Anti-GOP Protest Sign of the Day
"Founded, grown and sustained by mass extermination the USA and peace are a fundamental contradiction. This criminal terrorist government will never be reformed by voting. It must be abolished through REVOLUTION!"
Musing and Abusing
"Founded, grown and sustained by mass extermination the USA and peace are a fundamental contradiction. This criminal terrorist government will never be reformed by voting. It must be abolished through REVOLUTION!"
The first great agenda item has been thrust upon us. This has been miscast as a war on terror, but terror is just the means our enemies use. In reality, we're fighting a war against a specific brand of Islamic extremism, a loose federation of ideologues who seek to dominate the Middle East and return it to the days of the caliphate.
We are in the beginning of this war, where we were against Bolshevism around 1905 or Fascism in the early 1930's, with enemies that will continue to gain strength, thanks to the demographic bulge in the Middle East producing tens of millions of young men, politically and economically stagnant societies ensuring these young men have nothing positive to do and an indoctrination system designed to turn them into soldiers for the cause. This fight will organize our politics for a generation, as the Cold War did.
The first task is to build a new set of strong federal and multinational institutions to defeat this foe. Obviously the intelligence community needs to be reorganized. The military needs to be bulked up, and public diplomacy needs to be rethought. Somebody has to develop a counterideological message that is more than just: "We're Americans. We're really decent people. We're nice to Muslims."
We need to strengthen nation-states. The great menace of the 20th century was overbearing and tyrannical governments. The great menace of the 21st century will be failed governments, because those are the places where our enemies will be able to harbor and thrive, where violence can nurture and grow, where life is nasty, brutish and short.
We are going to have to construct a multilateral nation-building apparatus so that each time a nation-building moment comes along, we don't have to patch one together ad hoc. In the 1990's we thought free markets were the first things new nations needed to thrive and grow. Now we know that law and order is the first thing they need. We are going to have to construct new institutions to help nations develop rule of law within their boundaries, for if that is not accomplished, all the economic development in the world will not help.
A pharmacist, whose shop is not far away from the Railway Square, where Atefeh was hanged, recalls her final, painful hour. “When agents of the State Security Forces brought her to the gallows, I felt cold sweat running down my back. She looked so young and innocent, standing there in the middle of all these bearded men in military fatigues. Judge Reza’i must have felt a personal grudge against her. He put the rope around her neck and left her dangling on the gallows for 45 minutes. I looked around and everyone in the crowd was sobbing and damning the mullahs for doing this to our young people.”
That disgraceful and disgusting "punishment" has excited a great deal of condemnation in Iran among the reformists. As far as I can see, it has not produced any comment here. Amnesty International issued a statement expressing outrage at the execution (the tenth of a child in Iran since 1990) - but no British newspaper or television station has reported this.
Why not? The two extremes of pro- and anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain are now united in not expecting even the most minimal ethical standards from Islamic countries such as Iran: the pros because they think that Islamic laws should not be criticised for fear of giving offence; the antis because they think all Muslims are just a bunch of irredeemable barbarians.
Those two extreme views have infected media coverage. What would be headline news if it happened in America (can you imagine the response if a 16-year-old girl was executed for having sex in Texas?) is, because it happens in an Islamic state, apparently too banal to count.
That attitude guarantees that more children will suffer Atefeh's fate. Of course, it suits our Government -- which is pushing for greater trade links with our new-found ally, Iran -- just fine if people think that criticism of Islamic judges is inappropriate because standards are different. But respecting Islam does not require accepting the judicial murder of 16-year-olds (or indeed anyone, of any age) for having sex. That's wrong wherever it happens. We need a Government, and a press, that says so. [emphasis added]
"I don't think you can win it," Buth replied. "But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."
Kerry campaign spokesman Phil Singer derided Bush's latest remarks.
"What today showed is that George Bush might be able to give a speech saying he can win the war on terror. But he's clearly got real doubts about his ability to do so and for good reason," Singer said.
Today's sickening suicide bombing story, as it could have been written. The same elements from the Reuters story (with one graph from AP), stacked up a different way. After the "Five W" writing, what decision-making process determines the juxtaposition of facts? Who decides? Based on what?
