Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Madison's Remonstrance, Remix Version

That Jimmy Madison. What a guy. He really knew how to tell it like it needs to be said. Guess that's why he was the guy who had the most influence on the Bill of Rights, especially in regard to our religious liberties. Those Enlightenment ideas of Jimmy's that the church shouldn't influence the state came face to face with that Baptist name John Leland, who approached it from another angle: the state shouldn't have any control over the conscience either.

So when the VA General Assembly was to consider a bill that would allow tax payer funding of religious instruction, Jimmy took that Baptistic doctrine & the secular Enlightenment ideals, forged them into a defense, & the result was what Jimmy Madison termed his Remonstrance.

The remix is how I think a 2008 version would be played. So below is the remix. I've included the original cut as well.


Remonstrance Remix 2008

We have to be ready to fight against those theocrats as soon as they raise their ugly head. We did that with the Revolution, didn't we? The patriots didn't wait until some things were already set in place to raise a stink. No way. We didn't want those sort of things to get any foothold. We saw what it would do if we let it grow & so we nipped it in the bud. We fought too hard to forget that lesson. Anyone should be able to see that if we let Christianity get special treatment, the next step would be to let one denomination become the leader of all of it. Before long, it is a certain group in that denomination who calls the shots & their interpretation gets to be the Rule; everyone else gets left out in the cold & has to conform. If gov't can let 3 pennies of tax payer money --- just 3 cents --- go to give special treatment to one religion, tomorrow it may be a different religion. Allowing one means allowing others to do the same to us & we won't like it when the tables are turned. Isn't that just obvious?

Remonstrance 1785 Original Version

Because it is proper to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties. We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it. Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other Religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects? that the same authority which can force a citizen to contribute three pence only of his property for the support of any one establishment, may force him to conform to any other establishment in all cases whatsoever?

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