Roger Williams Quote

“God requireth not a uniformity of religion.”

~ Roger Williams

"A Plea for Religious Liberty" in The Bloudy Tenent of Persecution, for Cause of Conscience (1644)

Ratings and Comments

chad, bedford


Greg, Chichester

Who does Roger Williams think he is? God?

Anonymous, Reston, VA US

Clearly Greg thinks he is though...

Ron Forberg, Decatur, GA

"For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard" (including all man-made religious systems). Rom 3:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." Rom 6:23 "For God loved the world so much that He gave is one and only Son...." John 3:16 What's religion got to do with it!

Mark, Northfield, MN

Christianity has become more complicated than necessary. If an individual can love "the Lord God with all of their heart" and "love thy neighbor as thyself" they have fulfilled their duty as a Christian.

Paul, Union, WA

There is nothing wrong with the quote, but there is in the way the quoter poses it, which is why I give it a "thumbs down." The quoter alleges Williams was for "the separation of church and state." But what is meant by that? (Example): Did Williams favor a law against murder because GOVT thought it should be, or because as a preacher he knew GOD already ruled on the matter? If he divorced God from his position, why was he wasting his time as a preacher? If on the other hand he thought the govt should criminalize murder BECAUSE God (as the sole source of morality) had already outlawed it, and NOT because the raw power of any church said it should be criminalized, then the accurate definition of "separation of church and state" is made clear. Williams, as a preacher, was quite aware of what Romans 13 said, that "there is no governing authority except that what God has established." Interpretations about "church and state" must be made based on what we know a Founding Father believed. Williams never believed God should be banished from the decisions of government, for he knew God creates all governments (for the purpose of the time at hand). But we do know Williams despised the raw power some churches used to enforce their beliefs on all people, via governmental edicts. Matters concerning the observation of "the Sabbath" are highly debatable, but do not cause a breakdown in society by non-compliance, and are a matter of faith. Issues of murder, on the other hand, do cause breakdown, and this is the proper domain of govt, as deputized by God to act according to His will. This is what Williams knew and taught, based on the evidence. I think Williams would be horrified by how his words, (later repeated by Jefferson), have been abused and twisted to where they are used to eject his God from the halls of our government. Beyond this, was Williams saying (read the quote again) the religion of God is a buffet line of self-selected truths? If so, he was wrong. God's way is not a cafeteria-line religion. It appears Williams, in context, was saying God does not require government to enforce religious uniformity for good government to exist, nor to enforce faith on man. "Enforced faith" is an oxymoronic term, and Williams was fighting against this bizarre idea when he made the above statement.

warren, olathe

He requires faith and cares not about denominations or "group think".

warren, olathe

The only way you can protect your religion is to protect everyone else's.

E Archer, NYC

It never fails that the preachers chime in whenever anyone dares to suggest that their beliefs are just that -- beliefs. Then they quote from their own religious texts to prove the others are wrong. ;-) I suggest mere mortals refrain from speaking FOR God as that is a common trait among lunatics and mass murderers.

Lunatic (probably), Mass Murderer (not...yet)

1 Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Frank, Tacoma

To E. Archer above. Is it immoral to punch you in the nose for your remarks? If yes, what is your authority? Or is it just your belief and opinion? If not from the "religious texts" (thus ultimately from God), where do you even get a notion of morality, absolute right and wrong? If not the Bible's dogmatic TRUTH that your being assaulted is immoral, you have no more footing than the deer who was just mugged by a cougar. One of the main reasons we don't have a society of nose-punchers is because the preachers take the guff folks like you hand out, and they go on teaching what is right and good anyway. They tell the drunks and addicts they are wrong and they cite their "religious text," as they feed and house them and bring them back from near-death. Why do you only parade the Jim Jones, the "lunatics and mass murderers" who misuse "religious texts"? The motive I normally find behind such comments as yours is intellectual laziness; that because disunity of religious thought exists, it must be because truth can't be found and therefore why should I bother to try? I don't know if this is your case, but your comment smacks of it, and tastes like a big dose of juvenile flippancy.

cal, Lewisville, tx

I believe he was speaking of the Puritans he was running from in MA.

E Archer, NYC

The Bible is not the source of morality or law, both of which can only be understood or realized subjectively. The Bible contains entire chapters of 'law' that today are completely ignored (thank God). As well, kindness, charity, selfless service are fundamental attributes of many religions -- Christians hardly hold a monopoly of the Golden Rule. I have hardly been lazy in my studies of religion -- I dare say Frank would find the truth too much to bear (as Jesus is quoted as saying, by the way.) It is not politically correct in the Christian world (or any religious world) to point out the original sources of these scriptures bound into the holy books the religionist adore. It seems to be a common trait of humankind to defend their own conditioning with extreme prejudice against any other that challenges their long-held beliefs. I happen to love studying religion, and indeed if people practiced the very basics, whether Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and yes even Muslim, the world would be a better place. The flippancy is yours, Frank.

Dick, Fort Worth

Ah, God. When will man ever realize there isn't one?

Mike, Norwalk

I'm not quite sure how to rate this with stars. I guess it all is determined by what "God" is the topic of conversation. The etymology or concept of a "God" never developed in the thousands of years of Hebrew developing culture. It wasn't until an outside conquering people's influence was the concept of a 'god' adopted (el = god). Before it was simply a personal relationship with their "Father" in heaven. In today's society and culture, a Christian can't describe their focus of worship without using the term 'God'. If the here reference is to Jesus, Jesus the Christ had a very narrow and specific uniformity of religion. The Christ's summed up uniformity of religion would be, love your neighbor as yourself. As to a formal organization, being completely different than 'religion' or 'a religion', there was the whole Ephesians 4:11-15 thing: And he agave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the bhead, even Christ:.

watchman 13, USA

Bingo, Mike !! Five stars to Mike.

  • Reply
blake    3/1/17
Ronw13, Oregon

"The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever.
Extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated." John Adams
Unchangeable elements according to the laws of nature and natures God, provide a codified understanding of sound doctrine concerning our Liberties and Freedom, which we as a people are endowed with. This codification nullifies private interpretation through denominational teachings which seek to hide the truth rather than exalt the Whole truth concerning said sound doctrines. 

jim k, Austin

All religions are man made.


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