"Even though I am a well-recognized liberal on many issues confronting our society today, I find it ironic that many human rights advocates and outspoken members of my own entertainment community are often on the front lines to protest repression, for which I applaud them, but they are usually the first ones to oppose any use of force to take care of these horrors that they catalogue repeatedly."
"On the question of war crimes, it is really only with the utmost consideration that we pose this question. I don't think that any man comes back to say that he raped, or to say that he burned a village, or to say that he wantonly destroyed crops or something for pleasure. I think he does it at the risk of certain kinds of punishment, at the risks of injuring his own character, which he has to live with, at the risk of the loss of family and friends as a result of it. But he does it because he believes intensely that people have got to be educated about the devastation of this war. We thought we were a moral country, yes, but we are now engaged in the most rampant bombing in the history of mankind."
"I personally didn't see personal atrocities in the sense I saw somebody cut a head off or something like that," Kerry said. "However, I did take part in free-fire zones, I did take part in harassment and interdiction fire, I did take part in search-and-destroy missions in which the houses of noncombatants were burned to the ground. And all of these acts, I find out later on, are contrary to the Hague and Geneva conventions and to the laws of warfare. So in that sense, anybody who took part in those, if you carry out the application of the Nuremberg Principles, is in fact guilty. But we are not trying to find war criminals. That is not our purpose. It never has been." [Emphasis added]
When Tim Russert asked about your claim that you and others in Vietnam committed "atrocities," instead of standing by your sworn testimony, you confessed that your words "were a bit over the top." Does that mean you lied under oath? Or does it mean you are a war criminal? You can't have this one both ways, John. Either way, you're not fit to be a prison guard at Abu Ghraib, much less commander in chief.
One last thing, John. In 1988, Jane Fonda said: "I would like to say something ... to men who were in Vietnam, who I hurt, or whose pain I caused to deepen because of things that I said or did. I was trying to help end the killing and the war, but there were times when I was thoughtless and careless about it and I'm ... very sorry that I hurt them. And I want to apologize to them and their families."
Even Jane Fonda apologized. Will you, John?
After years of failed diplomacy and limited military pressure to restrain Saddam Hussein, President Bush made the difficult decision to liberate Iraq.
Those who criticize that decision would have us believe that the choice was between a status quo that was well enough left alone and war. But there was no status quo to be left alone.
The years of keeping Saddam in a box were coming to a close. The international consensus that he be kept isolated and unarmed had eroded to the point that many critics of military action had decided the time had come again to do business with Saddam, despite his near daily attacks on our pilots, and his refusal, until his last day in power, to allow the unrestricted inspection of his arsenal.
Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war.
It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Not our critics abroad. Not our political opponents.
And certainly not a disingenuous film maker who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children held inside their walls.
Usually, the explanation comes down to adjectives: cynical, hypocritical, Machiavellian, cowardly. Yet the adjectives don't capture the reality. France is not hypocritical: It simply holds contradictory positions. Or to put it more precisely, France has attitudes and it has policies. And while the two are frequently confused (often by the French themselves) they serve radically different functions: the former is psychological; the latter is political. To have an attitude is a way of saying, this is who I am. It's a matter of self-identification. To have a policy is to say, this is what I'm going to do about it. It's a matter of will and capacity.
"In propounding his message, the Prophet plainly wished to break away from pre-Islamic values and institutions, but only insofar as he needed to establish once and for all the fundaments of the new religion. Having been pragmatic, he could not have done away with all the social practices and institutions that prevailed in his time." [Hallaq]
There, in the arid deserts of the eastern Sahara, where living is a bitter daily struggle against sand and sun, a genocide is unfolding, with nary a whimper from the folks at the UN and sophisticates in cosmopolitan centres who remain outraged over American "imperialism" dismantling brutal rogue regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The tragedy unfolding in Darfur has been well-documented by reputable international human rights agencies such as Human Rights Watch. There is no disputing in this instance the facts of a state-supported ethnic cleansing being repeated in the heart of Africa.
But Sudan is a member of the Arab League, an organization representing 22 Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Hence, the Arab League immediately rallied around Sudan at the UN to ease pressures being placed on Bashir's regime.
The diplomatic manoeuvres of the Arab League are predictable. It exists to defend the interests of Arab states -- meaning regimes in power -- and not the Arab people.
Freedom and democracy are sorely lacking among the Arab League members, and popular condemnation of an Arab regime would not be tolerated.
