Today’s American Minute

By Bill Federer

“Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Thus began the Ten Amendments, or Bill of Rights, which were approved this day, Sept. 25, 1789. They were passed because the Constitution did not limit the powers of the federal government enough. Indeed, 16 of the 55 delegates refused to sign the Constitution. Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams even tried to prevent it from being ratified, as the abuses of King George’s concentrated power were still fresh. Only with the promise that ten limitations would be placed on this new government did the states finally ratify the Constitution.