Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy, ignorance and servility in the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.

James Madison (1751-1836) American statesman, political theorist, US President (1809-17)
“A Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” letter to the Virginia Assembly (20 Jun 1785)

On a proposed law to have the state financially support "Teachers of the Christian Religion." Full text.
Added on 26-Jul-07 | Last updated 29-Oct-10
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