Tuesday, October 24, 2006

thee madison minute

What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [Pres. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785

1 Comments:

Blogger thee trouthole said...

as an addendum too this post, I just came acroos George F. Will's NY Times review of Brooke Allen's "Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers. It's a great, informative bit of history Will dishes here. Here's the opening graph:
Not since the medieval church baptized, as it were, Aristotle as some sort of early — very early — church father has there been an intellectual hijacking as audacious as the attempt to present America’s principal founders as devout Christians. Such an attempt is now in high gear among people who argue that the founders were kindred spirits with today’s evangelicals, and that they founded a “Christian nation.”

9:11 PM  

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