Thursday, April 23, 2009

On Religion and the State

"Let us therefore deal plainly . The magistrate is afraid of other Churches but not his own; because he is kind and favourable to the one, but severe and cruel to the [others]. . . . Let him turn the tables: or let those dissenters enjoy but the same privileges in civils as his other subjects, and he will quickly find that these religious meetings will be no longer dangerous. For if men enter into seditious conspiracies, 'tis not religion inspires them to it in their meetings, but their sufferings and oppressions that make them willing to ease themselves."
 - John Locke, Letter on Toleration, in The Works of John Locke vol. II (A. Bettesworth, London, 1727).

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