Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
Despite being guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution, religious liberty is in the crosshairs of many of our most powerful elected officials. But our Founding Fathers were very clear about ensuring religious liberty for all Americans.
Here are 7 quotes from our Founding Fathers concerning religious liberty which you should know.
"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion." —John Adams, in a letter to Benjamin Rush. 1812
"[T]hat the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; 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 supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty." —Thomas Jefferson, 1779.
"The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man: and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate." —James Madison, 1785.
"Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum." —Samuel Adams, Speech on August 1, 1776.
"While we are contending for our own liberty, we should be very cautious not to violate the conscience of others, ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men, and to Him only in this case are they answerable." —George Washington, in a letter to Benedict Arnold.
"Conscience is the most sacred of all property." —James Madison, 1792.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." —The Constitution. First Amendment.
I think we would do well to remember that the exercising of our religion which is discussed so often by our Founding Fathers is the living out of our conscience according to the dictates of our faith. It is not the much narrower "freedom of worship" spoken of so often nowadays which would see our freedoms limited to which building we'd like to spend an hour or so on Sunday.