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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: Yet how The writings of thomas jefferson 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 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: 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: 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 presentation, 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.
It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. 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. Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?
Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. 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.
This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes. The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: 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 Cooper, February 10, 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.
Spafford, March 17, 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.
Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.
The artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there. Smith, August, 6, You say you are a Calvinist. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.
I consider the genuine not the imputed doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us. 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: 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. 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. 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.
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.
Weightman, June 24, in the last letter he penned Bibliography click on an underlined book title if you'd like to obtain it:the writings of thomas jefferson. definitive edition.
containing his autobiography, notes on virginia, parliamentary manual, official papers, messages and addresses, and other writings, official and private, now collected and published in their entirety for the first time. The papers of Thomas Jefferson (), diplomat, architect, scientist, and third president of the United States, held in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, consist of approximately 27, items, making it the largest collection of original Jefferson documents in the world.
Thomas Jefferson (April 13, [O.S. April 2] – July 4, ) was an American Founding Father who was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and later served as the third President of the United States from to Previously, he had been elected the second Vice President of the United States, serving under John .
The most comprehensive one-volume selection of Jefferson ever published. Contains the "Autobiography," "Notes on the State of Virginia," public and private papers, including the original and revised drafts of the Declaration of Independence, addresses, and letters. Online Library of Liberty.
A collection of scholarly works about individual liberty and free markets. A project of Liberty Fund, Inc. The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 11 by Richard Holland Johnston (English See more like this The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Volumes by Richard Holland Johnston (Engl Brand New.