July 03, 2002
Some more food for thought.

Government being, among other purposes, instituted to protect the consciences of men from oppression, it certainly is the duty of Rulers, not only to abstain from it themselves, but according to their stations, to prevent it in others.
-- George Washington, letter to the Religious Society called the Quakers, September 28,1789, quoted from Albert J. Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom, also in Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich, The Harper Book of American Quotations (1988)

It is always to be taken for granted, that those who oppose an equality of rights never mean the exclusion should take place on themselves.
-- Thomas Paine, as quoted by Joseph Lewis in Inspiration and Wisdom from the Writings of Thomas Paine .

When the Know-Nothings get control, it [the Declaration of Independence] will read: "All men are created equal except negroes, foreigners and Catholics." When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.
-- Abraham Lincoln, letter to Joshua F. Speed, August 24, 1855, from Albert J. Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta of our country.
-- George Washington, responding to a group of clergymen who complained that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ, in 1789, Papers, Presidential Series, 4:274, the "Magna-Charta" here refers to the proposed United States Constitution

The civil government ... functions with complete success ... by the total separation of the Church from the State.
-- James Madison, 1819, Writings, 8:432, quoted from Gene Garman, "Essays In Addition to America's Real Religion"

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
-- Thomas Paine, as quoted by Joseph Lewis in Inspiration and Wisdom from the Writings of Thomas Paine .

Quotes courtesy of Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotes.

Posted by at July 03, 2002 06:14 PM
Comments
I especially loved the last one by Thomas Payne. This is appropriate to a lot of the discussions that I have had recently. While most of the things that Payne said are widely considered to be a little screwball for his time, the man made some good points. Posted by: Brian Peace on July 5, 2002 08:12 AM
. Posted by: mp3 on November 6, 2004 01:57 AM
. Posted by: mp3 on November 8, 2004 02:42 PM
hello Posted by: 123qwe on January 28, 2005 08:27 PM
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