"All religions united with government
are more or less inimical to liberty.
All, separated from government,
are compatible with liberty."
Henry Clay
(1777-1852) U. S. Senator, Speaker of the House of Representatives
Speech, 24 March 1818
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Reader comments about this quote:
I'd have given him five stars if he had added that, whilst the combination of religion with government is the most dangerous, government unlinked with religion has far more power to do harm than religion unlinked with government.
 -- Michael William Stone, Peterborough, England     
    An uneasy generalization. Britain: a state religion involved in government. No formal constitution. Highly compatible with undefined liberty for all. The USA,: a bar against state religion. A formal constitution espousing liberty for all. Highly compatible with liberty for those who agree with it. My own quote: "Those who demand liberty for all define their true humanity. Those who define liberty for all demand their true spirituality."
     -- James Henry S., North Carolina, USA/UK     
    A true statement.
     -- Dick, Fort Worth     
     -- Anonymous      
    I'm assuming he is referencing a theocracy. A uniting of religion with government can be different from a theocracy. Rome for example. The Caesar at the time of Jesus was the secular Emperor, Pontifex Maximus (the highest religious position in the entire empire, and was the high priest to the College of Pontiffs), and was by legislative enactment a God (a Savior, Bringer of Glad Tidings, God the Son of God and the Messiah - God of peace) With all that, Rome was not considered a theocracy. Historically, "All" is to broad. In my brief scan of history though, even those religions united with government that were not inimical to liberty at their commencement, ended up incompatible with liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I might add, the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land is absolutely inimical to liberty.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx      
    We are simply talking about collective power. When the political powers and the religious powers are unified, the power is immense and thus subject to corruption. Keeping these two spheres separate helps check the other.

    The distribution of power and influence is the best security for liberty -- the centralization of power is inimical to liberty.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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