Consider the statement in this declaration concerning religious freedom:
That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator and the manner of discharging it, can be directed by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.I think we can see in this statement a declaration concerning religious freedom that is closely related to the declaration written into the First Amendment to our Constitution. There is a bit more detail in the statement here than we find in the Constitution, but perhaps the greater detail or depth of expression can be interpreted as one way to inform our understanding of the First Amendment?
Now, one of the ideas expressed here worth some contemplation is the last idea about the "mutual duty of all." A mutual duty is certainly not an argument for the use of government's coercive power to see that the duty is carried out. It is apparently a duty that many in our country in 1776 thought to be a personal responsibility. There was indeed a significant Christian (and protestant) influence on the views about the purpose of government at our nation's founding. Unlike what some seem to assert about Christian views of government these days, back at the founding the Christian views about government expressed in this declaration of rights specifically rejected force and violence in support of such religious views. Further, it seems to me likely that the specific view of government written into our Constitution, and our specific understanding of individual liberty vis a vis government, has much to do with the influence of Christian religious views on the people who fought for and founded our system of political economy.
I don't think that in a free system of political economy one need be terribly concerned about whether a person's views on government and policy are motivated by religious belief or belief in mother nature or belief in Newtonian physics or belief in quantum physics. In a system of government founded on liberty the key issue is really what we think is and is not a legitimate use of force and violence in our daily lives. As George Mason wrote in the Virginia Declaration of Rights it is not legitimate to use force and violence in the service of religious belief. Nor, does it seem to me legitimate to use force and violence in the service of belief in science, or belief in an environmental ethic, or belief in a witch's brew. But, in our system of political economy, there is seldom any real threat that force and violence will be used by government for any such personal beliefs. We each have our personal beliefs and motives for supporting this policy or that policy, and in the end the policy that is chosen is seldom, if ever, the policy that is supported by merely one type of belief. Liberty requires that government leave us free to believe what we will, and this principle even applies to the reasons we have for supporting our personal views of good and bad public policy.