August 28, 2012 | Posted in Words From Our Founders | By

Today we continue our series examining our Founding Fathers in their own words and considering their high esteem for religion, religious liberty, and virtue.

Below is an excerpt from Common Sense by Thomas Paine. Paine’s religious beliefs have been the subject of much debate, but his words below illustrate very directly his belief that the government should protect religious and conscientious convictions.

Published in the US before 1923 and public domain in the US

“As to┬áreligion, I hold it to be the indispensable duty of government to protect all conscientious professors thereof, and I know of no other business which government hath to do therewith.”

Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.