What was the religious beliefs of America’s founding fathers?
What did they Really write about religion?
Many Americans feel we should teach the religious views of our founding fathers in public schools. I assume our public schools would not knowingly give students false or biased information. Am I right in assuming this?
I continually read opinions in newspapers of how our Judea Christian Founding Fathers would have objected to the way we are doing things. Opinion writers got their information from ministers who read quotations from the writings of Jefferson, Adams, and Madison in religious books. I read the same words in books I purchased, containing copies of the complete original letters they wrote. I would like to add one more to the minister's list.
Jefferson wrote "Jesus-His parentage was obscure; His condition, Poor; his education nil, his natural endowments Great, his life correct, and innocent; he was meek, benevolent, patient.
That is sure a lot of praise for Jesus from Jefferson. Doesn't this make Jefferson, if not, an evangelist, at least a bible loving, Hell fearing, church going, strong, born again, believer in Jesus?
This same Jefferson letter goes on with these words "The doctrines which he (Jesus) really delivered were defective as a whole, and fragment only of what he did deliver have come to us, mutilated, misstated, and often unintelligible. They have been still more disfigured by the corruption of schematizing followers."
In another letter he writes of cutting up a bible to get verses "easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. He wrote "on faith as the (demoralizing dogma) of Calvin. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, are nothing. That faith is everything, and the more incomprehensible a proposition, the more merit in its faith. That reason in religion is of unlawful use." He wrote "you are Astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis, as the earth does, should have stopped, should by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution and that without a second general Prostration."
In another letter Jefferson writes "I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular Superstitions of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men women and children since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth."
A Christian will no ways, no how, call the word of Jesus defective as a whole or the bible a dunghill or that words of Jesus came to us in the bible mutilated, misstated and often unintelligible. Christians won't call Christianity a superstition, faith demoralizing dogma or write you are
Astronomer enough to know the world did not stop on its axis as the bible states.
When you ask Christians about the world suddenly stopping on its axis, the reply is always "God can do anything and that is it."
Where did you and many others get their information on Jefferson’s beliefs? It was from fundamentalist Christian writers. Writers who searched through the same original letters I have and knowingly took statements out of context and deliberately printed lies. They knew and I know it's a lie to call Jefferson, one of our founding fathers a Christian.
The first six presidents were deists we would call Secular Humanist or Atheist today.
As a child I read about communist and how they would deliberately write lies, take things out of context and print only the communist side of issues, thus keeping the average person dumb. I found this extremely revolting and immoral. I hate lies and liars!
Now I read opinion articles in newspapers and of senators implying our country was founded on Christianity. They print or say our founding fathers were Christian. I find this equally revolting and for the same reasons.
Jefferson wrote "There is not a truth existing which I fear . . . or would wish unknown to the whole world."
I don't care how many people believe a lie, or if senators and most of the people believe a lie; It's still a lie. You should not imply that our founding fathers were Christian. It is a lie It’s not moral or right even if you think lying will spread Christianity and make this a better world.
Moviemaker Ken Burns wrote "Jefferson is in my estimation, the Man of the Millennium. Here's why:"
"FIRST AND FOREMOST, Jefferson is the author of the most important freedoms that much of humankind (but not all) takes for granted. Most notably, be articulated in a single brilliant sentence our notion of political freedom -- that all men were created equal; that we have, as God-given rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is the American creed, and he wrote it. At every moment in our national life, we habitually measure the progress of human events against that one eternal declaration. We have exported that idea, in our most favorable balance of trade, to the rest of the world.
Jefferson also is an author of our religious freedom, the absolutely essential and often misunderstood separation of church and state. For the first time in history, in his Virginia Statutes, he codified into law a magnificent wall to keep religion from direct involvement in the mechanics of politics. No longer would religious doctrine involve itself with the organization and, most important, administration of our government. What he insisted we do -- and it must be remembered this went against the grain and impulse of the entire history of the world -- was to separate our political dealings from our collective religious beliefs and instincts. That was revolutionary.
Though we still debate the degree of that separation, its importance is undeniable and, for most Americans, critical to our freedom as citizens and spiritual beings. Many scholars, in fact, hold that singular accomplishment, as Jefferson's most important -- even greater than the individual rights set forth and implied in the Declaration of Independence.
As the founder of the University of Virginia, the first college in history not associated with a church, Jefferson showed us all the way toward intellectual freedom. He insisted that the human mind be allowed to grow free, unfettered and uncoerced by the dogma of a particular church.
Finally, Jefferson is in many ways the author of our personal freedom, the author of our ability to dream the American dream of advancement.
Mark Twain summed up our founding fathers real beliefs best when he wrote "If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be -a Christian.
Ralph E. Reed Jr. Head of the Christian Coalition Writes Apart from Israel, America is the most religious nation in the history of the world. America has the highest rate of murder, robbery, rape, children having babies out of wedlock. The highest rate of divorce, of people in prison and I could go on and on. This proves religious training increases immorality.
The Bible tells us "By their fruits ye shall know them" In America, and most other very religious countries, religious training is not producing moral people.
I don’t want any more of what Hitler gave the world after putting Christian prayer in all public schools.
"Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against the most monstrous absurdities, and like a ship without a rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck." (Thomas Jefferson--letter to James Smith, a Unitarian minister, Dec. 8, 1822.)
I am not surprised you didn’t know the truth. You were not taught it in a public School.
"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 Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."—Jefferson’s letter to John Adams, April II, 1823
"On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind."—Jefferson’s letter to Archibald Gary, 1816
"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."—letter to Horatio Gates Spafford, March 17, 1814
"...I am not afraid of the priests. They have tried upon me all their various batteries, of pious whining, hypocritical canting, lying and slandering, without being able to give me one moment of pain."—letter to Horatio Gates Spafford, 1816
"I promised you a letter on Christianity, which I have not forgotten. . . . The clergy [had] a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity throughout the United States; and as every sect believes its own form
1. Fawn M. Brodie, Thomas Jefferson: An Intimate History (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1974), p. 55.
Thomas Jefferson wrote "the word of Jesus are defective as a whole, the bible is a dunghill. The words of Jesus came to us in the bible mutilated, misstated and often unintelligible. He called Christianity a superstition, faith demoralizing dogma and you are Astronomer enough to know the world did not stop on its axis as the bible states.
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