"The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason & right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that it's protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word 'Jesus Christ,' so that it should read 'a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.' The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it's protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Autobiography, 1821
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Reader comments about this quote:
As is the greatest denigration and furthering threat to this comment, the de jure States united's Constitution, founding jurisprudence of natural law, justice, liberty, freedom, peace, prosperity and individual sovereign rights is the current occupying statist theocracy infesting this land's national establishment of religion - that being humanistic socialism.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The principles of Christianity and Reason, wherever they may agree, are the foundation of the American republican form of government. Many faiths do also share these principles, as do many 'reasonable' people without a religion.

    However, I do not recall in the last 1000 years a Muslim, Hindu, or even Jewish people casting off the shackles of monarchy and dictatorship for a republican form of government in which the rights of the people are paramount and inalienable.

    Liberty is the freedom to ask your own questions and discuss the answers. What is the real Truth? In a free country, you may ask that question, and come up with answers that are not commonly known. What happens when truth and dogma disagree? The lesson -- I either learn or suffer.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Jefferson was right , as usual.
     -- jim k, austin     
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    I am more inclined to give credence to a quote when it is accompanied by more information regarding its origin, purpose, and to whom addressed. The above 'paragraph' is simply that, to which is added the name Thomas Jefferson
     -- Lawrence J., Ft. Dix NJ     
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