James Madison/quotes

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Accurate Quotes

  • "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." [1] (better source needed)
  • "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect." [2] (better source needed)
  • "In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."


  • "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!" -- this is taken badly out of context. The full quote is:

Twenty times, in the course of my late Reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible Worlds, if there were no Religion in it"!!! But in this exclamati[on] I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly [Adams' boyhood parish priest and Latin school master]. Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell.

— letter to Thomas Jefferson, April 19, 1817 [3][4]