June 16 in freethought history…

June 16, 1871 – British Parliament passes the Universities Tests Act, which lifts a ban on elite university fellowships for non-Anglicans. Various Test Acts in the United Kingdom were passed beginning in 1661, barring Roman Catholics and other suspect religious minorities from holding government office. Surely the original Test Acts were what America’s Founders had in mind when they included in the US Constitution “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

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