Article 6 of the Constitution and the First Amendment guarantee religious freedom for all Americans, including the first Catholic president.

Religious Freedom in the Constitution

ARTICLE VI

1. All debts contracted and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this constitution, as under the confederation.

2. This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

3. The senators and representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

The U.S. Constitution

Signed by state delegates to the Constitutional Convention, September 17, 1787

AMENDMENT I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Bill of Rights (Amendments 1-10)

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789

Ratified December 15, 1791

My American Experience

My American Experience photos

Share Your Story

Who is your favorite 20th-century American president? Was it Reagan? Kennedy? Clinton? Or one of the other 14 men who helped usher the United States through the 1900s? Who do you think was the most influential?