The Beginning of The Bill of Rights - September 25
- 2016 25 Sep
"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Thus began the first Ten Amendments, or Bill of Rights, which were approved SEPTEMBER 25, 1789. George Mason, known as "The Father of the Bill of Rights," wrote the Virginia Declaration of Rights from which Jefferson drew to write the Declaration of Independence. George Mason was one of 55 founders who wrote the U.S. Constitution, but was also one of sixteen who refused to sign it because it did not abolish slavery and did not limit the power of the Federal Government. Mason joined with Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams to prevent the Constitution from being ratified, as the abuses of King George's concentrated power were still fresh. It was largely through George Mason's insistence that in the first session of Congress ten limitations or amendments were put on the new Federal Government. George Mason had suggested the wording of the First Amendment be: "All men have an equal, natural and unalienable right to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that no particular sect or society of Christians ought to be favored or established by law in preference to others."