"It is not my intention to do away with government. It is, rather, to make it work -- work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. ... We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our country and not love our countrymen, and loving them, not reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they are sick, and provide opportunities to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory? ... We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inauguration Day in future years it should be declared a day of prayer."
by:
Ronald Reagan
(1911-2004) 40th US President
Source:
First Inaugural Address, 1981
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Reader comments about this quote:
It is very, Very, VERY scary in the history of the world when the now de facto government, replacing the intended de jure limited representative republic at natural law, has grown into a lawless statist theocracy in toto foreign and alien to We The People. The mandatory looting and DE-industrializing of a once prosperous nation, outlawing opportunities, making helots, serfs, and slaves out of those that would be self-sufficient, and enforcing an inequality system (in fact) of rich and poor, black and white, etc. by said statist theocracy is demonic at it core and brutal at its application. Mr. Obamunist Goodwrench the assassin is not just killing people but industry and commerce also, by example, the energy industry, exasperating the demolition by disallowing new power source development while shutting down existing power plants. God DID intend for us to be free and prosperous. And if you don't believe in God, it is man's inherent nature, by his very existence, to be free and self-sufficient. I also think it would be fitting and good, if at least, on each Inauguration Day, in future years it should be declared a day of prayer.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I prefer a secular government, neutral in religious areas.
     -- Ted C., Diamond Bar     
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    I think Reagan gave good speeches, was a lousy President, who started us on the road to the economic mess we are just starting to overcome.
     -- Jeff S., Shoals, IN     
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     -- Carlos J. Bringuier, The Woodlands, TX 77382      
    Ted, I prefer a secular government, neutral in religious areas but the secularists, humanists, and atheists, have their nation establishment of religion, totally abolishing all other forms of public religious expression. If there were a day of prayer, a representative republic (government) of We The People would be able to represent each and every, any and all the people. Atheists could meditate, Buddhists could reflect, Christians could communicate with their God, Muslims theirs, etc - freedom would ring. Religion is: "real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to God and our fellow men." (Bouvier's Law Dictionary) This definition specifically uses Christianity as a template to measure differing religious persuasions. It is loosely drawn on a lawfully measurable application of an otherwise equitably principled Luke 10:27 ". . . "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyselfl." This definition's usefulness for lawful purposes is limited to a purely Christian in scope society as, not all religious beliefs (religion) assume, attach, or include an extra-human experience (tangible, intangible, or otherwise) or, lives with a gospel that extols the individual man's (humanity's) nobility. It is however a useful starting place to understand religion's more all inclusive and exhaustive lawfully conceptual application(s). God or, 'god' being derived from the Saxon word: good, pronounced god; that which is whole, full, honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, esteemed, just, upright, intangibly / tangibly, spiritually / corporeally, etc. / as used by Bouvier, 'God' would here be more closely associated to an extra human experience than to a mere subject of awe or veneration. An extra-corporeal existence God is but one element, category, or tenant that may or may not be useful in revealing or identifying religion. Webster's New World Dictionary - Fourth College Edition uses a slightly different vantage on Bouvier's "fellow men" by stating religion is: - "a) any specific system of belief . . ., often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy [the Christian religion, the Buddhist religion, etc.] b) any system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, etc. resembling, suggestive of, or likened to such a system [humanism as a religion] . . . any object of conscientious regard and pursuit" Humanism and Atheism have government as their their god, church, and religion when they mandate their moral dogmas by limiting other's expressions. Many definitions of religion use 'A' religion instead of the broader 'all' religions or just simply, religion. In a lawful sense: Inviolate moral relativism defines the domain that is religion - by way of example: marriage, sharing the wealth, taking care of the poor, etc. The statist theocracy infesting this land allows no competing deity (or communications therewith) to be expressed in its claimed and expanding venues.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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     -- Mary, Michigan      
