16 October 2009

Quotation of the Day

It was the universal opinion of the century preceding the last, that civil Government could not stand without the prop of a religious establishment, and that the Christian religion itself would perish if not supported by a legal provision for its clergy. The experience of Virginia conspicuously corroborates the disproof of both opinions. The civil Government, though bereft of every thing like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood, and 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, 2 March 1819

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