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U.S. citizens obligated to 'higher power from which their rights and freedoms derived' - William Barr


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Washington Times


In his renowned 1785 pamphlet “Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments,” James Madison described religious liberty as not only “a right towards men” but also “a duty towards the Creator,” and a “duty … precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society.”

In other words, our Founders and the extraordinary documents they created did not just guarantee freedom of religion for citizens of this new nation. They also assumed a certain, basic obligation on the part of those free citizens to the higher power from which their rights and freedoms derived.

The common phrase on our currency “In God We Trust” is not a call to worship. It is a constant, quiet nudge toward that power from which all our freedoms come. Hint: not government nor earthly king.


From that Founding era onward, there was strong consensus about the centrality of religious liberty in the United States.

The imperative of protecting religious freedom was not just a nod in the direction of piety. It reflects the Framers’ belief that religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government.:snip:

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