Arabs and Muslims, however, now live in growing numbers in cosmopolitan centres of the West, and enjoy freedoms denied their people elsewhere.
Here they came out in unprecedented numbers, protesting American-led wars to liberate Afghans and Iraqis from despots. But in their unconscionable silence over Darfur, they disclose how selective is their outrage.
This silence is also revealing of culturally entrenched bigotry among Arabs, and Muslims from adjoining areas of the Middle East.
Blacks are viewed by Arabs as racially inferior, and Arab violence against blacks has a long, turbulent record. The Arabic word for blacks ('abed) is a derivative of the word slave ('abd), and the role of Arabs in the history of slavery is a subject rarely discussed publicly.
Here, the contrast between the Arab treatment of blacks, irrespective of whether they are Muslims or not, and the Israeli assimilation of black Jews of Ethiopia, known as Falashas, cannot go unnoticed.
The tragedy of Darfurians ironically has exposed to the world the racial dimension of Arab-Muslim culture and the hollowness of rhetoric proclaiming the brotherhood of Muslims.
"Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art with him in the way; lest haply the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, though shalt by no means come out thence, till thou has paid the last farthing." [Matthew 5:24-26]
These legal guidelines concerning jihad are taken from the commentaries of 'Umar Barakat (c.1890) on the 14th century writings of Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, in the Shafi'i school, one of the four major schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Within the range of Islamic thought, Shafi'is have a rationalistic interpretation of shari'a, unlike the extremism of some of the fundamentalists. Yet I think you'll find these plain-spoken accounts eye-opening, if you haven't seen them before.
The Muslim schools are identical in about three-fourths of their legal conclusions, and most of the differences are methodological. I am not aware of serious variances over the issues of jihad presented here; the one I can see clearly is outlined in the quoted text.
Though these texts are in some cases ancient, they are still in print, taught and learned and revered in the Islamic world. They are the basis of proper behavior for observant Muslims.
[Jihad is obligatory upon Muslims, but there are two kinds of obligations in Islam, the personal and the communal. A personal obligation is required "from each and every morally responsible person." A communal obligation is required "from the collectivity of those morally responsible." If no one from the community undertakes it, then all are guilty of a serious sin. If one or some undertake it, then the obligation is fulfilled.
In normal situations, for Muslims at home in their own country, jihad is a communal obligation. But "when non-Muslims invade a Muslim country or near to one, ... jihad is personally obligatory upon the inhabitants of that country, who must repel the non-Muslims with whatever they can."]
'Fight those who do not believe in Allah and the Last Day and who forbid not what Allah and His messenger have forbidden -- who do not practice the religion of truth, being of those who have been given the Book -- until they pay the poll tax out of hand and are humbled.' [Koran 9:29]"
I bought this book for my wife. Flamenco is the dust of the bull-ring, the flounce of the gypsy's skirt and the crazy clatter of castanets. Flamenco swaggers. Flamenco pleads. Flamenco is the beating heart of Andalusia. Flamenco is NOT a tanked-up Englishwoman embarrassing her husband in a hotel bar in Seville.
We do not believe that the use of the word ‘condemn’ is appropriate in relation to the tragic events in the US.
Clearly we do not support the attacks on working class people and it should go without saying that we oppose the strategy of individual terrorism. This would be our preferred way of stating our case. But the language of ‘condemnation’ is that which is always required of socialists and national liberation movements by the media and the ruling class. It would have been better to avoid it for this reason.
The most important task of socialists is to patiently explain why the US government is hated so much and why there are people who are prepared to kill themselves and many others in opposing the US. The answer is US imperialist foreign policy.
At the moment we are in the eye of a media storm directed at mobilising international and popular domestic support for a bloody and destructive imperial intervention. We should not allow either the really terrible events of September 11 in New York or the media campaign that has followed to drive us to use language that we may regret when the real balance of terror is revealed by the war the major powers are now planning.
There are lines to draw here - we believe the Socialist Alliance should be part of an unstinting and principled opposition to US and western imperialism and the further mass murder Bush and Blair intend to unleash on the world.
