That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786)
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Added on 14-Mar-22 | Last updated 14-Mar-22
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