Tag Archives: First Amendment

Religion is none of our business.

In matters of Religion, I have considered that it’s free exercise is placed by the constitution independant of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken, on no occasion, to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it: but have left them, as the constitution found them, under the direction & discipline of the state or church authorities acknoleged by the several religious societies.
Second Inaugural Address, March 5, 1805

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Principled leaders respect firm boundaries on their authority.
Jefferson reiterated a familiar theme, that the Constitution prohibited the federal government’s involvement in religion, either to promote or inhibit its exercise. That authority was left to the states and the churches within them. For that reason, as President, he had proclaimed no national days of prayer, fasting or thanksgiving.

Twenty years before, Jefferson’s ban on state involvement in religion was adopted in Virginia. He claimed that as one of three accomplishments for which he wished to be remembered and had it recorded on his tombstone. He held that government authority extended only to an individual’s actions, not his thoughts or beliefs. That left religious practice entirely to the individual.

“You gave us an excellent program!
… and would highly recommend your presentation to others.”
Executive Director, New Mexico Federal Executive Board
Mr. Jefferson comes well-recommended!
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
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Got something to hide? Muzzle the press!

… I may err in my measures, but never shall deflect from the intention to fortify the public liberty by every possible means, and to put it out of the power of the few to riot on the labors of the many. No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions…
To John Tyler, June 18, 1804

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Leaders with nothing to hide love a free press!
John Tyler, 1747-1813, was a friend and contemporary, a fellow Virginian, lawyer, planter and patriot. He was also the father of John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States.

Expanding and strengthening public liberty was a life-long goal for Jefferson. America was an “experiment” in that goal, toward a government based on “reason and truth.” To achieve that end, “all the avenues to the truth” must be left open.


The first and most effective avenue for liberty, truth and reason was a free press. That same free press was the first victim of those who had something to hide.

Organizations of lawyers rarely agree on many things,
but I received unanimous praise for your presentation.”
Programs Committee Chair, ACREL, (American Council of Real Estate Lawyers)

If lawyers can agree that Thomas Jefferson makes an exceptional presentation,
how much more will your audience appreciate his inspirational and challenging message!
Call Patrick Lee, 573-657-2739

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