"I own I am not a friend to a very energetic government. It is always oppressive."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Letter to James Madison, Paris, December 20, 1787. THE POLITICAL WRITINGS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON 67-68 (Dumbauld Ed. 1955)
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- bill, cowsbell      
As usual, Jefferson was right.
 -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    As but one example, when the Supreme Court energetically legislates from the bench and calls it something else.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Here in Texas we elect all our judges. If they start to become active and energetic-then we can vote them out of office. If only we could do the same with the federal judges.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Cal, you got the right idea! Now let's all work toward making a National Referenum Possible to get all the bad judges out. Ron Branson, with JAIL almost got it done. His dream and calling was shot apart by those of the cloke and dagger class won that fight but the war is far from over.
     -- Duncan Campbell, Castleton-on-Hudson     
    Atta boy ........ I've really come to like this man and his mind!!
     -- Jamie, Nelson     
     -- Ron, Salem      
     -- Paul Phelan, Philadelphia, PA      
    This is a great quote. Jefferson and the rest of the Founding Fathers foresaw everything we are going through today. It isn't a magical or supernatural thing becasue, they were living with the same problems. Human nature never changes, only technology changes. Big government is an active government and Jefferson knew the chaos that results from big government. It's what they rebelled against.
     -- GunnyCee, Durham.     
    Now if we could just get the Founding Fathers back into the history books, so our young people can understand and if we could follow the Constitution the Founders so laboriously constructed, we could have the small government they espoused. We the People would again be a free people. As for me, I want my freedom of religious expression back, be it a creche at Christmas, a display of the Ten Commandments, or a cross in the desert. I'm tired of hearing this isn't a Christian nation. Jefferson was a genius as well as the other Founders.
     -- Carol, Georgia     
    America is not a Christian nation nor was it intended to be -- it was to be a safe haven for ALL faiths. I have no objection to the heritage of the American people being expressed -- that is our right! But Christians should remember what we wish Muslims to remember: belief systems cannot be forced upon others by law no matter how sure their believers are in their faith. Government should be no more energetic in the promotion of Christianity (in its MANY forms) any more than the promotion of Islam (in its many forms). The founders were Deists, mostly, and Jefferson even translated his own version of the Bible from the original Greek and Latin because of what he believed to be the corruption of the Bible by the various organized religions. SO I do not think Jefferson would be quick to defend any government action that spends money on promoting one sect over another. Government money should not be used to give aid to any church or denomination. Let the truth stand on its own -- God does not need government subsidy.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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