Monday, July 11, 2005

Thoughts on Liberty

Some great quotes on Liberty, from Christianity Today:

THE CHURCH must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, never its tool.
Martin Luther King Jr., Strength to Love

CONGRESS SHALL make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …
U.S. Constitution, First Amendment

THE CONSTITUTION guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, speech to Detroit church (August 28, 2000)

IS IT NOT TRUE that persecution against persons exercising their liberty of conscience reduces the honor of God? Does it not also defile the Christian religion, violate the authority of Scripture, and go against the principles of common reason? Finally, does it not destroy the well-being of government itself?
William Penn, The Great Case of Liberty of Conscience

DEPRIVED as we heretofore have been of the invaluable rights of free citizens, we now … behold a government erected by the majesty of the people—a government which to bigotry gives no sanction, to persecution no assistance.
Moses Seixas, president of the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, in a 1790 letter to President George Washington

I DON'T WANT to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it.
Billy Graham in Parade (1981)

THAT CANNOT be a true religion which needs carnal weapons to uphold it.
Roger Williams, The Bloody Tenet of Persecution

And to those, I will add my own:

Liberty must come before Righteousness, because without freedom to choose, there can be no Righteous acts.