I sometimes find it hard to get started on writing something truly useful or meaningful, so I have decided to try starting out with a simple blog, just for myself, just to start writing.
I have a long list of topics I would like to write about, topics that are mostly a bit outside the scope of my thesis. Among those topics is the history of freedom of conscience, as separated from freedom of religion. At the outset, freedom of religion was about just that, religion. During the writing process of the US Constitution it was even specifically mentioned that the first amendment was NOT intended to cover freedom of conscience, and certainly not the freedom to not have any religion at all. Funny as it may sound, atheists and Catholics were specifically excluded as subjects of the protection of the first amendment. I would find it interesting to dive into the history and origin of freedom of conscience as a separate concept from freedom of religion, and the freedom not to believe in anything at all. Perhaps it just came with the enlightenment and snuck in during a philosophical process and change in mentality without anyone really noticing. Perhaps there was a debate. What would be interesting is to see at what point, on what grounds, where and with what kind of response this freedom came to be an inherent part of freedom of religion as we see it today.