July 4th is not only the date Americans celebrate independence, but it's the date of Thomas Jefferson's death.
I think it would be appropriate, not only for this day, but for this forum, to share a couple of thoughts contained in the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, drafted by Thomas Jefferson in 1777. This statute serves as a precurser to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
First regarding the nature of truth: ". . . Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:" (emphasis mine.)
Immediately following this statement, we read: " Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities."
How eloquently this condemns the doctines of past truth/present truth, suppression of thought and speech, and shunning, practiced by the Witness religion.