John Kerry's troubles have largely been forced on him by the Democratic Party platform. He has been given the unenviable task of presenting it as the War Party when in fact it is not, nor does it want to be. The Democrats could have chosen to become a real anti-war party, in which case it would have nominated Howard Dean or it could have elected to become a genuine war party and chosen Joseph Lieberman. Instead it chose to become the worst of all combinations, an anti-war party masquerading as the war party.
To carry out this program, it required a Janus-like figure and found it in Senator Kerry; the only man of sufficient stature who could look two ways at once. It would have been a desirable trait, as Christopher Hitchens pointed out, in a peacetime President.
He still gives, to me at any rate, the impression of someone who sincerely wishes that this were not a time of war. When critical votes on the question come up, Kerry always looks like a dog being washed. John McCain was not like this, when a president he despised felt it necessary to go into Kosovo. We are looking at a man who would make, or would have made, a perfectly decent peacetime president. ...
The speeches in Madison Square Garden affirmed the great truths now routinely preached from the pulpits of Fox News and the Wall Street Journal--government the problem, not the solution; the social contract a dead letter; the free market the answer to every maiden's prayer--and while listening to the hollow rattle of the rhetorical brass and tin, I remembered the question that [Richard] Hofstadter didn't stay to answer. How did a set of ideas both archaic and bizarre make its way into the center ring of the American political circus?
Rephrasing poll questions reveals that many people don’t understand the issues that they have just offered an opinion on. According to polls conducted in 1987 and 1989, for example, between twenty and twenty-five per cent of the public thinks that too little is being spent on welfare, and between sixty-three and sixty-five per cent feels that too little is being spent on assistance to the poor.
When you move downward through what Converse called the public’s “belief strata,” candidates are quickly separated from ideology and issues, and they become attached, in voters’ minds, to idiosyncratic clusters of ideas and attitudes. The most widely known fact about George H. W. Bush in the 1992 election was that he hated broccoli. Eighty-six per cent of likely voters in that election knew that the Bushes’ dog’s name was Millie; only fifteen per cent knew that Bush and Clinton both favored the death penalty. It’s not that people know nothing. It’s just that politics is not what they know.
11.WHAT MAKES YOU REALLY ANGRY?
people led by other people blindly (clerics).
16.FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOK?
I don`t know how it looks like, I never get one.
Well, It does not matter if I live in war zone or not cause it is the same. If it`s near or far, it is affected on our life in some way.
For instance I lose my job simply because when I took the permession to stay at home I left alot of papers & it increased during that period so my boss ask me to stay till sunrise which is an impossible thing cause of the situation; then who gonna finish the housework?
I asked him to take it with to finished it at home but he did not allowed so I left it to another person.
Having our daily life kept in suspense, always having to be ready to respond at a moment's notice ... make papa & mama stressed, nerves & desperate so they fight most of the time. Papa blame her cause she can`t understand the situation while mama blame him cause he won't to move out side Iraq when there is a chance to live there & we caught in the middle of all this.
Everyday we heard many many things, & all of that because of one beast "sader." I`d rather die than live under his rules! I allowed to saddam to destroy my childhood but i`ll never let this damn guy (sorry for using this word when I talk to you) destroy my future.. NO WAY..
... I`m sorry for those Iraqis who live without knowing who to trust and led by clerics, & the later use them to gain power. Regrettably the fight broke out again because of young cleric called "sader." We call him "satan" he is just like saddam depends on violence to impose himself upon us.
For the uptenth time "thanks God" the colition soldiers are over here to get ride of him.again thanks alot for your great sacrifice to send us your dearest guys to help us. would you please give me a favor & tell everyone you know that Bana *an iraqi women* say hi & for all things you`ve done to her country you, all of you people of the U.S become the owner of her heart.
WASHINGTON - When the Bush campaign asked James McKinnon to co-chair its veterans steering committee in New Hampshire - a job he held in 2000 - the 56-year-old Vietnam veteran respectfully, but firmly, said no.
"I voted for Bush in 2000, and I'm not going to vote for him again," said Jean Prewitt, a [Military Families Speak Out] group member from Birmingham, Ala. Her 24-year-old son, Kelley, was in the Army's 3rd Infantry Division when he was killed on April 6 just south of Baghdad. "I just feel deceived. He just kept screaming, screaming, weapons of mass destruction, weapons of mass destruction, we've got to get in there. We got in there and now there aren't any."
