Skip to comments.Jefferson/Madison/Franklin Hated God ! ?
Posted on 05/29/2005 3:58:59 PM PDT by Para-Ord.45
Having a go round with an atheist who flung this at me.
Can anyone expound on the overall context and meaning ?
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved--the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"--John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
"But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legaends, hae been blended with both Jewish and Chiistian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed.--John Adams in a letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816, _2000_Years_of_Disbelief_, John A. Haught
"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." --John Adams
Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."--Benjamin Franklin, _Poor_Richard_, 1758
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."--Benjamin Franklin, _Poor_Richard_, 1758
"I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it." -- Benjamin Franklin, _Articles_Of_Belief_and_Acts_of_Religion_, Nov.20, 1728
"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity." -- Benjamin Franklin , _Works_ Vol.VII, p.75
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects of Christianity, we shall find few that have not in turns been persecutors and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution on the Roman church, but preactied i on the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice both here (England) and in New England"--Benjamin Franklin, _Poor_Richard_, 1758
"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." -- Benjamin Franklin, _2000_Years_of_Disbelief_ by James A. Haught
"Religion I found to be without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serves principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another."--Benjamin Franklin
"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are serviley crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blind faith." -- Thomas Jefferson
"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."--Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury Baptist Association on Jan. 1, 1802, _The_Writings_of_Thomas_Jefferson_Memorial_Edition_, edited by Lipscomb and Bergh, 1903-04, 16:281
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."--Thomas Jefferson, _Notes_on_Virginia_, _Jefferson_the_President:_First_Term_1801-1805_, Dumas Malon, Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1970, p. 191
"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but 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.. affect their civil capacities."--Thomas Jefferson, _Statute_for_Religious_Freedom_, 1779, _The_Papers_of_Thomas_Jefferson_, edited by Julron P. Boyd, 1950, 2:546
John Adams was Unitarian. Benjamin Franklin was a Freethinker. James Madison drank.
Not Biblical Christianity.
Fire back with the words/writings of George Washington.
Most of the Founding Fathers were Deists.
Jefferson et al "hated" God? Is that your conclusion after reading these quotes?
And Jefferson excised all miracles out of his bible.....thereby creating for himself another gospel and another Jesus.
Define "most" please. As in a majority?
Makes my head spin with conspiracy and secret societies.
I have to laugh out loud when I hear one of these muttonheads attempt to use this. Yes, the cross can be described as "an engine of grief," it was an execution device whereby the victim was tortured to death.
Right, only a few of them were Deists. Almost all of them were affiliated with a Christian church.
Glad you posted.
Bookmarking for later.
Jefferson was actually a gnostic Christian- he viewed Jesus as a philosopher. You might call his a Deist, though. And Franklin was a Christian.
There are just as many quotes from these same people proving just the opposite. You can't take these things out of context, or out of the particular stage of the person's life, and make it a sweeping statement about their beliefs. You just can't. Try going back through your own Internet quotes. See what conclusions could be drawn from individual quotes out of context.
True enough, but it will always be an offense to those who are perishing.
Get yourself a book of their speeches and other writings.
Let's take a moment to see how important the faith and devotion to God and Jesus Christ was to our Founding Fathers. The Framers of our Constitution made it quite clear as to whom they were indebted and to whom this country's freedom, future and devotion was attributed:
A page of history is worth a volume of logic. History shows the intent and purpose of our Founding Fathers. Woodrow Wilson, our 28th President elected for two terms, Governor of New Jersey and president of Princeton University, was quoted as saying "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday, doesn't know what it is today or what it is trying to do- we're trying to do a futile thing if we don't know where we've come from or what we're about." Contemporary logic is wrong whenever it contradicts the clear explanations of those men who wrote the Constitution. 97% of the Founding Fathers were practicing Christians and exercised their faith in public office, at work, at home, and had it taught to their children in their schools. 187 of the first 200 colleges in America were Christian, Bible teaching institutions (including Yale, Princeton, and Harvard). Entrance in Harvard required strong knowledge of the Bible. Noah Webster wrote the dictionary with Bible verses explained so children could understand the words of God and know the truth of Jesus Christ. Webster even wrote a translation of the Bible for the American speaking people. You could hardly find a school in America that wasn't Christian based with the Bible as its main textbook until the 1830's. The men who wrote the Declaration of Independence declared within it their undying faith towards God for all generations to see and follow.
