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THOMAS JEFFERSON ON CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION
nonbeliefs.com ^ | Jim Walker

Posted on 09/05/2002 7:57:50 PM PDT by Enemy Of The State

THOMAS JEFFERSON ON CHRISTIANITY & RELIGION

Compiled by Jim Walker

"Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."

-Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782)


It spite of Christian right attempts to rewrite history to make Jefferson into a Christian, little about his philosophy resembles that of Christianity. Although Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence wrote of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God, there exists nothing in the Declaration about Christianity.

Although Jefferson believed in a Creator, his concept of it resembled that of the god of deism (the term "Nature's God" used by deists of the time). With his scientific bent, Jefferson sought to organize his thoughts on religion. He rejected the superstitions and mysticism of Christianity and even went so far as to edit the gospels, removing the miracles and mysticism of Jesus (see The Jefferson Bible) leaving only what he deemed the correct moral philosophy of Jesus.

Distortions of history occur in the minds of many Christians whenever they see the word "God" embossed in statue or memorial concrete . For example, those who visit the Jefferson Memorial in Washington will read Jefferson's words engraved: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every from of tyranny over the mind of man." When they see the word "God" many Christians see this as "proof" of his Christianity without thinking that 'God' can have many definitions ranging from nature to supernatural. Yet how many of them realize that this passage aimed at attacking the tyranny of the Christian clergy of Philadelphia, or that Jefferson's God was not the personal god of Christianity? Those memorial words came from a letter written to Benjamin Rush in 1800 in response to Rush's warning about the Philadelphia clergy attacking Jefferson (Jefferson was seen as an infidel by his enemies during his election for President). The complete statement reads as follows:

"The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes, & they [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: & enough too in their opinion, & this is the cause of their printing lying pamphlets against me. . ."

Jefferson aimed at laissez-faire liberalism in the name of individual freedom, He felt that any form of government control, not only of religion, but of individual mercantilism consisted of tyranny. He thought that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.

If anything can clear of the misconceptions of Jeffersonian history, it can come best from the author himself. Although Jefferson had a complex view of religion, too vast for this article, the following quotes provide a glimpse of how Thomas Jefferson viewed the corruptions of Christianity and religion.


Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

-Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.


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, 1782.


What is it men cannot be made to believe!

-Thomas Jefferson to Richard Henry Lee, April 22, 1786. (on the British regarding America, but quoted here for its universal appeal.)


Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because if there be one he must approve of the homage of reason more than that of blindfolded fear.

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787


Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

-Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom


I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price, Jan. 8, 1789 (Richard Price had written to TJ on Oct. 26. about the harm done by religion and wrote "Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?")


I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789


They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.

-Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800


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, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT., Jan. 1, 1802


History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.


The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814


Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814


In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814


If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? ...Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814


You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819


As you say of yourslef, I too am an Epicurian. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, Oct. 31, 1819


Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820


To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Aug. 15, 1820


Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.

-Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 1822.


I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823


And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823


It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825


All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826 (in the last letter he penned)



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1 posted on 09/05/2002 7:57:50 PM PDT by Enemy Of The State
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To: Enemy Of The State
Jefferson continues to be a controversial character, years after his death.

I'm not sure the quotes back up the body of the essay, though I believe the general thrust to be correct.

2 posted on 09/05/2002 8:06:54 PM PDT by Sam Cree
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To: Enemy Of The State
I have to agree with Sam Cree, I don't think the quotes prove the author's case.
3 posted on 09/05/2002 8:20:37 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Enemy Of The State
And this has what to do with the price of rice in China?

Who cares?

Fact: of the 55 men who drafted the constitution, 52 considered themselves to be evangelical Christians.

Fact: when TJ was appointed president of the Washington, DC school system, he installed a copy of Isaac Watt's hymnal and the Bible as the two primary reading texts.

Fact: When our founding fathers decided to organize our government, they did it based upon Biblical principles.

At the time, Russia had a czar and Britain had a king.
Because of the excesses of absolute monarchs, our founding fathers knew no single individual was competent to rule a country.

Therefore, they operated upon two premises: "There is none righteous, no not one" (Romans 3:10) and "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

That is why we have three opposing branches of government: each is supposed to keep the other two in line.

It is absolutely irrelevant what any individual believed or did not believe. It matters not that TJ may, or may not, have owned slaves. It matters not that Grant was an alcoholic. It matters not that Kennedy was a whoremonger and drug abuser. The nation is more than an individual.

America's greatness has always been because she is a Christian nation. And without her Christian moorings, she will not survive the coming storm.
4 posted on 09/05/2002 8:26:42 PM PDT by hoosierskypilot
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To: Enemy Of The State
bump for later
5 posted on 09/05/2002 8:27:56 PM PDT by jern
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To: hoosierskypilot
Fact: When our founding fathers decided to organize our government, they did it based upon Biblical principles.... Therefore, they operated upon two premises: "There is none righteous, no not one" (Romans 3:10) and "For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).

