Tuesday, 4 October 2011

We want Jefferson . . .

Thomas Jefferson's 1777 draft of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom has still not been implemented in UK, in Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia.  (Antarctica doesn't count, but it isn't in universal use there either.)

The final paragraph:
Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

Don't our human rights deserve that it is implemented for us too?

Did you notice that I highlighted an important phrase?  It suggests that religious people do not have 'a right not to be offended' and that they are expected to defend their corner.

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