"Freedom arises from a multiplicity of sects, which pervades America,
and is the best and only security for religious liberty in America."
James Madison
(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
Address to the Virginia Constitutional Convention, 12 June 1788
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Mike, Norwalk      
Does this mean we should welcome the Muslims, the Atheists and all the rest?. I think so, I think the Christian thing to do especially at Christmas time is to embrace all. (This is not to infer that we should not keep a sharp eye out for the radical Muslim - that is a horse of a different color,)
 -- Waffler, Smith     
    I'm not embracing anyone who's religion calls for the murder of me and my family.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I'm with J Carlton on this. If I had the power to do it, I'd have a Secret Service man or one from the FBI in every Mosque in the country.
     -- jim k, austin     
    Looks like Waffler and I agree this time. I have studied many religions, and was brought up under various sects of Christianity -- each of which said the 'others' were damned. Even a child knows this isn't very 'Christian.' To allow people their beliefs is central to freedom, but the protection of the rights of all is indeed paramount. The truth is the truth, whatever that may be, and you can bet if a politician is saying it, you better rethink the whole thing... Forget about secret police protecting us -- once the system of secret surveillance is set up, it is only a matter of time before someone co-opts it and uses it for nefarious purposes. Muslims must abide by the law of the land just like any other -- we do not need to subsidize them nor the Catholics, Baptists, Mormons, Buddhists, or Atheists. All are belief systems -- we are free to believe, and we are accountable for our actions nonetheless. There is a place for myth in the world to aid in the dissemination of the wisdom of the ancients -- perhaps we should focus on the wisdom instead of the form... I still judge a man by his deeds more than his promises -- and those that speak for 'God' generally receive my derision. Those that do good receive my gratitude and respect.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    I understand it is written in the Koran that all "infidels" must be put to death. How broad is this definition to muslems? It seems to include Christians.
     -- cal, lewisville, tx     
    Wow! Archer Wow! Never thought you and I were on such a same wave length. There are Chrisrtian sects that teach love and tolerance. And some apparently like yourself who have come by it on your own or through your experience.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    I have no problem with one sect telling the other they are damned to hell. In fact if they truly believe their own religion it is their obligation to warn the unbeliever. However, no sect should attempt to carry out the punishment of the unbeliever themselves and send them to hell. That is not the role of the believer. Leave what happens after this life to God. We'll all find out who's right soon enough.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
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