George Washington, 1st President of the United States, Commander in Chief of the US during the Revolutionary War, chairman of the Constitutional Convention "You do well to learn our arts and our ways of life, and above all the religion of Jesus Christ."
From "Address to the Delaware Indian Chiefs" , May 12, 1779 , America's God and Country, William Federer, p.644
Washington: "Let me live according to those holy rules which Thou hast this day prescribed in Thy Holy Word direct me to the true object, Jesus Christ, the way, the truth, and the life. Bless, O Lord, all the people of this land." Cited in W. Herbert Burk, ed., "Washington's Papers", pp.87-95.
Washington: "We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which heaven itself ordained." First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789.
Washington: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason, and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." "It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible."..Washington's Farewell Address, Sept. 17, 1796
Washington: "To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian."
Washington: "General Thanksgiving" speech Oct. 14, 1789 "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a Day Of Public Thanksgiving And Prayer, to be observed By acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God "
Washington: "The hand of Providence has been so conspicuous in all this (the course of the war) that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more wicked that has not gratitude to acknowledge his obligations; but it will be time enough for me to turn preacher when my present appointment ceases." Letter to Thomas Nelson in Virginia, Jared Sparks, ed. The Writings of George Washington, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.643
Samuel Adams, member of the Continental Congress and signer of the Declaration: " Let statesmen and patriots unite in their endeavors to renovate the age by educating their little boys and girls..and leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system." letter to his cousin John Adams, Oct. 4, 1790, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.23
Samuel Adams: "We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in Heaven, and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His Kingdom come." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.23
Samuel Adams: "It is therefore recommended to set apart Thursday the 18th day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice, the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their divine benefactor " Nov. 1, 1877 first official Thanksgiving Proclamation.
Patrick Henry, Delegate to the 2nd Continental Congress, Congressman and five-time governor to Virginia; turned down nominations as Secretary of State and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court "Amongst other strange things said of me, I hear it is said by the deists that I am one of their number; and, indeed, that some good people think I am no Christian. This thought gives me much more pain than the appellation of Tory; because I think religion of infinitely higher importance than politics; and I find much cause to reproach myself that I have lived so long and have given no decided and public proofs of my being a Christian. But, indeed, my dear child, this is a character which I prize far above all this world has, or can boast.",1796 letter to his daughter ,S. G. Arnold, The Life of Patrick Henry, 1854, p.250
Patrick Henry: "This is all the inheritance I can give my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one which will make them rich indeed." Henry's Last Will and Testament from Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation, Red Hill, Brookneal, VA
Patrick Henry: "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!- I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" speech at St. John's Church 1775, Christianity and the Constitution, John Eidsmoe, p.303
John Adams, member of the Continental Congress, 2nd President of the United States, Vice President To the United States, Commissioner to France, US Ambassador to England: On March 6, 1789, President Adams called for a national day of fasting and prayer so that the nation might "call to mind the numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgression, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience.."
