Acknowledgment of God
Article I, section 16.
or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can
be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore,
all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the
dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian
forbearance, love, and charity towards each other. No man shall be compelled to
frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor
shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor
shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but all
men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters
of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil
capacities. And the General Assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever,
or confer any peculiar privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or
pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of
any district within this Commonwealth, to levy on themselves or others, any tax
for the erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support
of any church or ministry; but it shall be left free to every person to select
his religious instructor, and to make for his support such private contract as
he shall please.
Article II, section 7.
officers elected or appointed under or pursuant to this Constitution shall, before
they enter on the performance of their public duties, severally take and subscribe
the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will
support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the Commonwealth
of Virginia, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties
incumbent upon me as .................., according to the best of my ability (so
help me God)."
Article IV, section 16.
General Assembly shall not make any appropriation of public funds, personal property,
or real estate to any church or sectarian society, or any association or institution
of any kind whatever which is entirely or partly, directly or indirectly, controlled
by any church or sectarian society. Nor shall the General Assembly make any like
appropriation to any charitable institution which is not owned or controlled by
the Commonwealth; the General Assembly may, however, make appropriations to nonsectarian
institutions for the reform of youthful criminals and may also authorize counties,
cities, or towns to make such appropriations to any charitable institution or
No appropriation of public funds shall be made
to any school or institution of learning not owned or exclusively controlled by
the State or some political subdivision thereof; provided, first, that the General
Assembly may, and the governing bodies of the several counties, cities and towns
may, subject to such limitations as may be imposed by the General Assembly, appropriate
funds for educational purposes which may be expended in furtherance of elementary,
secondary, collegiate or graduate education of Virginia students in public and
nonsectarian private schools and institutions of learning, in addition to those
owned or exclusively controlled by the State or any such county, city or town;
second, that the General Assembly may appropriate funds to an agency, or to a
school or institution of learning owned or controlled by an agency, created and
established by two or more States under a joint agreement to which this State
is a party for the purpose of providing educational facilities for the citizens
of the several States joining in such agreement; third, that counties, cities,
towns, and districts may make appropriations to nonsectarian schools of manual,
industrial, or technical training, and also to any school or institution of learning
owned or exclusively controlled by such county, city, town, or school district.
Article X, section
a) Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, the
following property and no other shall be exempt from taxation, State and local,
including inheritance taxes:
(2) Real estate and personal property
owned and exclusively occupied or used by churches or religious bodies for religious
worship or for the residences of their ministers . . .
(6) Property used
by its owner for religious, charitable, patriotic, historical, benevolent, cultural,
or public park and playground purposes, as may be provided by classification or
designation by an ordinance adopted by the local governing body and subject to
such restrictions and conditions as provided by general law.
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