The First Freedoms
The Privacy Amendments
The 5th Amendment
The 6th Amendment
Civil Trials
The Interpretive Rules

Freedom of Religion

Disagreements about Religion Clauses in the Founding Generation

Of the two religion clauses, the Free Exercise Clause was less controversial to the founding generation because it was similar to existing guarantees in almost all of the state constitutions. But the Establishment Clause was probably the most controversial clause in the entire Bill of Rights. Even some of the people who supported the Establishment Clause did so only because they did not want an official national church to conflict with their existing state churches.

Madison had to admit toward the end of his life “that it may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions & doubts on unessential points.”