In his Declaration of Rights, Penn apparently wrote that "All men have a natural and infeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent; no human authority can, in any case whatever, control or interfere with the rights of conscience, and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment or modes of worship."
Does anyone understand what he means by "infeasible right"? My understanding of 'infeasible' is 'unlikely, improbable, difficult to achieve' etc., and all dictionaries I have consulted provide no additional connotations.
- Based on a quick survey of other websites quoting Penn's declaration, I suspect the actual word is "indefeasible", which Merriam-Webster Online says means "not capable of being annulled or voided or undone". I guess this is the Internet version of the telephone game, where endless copying introduces amusing errors. Interestingly, other sites claim the word Penn wrote was "unalienable", which I attribute to latter-day transcribers confusing Penn's words with similar words from Jefferson et al. I'm trying to find a suitably authoritative source, but I haven't found one yet. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:40, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Jeff, many thanks for your helpful response. Your hypothesis regarding the correct wording makes much more sense than the wording I quoted.
At least in modern day Quakerism there is no such thing as a "minister," ministry being provided by all present at a meeting. This is one of the ways in which Quakerism differs from other Christian faiths. I think the word 'minister' should be removed. - —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 188.8.131.52 (talk • contribs) on March 8, 2007 (UTC)
I believe that this varies between branches. There are certainly some branches of Evangelical Quakers who do. - —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 184.108.40.206 (talk • contribs) on April 15, 2008 (UTC)