Bo Perrin, minister
"Religion in American takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion for who can search the human heart?— but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or to a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society. (Alexis de Tocqueville)
"Such an arrangement would complete the circle of the useful sciences embraced by this institution, and would fill the chasm now existing, on principles which would leave inviolate the constitutional freedom of religion, the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights, over which the people and authorities of this state, individually and publicly, have ever manifested the most watchful jealousy. . . . (Thomas Jefferson)
The American Heritage Project Update
"With the Declaration, America set itself apart, an exception from the ways of the other nations of the world, and embarked on a radically new course in history, in pursuit of neither wealth, nor power, nor racial or ethnic purity, but an idea: God-given liberty for all." (Newt Gringrich, A Nation Like No Other, page 35)
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