"Religion is of general and public concern, and on its support depend, in great measure, the peace and good order of government, the safety and happiness of the people. By our form of government, the christian religion is the established religion; and all sects and denominations of christians are placed upon the same equal footing, and are equally entitled to protection in their religious liberty. The principles of the christian religion cannot be diffused, and its doctrines generally propagated without places of public worship, and teachers and ministers, to explain the scriptures to the people, and to enforce an observance of the precepts of religion by their preaching and living. And the pastors, teachers and ministers, of every denomination of christians are equally entitled to the protection of the law, and to the enjoyment of their religions and temporal rights. And the court are of opinion, that every endowed minister, of any sect or denomination of christians, who has been wrongfully dispossessed of his pulpit, is entitled to the writ of mandamus to be restored to his function, and the temporal rights with which it is endowed"
~ Samuel Chase, Runkel v. Winemiller (1799)
Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Founder Samuel Chase of Maryland. Chase was a lawyer, judge, member of the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and a Supreme Court Justice.
To read his biography: