Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jefferson: Religion Confirms Our Government's Principles

President Thomas Jefferson is often quoted today, but his now-famous phrase about "separation of church and state" seems to have overwhelmed many of his other statements. Certainly Jefferson would be surprised to lean how popular that phrase, taken from a single letter he wrote, has become today. He would also be shocked to see the courts use his words to limit freedom of religious expression.

But Jefferson did not intend to limit the way people express religion, as long as such expression did not break our civic laws. He even trumpeted the value of religion to a civil society. Here is one of his statements on that subject:

"Religion, as well as reason, confirms the soundness of those principles on which our government has been founded and its rights asserted." --Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:283

Read more of Jefferson's thoughts here:

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