Do you have any evidence that the Founding Fathers were following those two particular Biblical texts, and not just applying common sense?

6 posted on 09/05/2002 8:40:13 PM PDT by be131
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To: Sam Cree
quite the character he was...

Many people believe that our founding fathers were all fundamentalist Christians and actually, this is a popular misconception.  David McCallough's book "The Founding Father's" discusses the religious beliefs of the founding fathers in detail.  The Continental Congress was composed of several atheists and many agnostics.In fact Thomas Jefferson was obviously among the agnostics.   The founding fathers did not  hold the general populace in high regard.  They felt that if the governmental writings did not evoke "God" the common folk would see no reason to pay them any mind, and there would be rioting in the streets.  Jefferson's writings reveal that he believed the new republic to be very tenuous and felt that cloaking the documents in a mandate from the divine would make sure that the general population was more easily lead.

It is the religous organizations in this country have done a good job of convincing us that our forefathers were all fundamentalist Christians.  The facts simply don't support this contention

7 posted on 09/05/2002 8:41:06 PM PDT by Enemy Of The State
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To: hoosierskypilot
I don't necessarily disagree with most of what you say (though I might like some elaboration on the evangelical Christianity of the constitutional convention), but I think that the framers were more consciously basing our Constitution on the English tradition of individual freedom that can be traced back to the Anglo Saxons. Though these people certainly operated within a framework of Christianity. However, I am not very convinced that the bible makes a strong case for the individual freedom that is the unique heritage of the United States.
8 posted on 09/05/2002 8:41:33 PM PDT by Sam Cree
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To: hoosierskypilot
see comment #7
9 posted on 09/05/2002 8:42:05 PM PDT by Enemy Of The State
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To: hoosierskypilot
America's greatness has always been because she is a Christian nation.

America's greatness is because it is a SECULAR nation that does not interfere in the private practice of religions and has drawn a LINE between religion and state. America's greatness is because it is primarily an INDIVIDUALIST nation rather than a socialistic nation (though sadly that is less true every day due to assaults on individualism by lefist socialists and cultural conservatives.)

10 posted on 09/05/2002 8:42:25 PM PDT by jlogajan
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To: Enemy Of The State
Thank you. And thank Thomas Jefferson.
11 posted on 09/05/2002 8:46:05 PM PDT by RLK
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To: Enemy Of The State
"if the governmental writings did not evoke "God" "

I read somewhere (not McCullough, which I haven't read) that though he himself was not too religious, Jefferson thought that folks required the "fear of God" as motivation to be virtuous.

12 posted on 09/05/2002 8:47:23 PM PDT by Sam Cree
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To: Enemy Of The State
"The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights." --Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Board of Visitors Minutes, 1819. ME 19:416
13 posted on 09/05/2002 8:47:44 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Sam Cree
"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind." --Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801. ME 10:237
14 posted on 09/05/2002 8:50:17 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Enemy Of The State
Name the atheists...name the agnostics..and prove it.
15 posted on 09/05/2002 8:52:00 PM PDT by SolaScriptura
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To: hoosierskypilot
Fact: of the 55 men who drafted the constitution, 52 considered themselves to be evangelical Christians.

Fact: Founding Fathers that were Masons & Signers of the Declaration of Independence: Benjamin Franklin, Robert Treat Paine, John Handcock, Richard Stockton, Joseph Hewes, George Walton, William Hooper, William Whipple.
Fact: Founding Fathers that were Masons & Signers of the U.S. Constitution: Gunning Bradford, Jr., John Blair, Benjamin Franklin, David Brearley, Nicholas Gilman, Jacob Broom, Rufus King, Daniel Carroll, James McHenery, Jonathan Dayton, William Paterson, John Dickinson, George Washington.

Number of masons who were evangelical Christians: zero. Here is a link from a site that completely disagrees with the thesis of hoosierskypilot. (Disclaimer - I am neither a mason nor associated with this site.)
Masons and Christians"

16 posted on 09/05/2002 8:53:28 PM PDT by dark_lord
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To: jlogajan
"The rights [to religious freedom] are of the natural rights of mankind, and... if any act shall be... passed to repeal [an act granting those rights] or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. (*) ME 2:303, Papers 2:546

Like for instance praying in the public square, you know, schools.

17 posted on 09/05/2002 8:54:14 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: Enemy Of The State
"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."
.
--Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801. ME 10:237

18 posted on 09/05/2002 8:58:11 PM PDT by Willie Green
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To: jlogajan
America's greatness is because ...

Thus neatly skirting the fundamental question of whether America's proper destiny is greatness or goodness.

19 posted on 09/05/2002 8:58:23 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: jwalsh07
Well, I may agree with that statement, considering the other main religion, Islam.

But nevertheless, individual freedom and personal liberty have hardly been a noticable thrust of Christianity, even though most Americans are and have been Christians.

20 posted on 09/05/2002 8:58:49 PM PDT by Sam Cree
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To: dark_lord
What's a mason?
21 posted on 09/05/2002 9:00:25 PM PDT by Sam Cree
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To: Enemy Of The State


Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government


52. Freedom of Religion

Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.


