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Liberty in matters of religion

December 6, 2016


‘Neither unlimited liberty in matters of religion must be allowed, nor unnecessary force and rigour used, but tolerable differences and parties must be tolerated, and intolerable ones by the wisest means suppressed. . .


‘The things intolerable are these two:


1. (Not the believing, but) the preaching and propagating of principles contrary to the essentials of godliness or Christianity, or government, justice, charity or peace.


2. The turbulent, unpeaceable management of those opinions which in themselves are tolerable.


If any would preach against the articles of the creed, the petitions of the Lord’s prayer, or any of the ten commandments, he is not to be suffered; and if any that are orthodox do in their separated meetings, make it their business to revile at others, and destroy men’s charity, or to stir men up to rebellion or sedition, or contempt of magistracy; none of this should be endured.

Richard Baxter, William Orme, The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, vol. 6 (London: James Duncan, 1830), 200.


"Religious Liberty" was commissioned by B'nai B'rith and dedicated in 1876 to "the people of the United States" as an expression of support for the constitutional guarantee of religious freedom. Created by Moses Jacob Ezekiel, the first American Jewish sculptor to gain international prominence, the 25-foot marble monument was carved in Italy and shipped to Fairmount Park in Philadelphia for the nation's Centennial Exposition. It was moved to Independence Mall in 1985(?) and stands in front of the National Museum of American Jewish History. Photo by Smallbones (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons



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