John Adams, member of the Continental Congress, 2nd President of the United States, Vice President To the United States, Commissioner to France, US Ambassador to England: "We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." Oct. 11, 1798, address to the officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Mass., America's God and Country, William Federer, p.10
John Adams letter to Benjamin Rush: "The Christian religion...is the brightness of the glory and the express portrait of the character of the eternal, self-existent, independent, benevolent, all powerful and all merciful creator, preserver, and Father of the universe, the first good, first perfect, and first fair. It will last as long as the world. Neither savage nor civilized man, without a revelation, could ever have discovered or invented it. Ask me not, then, whether I am a Catholic or Protestant, Calvinist or Arminian. As far as they are Christians, I wish to be a fellow disciple with them all." Adam's Dairy, July 26, 1796, Christianity and the Constitution, John Eidsmoe, p. 285
Benjamin Franklin in a letter to the President of the first Constitutional Congress, 1789: " I have lived a long time, Sir, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that " except the Lord build the House they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest. I therefore beg leave to move- that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and hat one or more Clergy of the city be requested to officiate in that service." speech to Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787 , America's God and Country, William Federer, pp.247-248
As it turned out, after the convention, and nine days after the first Constitutional Congress convened with a quorum (April 9, 1789), the Congress implemented Franklin's recommendation. Two chaplains of different denominations were appointed, one of the House and one to the Senate, with a salary of $500 apiece. This practice continues today, posing no threat to the first Amendment. How could it? The men who authorized the chaplains wrote the Amendment.
Benjamin Franklin, delegate to the Continental Congress, signer of the Declaration, US Minister to England and France, oldest Founding Father: "History will also afford frequent opportunities of showing the necessity of a public religion and the excellency of the Christian religion above all others ancient or modern." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.251
Benjamin Franklin: "A Bible and a newspaper in every house, a good school in every district- all studied and appreciated as they merit- are the principle of virtue, morality, and civil liberty." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.246
James Madison, chief architect of the Constitution, signer of the Declaration, Secretary of State, President of the United States: "We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind to self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.", from "America's God and Country" by William Federer
James Madison: "...because the policy of the bill is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity. The first wish of those who ought to enjoy this precious gift, ought to be, that it may be imparted to the whole race of mankind." ...A Memorial and Remonstrance, delivered to the General Assembly of Virginia, 1785, from "America's God and Country" by William Federer
James Madison: "The belief in God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the World and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities to be impressed with it." In a letter to Frederick Beasley Nov. 20, from "America's God and Country" by William Federer
James Madison: "While we assert for ourselves a freedom to embrace, to profess, and to observe, the Religion which we believe to be of divine origin, we cannot deny an equal freedom to them whose minds have not yielded to the evidence which has convinced us." From "A Memorial and Remonstrance" 1785, delivered to the general Assembly of the State of Virginia, from "America's God and Country" by William Federer
James Madison: "The real wonder is that so many difficulties should have been surmounted, and surmounted with a unanimity almost as unprecedented as it must have been unexpected. It is impossible for any man of candor to reflect on this circumstance without partaking of the astonishment. It is impossible for the man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolution." January 11, 1788, Federalist Papers No. 37
And from Federalist Papers No. 43 " The first question is answered at once by recurring to the absolute necessity of the case; to the great principle of self-preservation; to the transcendent law of nature and of nature's God, which declares that the safety and happiness of society are the objects at which all political institutions aim, and to which all such institutions must be sacrificed."
Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration, President of the United States: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have removed their only firm basis; a conviction in the minds of men that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever." from Query XVIII of his notes on the State of Virginia, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.323
Thomas Jefferson. "No power over the freedom of religion (is) delegated to the United States by the Constitution." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.323
Thomas Jefferson: "The precepts of philosophy and of the Hebrew code, laid hold of actions only. (Jesus) pushed his scrutinizes into the heart of man, erected His tribunal in the regions of his thoughts, and purified the waters at the fountain head." April 21, 1803, in a letter to Benjamin Rush, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.333
Thomas Jefferson: March 4, 1805, offered A National Prayer for Peace: "Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage. We humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will. Bless our land with honorable ministry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those to whom in Thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth. In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.328
Fisher Ames, delegate to the Constitutional Convention and co-writer of the First Amendment wrote: "the Bible should always remain the principle text book in America's classrooms. Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble the Bible will justly remain the standard of language as well as of faith." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.26
Gouverneur Morris, delegate to the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention, head of the committee which created the final wording of the Constitution and the most active speaker, US Senator, Minister to France appointed by Washington advocated: "education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.455
John Jay, delegate to the Continental Congress, co-writer of the Federalist Papers along with Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Governor of New York and original Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court: "Providence has given our people the choice of their rulers, and it is their duty, as well as privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers." Oct. 12, 1816, in a statement, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry Johnston, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.318
John Jay: "In forming and settling my belief relative to the doctrines of Christianity, I adopted no articles from creeds but such only as, on careful examination, I found to be confirmed in the Bible At a party in Paris, once, the question fell on religious matters. In the course of it, one of them asked me if I believed in Christ? I answered that I did, and that I thanked God that I did." a letter to John Bristed, April 23, 1811, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.318
John Jay: " By conveying the Bible to people thus circumstanced, we certainly do them a most interesting kindness. We thereby enable them to learn that man was originally created and placed in a state of happiness, but, becoming disobedient, was subjected to the degradation and evils which he and his posterity have since experienced.
The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement 'for the sins of the whole world' and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift of grace of God, not of our deserving nor in our power to deserve." May 13, 1824 in an address to The American Bible Society, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.318
Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration, member of Continental Congress, founder of 5 universities, in a "Defense of the Use of The Bible in Schools", 1791; "Surely future generations wouldn't try to take the Bible out of schools. In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, if we were to remove the Bible from schools, I lament that we could be wasting so much time and money in punishing crime and would be taking so little pains to prevent them."
Benjamin Rush: "The only foundation for a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.543
Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration and member of Continental Congress: "Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure, which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry by Bernard C. Steiner 1907, from a letter from Charles Carroll, Nov. 4, 1800.
Gabriel Duvall, US Supreme Court Justice, delegate to the Constitutional Convention: "I resign my soul into the hands of the Almighty who gave it in humble hopes of His mercy through our Savior Jesus Christ." from his Last Will and Testament.
Elias Boudinot, President of the Continental Congress: "You have been instructed from your childhood in the knowledge of your lost state by nature; the absolute necessity of a change of heart, and an entire renovation of soul to the image of Jesus Christ; of salvation through His meritorious only; and the indispensable necessity of personal holiness without which no man shall see the Lord." The Life, Public Services, Addresses, and Letters of Elias Boudinot, 1896, Vol. I, , p. 260, to his daughter.
James Iredell, US Supreme Court Justice under Washington: "I think the Christian religion is a divine institution and I pray to God that I may never forget the precepts of His religion or suffer the appearance of an inconsistency in my principles and practice." The Papers of James Iredell, Dan Higginbotham editor, Vol 1, p.14.
Jacob Broom, signer of the Constitution: "Don't forget to be a Christian. I have said much to you on this head and I hope an indelible impression is made." letter to his son, 1794, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.76
John Witherspoon, signer of The Declaration of Independence: "He is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who set himself with the greatest firmness to bear down on profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy to his country." speech at the College of New Jersey (Princeton) , May 17,1776, America's God and Country, William Federer, pp. 703-704
Alexis de Tocqueville, French author and philosopher of renown who came on extended stay in America to find out the secret of the success of the American Independence : " Upon my arrival in the United States, the religious aspect of the country was the first thing that struck my attention The Americans combine the notions of Christianity and of liberty so intimately in their minds, that it is impossible to make them conceive the one without the other Religion in America must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country From the earliest settlement of the emigrants, politics and religion contracted an alliance which has never been dissolved." from Democracy In America, 1835, de Tocqueville, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.204
