The second reason for outlawing religion
I do like this quote because I do believe religion or non-religion should NOT be outlawed, however, I disagree that this portion of the quote, at least, has anything to do with out current situation. Indeed it is in a tyrannical government's best interest to promote a religion to increase obedience. If the politicians are doing a god's work then they can do no wrong, no matter how wrong they may actually be.
And remember it is only just recently that religious tests for office in some states were determined to be unconstitutional.
I believe a critical people are the greatest threat to tyranny while those with blind faith are its most loyal ally.
Also, why are so many people quoting Abraham Lincoln? Wasn't he one of the biggest opponents of states' rights?
Okay, if you guys haven't guessed yet, I am a fan of Thomas Jefferson. Here are some quotes by him that, incidentally, sum up my opinions very well.
"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 no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."
"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make half the world fools and half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the world..."
"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."
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
""If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner and no otherwise as it had happened in a fair or market..."
This next one may be a little inflammatory but I was always surprised that he said this:
"[Revelations is] merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams"
"the serious enemies are the priests of the different religious sects, to whose spells on the human mind its improvement is ominous."
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."
"I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
**"...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms ... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes ... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
"I hope we shall...crush n its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country"
"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have with others the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem [good justice is broad jurisdiction], and their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective control. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal, knowing that to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time and party, its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves."
"What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."
"[In Britain,] if a person brought up a Christian denies the being of a God, or the Trinity ...he is punishable on the first offense by incapacity to hold any office ...; on the second by a disability to sue, to take any gift or legacy ..., and by three year' imprisonment."
WHAT A BRILLIANT MAN!
On my next post I might give some Ron Paul, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton (even though later in his life his views become, at best, subversive and perhaps tyrannical), Benjamin Franklin, J. S. Mill, John Locke etc...
Also, if anyone finds that any of these quotes are inaccurate or misattributed please, let me know.