Congress shall make no law respectng an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speach, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress og grievances.
The Continental Congress, which gave us the Declaration of Independence in 1776, convened for the first time on September 7, 1774
We hold these truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights ...
The first legislative action taken was a motion to open this first session in prayer. The motion was opposed.
But it was opposed for reasons other than you might expect. It was not that the delegates were opposed to prayer, but rather that they weren't sure which Christian clergyman to choose for the honor, as there were, according to Founding Father John Adams, Episcopalians, Quakers, Anabaptists, Presbyterians, and Congregationalists present.
The logjam was broken when Samuel Adams, the Father of the American Revolution, "arose," according to John Adams' account, "and said that he was no bigot, and could hear a Prayer from any gentleman of Piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his Country."
As a result of Sam Adams' intervention, the motion carried and an Episcopalian clergyman, Rev. Jacob Duche', was prevailed upon to open the next morning's session in prayer.