excerpted only those sections dealing with religion||
1776; 1851; 1864; 1867
Article XXXIII in the Declaration of Rights of the Constitution of 1776 provided: That, as it is the duty of every man to worship God in such manner as he thinks most acceptable to him; all persons professing the Christian religion, are equally entitled to Protection in their religious liberty; wherefore no person ought by any law to be molested . . . on account of his religious persuasion or profession, or for his religious practice; unless, under colour of religion, any man shall disturb the good order, peace or safety of the State, or shall infringe the laws of morality . .. yet the Legislature may, in their discretion, lay a general and equal tax, for the support of the Christian religion. . . .
Article XXXV required "a declaration of a belief in the Christian religion" for all state officers. (This was also required in the Constitution of 1864.) Article I of the Plan of Government stated that the electors of the House of: Delegates were to choose "the most wise, sensible, and discreet of the people";
Article XV, that the electors of the Senate were to choose "men of the most wisdom, experience, and virtue, shall be chosen Governor." All the above articles were in force at least until 1851.