John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams, (1767-1848) 6th US President

John Quincy Adams Quote

“Civil liberty can be established on no foundation of human reason which will not at the same time demonstrate the right of religious freedom.”

John Quincy AdamsJohn Quincy Adams
~ John Quincy Adams

Letter, 1823

Ratings and Comments

warren, olathe

Religious freedom means the freedom to practice it. It does not mean the freedom to suppress it, stop it, or remove it from public discourse.

watchman 13, USA

It has been one of the most mysterious, privileged times in the course of human events to upbrade and edify the doctrines of liberty and freedom as pertaining to our Constitution the world has ever experienced. Who is my adversary let him come near to me. Which is allowed in our nation of free speech. To win the hearts and minds of them which believe not. This light of liberty does shine, though some would put the candle under the table, That is a sure way to start a fire !

Mann, Kalamazoo

Interesting that Adams insists a "foundation of human reason" is required as a fundamental for something that cannot possibly exist without blind faith, absent reason. Even if his words are accepted at face value, the only consistent feature of "religious freedom" has proven to be the license it grants one dogma's adherents to make war on a differing dogma's adherents.

watchman 13, USA

Mann, you are like a dog chasing its own tail. You are condemned in thought by your own words. Faith is not blind if one can read 6th grade English. We are for peace, but obviously you are for war. You have the right to be reprobate.
Both ends against the middle, please, you insult common sense. Which is not very common.

Mike, Norwalk

(-; watchman 13 VERY well said ;-) Mann's myopic prejudiced statement here, is from a false definition of religion, faith and Christianity. The experience of civil liberty based on reason alone is antithetical to liberty and, has resulted in despotism and tyranny. Religious freedom, among other explanations, is an autonomic self expression of objects of conscience, ethics, morals, values (system) or an orientation of correctness / enlightenment, believed sufficiently conventional and sacrosanct as to enable an attributable action. A narrowed application would be real piety in practice, consisting in the performance of all known duties to our fellow men. Human reasoning, based on conscience, ethics, morals, and values, in considering civil liberties is a good mental exercise in academia. Liberty at law is a whole other subject matter.

watchman 13, USA

Common law ( natural law ) is common ground. Unity in action ! Attributes being the guiding house of influence to the natal agent. Ministry of the Word. A privilege reserved for the called. Now we see the deep and better things. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord : for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I might win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine on righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

E Archer, NYC

Hmm, would like to see the context of this quote. 'Civil liberty' is limited by the State, while just 'liberty' is limited by Natural Law. Indeed any human legislation (referred to as laws, but are in fact merely rules) that is contrary to reason or Natural Law will create nothing but conflict and can never truly be enforced. 'Religious freedom' refers to the individual right to essentially believe anything whether reasonable or not as long as no one else is forced to believe the same thing and that the 'civil' power is never used to prohibit or enforce a particular belief. The only crime is one in which someone has been harmed or bound against his will. In a free country, the 'reasonable' allow others to hold unreasonable ideas as long as those ideas are not compelled upon others or violate the natural rights of humankind. In other words, one may believe himself superior, but commits a crime if he tries to exercise power over another. Bombing innocent Muslims in their own country because a Muslim bombed a building in ours is an example of such a crime. Too often religious freedom has resulted in religious wars.

  • Reply
anonymous    1/6/14

Mann, here's the definition of faith -

1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

It's impossible to BOTH KNOW and BELIEVE something simultaneously. The two rest on non-overlapping premises.

Don't let it throw a wrench in your ideas.

watchman 13, USA

Anonymous, At first a child of faith is conceived, corn and wheat are planted in the garden, and they do grow to produce fruit. Then there are trees planted in the garden By God, flames and sparks are quite different according to Isaiah, There are two words for know that are quite different also. I will state quite simply there is revelation of knowledge in Christ, when your eyes of understanding are opened. The awakening is very absolute. Stated clearly in the 10th bk of the N.T. 10 is the number of the gentiles in a KJB. If of all books to give a person, this would be it. Ephesians Ch 1:17,18. That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ , the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. The eyes of your understanding being enlightened ; that you may( know) what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints. As also confirmed in Ephesians 3:16 thru 19. That he would grant you , according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; And to ( know ) the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. With that being said, that is a direct reference to the universe !! The amount of proof is absolute, with out question, to them whom are the called according to his purpose. The new creature is alive and well. Which I've been ask to teach upon.

Ron, yachats



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