The equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his religion according to the dictates of conscience is held by the same tenure with all our rights. [The legislature] are bound to leave this particular right untouched and sacred, [or] we must say, that they may control freedom of the press, may abolish the trial by jury, may swallow the Executive and the Judiciary Powers of the State; nay that they may despoil us of our very right of suffrage ... or we must say, that they have no authority to enact [a religious assessment].
James Madison (1751–1836), U.S. president. "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessment" (1785). W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 8, p. 304, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).