Alexis de Tocqueville: "Religion in America takes no direct part in the government of society, but it must be regarded as the first of their political institutions; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is in this same point of view that the inhabitants of the United States themselves look upon religious belief. I do not know whether all Americans have a sincere faith in their religion- or who can search the human heart?- but I am certain that they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of their political institutions." from Democracy In America, 1835, de Tocqueville, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.204
George Mason, Delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention, called the "Father of the Bill of Rights": "As nations cannot be rewarded or punished in the next world, so they must be in this, by an inevitable chain of causes and effects. Providence punishes national sins by national calamities." debates of the Constitutional Convention, Aug. 22, 1787, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.423
Daniel Webster: "Our ancestors established their system of government on morality and religious sentiment. Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be entrusted on any other foundation than religious principle, not any government secure which is not supported by moral habits Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens." from speech at bicentennial celebration of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock, Dec. 22, 1820, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.669
John Quincy Adams, President of the United States: "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this; it connected, in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity The United States of America were no longer colonies. They were an independent nation of Christians." July 4, 1821 from The Pulpit of the American Revolution by John Wingate Thornton 1860, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.18
John Quincy Adams: "The Declaration Of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer's mission upon earth and laid the cornerstone of human government upon the precepts of Christianity." July 4th, 1837, An Oration Delivered Before the Inhabitants of the Town of Newburyport, at the 61st Anniversary of The Declaration of independence, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.204
John Quincy Adams: "Duty is ours; results are God's. The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention is the Bible. I speak as a man of the world to men of the world; and I say to you, Search the Scriptures! The Bible is the book of all others, to be read at all ages, and in all conditions of human life; not to be read once or twice or thrice through, and then laid aside, but to be read in small portions of one or two chapters every day, and never to be intermitted, unless by some overruling necessity. In what light so ever we regard the Bible, whether with reference to revelation, to history, or to morality, it is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue. It is no slight testimonial, both to the merit and worth of Christianity, that in all ages since its promulgation the great mass of those who have risen to eminence by their profound wisdom and integrity have recognized and reverenced Jesus of Nazareth as the Son of the living God." " Posterity- you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it." America's God and Country, William Federer, p.19-20
On September 26, 1642 the guidelines that would govern Harvard University, our nation's first college, were established. They read, in part, "Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well, the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life (John 17:3), and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom, as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. And seeing the Lord only giveth wisdom, let every one seriously set himself by prayer in secret to seek it of him (Proverbs 2:3)." The motto of Harvard was "Christi Gloriam" (Christ be glorified) and the college was later dedicated Christo et Ecclesiae (for Christ and for the Church). The founders of Harvard believed that "All knowledge without Christ was vain." from The Presidential Prayer Team.org, March, 31, 2002.
In 1751, the Pennsylvania State Assembly called for the forging of a bell to commemorate William Penn's original charter of the state. They included instructions requiring that a scripture verse be included on the bell. The verse is Leviticus 25:10, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof." Our founding fathers considered it important for all generations to know that God is the source of true freedom. The Liberty Bell is yet another example of our nation's godly heritage.
Noah Webster, Founding Father, scholar, author of the first and still respected American Dictionary: "The religion which has introduced civil liberty, is the religion of Christ and His apostles, which enjoins humility, piety and benevolence; which acknowledges in every person a brother, or a sister, and a citizen with equal rights. This is genuine Christianity, and to this we owe our free constitutions of governments." 1832, History of the United States, Noah Webster, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.678
Noah Webster: "The command of God is ' He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in fear of God.' 2 Sam. 23:3. This command prescribes the only effectual; remedy for public evils. It is an absurd and impious sentiment, that religious character is not necessary for public officers
But surely as there is a God in heaven who exercises a moral government over affairs of this world, so certainly will the neglect of the divine command, in the choice of rulers, be followed by bad laws, crimes, waste of public money, and a thousand other evils. Men devise and adopt new forms of government; they amend old forms, repair breaches, and punish violators of the constitution; but there is, there can be, no effectual remedy, but obedience to The Divine Law."
John Marshal argued, by some to be our greatest Chief Justice of the Supreme Court: "The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange indeed, if such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not often refer to it, and exhibit relations with it." letter to Jasper Adams, May 9, 1833.
