Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, wrote in his autobiography of the process of creating that statute:
The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that it’s protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read “a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.” The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it’s protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.
Perhaps somebody could pass this on to Rep. Virgil Goode? He does, after all, represent Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. If he’s going to reject one of Jefferson’s crowning achievements, he ought to do so with full knowledge of what he’s doing.