Because religious belief Because religious belief or nonbelief

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Because religious belief,

Because religious belief,

Because religious belief, or non-belief,

Because religious belief, or non-belief,

Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life,

Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual.

State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on

State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights.

Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state, " therefore, is

Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state, " therefore, is

absolutely essential in a free society.

absolutely essential in a free society.

Some believe Thomas Paine wrote the original draft from which Jefferson and Adams copied

Some believe Thomas Paine wrote the original draft from which Jefferson and Adams copied the earliest surviving drafts [which contained stern denunciations against human slavery typical of Paine but not of Jefferson. ]

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware … …That

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware … …That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware that Almighty

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the

comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would

comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that, therefore, the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to the offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow citizens he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though

indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those

indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the 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; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled

Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary

And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

Jefferson's Act for Establishing Religious Freedom This act, the title of which Jefferson directed

Jefferson's Act for Establishing Religious Freedom This act, the title of which Jefferson directed to be inscribed on his tombstone as comparable in importance to the Declaration of Independence, does not exist in a handwritten copy. The version shown here was printed as a broadside in London in 1786 by the great civil libertarian and friend of America, Dr. Richard Price, who wrote the introduction and made changes in the text. Jefferson evidently wrote the Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom in 1777 as a part of his project to revise the laws of his state. The Bill was debated in the General Assembly in 1779 and was postponed after passing a second reading. Madison revived it as an alternative to Henry's general assessment bill and guided it to passage in the Virginia Assembly in January 1786.

absolutely essential in a free society.

absolutely essential in a free society.

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware that Almighty

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that, therefore, the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to the offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow citizens he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though

indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those

indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the 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; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware that Almighty

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time; that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than our opinions in physics or geometry; that, therefore, the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to the offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow citizens he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the 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; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them. Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware … …That

The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom Thomas Jefferson, 1786 Well aware … …That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know this Assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no powers equal to our own and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

“The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human

“The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights. ” Thomas Jefferson A brief Introduction of Freedom of religion on Article 11 The religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of them and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. In Malaysia, it is erecting the “wall of separation between Federal Constitution or the Civil Court and Syariah Court, ” therefore, is absolutely essential to examine this issue especially in a secular state. However, it must be noted that Religious freedom is basic to the nature of man and is deeply rooted in our social life. ‘The movement for “freedom of belief” precedes every other in the history of the struggle for human rights and fundamental freedom’.

"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life,

"Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the 'wall of separation between church and state, ' therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. " ~Thomas Jefferson

The spirit of resistence to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I

The spirit of resistence to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be kept alive. It will often be exercised wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all Thomas Jefferson Letter to Abigail Adams 2 Feb 1787

Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the

Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state, " therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

What all agree upon is probably right; what no two agree on most probably

What all agree upon is probably right; what no two agree on most probably is wrong. Jefferson's Axiom, in a letter to John Adams, 1817

Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the

Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state, " therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.

What all agree upon is probably right; what no two agree in most probably

What all agree upon is probably right; what no two agree in most probably is wrong. -- Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson's Axiom, in a letter to John Adams, 11 January 1817, quoted from Lester Cappon, ed. The Adams-Jefferson Letters (1959) p. 445

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. -- Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776. ME 1: 29, Papers 1: 315 (Some believe Thomas Paine wrote the original draft from which Jefferson and Adams copied the earliest surviving drafts [which contained stern denunciations against human slavery typical of Paine but not of Jefferson, and that it contains word usage typical of Paine's writings but not of Jefferson's], and that this was the secret which Paine, in a letter, assured George Washington that he had "ever been dumb on everything which might touch national honor" and would remain so. Since it was Jefferson's appointed duty to draft the Declaration, it behooved them not to divulge that it came from another's pen, though everyone during those times agreed that Paine's pen was the most elequent of that era. [Arguments derived from Joseph Lewis. ])

We have solved. . . the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion

We have solved. . . the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries

Positive Atheism's Big List of Thomas Jefferson Quotations Positive Atheism's List of Quotations Thomas

Positive Atheism's Big List of Thomas Jefferson Quotations Positive Atheism's List of Quotations Thomas Jefferson on Religion and Liberty

Thomas Jefferson (1743 -1826) The third President of the United States (1801 -1809) •

Thomas Jefferson (1743 -1826) The third President of the United States (1801 -1809) • Continue with Alphabetically Sequenced Quotations