Home > Ministries >
.

What is Religious Liberty

Quotes from the Bible

Quotes from the Writings of Ellen White

Quotes from the Constitution of the United States of America

Quotes from America's Founding Fathers & Other Prominent Americans

Religious Liberty News



What is Religious Liberty
The First Amendment to the Constitution  of the United States reads:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

Religious liberty is the freedom to worship - freedom to practice one's religion.



Quotes from the Bible

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Matthew 5:12.

Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29.

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world." John 18:36.

Some [faithful men and women] faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- the world was not worthy of them. Hebrews 11:36-38.

But let justice run down like water, And righteousness like a mighty stream. Amos 5:24.

Thus says the LORD: "Keep justice, and do righteousness, For My salvation is about to come, And My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, And the son of man who lays hold on it; Who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, And keeps his hand from doing any evil." Isaiah 56:1 & 2.

Quotes from the Writings of Ellen White

"We are not doing the will of God if we sit in quietude, doing nothing to preserve liberty of conscience." Ellen White, 5 Testimonies to the Church 714.

"Now is the time to press the front in Washington... and this work must not rest upon a few." Ellen White, Review& Herald, February 16, 1905.

"The union of the church with the state, be the degree never so slight, while it may appear to bring the world nearer to the church, does in reality but bring the church nearer to the world." Ellen White, The Great Controversy 297.

"The people of God will recognize human government as an ordinance of divine appointment and will teach obedience to it as a sacred duty within its legitimate sphere. But when its claims conflict with the claims of God, the word of God must be recognized as above all human legislation. 'Thus saith the Lord' is not to be set aside for thus saith the church or the state. The crown of Christ is to be uplifted above the diadems of earthly potentates." Ellen White, 6 Testimonies for the Church 402.

"God desires from all His creatures the service of love - service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service." Ellen White, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 34, paragraph 3.

"The worshiper of Jehovah had not only rendered a great service to the country, but had proved himself a man of valor. It was seen that righteousness is not cowardice, and that Abraham's religion made him courageous in maintaining the right and defending the oppressed." Ellen White, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 135.

"Many seek to make heaven for themselves by obtaining riches and power. They 'speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily' (Psalm 73:8), trampling upon human rights and disregarding divine authority." Ellen White, Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 124.

Quotes from the Constitution of the United States of America

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or bridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the government for redress the grievances." First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

"The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." Article VI of the Constitution of the United States of America.

Quotes from the Founding Fathers & Other Prominent Americans

Roger Williams, Devout Christian, Father of Religious Freedom in America & Founder of Rhode Island

"Forced worship stinks in God�s nostrils." Roger Williams, founder of Rhode Island, to Maj. John Mason and Gov. Thomas Prence, 22 June 1670.

"If the civil magistrates be Christians or members of the church, able to prophesy in the church of Christ, ... they are bound by the command of Christ to suffer opposition to their doctrine with meekness and gentleness, and to be so far from striving to subdue their opposites with the civil sword, that they are bound with patience and meekness to wait if God peradventure will please to grant repentance unto their opposites... The sword may make a whole nation of hypocrites." Roger Williams, "The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, for Cause of Conscience," 1644.

James Madison, Father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights

"[T]he number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, & the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State." James Madison, Letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819.

"[I]t is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties....Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?" James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance," 1785.

"The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity." James Madison, Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec. 3, 1821.

"Ye States of America, which retain in your Constitution or Codes, any aberration from the sacred principle of religious liberty, by giving to Caesar what belongs to God, or joining together what God has put asunder, hasten to revise & purify your systems, and make the example of your Country as pure & compleat, in what relates to the freedom of the mind and its allegiance to its maker, as in what belongs to the legitimate objects of political & civil institutions. Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt. in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history." James Madison, "Detached Memoranda."

"We are teaching the world the great truth that Govts. do better without Kings & Nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson that Religion flourishes in greater purity, without than with the aid of Govt." James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822

"In the Papal System, Government and Religion are in a manner consolidated, & that is found to be the worst of Govts. In most of the Govts. of the old world, the legal establishment of a particular religion and without or with very little toleration of others makes a part of the Political and Civil organization and there are few of the most enlightened judges who will maintain that the system has been favorable either to Religion or to Govt." James Madison, Letter to Jasper Adams.

"Having ever regarded the freedom of religious opinion & worship as equally belonging to every sect, & the secure enjoyment of it as the best human provision for bringing all either into the same way of thinking, or into that mutual charity which is the only substitute, I observe with pleasure the view you give of the spirit in which your Sect partake of the blessings offered by our Govt. and Laws." James Madison, Letter to Mordecai Noah, May 15, 1818.

"There is not a shadow of right in the general government to intermeddle with religion. Its least interference with it, would be a most flagrant usurpation. I can appeal to my uniform conduct on this subject, that I have warmly supported religious freedom." James Madison, Journal excerpt, June 12, 1788.

"Among the features peculiar to the Political system of the United States, is the perfect equality of rights which it secures to every religious Sect. And it is particularly pleasing to observe in the good citizenship of such as have been most distrusted and oppressed elsewhere, a happy illustration of the safety and success of this experiment of a just and benignant policy. Equal law protecting equal rights, are found as they ought to be presumed, the best guarantee of loyalty and love of country; as well as best calculated to cherish that mutual respect and good will among Citizens of every religious denomination which are necessary to social harmony and most favorable to the advancement of truth." James Madison, Letter to Jacob de la Motta, August 1820.

"Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the US forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taxes. Does not this involve the principle of a national establishment, applicable to a provision for a religious worship for the Constituent as well as of the representative Body, approved by the majority, and conducted by Ministers of religion paid by the entire nation." James Madison, "Detached Memoranda."

George Washington, First President

"Every man, conducting himself as a good citizen, and being accountable to God alone for his religious opinions, ought to be protected in worshiping the Deity according to the dictates of his own conscience." George Washington Letter, United Baptist Chamber of Virginia May 1789.

Religious Liberty News