In his “Constitution Series,” Norman Rockwell illustrated the “Four Freedoms” stressed by President Roosevelt in one of his speeches. The U.S. federal government then used Rockwell’s paintings for posters promoting the purchase of US War Bonds. This image depicts “Freedom of Worship,” which Rockwell painted in 1943. It was also used as a story illustration in the February 27th issue of “The Saturday Evening Post” that year. Online via the Library of Congress.


Having briefly looked at atrocities people endured in the name of theological correctness, let's compare life in a society where freedom of religion is guaranteed by law.

As you examine the links in this chapter, remember: Sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fail. But, the American First Amendment provides something that makes the ultimate difference: a law which assures freedom of religion and, when that law is broken, a legal process to help correct the wrong.

  • In 1770, a group of Baptists were free to be baptized in a river. Eight years later, a gang attacked the preachers conducting an outside service. It was 1778, two years after the Declaration of Independence.

  • Many of the early Americans used religious themes to help them look at, and understand, their daily lives. The "Tree of Life" is only one example.

  • In the 19th century, and before, people gathered together at "camp meetings" to hear famous preachers from America and from Europe. Sometimes the best preachers drew crowds of 30,000. An 1839 camp meeting would have been just one of many that year.

  • Preachers who traveled everywhere to deliver sermons were called "circuit-riding  preachers." They traveled on horseback, through all kinds of bad weather, with no special legal requirements imposed on them. Traveling preachers, using moveable pulpits, needed no special papers or governmental permits allowing them to speak.
  • Today it's annoying when religious groups try to give us their materials while we're rushing through busy public places. But think back to a time and place when laws did not allow distribution of such materials. The First Amendment gives people the right to distribute religious information, just like the folks depicted in this 1825 picture.
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Feb 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: Jun 28, 2019

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"FIRST AMENDMENT FREEDOM" AwesomeStories.com. Feb 01, 2009. Nov 13, 2019.
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