"We hold it for a fundamental and undeniable truth, that religion,
or the duty we owe our Creator and the manner of discharging it,
can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence.
The religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and
conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it
as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right."
by:
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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Reader comments about this quote:
Wow -- an enlightened view few religionists can accept. Deism well-defined. The essense of the 1st Amendment.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Now that atheism has been legislated the national establishment of religion by the Supreme Court, this unalienable faculty of birth and Christian principle is currently being forcebly (and violently where desirable) suppressed.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Madison says "religion...can be directed only by reason and convictions" It may be anyone's prerogative to practice it as he sees fit, but so much religion of all stripes uses very little reason and so much conviction
     -- Jack, Green, OH     
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    That is not Deism. It is advocating religious freedom. A rational religious person knows that if he suppresses someone else's religion he invites the other to suppress his.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Mike, please enlighten me: how and where have the Christians in America been forcefully and violently suppressed by the atheists?
     -- Anonymous     
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    By the very definition atheism itself is a religion is it not?
     -- dhon joe     
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    dhon, by way of clarity, atheism, in and of itself is not a religion. Atheism becomes a religion when it is applied on a moral, virtuous, betterment of man, etc. basis. By way of example: Religion is; "Real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men." (Bouvier's Law Dictionary) The focus here is on the 'do' - real piety in practice and, in the performance of all known duties. When Atheists move by piety in practice, removing all competing religious symbols and practices from their god and church (man / government, etc.) for example, Atheism truly becomes, by definition, a recognizable religion.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The current occupying statist theocracy infesting this land is a death cult with its human sacrifice to the gods of pleasure and life style. The ANTI/NON-Christian establishment of religion (with its canon definition and enforcement of certain religious sacraments - such as marriage, do not allow other beliefs within its realm.

    Anonymous, Nuns are violated for not actively participating in birth control. Cities nation wide are not allowing bible study of 3 or more people in individual's homes. Professors are being band because of their Christian beliefs. Catholic high school students are verbally and emotional being victimized for acts they were purported doing (they did not do what they were accused), etc., etc., etc.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- jim k, Austin      
     
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