    He raised taxes and also put us further in debt... his actions are in direct opposition to his words... and those who followed him who modeled their leadership on him did the same.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
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    As Mike from Norwalk seems to actually be from Chicago and thus gets to vote twice, I guess that means the rest of us get to vote twice too...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US     
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    As Anonymous from Reston VA ('A') seems to be from Chicago (voting early and often with moral relativism as his guide), that means he gets to legitimately do what ? Since Mike from Norwalk didn't vote twice, only commented twice (now 3 times) that makes 'A' a liar so, does that make the rest of his comment suspect. hmm.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Total hypocrisy - which always works on the educated masses. We wave the flag of freedom and democracy while we carry the cross and yet overthrow democratically elected leaders; we advocate peace and yet have military bases in over 170 countries. We give to the rich and take from the poor - oh yes, what a great country we have become.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    -- Mike, Norwalk Your lengthy response to my short comment is well taken, and I respect your thoughts and/or beliefs. However, to me religion in any form is at the heart of today's worldwide confusion and chaos. I don't want it to enter into our government affairs even a little bit. Obama's speech at the "prayer breakfast" was very weak on his part, and though I agree with much of what he is doing and trying to do, it only showed to me what a really weak POTUS he is. Saying that he "accepts Jesus Christ as his lord and savior" was not the proper thing to say, as most of the other faiths, of which there are many in our country, including Jews, Islamists, Hindus, Buddhists et al, will not agree with him. Again, I appreciate your thoughts.
     -- Ted C., Diamond Bar     
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    some of this sounds much like what is being said by The Republic for the United States of America
     -- Anonymous     
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    What a crock. The guy was a damn good actor ay? He was the first president in history to swell the deficit to totaling more than all of the administrations before him combined, all the way back to George Washington.
     -- Daniel Vincent Kelley, Newport, VT     
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    I love all the comments pointing out that "Reagan" swelled the debt and blah blah blah... Haven't any of you figured out that the office of the POTUS is merely a stage for the latest meat puppet? If the debt went up it's because The Federal Reserve made it so...and they don't answer to the President. They give the orders.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    As Reagan tried to remind us, it is Congress that spends the money. The Executive is supposed to be merely an Administrative position as well as Commander-In-Chief of the military. The Congress during Reagan's tenure was a Democrat majority. Military spending is always a boon to GDP, although I am against expansionist US military policies -- but remember that the USSR was as much a super-power as the US at the time, and eventually collapsed as a result of Reagan calling their bluff. Communism sucks, people, ask someone born in a communist country. I did like Reagan, and Lyn Nofziger wrote him some excellent speeches -- I do believe Reagan stood for what he said. The Bush's were horrible new world orderers that used The US's new status of undisputed world super-power to claim everything as an 'American interest' -- especially foreign oil reserves. Clinton was an embarrassment and furthered more of the globalist agenda. Obama is a disgrace and with the Democrat majority have shown their cards to be pure Marxist -- Reston openly admits his adoration of Marx's Communist Manifesto -- the majority of which has become US policy.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Reagonism is a myth, He raised taxes 13 times. He was for womens right to choose. He granted illegal immigrants amnesty. He expanded the size of government more than any other President up to his time. He reduced nuclear arms. And when he had the chance to defend this country during WWII, he made movies unlike most of the other actors in Hollywood. He was the only divorced President we have ever had. Those that think Reagon had much to do with the collapse of the USSR do not remember that it was a failed military coup that toppled the USSR. All you "Saint Ronny" types have your head in the sand or some other place that the sun never shines. And BTW, keep your religion out of our government as per section XI of the constitution. That goes to all President too. Stop with the "so help me god" crap during the swearing in [Ref Art II, Sec 1, Para 8].
