„The great writers to whom the world owes what religious liberty it possesses, have mostly asserted freedom of conscience as an indefeasible right, and denied absolutely that a human being is accountable to others for his religious belief.“

—  John Stuart Mill, Ch. 1: Introductory
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John Stuart Mill17
1806 - 1873
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„Of course, there are dangers in religious freedom and freedom of opinion. But to deny these rights is worse than dangerous, it is absolutely fatal to liberty.“

—  Harry Truman American politician, 33rd president of the United States (in office from 1945 to 1953) 1884 - 1972
Context: Of course, there are dangers in religious freedom and freedom of opinion. But to deny these rights is worse than dangerous, it is absolutely fatal to liberty. The external threat to liberty should not drive us into suppressing liberty at home. Those who want the Government to regulate matters of the mind and spirit are like men who are so afraid of being murdered that they commit suicide to avoid assassination. All freedom-loving nations, not the United States alone, are facing a stern challenge from the Communist tyranny. In the circumstances, alarm is justified. The man who isn't alarmed simply doesn't understand the situation — or he is crazy. But alarm is one thing, and hysteria is another. Hysteria impels people to destroy the very thing they are struggling to preserve. Invasion and conquest by Communist armies would be a horror beyond our capacity to imagine. But invasion and conquest by Communist ideas of right and wrong would be just as bad. For us to embrace the methods and morals of communism in order to defeat Communist aggression would be a moral disaster worse than any physical catastrophe. If that should come to pass, then the Constitution and the Declaration would be utterly dead and what we are doing today would be the gloomiest burial in the history of the world. Address at the National Archives dedicating a shrine for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights (15 December 1952) https://trumanlibrary.org/calendar/viewpapers.php?pid=2102

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„Freedom is the absolute right of every human being to seek no other sanction for his actions but his own conscience, to determine these actions solely by his own will, and consequently to owe his first responsibility to himself alone.“

—  Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary, philosopher, and theorist of collectivist anarchism 1814 - 1876
As quoted in Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, Daniel Guérin, New York: NY, Monthly Review Press (1970) p. 31

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„Human rights and individual liberties, including religious freedom, will be at the heart of the new Iraq.“

—  Jalal Talabani Iraqi politician 1933
Michael Howard (July 25, 2005) "Freedom at heart of new Iraq, says Talabani : Suicide bomb kills 40 as president calls for calm", The Guardian.

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„The demand for a statement of a candidate’s religious belief can have no meaning except that there may be discrimination for or against him because of that belief. Discrimination against the holder of one faith means retaliatory discrimination against men of other faiths. The inevitable result of entering upon such a practice would be an abandonment of our real freedom of conscience and a reversion to the dreadful conditions of religious dissension which in so many lands have proved fatal to true liberty, to true religion, and to all advance in civilization.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919
Context: You ask that Mr. Taft shall "let the world know what his religious belief is." This is purely his own private concern; it is a matter between him and his Maker, a matter for his own conscience; and to require it to be made public under penalty of political discrimination is to negative the first principles of our Government, which guarantee complete religious liberty, and the right to each to act in religious affairs as his own conscience dictates. Mr. Taft never asked my advice in the matter, but if he had asked it, I should have emphatically advised him against thus stating publicly his religious belief. The demand for a statement of a candidate’s religious belief can have no meaning except that there may be discrimination for or against him because of that belief. Discrimination against the holder of one faith means retaliatory discrimination against men of other faiths. The inevitable result of entering upon such a practice would be an abandonment of our real freedom of conscience and a reversion to the dreadful conditions of religious dissension which in so many lands have proved fatal to true liberty, to true religion, and to all advance in civilization. Letter to Mr. J.C. Martin concerning religion and politics (6 November 1908) http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/images/research/txtspeeches/307.txt

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„The terrorists envision a world in which religious freedom is denied, women are oppressed, and all dissent is crushed“

—  George W. Bush 43rd President of the United States 1946
Context: To uphold the Charter's promise of peace and security in the 21st century, we must also confront the ideology of the terrorists. At its core, the struggle against extremists is a battle of ideas. The terrorists envision a world in which religious freedom is denied, women are oppressed, and all dissent is crushed. The nations of this chamber must present a more hopeful alternative, a vision where people can speak freely, and worship as they choose, and pursue their dreams in liberty.

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Robert P. George photo

„People of faith--all faiths--need to understand that everyone, including the unbeliever, has a basic human right to religious freedom.“

—  Robert P. George American legal scholar 1955
Twitter post https://twitter.com/McCormickProf/status/949813370651336707 (6 January 2018)

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„The moral systems of religion, I think, are superimportant. We've raised our kids in a religious way; they've gone to the Catholic church that Melinda goes to and I participate in. I've been very lucky, and therefore I owe it to try and reduce the inequity in the world. And that's kind of a religious belief. I mean, it's at least a moral belief.“

—  Bill Gates American business magnate and philanthropist 1955
Response when he was asked whether he believed in God, at his interview with the Rolling Stone Magazine http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/bill-gates-the-rolling-stone-interview-20140313#ixzz367A061i0. March 27, 2014.

„Guru Hargobind is celebrated as seeing his own religious freedom as inseparable from the freedom of others.“

—  Anantanand Rambachan Hindu studies scholar 1951
Context: For the Jains, Diwali is celebrated as the joyous day on which Mahavir, the great Jain teacher, attained the eternal joy of liberation or nirvana. It is an occasion for rejoicing and gratitude for a life spent in rigorous religious search, realization and teaching centered on non-violence. For the Sikhs, Diwali is a "day of freedom," when the Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, freed the sixth Sikh Guru (teacher), Hargobind, from prison. Guru Hargobind refused to accept his freedom unless the emperor released detained Hindu leaders. Guru Hargobind is celebrated as seeing his own religious freedom as inseparable from the freedom of others. Even for the Hindu community, there is a confluence of many traditions connected with Diwali. Some celebrate Diwali as ushering the New Year and others as the triumph of Krishna over the evil, Narakasura.

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„Somehow freedom for religious expression has become freedom from religious expression.“

—  Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great About Christianity
Context: Today courts wrongly interpret separation of church and state to mean that religion has no place in the public arena, or that morality derived from religion should not be permitted to shape our laws. Somehow freedom for religious expression has become freedom from religious expression. Secularists want to empty the public square of religion and religious-based morality so they can monopolize the shared space of society with their own views. Ch. 3

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