I wish he were around today to smack some sense into Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and James Dobson. (And Bill Dembski, who teaches at a Baptist Seminary while authoring "Vice Strategies.")
- The notion of a Christian commonwealth should be exploded forever...Government should protect every man in thinking and speaking freely, and see that one does not abuse another. The liberty I contend for is more than toleration. The very idea of toleration is despicable; it supposes that some have a pre-eminence above the rest to grant indulgence, whereas all should be equally free, Jews, Turks, Pagans and Christians.
- Truth disdains the aid of law for its defense — it will stand upon its own merits.
- Every man must give account of himself to God, and therefore every man ought to be at liberty to serve God in a way that he can best reconcile to his conscience. If government can answer for individuals at the day of judgment, let men be controlled by it in religious matters; otherwise, let men be free.
- Resolved, that slavery is a violent deprivation of rights of nature and inconsistent with a republican government, and therefore, recommend it to our brethren to make use of every legal measure to extirpate this horrid evil from the land; and pray Almighty God that our honorable legislature may have it in their power to proclaim the great jubilee, consistent with the principles of good policy.
My how times have changed. I like the second quote the best. The "Vice Strategy" is sort of the opposite. Something like: "We must embrace the law to defend the truth, which is weak and in constant need of judicial support."
My fellow Baptists: separation of church and state is a good thing. We used to proclaim it until relatively recently. We can even lay claim to having invented it.
(Hat Tip: Ed Brayton)