"We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to Virginia Baptists, 1808. ME 16:320

"The constitutional freedom of religion [is] the most inalienable and sacred of all human rights." --Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Board of Visitors Minutes, 1819. ME 19:416

"Among the most inestimable of our blessings, also, is that... of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable to His will; a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to John Thomas et al., 1807. ME 16:291

"In our early struggles for liberty, religious freedom could not fail to become a primary object." --Thomas Jefferson to Baltimore Baptists, 1808. ME 16:317

"Religion, as well as reason, confirms the soundness of those principles on which our government has been founded and its rights asserted." --Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:283

"One of the amendments to the Constitution... expressly declares that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,' thereby guarding in the same sentence and under the same words, the freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press; insomuch that whatever violates either throws down the sanctuary which covers the others." --Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. ME 17:382

"The rights [to religious freedom] are of the natural rights of mankind, and... if any act shall be... passed to repeal [an act granting those rights] or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. (*) ME 2:303, Papers 2:546

"I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our God and our consciences, for which we were accountable to Him, and not to the priests." --Thomas Jefferson to Mrs. M. Harrison Smith, 1816. ME 15:60

"From the dissensions among Sects themselves arise necessarily a right of choosing and necessity of deliberating to which we will conform. But if we choose for ourselves, we must allow others to choose also, and so reciprocally, this establishes religious liberty." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:545

"Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." --Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse, 1803. ME 10:378

"Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone. I inquire after no man's, and trouble none with mine." --Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814. ME 14:198

"I consider the government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise or to assume authority in religious discipline has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808. ME 11:428

"In matters of religion, I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the general government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it; but have left them as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of State or Church authorities acknowledged by the several religious societies." --Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural Address, 1805. ME 3:378

"Our Constitution... has not left the religion of its citizens under the power of its public functionaries, were it possible that any of these should consider a conquest over the consciences of men either attainable or applicable to any desirable purpose." --Thomas Jefferson: Reply to New London Methodists, 1809. ME 16:332

"I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies, that the General Government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting and prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them, an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises and the objects proper for them according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands where the Constitution has deposited it... Everyone must act according to the dictates of his own reason, and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808. ME 11:429

"To suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:302, Papers 2: 546

"It is... proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe, a day of fasting and prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the United States an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. It must be meant, too, that this recommendation is to carry some authority and to be sanctioned by some penalty on those who disregard it; not indeed of fine and imprisonment, but of some degree of proscription, perhaps in public opinion. And does the change in the nature of the penalty make the recommendation less a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed?... Civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Miller, 1808. ME 11:428

"Whenever... preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science." --Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:281

"Ministers of the Gospel are excluded [from serving as Visitors of the county Elementary Schools] to avoid jealousy from the other sects, were the public education committed to the ministers of a particular one; and with more reason than in the case of their exclusion from the legislative and executive functions." --Thomas Jefferson: Note to Elementary School Act, 1817. ME 17:419

"No religious reading, instruction or exercise, shall be prescribed or practiced [in the elementary schools] inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination." --Thomas Jefferson: Elementary School Act, 1817. ME 17:425

"I do not know that it is a duty to disturb by missionaries the religion and peace of other countries, who may think themselves bound to extinguish by fire and fagot the heresies to which we give the name of conversions, and quote our own example for it. Were the Pope, or his holy allies, to send in mission to us some thousands of Jesuit priests to convert us to their orthodoxy, I suspect that we should deem and treat it as a national aggression on our peace and faith." --Thomas Jefferson to Michael Megear, 1823. ME 15:434

"The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." --Thomas Jefferson to Jeremiah Moor, 1800.

"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of it's benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind." --Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801. ME 10:237

"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State." --Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval, 1810. ME 12:345

"[If] the nature of... government [were] a subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical power, I [would] consider it as desperate for long years to come. Their steady habits [will] exclude the advances of information, and they [will] seem exactly where they [have always been]. And there [the] clergy will always keep them if they can. [They] will follow the bark of liberty only by the help of a tow-rope." --Thomas Jefferson to Pierrepont Edwards, July 1801. (*)

"This doctrine ['that the condition of man cannot be ameliorated, that what has been must ever be, and that to secure ourselves where we are we must tread with awful reverence in the footsteps of our fathers'] is the genuine fruit of the alliance between Church and State, the tenants of which finding themselves but too well in their present condition, oppose all advances which might unmask their usurpations and monopolies of honors, wealth and power, and fear every change as endangering the comforts they now hold." --Thomas Jefferson: Report for University of Virginia, 1818.

