"Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men."
John Stuart Mill
(1806-1873) English philosopher and economist
On Liberty
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Henry, Edinboro      
Well quoted.
 -- Cal, Lewisville, TX     
    We hold this truth to be self evident.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Anyone who donates money to TV evangelists, even if he" talks every morning to God", is being deceived. Atrocities happen daily around the Globe in the name of God.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    (-: jim, you make me smile. What is the correlation between TV evangelists and atrocities happening around the world ? Me thinks your stroke is too broad; some evangelists are idiots, some materialistic shysters and some are good people just trying to do good without hurting anyone (it is an individualistic thing). Spousal abuse occurs all around the world in the name of love. Does that mean we need to quit loving our spouses or financially supporting them ? :-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    The biggest abusers of individualism are church and state. Compulsion in varying degrees defines whether they are 'good' or 'bad.' I am afraid there are plenty of people who choose to follow rather than think for themselves. Humans are relatively creatures of habit.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Archer, good point  AND;  when church and state unite, such as the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land (carnal gods with ability to make law instead of define the laws of nature and of nature's God that already exist, inclusive of priesthood {government} power to enforce dogma) create a scenario where the will of god and the injunctions of men are one and the same at enforcing despotism, tyranny, injustice and slavery.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Casting of doubt, selling insurance policies, pandering to the pocket of the feeble minded, soothing a guilty conscience for a price. Honesty is a rare commodity in the church or state. For the most part a Freewill association that Never passes the plate is rare indeed. 
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
    God is often portrayed as the "bad guy". Unfortunately there are far too many "evangelists" who have become rich and "famous" twisting not only His word, fear mongering, but Who He is, and beating people over the head with His word. God does not "crush" individualism...every soul who's ever lived and now lives is an individual. He does not beat people over the head. Indeed we're urged to follow His will...but sadly too few will take the time and personal effort to understand who He really is. C.S. Lewis put it best: "The best thing about Christianity are Christians, and the worst thing about Christianity are Christians." God gets blamed for the stupid and insensitive things many self proclaimed Christians do...it all boils down to caring enough to understand His word and Who He is...

     -- Denise, Durango     
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