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May/June 2010

Discover more articles from this issue.

The Terrifying, Horrifying Evil of Religious Bigotry

Peter declares in the New Testament: “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering…. But rejoice that you participate in the...

Why the Jews?

Anti-Semitism is a historical enigma. Its origin in pagan antiquity, its evolution through the medieval period, and its demonic denouement in the Holocaust...

Clean-shaven Christian Identity

Racism, National Identity, and the Perversion of Religion

As to War

Editorial

Jesus Plus Nothing

A religious group's ties to the political establishment show why a motto is easier said than done.

The Informed Conscience

A New Survey Shows Most Churchgoers Support Torture. What Should Pastors Say?

The Great Barrier

If Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the...

Triumph Over Bigotry and Persecution

We have abundant reasons to rejoice that in this land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition, and that...

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Published in the May/June 2010 Magazine
by James Madison

If Religion be exempt from the authority of the Society at large, still less can it be subject to that of the Legislative Body. The latter are but the creatures and vicegerents of the former. Their jurisdiction is both derivative and limited: it is limited with regard to the co-ordinate departments, more necessarily is it

limited with regard to the constituents. The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overlap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves.

 —James Madison, from “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” written to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785.

Author: James Madison

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