"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility
against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
a letter written to Benjamin Rush in 1800 in response to Rush's warning about the Philadelphia clergy attacking Jefferson. Carved at the top of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
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Reader comments about this quote:
MY favorite and most-cherished quote by any one of our founding fathers! Wish I could rent BILLBOARDS all over the country to put this on! Especially now!
 -- Elsie, Buffalo     
    Amen.We need more Americans to be like Thomas Jefferson.
     -- KS     
    Hm...'altar of God' and 'tyranny over the mind of man': Oxymoronic?
     -- A.Jurgensen, Stuart, FL     
    Jefferson ranks up there along with oxygen.
     -- George, Philadelphia     
    Government is our tyranny. They lie to us, yet we believe they are helping us. There is no government, like NO government.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
     -- Eby Lopez, Carlsbad, CA      
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Anonymous      
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN      
     -- O. Delusional Liberal      
    It is a great quote but slightly out of context as presented. It is from a letter to B. Rush in 1800 that attacks the clergy. Here is a better representation of Jefferson's intent: "The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, and they [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: & enough too in their opinion, & this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me. . ."
     -- Michael Benton, Beaufort, SC     
    Amen, Amen and Amen ! ! !    Me too ! ! !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Absolutely !!
     -- Ronw13, ID     
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    Is it possible to take an oath against tyranny with a make believe force? Is not President Jefferson using a tyrannical aid to profess some opposition against tyranny? 
     -- Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown     
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