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February 20, 2004

Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Virginia (1785)
“But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

Jefferson believed that the tree of liberty should be shook from the bottom to jostle the highest branches. He also believed that constitutions should be re-examined at least every generation.

My feeling, then, is that President Bush can be troubled about same-sex marriage as vocally as he likes, but it seems to me that narrowing the definition of a cultural practice older and more widespread than our civilization is an arrogant trespass on individual liberty. It seems to me that it’s not the place of an American government to legislate sanctity; churches can disallow any union they like, but not the state. It seems to me that the tree is shaking in San Francisco and Massachussetts.

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