America's strength comes from the Judeo-Christian Ethos, the guiding force for our Declaration of Independence which asserts we have inalienable rights from our Creator.
Our earliest laws, institutions and actions all presupposed an adherence to the Ten Commandments and the existence of a higher being and the certainty of an individual final judgement.
Freedom of conscience comes from God, not government: “… all men are created equal, they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Declaration of Independence
Government’s role is to protect these unalienable rights: “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Declaration of Independence
The Bill of Rights provides even greater Constitutional protection to individual rights. The first amendment asserts: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ”
“Our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God.” Thomas Jefferson
“Conscience is the most sacred of all property." James Madison
“Our contest is not only whether we ourselves shall be free, but whether there shall be left to mankind an asylum on earth for civil and religious liberty.” Samuel Adams
The conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be extensively accommodated to them." George Washington