Front Page Titles (by Subject) chapter five: On the Reestablishment of Religion by Government - Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments
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chapter five: On the Reestablishment of Religion by Government - Benjamin Constant, Principles of Politics Applicable to All Governments 
Principles of Politics Applicable to a all Governments, trans. Dennis O’Keeffe, ed. Etienne Hofmann, Introduction by Nicholas Capaldi (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2003).
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On the Reestablishment of Religion by Government
Government does no less harm and is no less impotent when, in the context of a skeptical age, it wants to reestablish religion. Religion must be restored on its own according to man’s need for it. When you disturb him with alien considerations, you prevent him from feeling the full force of this need. You may say, and rightly, that religion is part of nature: so do not cover up its voice with your own.
Government intervention in defense of religion, when public opinion is unfavorable, has this particular drawback: that religion is then defended by those who do not believe in it. Those who govern, like the governed themselves, are subject to the march of human ideas. When skepticism has penetrated the educated part of a nation, it will come out in the government too. Now, in all eras opinion or vanity is stronger than interests. Those in government can tell themselves in vain that it is to their advantage to favor religion. They can deploy their power on behalf of religion; but they can never bring themselves to show a regard for it. It pleases them to take the public into their confidence as to their mental reservations. They would be scared to seem convinced, lest they be taken for fools. If their first words sanctify the order for belief, their next ones are aimed at winning back for themselves the honors of skepticism. Bad missionaries these, who want to put themselves above their own profession of faith.