Comparison Of Thomas Jefferson And James Madison On Religious Liberty

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Thomas Jefferson and James Madison on Religious Liberty Understanding the beliefs that our country is built on is essential to understanding where we are today. The importance of natural rights, including religious liberty, is one of the most fundamental of these beliefs. Two of the biggest influences on the foundation of religious freedom in our country were Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. At the dawn of the establishment of the United States of America as an independent nation, both men argued passionately for the need for religious liberty and the just opposition of any policy working against it. Despite sharing so many views, however, the two men contributed varied perspectives on the issues spurring their dedication to securing this freedom. Thomas Jefferson argued that religion is not under the jurisdiction of government, but is a matter between the individual, his conscience, and God, while James Madison focused more on arguing for religious freedom as a measure against the dangerous potential for religion and politics to corrupt each other. Ultimately, both men shared the certainty that beliefs cannot be forced, and held that religion is a natural right that the government has the duty to protect, not restrict.…show more content…
Jefferson’s bill is divided into three sections. Section I proposes the importance of religious freedom and argues the basis for the need of establishing religious liberty, Section II covers the establishment of rights and protections of religious liberty, and Section III declares that, although the Assembly does not have the power to declare the act “irrevocable”, the rights established by the bill are the natural rights of men, and any act against them is “an infringement of natural right” (PR

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