"I am for freedom of religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another." --Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:78

"The advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from [the clergy]." --Thomas Jefferson to Levi Lincoln, 1802. ME 10:305

"The clergy...believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion." --Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800. ME 10:173

"Believing... 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 legitimate 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 Danbury Baptists, 1802. ME 16:281

"I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this [i.e., the purchase of an apparent geological or astronomical work] can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offense against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason. If [this] book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But, for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides, if we choose." --Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814. ME 14:127

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes." --Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, 1813. ME 14:21

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own." --Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:119

"I have been just reading the new constitution of Spain. One of its fundamental bases is expressed in these words: 'The Roman Catholic religion, the only true one, is, and always shall be, that of the Spanish nation. The government protects it by wise and just laws, and prohibits the exercise of any other whatever.' Now I wish this presented to those who question what [a bookseller] may sell or we may buy, with a request to strike out the words, 'Roman Catholic,' and to insert the denomination of their own religion. This would ascertain the code of dogmas which each wishes should domineer over the opinions of all others, and be taken, like the Spanish religion, under the 'protection of wise and just laws.' It would show to what they wish to reduce the liberty for which one generation has sacrificed life and happiness. It would present our boasted freedom of religion as a thing of theory only, and not of practice, as what would be a poor exchange for the theoretic thraldom, but practical freedom of Europe." --Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814. ME 14:128

"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." --Thomas Jefferson: Bill for Religious Freedom, 1779. Papers 2:545

"The law for religious freedom... [has] put down the aristocracy of the clergy and restored to the citizen the freedom of the mind." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1813. ME 13:400

"[When] the [Virginia] bill for establishing religious freedom... was finally passed,... a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion." The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend within the mantle of its protection the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination." --Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821. ME 1:67

"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... otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief... All men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and... the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:302, Papers 2:546

"Our civil rights have no dependence upon our religious opinions more than our opinions in physics or geometry." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:301, Papers 2:545

"We have no right to prejudice another in his civil enjoyments because he is of another church." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:546

"The proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:301, Papers 2:546

"A recollection of our former vassalage in religion and civil government will unite the zeal of every heart, and the energy of every hand, to preserve that independence in both which, under the favor of Heaven, a disinterested devotion to the public cause first achieved, and a disinterested sacrifice of private interests will now maintain." --Thomas Jefferson to Baltimore Baptists, 1808. ME 16:318

"The declaration that religious faith shall be unpunished does not give immunity to criminal acts dictated by religious error." --Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1788. ME 7:98

"If a sect arises whose tenets would subvert morals, good sense has fair play and reasons and laughs it out of doors without suffering the State to be troubled with it." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia Q.XVII, 1782. ME 2:224

"If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner and no otherwise than as if it had happened in a fair or market." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:548

"It is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere [in the propagation of religious teachings] when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order." --Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:302, Papers 2:546

"Whatsoever is lawful in the Commonwealth or permitted to the subject in the ordinary way cannot be forbidden to him for religious uses; and whatsoever is prejudicial to the Commonwealth in their ordinary uses and, therefore, prohibited by the laws, ought not to be permitted to churches in their sacred rites. For instance, it is unlawful in the ordinary course of things or in a private house to murder a child; it should not be permitted any sect then to sacrifice children. It is ordinarily lawful (or temporarily lawful) to kill calves or lambs; they may, therefore, be religiously sacrificed. But if the good of the State required a temporary suspension of killing lambs, as during a siege, sacrifices of them may then be rightfully suspended also. This is the true extent of toleration." --Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Religion, 1776. Papers 1:547

ME, FE = Memorial Edition, Ford Edition.   See Sources.

Cross References

To other sections in Thomas Jefferson on Politics & Government:-

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Copyright 1995-99 Eyler Robert Coates, Sr.


The University of Virginia Alderman Library Electronic Text Center Jefferson: Online Resources

22 posted on 09/05/2002 9:00:39 PM PDT by oldvike
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To: Enemy Of The State
Don't know why your post suppresses this fact, but in his letter to Dr. Rush, quoted above, Mr. Jefferson expresses the explicit hope that America will embrace a Unitarian faith.
23 posted on 09/05/2002 9:00:42 PM PDT by Romulus
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To: dark_lord
"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. … And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion."George Washington
24 posted on 09/05/2002 9:01:04 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: hoosierskypilot
Thank you...
25 posted on 09/05/2002 9:04:16 PM PDT by joesnuffy
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To: Enemy Of The State; billbears; hoosierskypilot
"A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its Author never said nor saw."

--Thomas Jefferson to Charles Thompson, 1816. ME 14:385

26 posted on 09/05/2002 9:04:17 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Enemy Of The State
Jefferson was a "deist," which roughly means he believed that the universise was made by the Creator, but thought the Creator doesn't much interfere with the universe He has created. While critics called him nothing but an atheist, it is clear that he generally accepted the events told in the Bible as true as well as held the words of Jesus in high esteem. He did, however, have scepticism for the efficacy and morality of the body of men that is the church, which made him some enemies. He also believed that faith should be a personal subject. It is also clear he believed that a moral public was essential to a free country, but likewise knew that freedom was a component of a moral public, and that people should not come to rely on the government for protection and safety.
27 posted on 09/05/2002 9:14:35 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: oldvike
good post (#22)
28 posted on 09/05/2002 9:17:12 PM PDT by Sam Cree
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To: Sam Cree
What's a mason?