McKinnon, who rejected working again for the Bush campaign, worked for retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark's failed Democratic presidential campaign. McKinnon says he won't work for or support Kerry because of his opposition to the Vietnam War and for opposing a constitutional amendment that would ban the desecration of the American flag.
Like McKinnon, Jean Prewitt, 53, said she's hard-pressed to vote in November.
"I probably won't vote," she said. "I can't vote for Bush right now and I can't vote for Kerry. I just don't like him."
The differences between conservatives and liberals [in the American sense], when the terms are reasonably construed, are family differences among adherents of a free society, defined as one whose institutions ultimately rest on the consent of those affected by their operations. When the security of a free society is threatened by aggressive totalitarianism, these differences must be temporarily subordinated to the common interest in its survival. There is always the danger that in the ever-present and sometimes heated struggles between liberals and conservatives, each group may come to fear the other more than their common enemy. If and when that happens, the darkness of what Marx called 'Asiatic despotism,' in modern dress to be sure, will descend upon the world.
The obvious conclusion to draw at the moment is that we are living in a rerun of the 1930s, and the liberal left is once again sucking up to tyranny. It is easy to think that way. Look at how the democratic left in Britain proved its futility and played into Tony Blair's hands when it allowed the Marxist-Leninist Socialist Workers Party to lead the anti-war movement. Look at the Independent, which has abandoned its founding principle of separating news from comment, so its front pages can imitate the manners of the Mail and scream at readers that the troubles of the world are the fault of democratic governments.
...Ask an Iraqi communist or Kurdish socialist today what support they have had from the liberal left and they won't detain you for long. Apart from the odd call from the Socialist International, there has been none worthy of the name. One expects the totalitarian left to be stuffed with creeps, but the collapse of the democratic left strikes me as catastrophic. Why couldn't it oppose the second Gulf war while promising to do everything possible to advance the cause of Iraqi democrats and socialists once the war was over? Why the sneering, almost racist pretence that Saddam had no honourable opponents?
On Sunday August 15, 2004, a 16 year old girl by the name of Atefe Rajabi, daughter of Ghassem Rajabi, was executed in the town of Neka, located in the province of Mazandaran, for “engaging in acts incompatible with chastity”. The execution was carried out by the order of Neka’s “judicial administrator” and was approved by both the Supreme Court of the Islamic Republic and the chief of the nation’s “judiciary branch.”
Although according to her birth certificate she was only 16 years old, the local court falsely claimed that she was 22.
Three months ago, during her appearance before the local court, fiercely angry the young girl hurled insults at the local judge, Haji Reza, who is also the chief judicial administrator of the city, and it is said as another expression of protest took off some of her clothes in the courtroom. This act by the young girl made the administrator so furious that he evaluated her file personally and in less than three months received a go-ahead from the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Court for her execution. The animosity and anger of Haji Reza was so strong that he personally put the rope around the girl’s delicate neck and personally gave the signal to the crane operator, by raising his hand, to begin pulling the rope.
It may be noted that although according to the Islamic Republic’s own penal laws the presence of an attorney for the defense [is supposed to be] mandatory, regardless of the defendant’s ability to afford one, nevertheless the girl remained without an attorney. Her unfortunate father, while tears poured from his eyes, went about the city beseeching the townspeople for money to hire an attorney who in the least would provide his daughter with a line of defense.
The young girl was buried the same day after her execution but during that same night her corpse was disinterred by unknown individuals and robbed. The theft remains unexplained and the Rajabi family has filed a complaint.
The 16 year old girl’s male companion, who had been arrested as well, received 100 lashes and, after the Islamic punishment was carried out, released.
[From Katrina, currently in Iraq, doing contractual oversight work, including billing reviews, for a U.S. contractor rebuilding Iraqi water, oil, electrical, and irrigation systems at waterside facilities and branch systems.]
EAST HAMPTON, NY (IP) -- Democratic Presidential nomineee John Kerry laughs when told that most voters don't realize that he served in Vietnam, winning three purple hearts, a bronze star, and a silver star.
"Why should they? That's several wars ago," Kerry laughs. "Old stuff. I'd much rather people be talking about my detailed plan to rebuild Iraq, using an oil trust mechanism that would give the Iraqi people a stake in reconstruction. That's why I focused on that in my acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention. What was I going to do, rehash events from 35 years ago?"
