However insignificant the minority, and however trifling the proposed trespass against their rights, no such trespass is permissible.
It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve.
The natural rights of the colonists are these: First, a right to life; second, to liberty; third to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.
The people have an indubitable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to reform or change their government whenever it be found adverse or inadequate to the purposes of its institution.
Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right, from the frame of their nature, to knowledge, as their great Creator, who does nothing in vain, has given them understandings, and a desire to know; but besides this, they have a right, an indisputable, unalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge; I mean, of the characters and conduct of their rulers.
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