Someone that works with cement....

:>)

29 posted on 09/05/2002 9:24:54 PM PDT by shiva
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To: jlogajan
"He thought that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry"

I agree jlogajan - that "America's greatness is because it is a SECULAR nation that does not interfere in the private practice of religions and has drawn a LINE between religion and state".

However I will add that the strength of most of the individuals who have formed the strength of this country, like John Adams, Samuel Adams, Washington, Madison, and many others, have clearly laid their guidance and foundation directly on the God of the Bible.

As Patrick Henry put it so well: "It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians, not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ! For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here."

30 posted on 09/05/2002 9:33:24 PM PDT by txzman
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To: Enemy Of The State
There are many books on the religious beliefs of the founding fathers.McCallough's book isn't the end all on the subject.What was McCallough's agenda? There are hundreds of Jefferson quotes which clearly show that Jefferson was a Christ believer.Jefferson wasn't an agnostic.What evidence is there that Jefferson thought poorly of the common people.?I don't buy it.That would make Jefferson like the elitist,liberal,communist forces of today. The same bunch that believes faith is delegated to the stupid.Quite the contrary there has been a relentless assault by the same bunch to discredit religion and to distort history.

Jefferson proposed a the seal for the United States which would reflect the spirit of this new nation.It follows;

The children of Israel in the wilderness led by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
31 posted on 09/05/2002 9:34:37 PM PDT by moteineye
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To: Enemy Of The State
Thomas Jefferson did believe in God. No doubt about that. What he didn't believe in was miracles. He wasso fanatical about this he rewrote the Bible leaving OUT all miracles. It's commonly called the Jefferson Bible. What amused me about this aspect of Jefferson is that he believed in God, which is supernatrual yet when it came to miracles hw couldn't but into that. Silly one.
32 posted on 09/05/2002 9:37:48 PM PDT by nmh
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To: dark_lord
"Number of masons who were evangelical Christians: zero. Here is a link from a site that completely disagrees with the thesis of hoosierskypilot. (Disclaimer - I am neither a mason nor associated with this site.)"

Uh, did you bother to read any of the bizarre garbage posted at this site you use as a 'reference'?

33 posted on 09/05/2002 9:44:20 PM PDT by txzman
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To: moteineye
yeah...christians write the book as they see fit
34 posted on 09/05/2002 9:44:21 PM PDT by Enemy Of The State
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To: RLK
indeed.
35 posted on 09/05/2002 10:04:02 PM PDT by Robert_Paulson2
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To: Enemy Of The State
I am no fan of Jefferson (frankly I consider him the first limousine liberal). His enthrallment with the Jacobins makes me thankfull that the Federalists were in power for this countries formative first 12 years under the Constiution.

However, I believe that you are only giving one side of Jefferson. Here are some more Jefferson quotes
http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff0200.htm

"God... has formed us moral agents... that we may promote the happiness of those with whom He has placed us in society, by acting honestly towards all, benevolently to those who fall within our way, respecting sacredly their rights, bodily and mental, and cherishing especially their freedom of conscience, as we value our own." --Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814. ME 14:197

"I believe... that [justice] is instinct and innate, that the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing; as a wise Creator must have seen to be necessary in an animal destined to live in society." --Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1816. ME 15:76

"The practice of morality being necessary for the well-being of society, [our Creator] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain." --Thomas Jefferson to James Fishback, 1809. ME 12:315

"Our Saviour... has taught us to judge the tree by its fruit, and to leave motives to Him who can alone see into them." --Thomas Jefferson to Martin Van Buren, 1824. ME 16:55


http://www.americanpresidents.org/letters/03.asp
"Adore God. ... Be just. Be true. Murmur not at the ways of Providence." -- Thomas Jefferson, 1825

And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of 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 for ever." Notes on the State of Virginia, Query 18, 1781

Let's briefly look at some other Founders.

Here's Ben Franklin, who many people call an atheist.
http://www.christianamerica.com/foundingfathers/ben_franklin.htm
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing I see of this truth: "that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his Aid?

"Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." -Benjamin Franklin

From George 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 to cherish them. -- A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. -- Let it simply be asked where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And 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." --George Washington, from his Farewell Address "It is rightly impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible." --George Washington

"It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship." --Patrick Henry

"If we wish to be free; if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending; if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained--we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms, and to the God of hosts, is all that is left us."- Patrick Henry

"Statesmen...may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is religion and morality alone, which can establish the principles upon which Freedom can securely stand." --John Adams
Letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams
address to the military Oct. 11, 1798

And let me concluse with the following non-religious quote:
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." - John Adams

36 posted on 09/05/2002 10:39:27 PM PDT by rmlew
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To: jlogajan
In 1954 the US Supreme Court created the "Wall of Seperation" by selectively quoting Jefferson and ignoring the4 intent of the letter.
The undeniable truth is that we were a free country for the 178 years before this ruling and that we have become less free since then. It seems to me that it is religion that has allowed for liberty.
37 posted on 09/05/2002 10:42:13 PM PDT by rmlew
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To: dark_lord
Unsubstatiated claim with no evidence from a UFo conspiracy site.

