The former President of the United States, U.S. Secretary of State, and Governor of Virginia only wanted to be remembered for his documents on individual liberties and religious freedom, as well as his educational work. The principle of religious freedom was at the heart of Jefferson's world view. Though he had his personal flaws, Jefferson helped shaped the religious freedoms we Americans enjoy to worship God as we please.
In his Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson wrote: "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It (religion) neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
The basis for Jefferson's belief that the state should not interfere with religion, nor establish a state religion, was that the government 'of the people' was designed to protect citizens from property loss - "(religion) neither picks my pocket") - and personal injury - "(religion) neither breaks my leg."
But what happens when a religion begins to do both? What happens when a religion begins to injure and kill people? What happens when a religion begins to steal from the pockets of citizens? According to Jefferson's logic, the government should intervene.
There is a Jeffersonian American politician named Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, who spoke last week in London on how to confront radical Islam. Jindal's words are potent and direct. The reaction to Jindal's words from CAIR, the Counsel on American Islamic Relations, has been strong.
Before one condemns Jindal for alleged 'colonialism,' we ought to remember the logic of the man who wrote the founding documents of liberty for our country. When religion begins to 'pick my pocket' and 'break my leg,' then the government should intervene and ban such a religion.