Saturday, September 11, 2010

to bigotry no sanction

George Washington wrote:
All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.
I love free thought and free speech, which is why I admire the Qur'an, one of the few religious texts that explicitly endorses freedom of religion. Here's a translation of Sura 109 by Abdullah Yusuf Ali:
Those who reject Faith
Say: O ye that reject Faith!
I worship not that which ye worship,
Now will ye worship that which I worship.
And I will not worship that which ye have been wont to worship
Nor will ye worship that which I worship.
To you be your Way, and to me mine.
And the Qur'an's verse 2:256:
There is no compulsion in religion.