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
I like ball games so lets use your ballgame to see if we can't shed some light on your misunderstanding of my position and Article 6, Clause 2. Article 6, Clause 2 assigns Congress, the Federal Judiciary and the Executive as the Commissioners of the league.
The leagues constitution states that every ball game shall be played. Congress as the lawmaking Commissioner realizes that it is physically impossible to play every ball game in certain weather so they make rules (laws) to account for inclement weather.
The owners of the teams, think states, can not change those laws or the league rules without a league constitutional convention because the leagues constituion and the bylaws set forth by the commission are the Supreme Law of the League.
I'm sorry it conflicts with your wish that the states have sovereignty over their own constitutions and laws, but they don't.
And I'm sorry you're wrong but you are. States are not constrained by the federal government from expanding individual rights not found in the Constitution of the United States.
I haven't regained or lost anything. I understand the Supreme Law of the Land clause, you don't.
Well, ya gotta believe in something. I believe I'll have a drink, too.
Good for you!
Why are you so afraid of the truth? i did not cite to you my opine--but a credible and verifiable source. As with the Church of the Holy Trinity ruling -- Easy to verify-but you choose ignorance. It's your loss. Just as your decision to reject God, and the evidence seen everywhere
that God has not ignored His Creation. Your loss.
From the Catholic Encyclopedia
THere are as many heresies as there are lapsed christians.
"The Madison letter is the only primary document out of every source you gave, and it is out of context. Opines from evangelicals on evangelical websites are not primary documents. By the way, Dr. George Bancroft was a Calvinist." ~ mugs99
BS on both counts.
 I provided you with the link to just about every single primary document that is available on line ARRANGED IN CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE (500 B.C.-1800 A.D.):
The American Colonist's Library - A Treasury of Primary Documents - Primary Source Documents Pertaining to Early American History http://personal.pitnet.net/primarysources/
I'll even give you another link for good measure:
 "... George Bancroft, the American historian, who himself was not a Calvinist, derives the republican institutions of the United States from Calvinism through the medium of English Puritanism..."
Nobody could be as clueless as you want me to believe you are -- could they?
To the foolish, who read only what they want to into a few out-of-context and select quotations, one does not need a response. It's like taking the Matthew 27:5 quotation about Judas, "he went and hanged himself," and joining it to another scripture verse that says, "go thou and do likewise."
The lives and contributions of these Founders to the cause of liberty in a world that had been darkened by centuries of oppression speak so loudly that one cannot hear the rantings of their critics of today. Further, if one examines the entire (and I do mean, entire) writings of those Founders, one cannot make such generalizations as are found here.
For instance, what does one do with this quotation from Thomas Jefferson's 1824 letter to Martin Van Buren? "Our Saviour. . .has taught us to judge the tree by its fruit, and to leave motives to Him who can alone see into them."
Or, "The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
Jefferson didn't hate God or Christ. He respected Jesus as a moral teacher, and believed Jesus made no claims to Divinity for himself. Jefferson was a "Christian" in the sense of respecting the morality taught by Jesus, not in believing in Christ's divinity. Jefferson was quite hostile to the Church fathers and theologians who established Trinitarian Christianity. He was also hostile to Plato and other metaphysicians. "True Christianity" for Jefferson would resemble the Unitarianism of the day, though like other Virginians he was a member of the Anglican/Episcopalian Church, the established Church of the colony/state.
I gather that Jefferson was a Lockean empiricist who believed in observable facts, logic, and science. But for him, a Creator was very much a part of that rational universe. To the degree that Christians claim that faith or Scripture outweighs reason and facts, Jefferson disagreed with them.
I don't know about Franklin and Adams. It's pretty clear that Adams was quite outspoken and apt to express himself in strong terms. Both Adams and Franklin came out of the New England Puritan tradition, and inherited a lot of Protestant hostility to Catholicism and Anglicanism. "Priestcraft" was a dirty word, and it was assumed that the centuries of Christian theology between the early Church and the Reformation were mistaken. Rebels in subsequent generations took protest much further than Luther or Calvin did.
You can see similarities in attitude between Adams and Jefferson. What they apparently wanted was a rationalized Christianity that taught morality without dogmas -- something like the Unitarianism of their era. Washington was of similar mind. He had a strong sense of "Providence," but rarely mentioned Jesus. Being less of an intellectual, Washington didn't make the same sort of philosophical pronouncements, as Adams or Jeferson. Franklin is the one Founder whom almost everyone regards as a Deist.
A lot of the problem is that 18th century gentlemen might have been baptized or enrolled in Churches without necessarily believing in the whole theology of the denomination. If they lived in New England or the South, they were considered Congregationalist or Anglican and taxed to pay for the established church whether they agreed with it or not. And they might believe in a God without subscribing to the dogmas of the churches.
Washington and Jefferson, Adams and Franklin all believed that a form of religion was necessary for virtue, liberty, and good government. Their hypothesis was that a certain form of religion was true and would support the institutions and values that they believed in. Whether they were right or not -- whether more religion or less or some other form of faith is necessary or desireable is something we can disagree with today.
See, now you are changing your position. You implied that the constitution is not the Supreme Law of the Land, because Article 6, Clause 2 doesn't confine it to that position. To quote your post #142 "So when you say the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land (period), you contradict the Constitution."
The problem is that the Article 6, Clause 2 says precisely that the Constitution IS the Supreme Law of the Land. And that it trumps local state constitutions and laws. So which is it, does Article 6, Clause 2 refer to the Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land, and indicate that it is given precedence over state laws? Or something else?
States are not constrained by the federal government from expanding individual rights not found in the Constitution of the United States.
Yes they are, assuming such rights as they give contradict the Federal Constitution. Say if a state decided to give people the right to own slaves, that Law would be invalid because it would conflict with the Federal Constitution.
There are none so gullible as those who fall for their own supression of self-evident truth. [Rom.1:18-32]
Here's a clue: Self-deceivers have no excuse.
Well, that's one Bible quote I can agree with! I guess it doesn't bother you to have to resort to fraud and half truths to support your cause. No comment on Washington's Journal? Silence on the convention prayer of 1787?
No request for more examples of self evident fraud?
Also notice that Franklin thanks God for helping him to lead a good life. Franklin does not often show a religious side, and he will explain in greater depth later on that he is a Deist, or one who believes in a usually non-interventionist God without ascribing to any particular religious denomination. We are perhaps to believe that Franklin assumes either a false humility at the beginning of the book or that he grew in faith in his later years.
Yes, but the Tenth Amendment reserves to the states those powers not delgated to the federal government. Therefore, federal law can only trump state law in questions of those powers specifically enumerated in the federal constitution.
I also feel in Ben own way he believed in God and continued to understand in his mind his relationship with the Creator
Denominational Affiliations of the Framers of the Constitution
You're right on. I don't think many in those days or today had a better relationship with God than Ben Franklin! It's hard to put a label on a guy like that. Christian or Deist, he was truly one of the greatest men in history...IMHO