Written by Thomas Jefferson in 1779, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom is worth a read. At the time of its writing, the Church of England was Virginia’s official church and there had been a run of violence against Protestant dissenters. It was the hotbed of religious disagreement in the founders’ day. Here’s a clip:

…that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporary rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry…