a Comparison in Quotations of the Policies and Politics
of the Founding Fathers and George W. Bush

    III. Religion

    In contrast to the born-again, Scripture-based view of religion so often espoused by George W. Bush, the founders tended toward Deism (Hamilton less so in his later years). While all were well-schooled in the Bible, they were also much influenced by the English and French philosophers of the Enlightenment, who believed in Natural Law, Providence and Good Works. Locke, Newton, Voltaire, Montesquieu viewed God more as a Creator of Nature and Natural Forces who influenced man through the laws of Science and Reason rather than through the Scriptures or any particular church canon.

    Deism unequivocally separated government from the ancient idea of divinely-authorized monarchs ordained by established churches.

    While variation certainly existed in their personal beliefs, all six of the founders held the following religious beliefs in common:

    All believed in God (as each defined that term).

    All believed the precepts of Jesus worthy of reverence and praise.

    All were wary of, if not hostile toward, religious establishments.

    None believed in the Trinity, Hell or the Apocalypse, and in general all were skeptical about the Gospels.

    All believed in freedom of conscience and tolerance of other faiths.

    All opposed intermingling of church and state, with some variation as to exactly what that meant.

    All six viewed the 1500 years of religion-dominated government in Europe and England as an interminable history of cruelty, bigotry and horror.

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I don't see how you can be president . . . without a relationship with the Lord."

    ---January 11, 2005

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can't explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen . . . I know it won't be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it."

    ---Speaking to James Robinson in the election year 2000, quoted in Stephen Mansfield, The Faith of George W. Bush

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “We share common goals and a common faith."

    ---Addressing the Christian Coalition's "Road To Victory" convention

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I think people attack me because they are fearful that I will then say that you're not equally as patriotic if you're not a religious person --- I've never said that. I've never acted like that. I think that's just the way it is.”

    ---Washington Times, January 12, 2005

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “My parents had early given me religious impressions, and brought me through my childhood piously in the dissenting way. But I was scarce fifteen, when after doubting by turns of several points, as I found them disputed in different books I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself. Some books against deism fell into my hands . . . It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough deist.”

    ---Franklin’s Autobiography, Rinehart Edition, p. 5

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “It has been for some time a question with me whether a commonwealth suffers more by hypocritical pretenders to religion or by the openly profane? But some late thoughts of this nature have inclined me to think that the hypocrite is the most dangerous person of the two, especially if he sustains a post in the government.”

    ---Silence DoGood, July 23, 1722, New-England Courant

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Serving God is doing good to man, but praying is thought an easier service, and therefore more generally chosen.”

    ---Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1753

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason; the morning daylight appears plainer when you put out your candle.”

    ---Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1758

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Remember me affectionately to good Dr. Price and to the honest heretic Dr. Priestly. I do not call him honest by way of distinction; for I think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men. They have the virtue of fortitude or they would not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them. Do not, however mistake me. It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic."

    ---Letter to Benjamin Vaughan, October 24, 1788

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “If men are so wicked with religion, what would they be if without it?"

    ---Letter to Thomas Paine, (date uncertain), Works, vol. XI, p. 298

    BENJAMIN FRANKLIN: “Here is my creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the universe; that he governs it by his Providence; that he ought to be worshipped; that the most acceptable service we can render to him is doing good to his other children; that the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental points of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do, in whatever sect I meet with them.

    As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think his system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is like to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity; tho’ it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it.”

    ---Letter to Ezra Stiles, President of Yale, March 9, 1790 [five months before Franklin’s death]

    “Sir, Washington was a Deist.”

    --- The Reverend Doctor James Abercrombie (rector of the church Washington had attended with his wife) to The Reverend Bird Wilson, quoted from John E. Remsberg, Six Historic Americans

    “I have diligently perused every line that Washington ever gave to the public and I do not find one expression in which he pledges himself as a believer in Christianity. I think anyone who will candidly do as I have done, will come to the conclusion that he was a Deist and nothing more.”

    --- The Reverend Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in an interview with Mr. Robert Dale Owen, November 13, 1831

    “Washington subscribed to the religious faith of the Enlightenment: Like Franklin and Jefferson, he was a deist. “

    --- Washington biographer James Thomas Flexner, Washington: The Indispensable Man, 1974, p. 216

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “If they are good workmen, they may be from Asia, Africa or Europe; they may be Mahometans, Jews, Christians of any sect, or they may be Atheists. . . .”

    ---Letter to Tench Tighman, March 24, 1784 (when asked what type of workman to get for Mount Vernon)

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “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.”

    ---Washington, 1789, responding clergymen who complained that the new Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “Happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens.”

    ---Letter to Hebrew Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, 1790

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause.”

    ---Letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22, 1792

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition. . . . In this enlightened age and in this land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man's religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest offices that are known in the United States.”

    ---Letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

    ----Farewell Address, 1796.

    JOHN ADAMS: “We should begin by setting conscience free. When all men of all religions . . . shall enjoy equal liberty, property, and an equal chance for honors and power . . . we may expect that improvements will be made in the human character and the state of society.”

