"The error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as well as the acts of the body, are subject to the coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. ... Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. Thus in France the emetic was once forbidden as a medicine, and the potatoe as an article of food."
by:
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Source:
Jefferson's Notes on Viriginia, Query XVII (1781-1785)
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Editor, you'd better be careful, you know they're watching this blog ;-) Great analogy and description ! ! ! ! !
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The right to act according to one's conscience is the first right of choice that every individual is born with.---- "1. That the law was not made for a righteous man, but for the disobedient.---- 2. That righteous men have to part with a little of their liberty and property to preserve the rest. ---- 3. That all power is vested in and consequently derived from the people.---- 4. That the law should rule over rulers, and not rulers over the law. ---- 5. That government is founded on compact.---- 6. That every law made by the legislators inconsistent with the compact, modernly called a constitution, is usurpive in the legislators and not binding on the people.---- 7. That whenever government is found inadequate to preserve the liberty and property of the people they have an indubitable right to alter it so as to answer those purposes.---- 8. That legislators in their legislative capacity cannot alter the constitution, for they are hired servants of the people to act within the limits of the constitution."---- 'The Rights of Conscience Inalienable, John Leyland (1791)
     -- Anon     
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    Anon, I like your quote as well as the one of Jefferson's. Now the law is constructed that one can be prosecuted for "intent", with no crime committed and no injury to another, in other words prosecuted for what you think. Many incarcerated for victimless crimes, crimes on self. The 6th item of John Leyland's quote is violated all the time in that many laws are not given the test of constitutionality, and have no basis for legislators to pass. Seems legislators are now concerned about constitutionality of laws over the health care bill. and plan to test it but why not earlier? Is there not a law that requires a constitutional test before it is finalized? Seems I heard a group was trying to get such a law enacted. Senators Lieberman and McCain trying to pass one for "belligerence" where an American citizen can be held without legal council with belligerence being implied terrorist activity, belligerence having no legal definition. Both good quotes. Thanks.
     -- Judith, New Mexico     
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    Jefferson was an advanced and schooled thinker and philosopher who knew well the ways of authoritarianism. And as one of the most notable founding fathers we would have done well to adhere to his wishes for us. Sadly though, it was Hamilton's practices of greed, control and cronyism that won in the long run and it is Hamilton's America in which we live today.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    I can't add much to what is said above except that the Constitution is just a slight detour to the Washington bunch on the road to socialism.
     -- jim k, Austin     
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    I like even more the words Jefferson wrote where the dots are and not quoted. Those were "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.....Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion, by bringing every false one to their tribunal, to the test of their investigation. They are the natrual enemies of error, and of error only. Had not the Roman government permitted free enquiry, Christianity could never have been introduced. Had not free enquiry been indulged, at the aera of the reformation, the corruptions of Christianity could not have been purged away."
     -- dick, Fort Worth     
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    If Jefferson could see this Obamacare!
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Has the consciousness of the 21st century American devolved into such a whiny, spoiled, perpetually childish, egotist that thinks nothing of yoking the next generation with the costs of today, all because they don't have 'insurance' for 'health care?' "Screw the health and liberty of the future generation -- they will have to pass the hot potato to someone else like we do. I need my Ambien!" Such hypocrisy when the State takes over the liability of your health all in the name of your security. Slavery is Freedom. Zeig Heil.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Thomas Jefferson was our Founding Father and he was the best. We all should follow him and abide the Constitution of the United States together with the Bill of Rights. There will never be another like Jefferson! Or will there?
     -- Anna Castaldini, Deer Park, NY     
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    Judith, our legislators were supposed to argue like hell if any bill came up that trampled the rights of ANY individual and to continuously point this out, we were then supposed to watch our legislature to make sure it did throw out bad law, that which interfered with individual rights which is a simple thing to do until our officers stopped doing what they were hired to do and started listening to lobbyists and not there conscience. The people became apathetic and our Constitution became a piece of paper and here we are today.---- Archer, your in great form today. Well said
     -- Anon     
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    dick, fort worth., Just as any great movement of anything that carries any good within it eventually becomes corrupt to lead the masses off the well beaten path, the same has happened to Christianity, Budhism, Islam and the rest of all the factions that are born of them. If we could find a true path amongst the many and varied factions we need to follow it with our own detection of the truth that leads to fertile ground where the truth becomes more appaent if one freely chooses to hunt fot it and clear all the lies from within your head.
     -- Anon     
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     -- Anonymous      
    Giving up our Liberty for security only means we achieve neither. Drug laws prove to be hypocritical in every way known to modern man. The only thing implied by me is this system is ruled by the Plutocrat's who gain a position in the (R) party only to keep things the way they are, as they did during the great deep depression of the 20's and 30's.
     -- Bill, Graham     
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    Anon, i disagree with your # 1. The law was made for the"righteous" as well as the "disobedient". Some righteous folk can commit terrible crimes, and do.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    Okay, your fallback position is, of course, that they weren't truly righteous in the first place.
     -- jim k, austin tx     
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    jim, I think you are searching for, "for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." The law is what it is - for those that obey and for those that disobey. Man's tyrannous canons - for those that obey and for those that disobey is an entirely different subject.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, I've been reading your opinions on these quotes and see that you have the ability to put words together with meaning; so I pray that you and others on this page today are not being silent in the public square.
     -- David Cooper, Mannington     
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    " Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. " The Lord does hate evil, but he also tries the righteous, to temper them.
    Be not wise in thy own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. It is a request by God to guard your liberty, but to also pray for your enemy, bless them and curse not. This is hard to do if one harbors hate which blinds the mind of sound judgment." For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings. " And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit.
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
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    I remember when Dan Quayle was made a laughing stock for spelling Potato with an "e" on the end.
    Here is how Thomas Jefferson spelled "Potato" ... Would the same fools laugh at Jefferson for using the Old English spelling?
     -- Mary - MI     
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