Kerry's friends say that, like other veterans, he's been known to tell a few tall tales about his service over beers with others who served, but that he seldom talks about his combat experience otherwise. "He's put that behind him," says his wife Teresa. "And he thinks it would be unbecoming to make a big deal about his service when others, like [Senator] John McCain or [former P.O.W.] Paul Galanti went through so much more."
"I would have invaded Iraq regardless of the WMD issue," Kerry observes. "Saddam Hussein was a threat, and a menace to his own people. And a free, democratic Iraq will be the first step toward addressing the 'root cause' of terrorism -- despotic Arab regimes that spew hatred to distract their people from their own tyranny. But as I said last year, the reconstruction needed more resources. That was why I voted for the $87 billion in reconstruction money, but urged the Bush Administration to ask for more, to do it right."
Kerry also takes a dim view of leftist filmmaker Michael Moore. "I think that his film 'Fahrenheit 9/11' was scurrilous and dangerous to the morale of our troops. That's why I asked that he be excluded from the Democratic Convention, despite Jimmy Carter's wishes. And that's why he wasn't seen there. In a time of war, we don't need guys like that. We can win this campaign based on our ideas, not propaganda films. That's also why I told Chris Matthews to 'stuff it' when he tried to make an issue out of President Bush's National Guard service."
I don’t agree that we are all safer because we invaded Iraq. And I can’t argue anymore, certainly not at home, that honor or duty requires us to stay and clean up the mess. We may be making the mess worse, day by day, hour by hour. I find it hard to rebut family arguments that it made no good difference to stay in Vietnam when we almost certainly could have made the same exit deal in 1969 that we settled for in 1973.
We made a mistake going into Iraq. Even if we believed everything Bush and company told us before launching shock and awe, devastation and doubt, the administration was negligent and stupid to ignore the warnings everywhere about what it would take to make and keep a peace.
Democracy seems to interest few Iraqis, given the widespread Shiite proclivity to follow unelected clerics, the Sunni rejection of the principle of majority rule, and the preference of many Kurds for tribe and clan over elected governments. Reconstruction was supposed to advance rapidly with surging oil export revenues, but is hardly gaining on the continuing destruction inflicted by sabotage and thievery. And in any case, it is unlikely that the new Iraqi interim government will be able to oversee meaningful elections in a country where its authority is more widely denied than recognized.
The threat of an American withdrawal would have to be made credible by physical preparations for a military evacuation, just as real nuclear weapons were needed for deterrence during the cold war. More fundamentally, it would have to be meant in earnest: the United States is only likely to obtain important concessions if it is truly willing to withdraw if they are denied. If Iraq's neighbors are too short-sighted or blinded by hatred to start cooperating in their own best interests, America would indeed have to withdraw.
Finally, writes Luttwak: “The situation in Iraq is not improving, the United States will assuredly leave one day in any case, and it is usually wise to abandon failed ventures sooner rather than later.”
And, sooner rather than later, I shall go to the beach and tell my wife she was right all along.
So long as the United States is tied down in Iraq by over-ambitious policies of the past, it can only persist in wasteful futile aid projects and tragically futile combat. A strategy of disengagement would require risk-taking statecraft of a high order, and much competence at the negotiating table. But it would be based on the most fundamental of realities: for geographic reasons, many other countries have more to lose from an American debacle in Iraq than does the United States itself. The time has come to take advantage of that difference.
[T]he Gospel frequently declares that the true disciples of Christ must suffer persecution; but that the Church of Christ should persecute others, and force others by fire and sword to embrace her faith and doctrine, I could never yet find in any of the books of the New Testament.
Nor, when an incensed Deity shall ask us, "Who has required these, or such-like things at your hands?" will it be enough to answer Him that the magistrate commanded them. If civil jurisdiction extend thus far, what might not lawfully be introduced into religion? What hodgepodge of ceremonies, what superstitious inventions, built upon the magistrate's authority, might not (against conscience) be imposed upon the worshippers of God?
[N]either Pagan nor Mahometan, nor Jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion. The Gospel commands no such thing. The Church which "judgeth not those that are without" wants it not.
Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governour of the Universe: And if a member of Civil Society, do it with a saving of his allegiance to the Universal Sovereign.