    ---Letter to Dr. Price, April 8, 1785

    JOHN ADAMS: “Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretense of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”

    --- "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America," 1787-88

    JOHN ADAMS: “The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. . . . And, even since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY?”

    ---Letter to John Taylor, “On Government,” No. XXXI, 1814

    JOHN ADAMS: “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?”

    ---Letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, December 27, 1816

    JOHN ADAMS: “Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion at all!!!" But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion, this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell.”

    ---Letter to Jefferson, April 19, 1817

    [Note: “This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion at all!!!” has often been excised from its larger context, significantly distorting Adams’ actual meaning.]

    JOHN ADAMS “If (the) empire of superstition and hypocrisy should be overthrown, happy indeed it will be for the world; but if all religion and all morality should be overthrown with it, what advantage will be gained? The doctrine of human equality is founded entirely in the Christian doctrine that we are all children of the same Father, all accountable to Him for our conduct to one another, all equally bound to respect each other’s self love.”

    ---Quoted by David McCullough, John Adams, p. 619

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.”

    ---Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.”

    --- Letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense he wished any one to be, sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, & believing he never claimed any other.”

    ---Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others.”

    ---Letter to Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our God and our consciences, for which we were accountable to Him, and not to the priests."

    ---Letter to Mrs. M. Harrison Smith, August 6, 1816

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “The truth is that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. . . But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”

    ---Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    JAMES MADISON: “What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people.

    ---“A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, June 20, 1785

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “The sacred rights of mankind are not to be rummaged for among old parchments or musty records. They are written, as a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the Divinity itself, and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power.”

    ---The Farmer Refuted, February 5, 1775

    THOMAS PAINE: “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

    ---Age of Reason, 1793

    THOMAS PAINE: “It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.”

    ---Age of Reason, 1793

    Separation of Church and State

    "They all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point." ---Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I urge all Texans to answer the call to serve those in need. By volunteering their time, energy or resources to helping others, adults and youngsters follow Christ's message of love and service in thought and deed. Therefore, I, GeorgeWBush, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 10, 2000, Jesus Day in Texas.”

    ---Gubernatorial Proclamation, April 17, 2000

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "I've heard the call. I believe God wants me to run for president."

    ---quoted from Aaron Latham, "How George W. Found God," George Magazine, September, 2000

    REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM: “O Lord, as we come together on this historic and solemn occasion to inaugurate once again a president and vice president, teach each us afresh that power, wisdom and salvation come only from Your hand. We pray, O Lord, for President-elect George W. Bush and Vice President- elect Richard B. Cheney, to whom You have entrusted leadership of this nation at this moment in history. We pray that You'll help them bring our country together so that we may rise above partisan politics and seek the larger vision of Your will for our nation. . . .

    Now, O Lord, we dedicate this presidential inaugural ceremony to You. May this be the beginning of a new dawn for America as we humble ourselves before You and acknowledge You alone as our Lord, our Savior and our Redeemer. We pray this in the name of the Father, and of the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

    ---Prayer of Invocation at Inauguration of President George W. Bush, January 20, 2001

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “And some needs and hurts are so deep they will only respond to a mentor's touch or a pastor's prayer. Church and charity, synagogue and mosque, lend our communities their humanity, and they will have an honored place in our plans and laws.”

    --Inaugural Address, January 20, 2001

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "I appreciate that question because I, in the state of Texas, had heard a lot of discussion about a faith-based initiative eroding the important bridge between church and state."

    —Question and answer session with the press, Jan. 29, 2001

    [Note in the above quote how the Founders’ “wall” of separation has transmuted into a “bridge.”]

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “And I strongly support the faith-based initiative that we're proposing, because I don't believe it violates the line between the separation of church and state, and I believe it's going to make America a better place.”

    ---Reference to the Establishment Clause, quoted from Conrad Goeringer, ANEWS #889, February 28, 2001

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “And we base it, our history, and our decision making, our future, on solid values. The first value is, we're all God's children.”

    ---Speaking to urban leaders, Washington, D.C., Jul. 16, 2003

    ARI FLEISCHER: “Good afternoon. I'll give you a report on the President's day, and then I have an opening statement I'd like to make. The President began very early this morning with a 7:00 a.m. intelligence briefing, followed by a 7:30 a.m. FBI briefing. Then he departed the White House for the National Prayer Breakfast, where he spoke about the importance of faith and prayer in the lives of the American people. “

    ---News Briefing, June 6, 2003

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “We'll do everything in our power to save America one soul at a time.”

    ---Speaking to the National Urban League, 23 July 2004

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “Through my Faith-Based and Community Initiative, my Administration continues to encourage the essential work of faith-based and community organizations. Governments can and should support effective social services, including those provided by religious people and organizations. When government gives that support, it is important that faith- based institutions not be forced to change their religious character.”

    --- "Religious Freedom Day, 2004 Proclamation," January 16, 2004

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “We are going to . . . make sure that the grant money is available for faith communities to bid on, to make sure these faith-based offices are staffed and open. But the key thing is, is that we do have the capacity to allow faith programs to access enormous sums of social service money."

