"I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Letter, 19 April 1814
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Reader comments about this quote:
Excellent quote, from an era passing?
 -- John S, Dog Patch     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
     -- Me Again      
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    From the mind of a real citizen of the world as shown here to the illiteracy and imbecility in our present occupier of the world's most powerful seat.
     -- Dick Trice, Fort Worth     
    Anyone who believes that W is a christian has certainly not been paying attention.
     -- Rodney, Hereford, TX     
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