"It is not only vain, but wicked, in a legislature
to frame laws in opposition to the laws of nature,
and to arm them with the terrors of death.
This is truly creating crimes in order to punish them."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Note on the Crimes Bill, 1779
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Reader comments about this quote:
Remembering that the laws of nature are those of Nature's God or in other words, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the Great Creator's laws. Those laws in oppssition would be: compelled compliance, victimless crimes, license, etc.; making the law makers (using that term very loosely), namely the executive, judicial, and last of all the legislators all vain and wicked individuals. Well said Mr. Thomas Jefferson!
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Absolutely!
     -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    Not all laws of nature are as morally eveolved as are the laws that man instigates. The innate power of the strong in nature to overpower and subjugate the weak is the umbrella rule of the jungle that a civilized society works to overcome by judiciously creating laws that protect against oppression, discrimination, unjust war and man's general inhumanity to man..not to mention what laws are needed to protect even Nature from man's greed and destructive tendencies. Human social order is the beginning of rising above the rawness of nature's violence,not merely a structured means of codifying nature.
     -- Elizabeth, Los Angeles     
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    That includes religious laws (merely made up by men and backed up with the terror of eternal damnation). The only morality is Truth, Love, and Courage without which I dare say is suffering, delusion, and self-destruction. Truth is, Love is, Life is -- all exist whether humankind embraces them or not -- the consequences of which are self-evident.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    In nature, at certain times, animals tend to move as fast as they can. Men do the same on the streets and highways. Speed limits, in that case, must be immoral. But I have never seen animals smoking pot or injecting heroin. In nature, the predator eats the prey. If that is what we are talking about here, when we say that men's laws should be compatible with those of nature, then I say that Mr. Jefferson was smoking something when he said it.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    It's a damn shame that there aren't men/women like Thomas Jefferson in the seats of US. Government today.A great quote.
     -- Me Again     
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    How do you define or characterize the whole set of processes engaged in by the citizens that move the republic in any direction?
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    The law of nature, God of Nature, and Nature's God were all 17th and 18th Century terms referencing the Christian Gods interaction with this corporeal existence. Said terms did not reference nature (law of the jungle) per se.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I apologize for going on. It is the arrogance, lack of knowledge, or (?), man thinking he has evolved past God or that he is god. I believe ignorance (of real love, truth, faith, history, the etymology of words and concepts, etc.) and apathy are the primary problems that allow statutes or rule in opposition to the laws of nature to inflict the individuals of this nation. Jesus said “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,” (Luke 6:27) I'm not sure we've evolved to that yet, especially considering the hypocrites in Washington.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike: Try reading Romans 13:1-4. Then explain who should forgive and who should punish.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    David, you must not have read anything I've ever written on the subject here in this blog. And this is not the forum to explain that God does not promote or encourage evil (God's ministers do good, not evil) By inclination of meaning to your stated scripture, I could become an abortion doctor, being God's minister for good. (NOT)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike: You are flipping out. I was simply responding to some things that you wrote. You wrote: Jesus said "But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you," (Luke 6:27) I'm not sure we've evolved to that yet, especially considering the hypocrites in Washington. And I responded with a related quote. I have not told you what is appropriate to discuss on this site, but only respnded to your statements. I think you are losing it if you really believe your last comment. Where do you get all that delerious stuff? Not from the verses I cited.
     -- David L. Rosenthal     
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    lol ok
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Loving your enemies is not something to which we are expected to 'evolve' -- it takes a conscious effort. It is a practice, a discipline, and an understanding of the simple truth, "as you sow, so shall you reap." Loving one's enemies sometimes means letting them be the fools we think they are (even when it is quite possible that we are the fools). Perhaps then those true practitioners of Christ's teachings would not attempt to make 'sins' into 'crimes.'
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    "God's laws" are really nothing more than the laws of some people, for "God" is nothing more than an invention of some people attempting to understand and explain that which was beyond them... to make sense of that which they could not grok.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    As it is written:

    “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”

    ~ Romans 10:3

    Illiberal contemporary "liberals" are latter day Pharisees who would presume, by legal means, to endeavor to bind us all in the cords of their contrived notionsof righteous practice.
     -- Patrick Henry, Red Hill     
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     -- Ronw13, OR      
    The War on Drugs has been the single greatest cause of government corruption and war around the globe.  Should drug prohibition be ended now worldwide, the shakeup of the global power structure would be Earth shattering.  Police states around the world will have to go bust.  Less opportunities for corruption in government will drain the swamp.  Those addicted to street drugs will have access to legal medicine.  Remove the black market, and the entire financial structure is destroyed — you'll then see them come out of the woodwork to stop any effort to repeal drug prohibition, because it means money out of their pockets.  This is creating crimes in order to PROFIT from their being broken.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    For example, under zero tolerance laws, if someone is stopped driving their car and is found a marijuana seed, the car may be seized (asset forfeiture) for committing a crime.  Against whom?  So the legislature can make up a crime and the punishment can be to take everything the person has and/or lock him up. (!!)  Who has that power?  If the individual American cannot do it, then neither can his/her representatives/officers.  "It is not only vain, but wicked..."  Indeed!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- Robert, somewhere in the USA      
     
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