Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Free Mind

Here is an item from Thomas Jefferson which invites contemplation on the part of radical Islamists who issue Fatwas for the death of those who criticize their prophet or their religion or force conversion on others. It also applies to those who would impose “political correctness” in thought, speech and action; to academicians who set themselves up as thought police; or anyone who would otherwise seek in all its variations to impose conformity of thought and expression on others.
Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested his supreme will that free it shall remain by making it altogether unsusceptible of restraint; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments, or burthens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meaneness, and are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord (sic) both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to extend it by the influence of reason alone.(1)
He also famously said, "I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind  of man.(2)

We need more like him.  The world needs more like him.  Thank God for Thomas Jefferson!

Lets think together again, soon.

1. Thomas Jefferson, “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom,” 1777, cited in James H. Huston, ed., The Founders on Religion: A Book of Quotations, (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), pp. 135-136.

2.  Ibid, p. 136.

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