chapter  5
11 Pages

A constitutional prohibition against religious laws

ByLuke Beck

Henry Bournes Higgins was a Victorian politician and had been firmly opposed to the efforts of an organisation affiliated with the Victorian Council of Churches, the National Scripture Education League, to require Victorian public schools to teach religion. Higgins also held specific concerns about the campaign for constitutional recognition of God before raising them in the Convention. Higgins concluded the debate making three points. First, '[y]ou have put in the preamble a religious recital which is not in the Constitution of the United States of America, but you have not put in the safeguard against religious intolerance which they have there'. Secondly, the Convention ought to reassure those people who hold concerns about the effect of recognition of God in the preamble. Higgins' third point was that the States would be able to do all things he was seeking to prohibit the Commonwealth from doing.