The other night, our highly patriotic and devout friends, Chuck and June, hosted a gathering at their home with Peter Lillback, author of the best-selling book about George Washington’s faith, titled, Sacred Fire.
The book is unwieldy at nearly 1000 pages, but the speaker was convincing, so I brought one home and began reading. These lines by Thomas Jefferson arguing for the disestablishment of religion in Virginia (which then required worship in the Anglican church) rang my personalist bell.
the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being lord of both body and mind, yet choose [sic] not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do, but to exalt it by its influence on reason alone…
How great and wonderful! How rare and beautiful in the history of humanity! Religion that is proposed to our freedom; that eschews coercion of all kinds.