If I wanted to get a straw man response to detroy, I would quote this "source".

38 posted on 09/05/2002 10:44:37 PM PDT by rmlew
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To: Enemy Of The State
Let me note that I am Jewish. Perhaps because of this, I am especially asware that America is, or at least was founded as, a Christian nation without denomination.
39 posted on 09/05/2002 10:47:13 PM PDT by rmlew
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To: txzman
"... Uh, did you bother to read any of the bizarre garbage posted at this site you use as a 'reference'?"

I believe that Jefferson said much the same thing in regards to The New Testament.

40 posted on 09/05/2002 11:04:25 PM PDT by The KG9 Kid
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To: Enemy Of The State
America. “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers-- and it was not there... in her fertile fields and boundless forests-- and it was not there... in her rich mines and her vast world commerce-- and it was not there... in her democratic Congress and matchless Constitution-- and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
(Around 1840) by Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America, a book which was assigned to the entire Republican freshman class of the 104th congress.

Neither secularism nor humanism will provide any basis for goodness. Such goodness which will allow us to persevere will only be found in the Christian principles that guided our founding fathers.

Consider, as an analogy, the French Revolution. During France’s Reign of Terror, France was declared to be a nation of atheists by the National Assembly. They outlawed religion and the Bible and declared their gods to be liberty and reason. Chaos ensued. One million Frenchmen were ultimately murdered and destruction was inevitable. Robespierre then proclaimed in the Convention that belief in the existence of God was necessary to the principles of virtue and morality on which the Republic was founded. And on the 7th of May, the national representatives voted by acclamation that “the French people acknowledged the existence of the Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul.”

I could go on and on with the example of the Roman empire, their predecessor, the Greeks, the Medes, ad infinitum. But I think you get the point.

America parallels this. Do you think it mere coincidence that America's problems were relatively minor when our children began their school day with prayer, Bible reading and the Pledge of Allegience?

After religious morals, values and ethics were abolished in the classroom, in the home and even in the quasi-Christian denominations, in short order, our culture collapsed.

Do I need to share with you the statistics of the pandemic state of crime, sexually transmitted diseases and social chaos that typifies our society? Surely you cannot be serious.

To all the skeptics, again, it matters not what an individual's philosophy was. What is significant is that America's abiding principles found their basis in Bible. That is history. Not speculation. What matters is their collective, not personal, agenda.

This purports to be a conservative forum. If you intend to return America to some semblance of sanity without absolute reliance upon God through Jesus Christ, your cause is already lost. It cannot be done. To ignore the lessons of history doom us to repeat it in the future.
41 posted on 09/05/2002 11:38:02 PM PDT by hoosierskypilot
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To: Enemy Of The State
And your point is?
42 posted on 09/06/2002 2:27:19 AM PDT by ppaul
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To: stainlessbanner
Fantatsic quote from Jefferson! The Sunday after his infamous Danbury Baptist letter guess where Jefferson was?

In church. House, Senate and SCOTUS chambers were to used to hold religious services (up until the War of Northern Agression).

43 posted on 09/06/2002 6:06:58 AM PDT by 4CJ
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To: Enemy Of The State
The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.

  1. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.
  2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
  3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.

[from a letter by Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, Monticello, June 26, 1822]

44 posted on 09/06/2002 6:25:52 AM PDT by PhilipFreneau
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To: hoosierskypilot
"America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

I don't think anyone can argue with this, furthermore it's clear that the founders agreed, hence their many statements about the need for a "virtuous people" for the success of a free society. Jefferson in particular is on record regarding the need for religion to ground the people in morality, though I certainly do not think he was a "reborn" type Christian such as we know today.

Regarding your other points, about the coincidence of declining moral values with declining religious values, I am sure you are right that there is a correlation. The Left, and these days that seems to include the National Council of Churches, seeks to destroy religion for a reason. I for one believe that the current campaign for the separation of church and state is part of this attempt. Even though I believe strongly in the principle of separation of church and state.

"What is significant is that America's abiding principles found their basis in Bible. "

I believe that America's abiding principles are freedom and liberty, especially for the individual. If these principles are in the Bible, they are certainly not its main thrust, as they are America's. But if you'd like to argue that our system of freedom cannot work without the moral principles found in the Bible, I am probably ready to agree with you.

