I regret exceedingly that the disputes between the protestants and Roman Catholics should be carried to the serious alarming height mentioned in your letters. Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause; and I was not without hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy of the present age would have put an effectual stop to contentions of this kind.
All discourse of which others cannot partake is not only an irksome usurpation of the time devoted to pleasure and entertainment, but, what never fails to excite resentment, an insolent assertion of superiority, and a triumph over less enlightened understandings. The pedant is, therefore, not only heard with weariness but malignity; and those who conceive themselves insulted by his knowledge never fail to tell with acrimony how injudiciously it was exerted.
However much I have frequented the mystics, deep down I have always sided with the Devil; unable to equal him in power, I have tried to be worthy of him, at least, in insolence, acrimony, arbitrariness and caprice.
Congress suffers a great deal of criticism for its partisan acrimony. But while we may disagree politically, and air our opposition in this chamber, it is the conversation behind the scenes that cements and defines our relationships.
Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.