Magna Carta, Jefferson and common Law.

Brian37
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Magna Carta, Jefferson and common Law.

Is Positive Atheism's website taking Jefferson's quote "Christianity is not, nor ever was part of common law" out of context?

Here is the entire letter from the following website.

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/jefferson_cooper.html

Here is the quote from Positive Atheism's website.

"Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.
-- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Thomas Cooper.1814

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/qframe.htm

 

 

 

 

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Brian37
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Then we have this quote from

Then we have this quote from George Washington from Positive Atheism:

http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/qframe.htm

I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta of our country.
-- George Washington, responding to a group of clergymen who complained that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ, in 1789,

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian37
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My computer is acting funky,

My computer is acting funky, and I cant correct the spelling in the title.

In any case.

My understanding of Jefferson's letter is that although Christianity picked up on the common law of the Saxons the claim that Christianity invented common law is absurd. At least that is what I think he is saying.

So how does that jive with Washington's quote?

My point is that I have no problem with people claiming that religious people were involved in writing our Constitution. However I have a problem with people conflating that to it being ripped out of the bible.

Could anyone give me their take on it?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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There's also the Treaty of

There's also the Treaty of Tripoli that states...

Quote:
Art. 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

You can see the entire document at...

http://www.stephenjaygould.org/ctrl/treaty_tripoli.html

 

Hope that helps Brian

 

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Brian37
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You can get the full text

You can get the full text anywhere just about, thats not my issue. Funny thing, that site you quoted IS where I got the full text from.

My problem is how does Jefferson's letter match up, if at all, to Washington's quote.

I was trying to be sure I wasn't taking Jefferson's letter out of context.

BUT. "Christianity is not, nor ever was part of the common law". I want to be sure that Jefferson IS saying what I think he is saying, in that the Constitution, government and it's laws are common law and Christianity is not part of it. AND if that is the case, how does that relate to Washington's quote?

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
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Brian,I think that

Brian,

I think that Washington and Jefferson were expressing their individual beliefs about that issue.

Jefferson was very involved with the writing of the Constitution and the legal "forming" of America through various documents. George Washington was no where near as involved, based on what I've read, although he did participate to a limited degree after the Revolutionary war was over.

I would give greater weight concerning the place of religion in America's government to Jefferson based on his vastly greater participation in the creation of America's founding documents.

 

Respectfully,
Lenny

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What Jefferson is saying is

What Jefferson is saying is that the common law of Britain never drew its authority from Christianity or made Christianity part of the law. The roots of common law can be traced back to times before Christianity arrived in the British Isles. The establishment of the Anglican church as the state church of England was done by royal decree and is therefore not a matter of common law.

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