     -- Popeye, Wichita Ks     
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    In response to Popeye, make sure you get facts straight without telling half truths, because when you fail to do that it makes the rest of your statements suspect. One example: Reagan began the process of joining the Army in 1935 and did so in 1937 (Before his film career). He served in the calvary and later the Army Air Force. Due to medical reasons he was restricted to limited duty in 1942. However, he served throughout the war on the home front, yes making films, the job he was assigned to while serving on active duty in the Army. While he may not have served on the front lines with rifle in hand, he served throughout the entire war. Regardless of your politics or their's, it is an insult to every military veteran, myself included, to cheapen one's service, regardless of the mission they honorably carried out. Before War was even on the horizon he volunteered to serve, he did his part, and helped to defend his country. As far as your final "BTW" why you would want to strip a citizen of their right to worship, seek, beesech, or simply acknowledge their faith, regardless of the event they are participating in, or the job they have voluteered for, is shocking and contradicts the first ammendment to the very document you reference "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THERE OF". The constitution stipulates the oath that will be taken;it says nothing about the President's statements afterwards. And pardon my ingnorace but what is section 11 of the constitution?
     -- Travelingspnge, San Francisco     
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    Travelingsprige...Thank you for your well educated response to a rather ignorant Popeye. And I especially thank you for your military service. I also have no knowledge of any section 11 in the U.S. Constitution. My copy has seven articles, none of them having any more than ten sections, followed by 27 amendments. No section 11 can be found outside of Popeye's imagination. Reagan did not give government any authority over religion, he did not try to make it a law to pray on this day, he merely gave his personal wishes that everyone would do so. He was hoping that We the People would pray for our new leader on the day he starts the job. No one, atheist or otherwise should have a problem with a single person within the borders of this nation praying that God blesses this country and its leader.
     -- Publius     
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    Remember the Rock upon which the republic rest. 44th bk, KJB, ch 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock. Romans 9:33, nine being the number of the covenant. As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. As for justification of our nations stand of liberty and freedom look on Romans ch 10:4, ten being the number of the gentiles in a King James Bible, For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. Righteousness which is of faith is where we stand, not of the law of works which brings death to a nation and makes slaves of its children. We are a free nation under God which gives me the freedom of speach to preach to all men salvation of nation and soul from the law of works by which men and nations are made slaves.Make no mistake, God has set this nation up as those that were afar off, and we do rest upon the arm of the Lord. He has set me in a large place ! Where man seeks to go and know, we in the Lord are already there ! This world is about to give birth, don't you know ? For the whole creation groneth and travaileth for the manifistation of the sons of God. The Lord Jesus Christ was the first born among many brethren. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Romans 10:15 glad tidings of good things ! They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. By the way the eagle carries thirteen arrows in its claw. Do you get the picture, you that think you know the law ? do you seek to justify youselfs by the law of works, if so you are fallen from grace ! Praise be to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans 10:13. And that is from the wrath to come !
     -- Ron, Salem     
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    "I heartily accept the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient."
    Henry David Thoreau.

     -- Felipe, São Paulo     
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    Ted, the original de jure States united was to be individual sovereigns with a body of servants to secure through administration — a limited scope of operation (life, liberty & property), at the laws of nature and of nature's God by defining inalienable rights and liberty. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, financing the indigent, caring for the ill, lording over religious sacraments as marriage, advancing human sacrifice to the gods of pleasure and life style, mandating a moralist socialism and controlling what all other religions can preach over the pulpit (such as by a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) — etc., etc., etc. are all religious issues under the thumb of the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land.

    Though I remain one of Mr. Obamunist GoodWrench the assassin's largest nay sayers, I believe it a noble gesture to declare one's religion  whether POTUS or not. Jews, Islamists, Hindus, Buddhists et all should feel as noble in what ever office or position they hold. It is only the narcissist bigot that becomes offended at another's declaration of difference.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Please remember that it is Congress that borrows and spends, not the President.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    This is the result of adopting socialist/authoritarian "progressive" policies, Robert.  Look to Woodrow Wilson and FDR for attempting to make a global government (League of Nations, and United Nations) in which the US would be the dominant military power.  Central socialist administration of government requires expropriating capital from others to pay the debt-based currency system put in place  a communist plank, by the way.  Domestically, it is the way of socialists to lay claim to the labor of the people; internationally, they expropriate and infiltrate other countries  whether left-wing communism or right-wing fascism, both 'wings' are socialist/authoritarian, and 100% contrary to the principles upon which America was founded.  Put the blame where it belongs.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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