"[The People] are the ultimate, guardians of their own liberty."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, Queries 14 and 19, 1784
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch18s16.html
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Amen, and Amen, and AMEN ! ! ! My broader explanation would be different than most because it would include the Creator of the Universe, somewhat expressed by Benjamin Franklin: God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable than an empire can rise without His aid? That being said, ultimately, people are the guardians of their own liberty !
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    God has nothing to do with it - if there is a God "it" must answer for the crimes committed in its name...There was NO creator of the Universe unless you call "Nature" God... Man has used this mythical being (or entity) to perpetrated the most heinous crimes against humanity....
     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France     
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     -- Mary - MI      
    Robert, St. Emilion, France - We can also say that Atheists have used their non-belief in a Supreme Being to use their idolatry of themselves (Hitler, Stalin and Mao Tse-tung) too commit utter heinous, atrocious and vile destruction of their fellow countrymen and other innocent human beings.
    Our Lord is not responsible for free will atrocious and vile acts that human beings commit upon and against others.
     -- Mary - MI     
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    Robert, your illogical word salad does not befit the otherwise lucid you. Why, by what exercise of or nexus at law, would anyone or thing (God included) have to answer (and to whom would he/they answer to - death being the end of existence) for something he did not do. Does "Liberty" have to answer for all the heinous acts done in "its" name ? Does Justice, law, order, etc. have to answer for the heinous acts done in "its" / "there" name(s)? I agree with you, religion, with its mythical beings / entities (extra corporeal, government/church/priesthood, etc.) has been used to perpetrate the most heinous crimes against humanity. In the 20th and 21st Centuries, the religion of atheistic socialism has maimed, killed and committed more heinous crimes against humanity than any religion before. Does that mean all atheists have to answer for all the heinous crimes committed in the name of atheistic religions ? As to there being or not being a Creator of the Universe, I agree to disagree with you.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Well if God is the ultimate guardian of our liberties, then based on the condition of the world, I would say He isn't doing a very good job. ;-) Jefferson referred to "Nature's God" and "our Creator" -- but these are general terms -- Christians will say he was speaking about Jesus (or the Trinity), others will understand the phrase according to their own beliefs/philosophy. (It might help to read Jefferson's letters regarding Christianity -- or even the Jeffersonian Bible -- to better understand what Jefferson meant by Nature's God and our Creator.)

    Never-the-less, the People must guard their liberties if they want to keep them -- but if they exceed that mandate and seek to restrict the liberties of others in order to guard their own, they will eventually succumb to simple mob rule.

    Unlike other philosophies, religion is also LAW to be obeyed, for which the punishment is perpetual suffering -- and if you do not believe it, the believers may well take God's judgement into their own hands. To believe that the universe 'began' and that the creation continues to evolve (grow up) according to natural laws is a philosophy -- it acknowledges a creation, an inherent 'intelligence' to its 'design' and a continuous process of expanding, and of course it acts in accordance with natural laws. Gravity has always existed even before it was 'discovered' and understood -- the same for ALL natural laws.

    I can call the Source of this creation and its inherent intelligent design 'God' or the 'Creator' or whatever -- there are thousands of names used to address the Deity. Can we understand the ways of God any more than we can understand the creation of the universe? We can seek, we share our findings, and we can live in accordance and harmony with the creation. But when zealots take over and attempt to place themselves between us and the Creator, and act on his behalf, then you have a religion rather than a philosophy. And there is not a single country on the planet with a successful one religion-law state.

    Fundamentalist religion is perpetual war in God's name -- no wonder we are in such dire straights.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer you would argue with a post ! His name is " I Am " and you will find him " In Amen " The first and last word of the King James Bible. The true and faithful witness. The Rock upon which our Republic rest. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable and poor, and blind and naked. As many as I love I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold I stand at the door, and knock. Thus saith the Amen. He that hath the sharp sword with two edges. I know thy works.
    Well said Mike and Mary ! Amen.
     -- Ron w13, Yachats Or     
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    Mary- Mi, Hitler was a Catholic and was never excommunicated. Check out "Is Satan a Catholic" on YouTube. E Archer, I agree with your statements. Ron w13 , This hodgepodge of words is not up to your usual standards --- on second thought, it is.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    Jim your neutral point stands out. Not of the household of faith. Not at all.. But that is ok for it makes no difference in the final outcome. Consider the God of forces , which would be observed by such a learned group. O that might work for all ? Go ahead and establish the vision if you think possible. With out a vision the people perish. My stand is upon the Rock, Jim. But I do know the God of forces. And it is spelled with a Capital "G".
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    ;-) @Ron, I don't think I am 'arguing' at all. But trying to raise the awareness of a religious zealot is about the same as arguing with a post. ;-) As for your 'Amen' -- Amen has been used to end prayers for thousands of years BEFORE Judaism. Amen is an Egyptian god, and his name was invoked particularly at the end of a prayer. The history of religions is a very interesting study -- but of course, fundamentalists will find it very difficult to integrate without letting go of a few long-held beliefs. The truth WILL set you free!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    What is the source of this quote? I have looked for it with no luck...it is always referred back to this page on 'search'
     -- abby     
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    Abby, the source has been updated. Cheers.
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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