45 posted on 09/06/2002 6:54:04 AM PDT by Sam Cree
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To: txzman
To those who responded that the site I posted as a reference to the masons who were founding fathers is a loonie site, I agree. Yes, they are rather flaky. However, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and the particular link I posted is accurate when naming names of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution who were freemasons. However, for those who would rather have some more definitive information on the relationship between freemasonry and the founding fathers, see here:
Masonic Myths of the Founding Fathers - this debunks some of the most widely held myths, but overall supports the thesis that "a lot" of the founding fathers were freemasons.
Masonic Myths of the Founding Fathers similar information, different site.
American Masonic History - a "Christian" perspective on the freemasons and the founding fathers.
So - hopefully ya'll find this interesting and forgive me that the original link was to a "loonie site". :-)
46 posted on 09/06/2002 7:09:42 AM PDT by dark_lord
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To: SolaScriptura
Name the atheists...name the agnostics..and prove it.

This might be helpful to the discussion:

_____________________________________


                      A Table of the Religious Affiliations 
                              of American Founders


Signer                      State       Doc.    Office          Affiliation (Ref.)

Adams, Andrew               CT          A                       CO(l)
Adams, John                 MA          D       President       CO(b)UN(a)
Adams, Samuel               MA          D/A                     CO(b)
Adams, Thomas               VA          A
Banister, John              VA          A
Baldwin, Abraham            GA          C                       CO(j,k)PR(n)
Bartlett, Josiah            NH          D/A                     CO(b)
Bassett, Richard            DE          C                       ME(g,j,m,n)
Bedford, Gunning, Jun.      DE          C                       PR(j,m)
Blair, John                 VA          C       Justice         PR(a)EP(n)
Blount, William             NC          C                       EP(n)PR(f,j)
Braxton, Carter             VA          D
Brearly, David              NJ          C			EP(n)
Broom, Jacob                DE          C                       QU(n)EP(m)
Butler, Pierce              SC          C                       EP(j,m)
Carroll, Charles            MD          D                       RC(d)
Carroll, Daniel             MD          A/C                     RC(d,j,n)
Chase, Samuel               MD          D       Justice         EP(a)
Clark, Abraham              NJ          D                       PR(c,e)
Clingan, William            PA          A
Collins, John               RI          A       Governor
Clymer, George              PA          D/C                     QU(j,n),EP(j)
Dana, Francis               MA          A
Dayton, Jonothan            NJ          C                       PR(n)EP(j)
Dickenson, John             DE          A/C                     QU(j,m,n)EP(j)
Drayton, William Henry      SC          A
Duane, James                NY          A                       EP(l)
Duer, William               NY          A
Ellery, William             RI(A)MA(D)  D/A                     CO(b)
Few, William                GA          C                       ME(j,k,n)
Fitzmorris, Thomas          PA          C                       RC(j,n)
Floyd, William              NY          D                       PR(c,e)
Franklin, Benjamin          PA          D/C                     EP(n)DE(j)
Gerry, Elbridge             MA          D/A                     EP(j)
Gilman, Nicholas            NH          C                       CO(j,n)
Gorham, Nathaniel           MA          C                       CO(j,n)
Gwynnett, Button            SC          D                       EP(k,o)
Hall, Lyman                 SC          D                       CO(b,k)
Hamilton, Alexander         NY          C                       EP(j,n)
Hancock, John               MA          A/D                     CO(b)
Hanson, John                MD          A
Harnett, Cornelious         NC          A                       EP(f)DE(f)
Harrison, Benjamin          VA          D       Governor
Hart, John                  NJ          D                       PR(c)
Harvie, John                VA          A
Hewes, Joseph               NC          D                       EP?(f)
Heyward, Thomas             SC          A
Heyward, Thomas, Jr.        SC          D
Holton, Samuel              MA          A
Hooper, William             NC          D                       EP(f)
Hopkins, Stephen            RI          D
Hopkinson, Francis          NJ          D                       Ep(l)
Hosmer, Titus               CT          D
Huntington, Samuel          CT          D/A                     CO(b)
Hutson, Richard             SC          A                       PR(l)
Ingersoll, Jared            PA          C                       PR(j,n)
Jefferson, Thomas           VA          D       President       DE(a)
Jennifer, Dan oF St. Thomas MD          C                       EP(j,n)
Johnson, Wm. Saml.          CT          C       Justice         PR(a)EP(j,n)
King, Rufas                 MA          C                       EP(j)CO(n)
Langdon, John               NH          C                       CO(j,n)
Langworthy, Edward          GA          A                       EP(o)
Laurens, Henry              SC          A                       HU(l)
Lee, Henry Lightfoot        VA          D/A
Lee, Richard Henry          VA          D/A     Senator
Lewis, Francis              NY          D/A
Livingston, Phil.           NY          D                       P(c)
Livingston, Wil.            NJ          C                       PR(j,n)
Lovell, James               MA          A
Lynch, Thomas Junr.         SC          D
Madison, James Jr.          VA          C       President       EP(a,j,n)TH(i)
Marchant, Henry             RI          A
Mathews, John               SC          A
McHenry, James              MD          C                       PR(j,n)
Middleton, Arthur           SC          D
Miflin, Thomas              PA          C                       QU(n)LU(j)
M'Kean, Thomas              DE          D/A                     PR(m)
Morris, Gouv.               NY(A)PA(C)  A/C                     EP(j)DE(i,n)
Morris, Lewis               NY          D
Morris, Robert              PA          D/A/C                   EP(j,n)
Morton, John                PA          D
Nelson, Thomas Jr.          VA          D
Paca, William               MD          D
Paine, Robert Treat         MA          D                       CO(b)
Paterson, William           NJ          C       Justice         PT(a)PR(j,n)
Penn, John                  NC          D/A                     UK(f)
Pinckney, Charles           SC          C                       EP(j,n)
Pinckney, Chas. Cotesworth  SC          C                       EP(j,n)
Read, George                DE          D/C                     EP(j,m,n)
Reed, Joseph                PA          A
Roberdeau, Daniel           PA          A
Rodney, Caesar              DE          D                       EP(m)
Ross, George                PA          D
Rush, Benjamin              PA          D                       PR(c,e)UN
Rutledge, Edward            SC          D       Justice         CE(a)
Rutledge, J.                SC          C                       EP(j,n)
Scudder, Nathaniel          NJ          A
Sherman, Roger              CT          D/A/C                   CO(b,j,n)
Smith, James                PA          D                       PR(c,e)
Smith, Jona. Bayard         PA          A
Spaight, Richard Dobbs      NC          C                       EP(f,j,n)
Stockton, Richard           NJ          D                       PR(c,e)
Stone, Thomas               MD          D
Taylor, George              PA          D                       PR(c,e)
Telfair, Edward             GA          A
Thornton, Matthew           NH          D                       PR(c,e)
Van Dyke, Nicholas          DE          A                       EP(m)
Walton, George              GA          D                       AN(o)
Walton, Jno.                GA          A
Washington, George          VA          C       President       EP(a,j,n)TH(i)
Wentworth, John Junr.       NH          A
Whipple, William            NH          D                       CO(b)
Williams, Jonothan          NC          A                       UK(f)
Williams, William           CT          D                       CO(b)
Williamson, Hu              NC          C                       PR(f,n)DE(j)
Wilson, James               PA          D/C     Ch. Justice*    EP(a)PR(e,n)DE(j)
Witherspoon, Jonothan       NJ          D/A     Minister        PR(c)(e)
Wolcott, Oliver             CT          D/A                     CO(b)
Wythe, George               VA          D                       EP(j)

