Thomas Jefferson was not Christian

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Thomas Jefferson was not Christian
Thomas Jefferson

Here are some quotes. He was likely a deist or atheist.

“The Christian God is a being of terrific character – cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.”

"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man."

"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 political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. " – Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition 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 the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth." –Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.

"Christianity...(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man. ...Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus."

"The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites."

"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."

"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 Minerva 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

"Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies."

"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

I respect the founding fathers of the United States of America, especially for trying their best to try and separate church and state.

I am disgusted when Christians try to claim that the United States was created as an exclusively Christian country with Christian values. It's funny how they don't mention that slavery is also a Christian value because both Jesus and God endorse slavery.


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Most of the founding fathers

Most of the founding fathers were not Christian.  The notion that they were, is a lie and just another example of how modern Christians twists the facts to suit their own agenda.


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According to my rather

According to my rather limited knowledge, Thomas Jefferson considered himself a deist, not an atheist.

There's a radio show whose website I was involved in making that has an episode discussing this. Episode 622 (direct MP3 link, right click to save,) on The Thomas Jefferson Hour that discusses religion (and, if I remember correctly, specifically Mr. Jefferson's.) The show format is based around "noted humanities scholar" Clay Jenkinson portraying Thomas Jefferson in an interview/discussion format. At any rate, just a bit of information on Jefferson that I thought you might find useful or, at the very least, interesting.

Hopefully I'm remembering the right episode of the show. Eye-wink

 


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Thomas Jefferson was so a

Thomas Jefferson was so a christian! I don't care what the evidence says! He and all those constitution guys were all very good christians, how else could our nation be founded on christian principles?!

You know what else Abe Lincoln was a christian too! As a matter of fact he even taught himself to read with the bible!!

 

Ack sorry...flashback to christian days. 

Ya know its kinda funny, I was talking to my daughter and the topic of early presidents came up, and I mentioned that Lincoln was an atheist, and that he taught himself to read with the bible. She says "thats probably why he was an atheist"...rofl I about died

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
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In this quote, unless he was

In this quote, unless he was referring to the god of the bible, Jefferson appears to be more atheist than deist:

“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 blindfolded fear.”


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noor wrote: In this quote,

noor wrote:
In this quote, unless he was referring to the god of the bible, Jefferson appears to be more atheist than deist:

“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 blindfolded fear.”

I've considered that too, and perhaps he was, but I'm just not prepared to go so far as to refer to him as an atheist. Most of what he put to paper (and I have read) would indicate that he was deistic.

What matters more to me is not his theistic position, but his thoughtfulness.

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
~ Richard Dawkins


zarathustra
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At any rate, I don't think

At any rate, I don't think a deist god cares what you do in the bedroom or if you pray to him at school.

Perhaps the best evidence that Jefferson was a christian is that he held slaves...and slept with them.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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I have heard that He made

I have heard that He made his own bible with any references to jesus's divinity removed. He also kept copies of other religious texts, such as the koran that the muslim congressman whose name I forgot was sworn in with.

The stories in the bible are usually worth reading as pieces of literature and examples of morals, if nothing else. He most likely saw the books in the same way.


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I've heard that as well. 

I've heard that as well.  At least, I think it was Thomas Jefferson that made his own edited version of the Bible. I wonder if his Bible was ever published elsewhere.

And yea, I've been required to read stories of the Bible in literature classes, mainly Job and the Genesis story of creation along with other cultures' creation stories. I know Job was coupled with Gilgamesh and The Odyssey in the ancient literature portion of the class.

Flying Spaghetti Monster -- Great Almighty God? Or GREATEST Almighty God?


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It has been published and

It has been published and can be purchased on Amazon. It's basically a combination of the Gospels, attempting to make it into a coherent narrative. It can be viewed here.


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Cool.  Thanks, Eggplant.

Cool.  Thanks, Eggplant.

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It bothers me that so much

It bothers me that so much effort is wasted discussing the religious affiliations, if any, of our founders.

 All that matters is the documents they left behind, the documents which establish the US as a nation - namely the Declaration and the Constitution.

Try as you may, you won't find any reference to any specific God, Jesus Christ, tithing the church, the 10 Commandments, Christianity or any other religion.

There is a reason for that.

Regardless of the beliefs our founders may have held personally, they were wise enough to establish this nation as a secular one - a nation that would give no favoritism to any religion, a nation that would not be ruled by dogma. Our founders FLED that sort of system, they wanted no part of it.

 That is all that really matters. If I could go back in time just to shake their hands, I would. They understood the dangers of combining church and state from experience, and they learned from that experience.

In the end, regardless of their beliefs and pressure to do otherwise, they did the right thing - and all of us who live in this nation they established reap the rewards of that unselfish and freethinking mind set.

Why does it matter if Jefferson, Franklin, Paine, Madison, etc were Christian or not when the documents they signed and which establish us as a Nation makes it irrelevent?

This is the lesson, and sadly more than 250 years later few of us have learned it.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Krehlic
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Strangely enough, I learned

Strangely enough, I learned about our founding fathers' deistic beliefs in a private Christian high school.

Flying Spaghetti Monster -- Great Almighty God? Or GREATEST Almighty God?


zarathustra
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I agree it ought not to

I agree it ought not to matter yellow # 5, whatever the founders' personal beliefs were, the freedoms defined in the constitution are not in deference to those beliefs.  It is simply a misfortune that too many politicians and lobbyists trot out the canard that the country was founded on "judeo-christian" values to inform the laws that we pass today.  (I actually started a thread a while back trying to determine what exactly the elusive judeo-christian values are.  Strangely noone responded).  While it would be just as worthy to argue that founders' "judeo-christian" beliefs are inadmissible for any current debate on public policy, I think it just as well to point out the fallacy of that claim, so that it may be finally laid to rest.

There are no theists on operating tables.

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