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Defining their task as deriving a republican solution for the problems of a republican polity, the framers of the federal Constitution of 1787 shied away from any discussion promoting religion. Tucson Metro Map Drawn from diverse Protestant backgrounds (although as a group they tended overwhelmingly toward rationalism, and only one might be considered an evangelical) and disinclined to promote the interests of any specific creed or denomination, they sought to create a national governing structure that would avert the sectarian discord they feared would corrode republican institutions. Unlike the Declaration of Independence, which postulates rights as endowed in human beings by their Creator, the Constitution locates the source of federal power in We, the People, and does not mention any divinity about which failure some contemporary Christians complained. The document takes up religion in only two places: It allows federal and state officers to affirm, rather than swear, their loyalty to the Constitution (a concession to Quakers, who objected to oath taking because they claimed that forcing them to swear implied that they never told the truth except under pledge), and it forbids any religious test for national office a provision contrary to what most state constitutions provided.

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