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Showing posts with label Separation of Church and State. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Separation of Church and State. Show all posts

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Good Words

“Congress has no power to make any religious establishments.” ~Roger Sherman, Congress, August 19, 1789

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Good Words

“God has appointed two kinds of government in the world, which are distinct in their nature, and ought never to be confounded together; one of which is called civil, the other ecclesiastical government.” ~Isaac Backus, An Appeal to the Public for Religious Liberty, 1773

Friday, October 11, 2013

Good Words

“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.” ~Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man, 1791

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Good Words

“Some very worthy persons, who have not had great advantages for information, have objected against that clause in the constitution which provides, that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States. They have been afraid that this clause is unfavorable to religion. But my countrymen, the sole purpose and effect of it is to exclude persecution, and to secure to you the important right of religious liberty. We are almost the only people in the world, who have a full enjoyment of this important right of human nature. In our country every man has a right to worship God in that way which is most agreeable to his conscience. If he be a good and peaceable person he is liable to no penalties or incapacities on account of his religious sentiments; or in other words, he is not subject to persecution. But in other parts of the world, it has been, and still is, far different. Systems of religious error have been adopted, in times of ignorance. It has been the interest of tyrannical kings, popes, and prelates, to maintain these errors. When the clouds of ignorance began to vanish, and the people grew more enlightened, there was no other way to keep them in error, but to prohibit their altering their religious opinions by severe persecuting laws. In this way persecution became general throughout Europe.” ~Oliver Ellsworth, Philip B Kurland and Ralph Lerner (eds.), The Founder’s Constitution, University of Chicago Press, 1987, Vol. 4, p. 638

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Good Words

“Knowledge and liberty are so prevalent in this country, that I do not believe that the United States would ever be disposed to establish one religious sect, and lay all others under legal disabilities. But as we know not what may take place hereafter, and any such test would be exceedingly injurious to the rights of free citizens, I cannot think it altogether superfluous to have added a clause, which secures us from the possibility of such oppression.” ~Oliver Wolcott, Connecticut Ratifying Convention, 9 January 1788

Monday, October 07, 2013

Good Words

“No religious doctrine shall be established by law.” ~Elbridge Gerry, Annals of Congress 1:729-731

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Good Words

"A general toleration of Religion appears to me the best means of peopling our country… The free exercise of religion hath stocked the Northern part of the continent with inhabitants; and altho’ Europe hath in great measure adopted a more moderate policy, yet the profession of Protestantism is extremely inconvenient in many places there. A Calvinist, a Lutheran, or Quaker, who hath felt these inconveniences in Europe, sails not to Virginia, where they are felt perhaps in a (greater degree).” ~Patrick Henry, observing that immigrants flock to places where there is no established religion, Religious Tolerance, 1766

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Good Words

“I never liked the Hierarchy of the Church — an equality in the teacher of Religion, and a dependence on the people, are republican sentiments — but if the Clergy combine, they will have their influence on Government” ~Rufus King, Rufus King: American Federalist, pp. 56-57

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Good Words

“A man of abilities and character, of any sect whatever, may be admitted to any office or public trust under the United States. I am a friend to a variety of sects, because they keep one another in order. How many different sects are we composed of throughout the United States? How many different sects will be in congress? We cannot enumerate the sects that may be in congress. And there are so many now in the United States that they will prevent the establishment of any one sect in prejudice to the rest, and will forever oppose all attempts to infringe religious liberty. If such an attempt be made, will not the alarm be sounded throughout America? If congress be as wicked as we are foretold they will, they would not run the risk of exciting the resentment of all, or most of the religious sects in America.” ~Edmund Randolph, address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 10, 1788

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Good Words

“It is contrary to the principles of reason and justice that any should be compelled to contribute to the maintenance of a church with which their consciences will not permit them to join, and from which they can derive no benefit; for remedy whereof, and that equal liberty as well religious as civil, may be universally extended to all the good people of this commonwealth.” ~George Mason, Virginia Declaration of Rights, 1776

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Good Words

“That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only 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 forebearance, love, and charity towards each other.” ~George Mason, Virginia Bill of Rights, 1776

Monday, September 30, 2013

Good Words

“In regard to religion, mutual toleration in the different professions thereof is what all good and candid minds in all ages have ever practiced, and both by precept and example inculcated on mankind.” ~Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists (1771)

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Good Words

“Manufacturers, who listening to the powerful invitations of a better price for their fabrics, or their labor, of greater cheapness of provisions and raw materials, of an exemption from the chief part of the taxes burdens and restraints, which they endure in the old world, of greater personal independence and consequence, under the operation of a more equal government, and of what is far more precious than mere religious toleration–a perfect equality of religious privileges; would probably flock from Europe to the United States to pursue their own trades or professions, if they were once made sensible of the advantages they would enjoy, and were inspired with an assurance of encouragement and employment, will, with difficulty, be induced to transplant themselves, with a view to becoming cultivators of the land.” ~Alexander Hamilton: Report on the Subject of Manufacturers December 5, 1791

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Good Words

“When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obligated to call for help of the civil power, it’s a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” ~Benjamin Franklin, letter to Richard Price, October 9, 1780

Good Words

“It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt, when they degenerate into a populace, that they are incapable of exercising the sovereignty. Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found. The people themselves become the willing instruments of their own debasement and ruin. Let us, then, look to the great cause, and endeavor to preserve it in full force. Let us by all wise and constitutional measures promote intelligence among the people as the best means of preserving our liberties.” ~James Monroe, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1817

Friday, September 27, 2013

Good Words

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.” ~James Madison; Monopolies, Perpetuities, Corporations, EcclesiasticalEndowments

Good Words

“Every new and successful example of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance.” ~James Madison, letter, 1822

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Good Words

“And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion & Govt will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.” ~James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Good Words

“The civil government functions with complete success by the total separation of the Church from the State.” ~James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, “Essays In Addition to America’s Real Religion”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Good Words

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814,