    ---January 11, 2005

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “We had a display of the Ten Commandments on the statehouse grounds in Texas, and I supported that display.”

    ---Press Conference, March 16, 2005

    GEORGE WASHINGTON: “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.”

    ---1789, responding clergymen who complained that the new Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ

    JOHN ADAMS: "Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion."

    ---Letter to Benjamin Rush, June 12, 1812

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: ”This loathsome combination of Church and State . . .”

    ---Letter to C. Clay, 1815

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest- ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes."

    ---Letter to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "In every country and in every age, the priest has been

    hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

    ---Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814


    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle."

    ---Letter to Richard Rush, May 31, 1813

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."

    ---Bill for Religious Freedom, 1779.

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being, of course, judge of that tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own." ---Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man."

    ---Letter to Jeremiah Moor, August 14, 1800

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "The clergy . . . believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion."

    ---Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, September 23, 1800, in reference to members of the clergy who sought to establish some form of "official" Christianity in the U.S. government

    [Note: The famous phrase “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” is often removed from this “Separation of Church and State” context and is even inscribed in this truncated-but-still-eloquent version on the south corner of the Jefferson Memorial.]

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."

    ---Letter to Moses Robinson, March 23, 1801

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "The advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from [the clergy]."

    ---Letter to Levi Lincoln, January 1, 1802

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, THUS BUILDING A WALL OF SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE. “ [emphasis added]

    ---Letter to Danbury Baptist Association, January 1, 1802

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this [i.e., the purchase of an apparent geological or astronomical work] can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offense against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? And are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason. If [this] book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But, for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides, if we choose."

    ---Letter to N. G. Dufief, April 19, 1814

    JAMES MADISON: “If religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their constituents should discharge their religious duties, let them like their constituents, do so at their own expense.”

    --- “A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” addressed to the Virginia General Assembly, June 20, 1785

    JAMES MADISON: “Congress should not establish a religion, and enforce the legal observation of it by law, nor compel men to worship God in any manner contrary to their conscience.”

    --- Annals of Congress 730, August 15, 1789

    JAMES MADISON: “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by ecclesiastical bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history.”

    ----From Detached Memoranda, undated (c. 1819)

    JAMES MADISON: “Every new and successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together.”

    ---Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

    JAMES MADISON: “In some parts of our country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Government & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition and such its corrupting influence on both the parties that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against.”

    ---Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10 1822

    JAMES MADISON: “It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions & doubts on unessential points. The tendency to a usurpation on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded against by an entire abstinence of: the Government from interference in any way whatever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, & protecting each sect against trespasses on its legal rights by others.”

    ---Letter to Rev. Jasper Adams, 1832

    Religion and War

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "My administration has a job to do and we're going to do it. We will rid the world of the evildoers."

    ---September 16, 2001

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "This crusade, this war on terrorism is going to take a while."

    ---September 16, 2001

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I hope the message that we fight not a religion, but a group of fanatics which have hijacked a religion is getting through.”

    ---Roosevelt Room, December 4, 2002

    GEORGE W. BUSH: "And wherever you go, you carry a message of hope---a message that is ancient and ever new. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, 'To the captives, come out! to those who are in darkness, be free!'"

    ---In his flight suit aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, 2003

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn't do my job.”

    ---Said to a group of Old Order Amish, Lancaster New Era, July 16, 2004

    GEORGE W. BUSH: “The Iranian regime is evil. They are bad. Iran is run by a paranoid club of intolerant men who think God talks to them and them only.”

    ---July 19 2005

    JOHN ADAMS: “What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because of suspected heresy? Remember . . . the Inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter, and the guillotine; and, oh! horrible, the rack! This is as bad, if not worse, than a slow fire. . . . Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1,500 years.”

    ---Letter to John Taylor, “On Government,” XVI, 1814

    JOHN ADAMS: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

    ---Article 11, Treaty of Peace between the United States and The Bey and subjects of Tripoli and Barbary, 1796

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: “Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effects of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.”

    ---Notes on the State of Virginia Query 17, 1782

    THOMAS JEFFERSON: "I do not know that it is a duty to disturb by missionaries the religion and peace of other countries, who may think themselves bound to extinguish by fire and fagot the heresies to which we give the name of conversions, and quote our own example for it. Were the Pope, or his holy allies, to send in mission to us some thousands of Jesuit priests to convert us to their orthodoxy, I suspect that we should deem and treat it as a national aggression on our peace and faith."

    --Letter to Michael Megear, May 29, 1823

    JAMES MADISON: “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind, and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect. . . . What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.”

    ---Letter to William Bradford April 1, 1774

    ALEXANDER HAMILTON: “The world has been scourged with many fanatical sects in religion who, inflamed by a sincere but mistaken zeal, have perpetuated under the idea of serving God the most atrocious crimes.”

    --- “The Cause of France,” an unpublished fragment, 1794


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Author: Steve Coffman

Paperback: 192 pages

Publisher: One World Studios

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0979727207

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