What were the objections to the Bill of Rights's 1st Amendment when it was first published?

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.

(ratified: 15 Dec. 1791)

and/or France's Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen, article 10:

Nul ne doit être inquiété pour ses opinions, même religieuses, pourvu que leur manifestation ne trouble pas l'ordre public établi par la Loi. [No one shall be disquieted on account of his opinions, including his religious views, provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.]

(26 Aug. 1789)


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  • Which specific aspect of the 1st Amendment? – DVK Aug 18 '14 at 14:44
  • @DVK: Freedom of religion and speech, specifically, because they're linked. The 1st Amendment essentially says that true and false religions have equal footing, as do truths and lies in public speech. – Geremia Aug 18 '14 at 15:13
  • Please narrow the timeframe. Are you interested in 1789-1799? Or maybe 1964-1974? – kubanczyk Aug 18 '14 at 22:09
  • @kubanczyk: 18th century. I've edited the title etc. to reflect this. – Geremia Aug 19 '14 at 3:24
  • 1
    The 1st Amendment essentially says that true and false religions have equal footing : No: Amendment I has nothing to say about the truth or non-truth of any religion. It simply says Congress has no power to legislate on the subject. Same with speech and the press. – user2590 Aug 20 '14 at 2:15