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Document 11

Source: Voltaire, “Treatise on Tolerance” 1763

If it were permitted to reason consistently in religious matters, it is clear we all ought to become Jews, because Jesus Christ was born a Jew, lived a Jew, died a Jew and that he said expressly that he was accomplishing, that he was fulfilling the Jewish religion. But it is clearer still that we ought to be tolerant of one another, because we are all weak, inconsistent, liable to fickleness and error. Shall a reed laid low in the mud by the wind say to a fellow reed fallen in the opposite direction: “Crawl as I crawl, wretch, or I shall petition that you be torn up by the roots and burned?”

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