Abraham Lincoln: "We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand, which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us." March 30, 1863, Proclamation Appointing A National Fast Day, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.383
Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States in 1911: "America was born a Christian nation. America was born to exemplify that devotion to the elements of righteousness, which are derived from the revelations of Holy Scriptures. Part of the destiny of Americans lies in their daily perusal of this great book of revelations. That if they would see America free and pure they will make their own spirits free and pure by this baptism of the Holy Spirit." speech at a Denver rally, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.697
Harry Truman, President of the United States: "the basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings we get from Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul. I don't think we emphasize that enough these days. If we don't have a proper fundamental moral background, we will finally end up with a...government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state." Feb. 15, 1950, address to the Attorney General's Conference, America's God and Country, William Federer, p.589
None of them were Muslim. They might not (horrors!) have respected that religion.
Care to post them?
I think these quotes are good evidence that the intellectualls who founded our great country are closer to the modern libertarian viewpoint rather than most of religous right posters on FR who want the government to impose thier idea of morality on others.
If our founding fathers were deists, they weren't very strong ones. They attended church services, granted permission for gov't buildings to be used as churches, read the Bible, prayed, believed in heaven and hell, and much of their writing indicates they believed God does have a somewhat active role in worldy affairs. These are all things that are contrary to deist beliefs.
If Adams said this it would only demonstrate to disqualify his writings upon this matter. Consider: The Moslem Conquest (of India).
On the day he died, friends were soliciting money for his relief at a ceremony in the House of Representatives marking the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
His assets had dwindled considerably and he desperately needed cash.
Had he lived, however, he would not have been able to depend on this solicitation. According to John Quincy Adams, only four or five people at the ceremony contributed to Jefferson's relief.
One can find all kinds of slogans for bumper stickers and t-shirts in the writings of great men. But it proves nothing. One has to go to the source and read the context to understand what was really meant. Then place it within the broader context of the writer's life work.
The "gotcha" game of selective quotation is tedious and destructive.
But Jefferson, Franklin and Madison didn't "hate" God. They sometimes looked askance at religion but you won't find any evidnece of a "hatred" for God.
Most would agree with you and Jefferson. By "most" I mean the majority. But for me, I'll go with what The Christ/Messiah has said about Himself.
Hey, LS....see 26....were your ears burning?
Regarding Jeffersons "Bible" The scholars at the Univ of Virginia have this to say;"The so-called Jefferson Bible, more accurately "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," is now the property of the United States National Museum at Washington, having been obtained by purchase in 1895."
"His original idea was to have the life and teachings of the Saviour, told in similar excerpts, prepared for the Indians, thinking this simple form would suit them best."
"it is interesting to note the title of the first compilation, which reads as follows:"THE PHILOSOPHY OF JESUS OF NAZARETH," Extracted from the account of his life and doctrines as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Being an abridgment of the New Testament for the use of the Indians, unembarrassed with matters of fact or faith beyond the level of their comprehensions."
Source: Univ of Virginia
The following are quotes from a history book called "America's God and Country" by W. Federer, 1994.Jefferson Quotes:
"While in Philedelphia, Thomas Jefferson attended Christ Church."
"In Virginia Jefferson attended Bruton Parish Church (Episcopalian) in Williamsburg."
"His own bible a well worn, four-volume set, held preeminence in his personal library."
"In establishing the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson not only encouraged the teaching of religion, but set aside a place inside the rotunda for chapel services"
"My views...are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus Himself. I am Christian in the only sense He wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others..."
-- Thomas Jefferson, April 21 1803 to Benjamin Rush
"A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am real Christian; that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Jan 9, 1816 letter to Charles Thomson.
"I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to men..."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Nov 4, 1820 letter to Jared Sparks
"Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus." -- Thomas Jefferson, Writings, Vol XIII pg 377
"Had the doctrines of Jesus always been preached always as pure as they came from His lips the whole civilized world would now have been Christians."
