Quotation by James Madison

The equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his religion according to the dictates of conscience is held by the same tenure with all our rights. [The legislature] are bound to leave this particular right untouched and sacred, [or] we must say, that they may control freedom of the press, may abolish the trial by jury, may swallow the Executive and the Judiciary Powers of the State; nay that they may despoil us of our very right of suffrage ... or we must say, that they have no authority to enact [a religious assessment].
James Madison (1751–1836), U.S. president. "Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessment" (1785). W.T. Hutchinson et al., The Papers of James Madison, vol. 8, p. 304, Chicago and Charlottesville, Virginia (1962-1991).
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