______________________________________________________________________________

DOCUMENT

A = Articles of Confederation
D = Declaration of Independence
C = United States Constitution

AFFILIATION

CE = Church of England
CO = Congregationalist
DE = Deist
EP = Episcopalian
HU = Huguanot
LU = Lutheran
ME = Methodist
QU = Quaker
PR = Presbyterian
PT = Protestant
RC = Roman Catholic
TH = Theist
UK = Unknown
UN = Unitarian

REFERENCES

a = 1995 Information Please Almanac
b = The Congregationalist Library
c = Presbyterian Historical Society
d = U.S. Catholic Historical Society
e = Presbyterian Church, USA
f = North Carolina State Library
g = United Methodist Church
h = Lutheram
i = Memoirs & Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson, IV, p.512
j = A Worthy Company: Brief Lives of the Framers of the United States
    Constitution, M. E. Bradford
k = Georgia Public Library Service
l = Dictionary of American Biography (1936)
m = A History of Delaware Through its Governors 1776-1984 by Roger A. Martin
n = Library of Congress
o = Georgia Historial Society


*
Served without being confirmed by the Senate

47 posted on 09/06/2002 7:24:43 AM PDT by gdani
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To: Enemy Of The State
For a people to be self-governing, they must be capable of self-government. This by its very nature requires a trained, sensitive conscience.

There is no possibility of liberty or self-government without a critical mass of moral people. And the moral inheritance of a people must be rebuilt, and reestablished in each generation or it is lost. And with it, liberty itself.

Despite the cliche that Chritianity is the source of intolerance and bigotry, the truth is quite the opposite. Bigotry and intolerance are endemic in the world, they are the natural state of humanity.

It is not an accident that the most advanced countries are the most free, and that the most free all have their ideological roots in the judeo-christian tradition.

And those few countries that have traded collective christianity for individual christianity are more free, and more advanced, yet. That is because the drive for individual liberty is natural to people who insist on obeying their own individual conscience. You cannot separate individual liberty from the exercise of individual conscience.

The fear of some kind of Christian theocracy is a fear of something that does not exist. Mass murder, slavery, oppression, misery and poverty, exist in coutries that have rejected objective morality and individual liberty. They do not exist in those countries that have embraced objective morality and individual liberty.
48 posted on 09/06/2002 9:20:11 AM PDT by marron
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To: txzman
Only about 60% of the population of Israel is Jewish yet without hesitation Israel is called a Jewish State.The percentages of Christians in Americda is much higher.
49 posted on 09/06/2002 9:25:23 AM PDT by moteineye
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To: onedoug
fyi ping
50 posted on 09/06/2002 9:29:59 AM PDT by windcliff
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