Thomas Paine And Thomas Paine's Rights To Religion

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The Rights to Religion

Some say that the etymology of religion comes from the Latin word religare, meaning, “to tie or to bind”; some argue that it can be connected with the term relegere, which means to “read over again”, while others just say religion does not truly exist, it is just a culture. Religion can be a tricky subject, that most people steer clear of, except within their personal lives. Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, however, are different than most people; their views on organized religion, and how it should be dealt with within the government, were very widely known throughout early America. Thomas Paine once wrote, “My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish,
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During the first chapter of The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine proclaims his thoughts on religion, stating that he believes there is one god, and only one god; and he hopes for happiness beyond this life. Although Paine believes there to be a god, he does not believe that structured religion benefits anyone; in fact he calls them “human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind”. Paine clearly states his disdain for organized religion, for him personally, however he recognizes that not all people believe the same thing, and should not be condemned for they have equal rights to their beliefs. Thomas Paine believed that all had the right to believe what they so choose, and that being said, being mentally faithful to oneself is a necessity in life. “Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe (Paine 654).” Being true to what you believe in, whether or not that is a God or nothing, is the basis of morality. How can someone be morally sound when they falsely claim to …show more content…
“The present state of our laws on the subject of religion is this. The convention of May 1776, in their declaration of rights, declared I to be a truth, and a natural right, that the exercise of religion should be free (Jefferson 674).” Thomas Jefferson uses the declaration as a backing to the rights of religion, where Paine uses morality. Jefferson’s basis of religious beliefs begins with Christianity, which he believes to be the true religion. While Jefferson practiced that religion was between him and his God, he did have opinions regarding religious freedoms. Both he and Paine, deem that each person should be able to choose their beliefs and live their lives through the terms that which they think are

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