Religion

Religious Articles

The original 1776 constitution states that any person elected to the house when being sworn in, had to profess his faith in God. ” I do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration.”  The new oath simply starts out with ‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United states’ and it keeps going but does not include any religious obligations. With this, it is clear that the Delaware constitution of 1792 was putting less emphasis on religion, compared to the constitution of 1776.

ARTICLE 22. Every person who shall be chosen a member of either House, or appointed to any office or place of trust, before taking his seat, or entering upon the execution of his office, shall take the following oath, or affirmation, if conscientiously scrupulous of taking an oath, to wit:

“I _______, will bear true allegiance to the Delaware State, submit to its constitution and laws, and do not act wittingly whereby the freedom thereof may be prejudiced.”

and also make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit:

“I _______, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, One God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old Testament and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.

ARTICLE 29. There shall be no establishment of any religious sect in this State in preference to another; and no clergyman or preacher of the gospel, of any denomination, shall be capable of holding any civil office in this state, or of being a member of either of the branches of the legislature, while they continue in the exercise of the pastoral function.

DELAWARE CONSTITUTION OF 1792

We, the people, hereby ordain and establish this Constitution of government for the State of Delaware.

PREAMBLE

Through divine goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences, of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting reputation and property, and, in general, of attaining objects suitable to their condition, without injury by one to another; and as these rights are essential to their welfare, for the due exercise thereof, power is inherent in them; and, therefore, all just authority in the institutions of political society is derived from the people, and established with their consent, to advance their happiness; and they may, for this end, as circumstances require, from time to time, alter their constitution of government.

ARTICLE I.

SECTION I. Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of the Author of the universe, and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are thereby promoted; yet no man shall or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or to the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent; and no power shall or ought to be vested in or assumed by any magistrate that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control, the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship, nor a preference be given by law to any religious societies, denominations, or modes of worship.

SEC. 2. No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under this State.

SEC. 9. The Rights, privileges, immunities, and estates of religious societies and corporate bodies shall remain as if the constitution of this state had not been altered. No clergyman or preacher of the gospel of any denomination, shall be capable of holding any civil office in this state, or of being a member of either branch of the legislature, while he continues in the exercise of the pastoral or clerical functions.

DELAWARE CONSTITUTION OF 1792

We, the people, hereby ordain and establish this Constitution of government for the State of Delaware.

PREAMBLE

Through divine goodness all men have, by nature, the rights of worshipping and serving their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences, of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring and protecting reputation and property, and, in general, of attaining objects suitable to their condition, without injury by one to another; and as these rights are essential to their welfare, for the due exercise thereof, power is inherent in them; and, therefore, all just authority in the institutions of political society is derived from the people, and established with their consent, to advance their happiness; and they may, for this end, as circumstances require, from time to time, alter their constitution of government.

ARTICLE I.

SECTION I. Although it is the duty of all men frequently to assemble together for the public worship of the Author of the universe, and piety and morality, on which the prosperity of communities depends, are thereby promoted; yet no man shall or ought to be compelled to attend any religious worship, to contribute to the erection or support of any place of worship, or to the maintenance of any ministry, against his own free will and consent; and no power shall or ought to be vested in or assumed by any magistrate that shall in any case interfere with, or in any manner control, the rights of conscience, in the free exercise of religious worship, nor a preference be given by law to any religious societies, denominations, or modes of worship.

SEC. 2. No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, under this State.

SEC. 9. The Rights, privileges, immunities, and estates of religious societies and corporate bodies shall remain as if the constitution of this state had not been altered. No clergyman or preacher of the gospel of any denomination, shall be capable of holding any civil office in this state, or of being a member of either branch of the legislature, while he continues in the exercise of the pastoral or clerical functions.

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