"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution."
"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."
"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise." April 1, 1774
"...the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State" Letter to Robert Walsh, Mar. 2, 1819
"Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together" Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822