-- Thomas Jefferson. Tyron Edwards New Dictionary of Thoughts- A Cyclopaedia of Quotations (1852) p.91
"I have always said, I always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands."
-- Thomas Jefferson. Tyron Edwards New Dictionary of Thoughts- A Cyclopaedia of Quotations (1852) p.46
- The doctrines of Jesus are simple and tend to the happiness of man.
- There is only One God and He is all perfect.
- There is a future state of rewards and punishment.
- To love God with all the heart and thy neighbor as thyself is the sum of all." These are the great points on which to reform the religion of Jews."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Life of Jefferson, by Stephen Abbot Northropp pp252-253
"No one sees with greater pleasure than myself the progress of reason and its advance towards rational Christianity, and my opinion is that if nothing had ever been added to what flowed from His lips, the whole world would at this day been Christian.... Had there never been a commentor there never would have been an infidel. I have little doubt that the whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Library of American Literature, Vol III pp 283-284 Stephen Abbot Northrop
"I am for freedom of Religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another..."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Catalog of the Library of T.J. Voll II Catherine Millard
"The Christian Religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity to its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Mar 23rd, 1801 letter to Moses Robinson
"James Madison drank." I drink and don't think for a second that I don't believe in GOD!
Right, it's your morality that we must all abide by. We have no rights or power to elect reprsentatives who will pass laws in our towns and states that we agree with. We must be governed by a libertarian Washington DC. Federalism and local control over local issues? Pshaw, who needs that when we can be lorded over by a nice strong central power.
The funny thing is that everyone sees what they want to see. But there is only one reality, and that can be discovered only by reading large amounts of their writings as well as source info. They were not Libertarian in that they believed virtue mattered. They were not liberals in that they believed government was more of the problem than the answer. They were way more small gov't than most contemporary conservatives, but they probably believed in more local government on social issues than liberals or libertarians care to acknowledge. They believed in ordered liberty and natural law. They definitely believed in man's sin nature, and that is what made them so cautious of power concentrated in ANY hands.
Oh, and they believed in Intelligent Design. Ooooo, how "unconstituional" of them.
What makes you think that Christians who are Conservative want to impose their values on society?
I can think of no legislation that promotes Christianity by government fiat'.
I think most Christians want the government to leave THEM alone. A good example is Gay marriage. The constitutional amendment against Gay MArriage is not supported by me because I am a Christian. It is supported by me because I don't like some MAssachusetts Judge telling me what to think and denying the people a vote.
Did that make sense?
Follow any church you want to, just don't make me abide by your rules.
"Atheism is the death of hope, the suicide of the soul....."
not only did they sign it, they were the two mainly responsible for writing it...
bump for later read
Few of the founders were Christians in the sense of the word today. Most would have accepted the morality of today's Christians sooner than they would have accepted the "morality" of someone like Clinton though.
Sorry Clyde, but that's not the case. Deists don't believe in organized religion. They don't believe in holy doctrine such as the Bible. They don't believe there is an afterlife. They believe prayer is a waste of time, and that man's true purpose is to rationalize the universe. No, this all runs counter to Deistic beliefs.
Mr. Schweiker, you and your co-author wrote a fine book.
First of all nobody argues for theocracy. Second of all, whose rules should we live by in my town, ours or yours?
You'll be mumbling that about yourself when you leave this thread. And, you'll be right.
I can think of no legislation that promotes Christianity by government fiat'.
Read many threads at FR?
There are plenty on this forum that want to do just that, but there isn't enough of them to sway politicians.
utter nonsense promoted by modern day atheists.
BTW: The people most responsible for thr Bill of Rights being included in the US Constitution were the Baptists and men like Baptist preacher John Leland who forced James Madison to commit to the BoR and Patrick Henry and Jefferson were both sympathetic to the cause of the Baptists and their quest for religious liberty and freedom from State religion.
Furthermore the most important aspect of Deism is that God created the universe and that was it. He's taken no further action since then. Our founding fathers believed otherwise.