"I have no fear that the result of our experiment will be that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master. Could the contrary of this be proved, I should conclude either that there is no God, or that He is a malevolent being." -Thomas Jefferson to David Hartley, 1787.
"Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God?" -Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia, 1782.
"We have solved...the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government, and obedience to the laws, And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason, and the serious convictions of his own inquiries." -Thomas Jefferson to Virginia Baptists, 1808.
"I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by
the Constitution from intermeddling in religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises." -Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808.
"Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker, in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." -Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.
"I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another." -ThomasJefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799.
"All men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion; and ...the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities."
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." –to Archibald Stuart, 1791.
"[Oppose] with manly firmness [any] invasions on the rights of the people." -Draft Virginia Constitution, 1776. Papers, 1:338
"I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -September 23, 1800, as inscribed in the Jefferson Memorial.
"I have a right to nothing which another has a right to take away." -to Uriah Forrest, 1787. Papers, 12:477.
"In matters of principle, stand like a rock."
HERE WAS BURIED THOMAS JEFFERSON
AUTHOR OF THE DECLARATION OF AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE
OF THE STATUTE OF VIRGINIA FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
AND FATHER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
BORN APRIL 2. 1743. O.S. DIED JULY 4. 1826
-Epipath on Jefferson's tombstone, as proscribed by Jefferson himself.