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It wasnt James Madisons entire quote
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I understand this is like beating a dead horse but I feel like I must reply to Mr. Aquila’s scriptural quotation barrage, presumably directed at  “atheist” me, (“Madison looked to Bible in helping found USA”) Dec 12.  Actually I was baptized a Roman Catholic and even spent a short stint as an altar boy, that is until I was fired because I had too many “wrong” questions. For example, one morning after prayers, which included several “Hail Marys” I asked  our teacher, Sister Mary Anthony, “How can the Virgin Mother be the “Mother of God”, when she was in fact the Mother of Jesus, son of God. God didn’t have a Mother, he was God for Christ’s sake”.  Maybe it was my last remark but It got worse from there. Eventually I had to leave the Catholic school and enroll in a public school where there were no nuns to rap my knuckles with a wooden ruler every time I asked, what I considered a logical question. Apparently Mr. Aquila never asked any questions.

Mr. Aquila starts right off with the same alleged Madison quote I disputed in my last letter “Religion (is) the basis and Foundation of Government”. Mr. Aquila disputes my claim as this quote being just another example of Mr. Aquila’s passing of “misinformation”. Which it was! Apparently Mr. Aquila thinks that if he repeats the same thing over and over again, it will become fact. Now one more time, just to set the record straight once and for all. This is the real full quote attributed to Madison taken from the Papers of James Madison, Robert Rutland, ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973), Vol. VIII, p 299, 304, June 20, 1785. SECTION 15, Because finally, ‘the equal right of every citizen to the free exercise of his RELIGION according to the dictates of conscience’ IS held by the same tenure with all his other rights. If we recur to its origin, it is equally the gift of nature; if we weigh its importance, it cannot be less dear to us; if we consider the ‘Declaration of those rights which pertain to the good people of Virginia, as the basis and foundation of government,’ it is enumerated with equal solemnity, or rather studied emphasis”. Madison, in other words, was talking about individual’s rights, of which the free exercise of his religion was one, as being the basis and foundation of government. Not religion itself.

So where did Mr. Aquila come up with his quote? Apparently it has been making the rounds for quite awhile now but one thing we know for sure is whoever created this false quote knew what he said, knew what they wanted him to say in its place, and set out to create what they wanted him to say. And I can assure you it wasn’t Mr. Aquila, he just finds stuff that suits his agenda and passes it on. I did a search on his misquote and found 993 results. You can do the same and I am sure you will come to the same conclusion as I, and that is Mr. Aquila passes misinformation out with a greater intensity than the best laxative on the market.

Mr. Aquila then attempts to swamp us with more Scriptural quotations than an evangelical on steroids. I haven’t heard that many Bible quotes since I attended one of those revival meetings held in a tent in the heavy woods of southern Arkansas years ago. Why would I attend something like that you ask? Well, I was doing some jungle training for the military and I was told that was a good place to meet girls. Hey, I thought I was about to go get myself killed and it was Arkansas, what can I say?
Larry Baca
Dec. 12, 2009