Skip to comments.Jefferson/Madison/Franklin Hated God ! ?
Posted on 05/29/2005 3:58:59 PM PDT by Para-Ord.45
Having a go round with an atheist who flung this at me.
Can anyone expound on the overall context and meaning ?
I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved--the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"--John Adams in a letter to Thomas Jefferson
"But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legaends, hae been blended with both Jewish and Chiistian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed.--John Adams in a letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816, _2000_Years_of_Disbelief_, John A. Haught
"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." --John Adams
Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."--Benjamin Franklin, _Poor_Richard_, 1758
"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."--Benjamin Franklin, _Poor_Richard_, 1758
"I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it." -- Benjamin Franklin, _Articles_Of_Belief_and_Acts_of_Religion_, Nov.20, 1728
"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity." -- Benjamin Franklin , _Works_ Vol.VII, p.75
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects of Christianity, we shall find few that have not in turns been persecutors and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution on the Roman church, but preactied i on the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice both here (England) and in New England"--Benjamin Franklin, _Poor_Richard_, 1758
"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." -- Benjamin Franklin, _2000_Years_of_Disbelief_ by James A. Haught
"Religion I found to be without any tendency to inspire, promote, or confirm morality, serves principally to divide us and make us unfriendly to one another."--Benjamin Franklin
"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are serviley crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. 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 blind faith." -- Thomas Jefferson
"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 to the Danbury Baptist Association on Jan. 1, 1802, _The_Writings_of_Thomas_Jefferson_Memorial_Edition_, edited by Lipscomb and Bergh, 1903-04, 16:281
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. 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_, _Jefferson_the_President:_First_Term_1801-1805_, Dumas Malon, Boston: Little Brown and Company, 1970, p. 191
"...no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise.. affect their civil capacities."--Thomas Jefferson, _Statute_for_Religious_Freedom_, 1779, _The_Papers_of_Thomas_Jefferson_, edited by Julron P. Boyd, 1950, 2:546
If our founding fathers were deists, they weren't very strong ones. They attended church services, granted permission for gov't buildings to be used as churches, read the Bible, prayed, believed in heaven and hell, and much of their writing indicates they believed God does have a somewhat active role in worldy affairs. These are all things that are contrary to deist beliefs.
If Adams said this it would only demonstrate to disqualify his writings upon this matter. Consider: The Moslem Conquest (of India).
On the day he died, friends were soliciting money for his relief at a ceremony in the House of Representatives marking the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
His assets had dwindled considerably and he desperately needed cash.
Had he lived, however, he would not have been able to depend on this solicitation. According to John Quincy Adams, only four or five people at the ceremony contributed to Jefferson's relief.
One can find all kinds of slogans for bumper stickers and t-shirts in the writings of great men. But it proves nothing. One has to go to the source and read the context to understand what was really meant. Then place it within the broader context of the writer's life work.
The "gotcha" game of selective quotation is tedious and destructive.
But Jefferson, Franklin and Madison didn't "hate" God. They sometimes looked askance at religion but you won't find any evidnece of a "hatred" for God.
Most would agree with you and Jefferson. By "most" I mean the majority. But for me, I'll go with what The Christ/Messiah has said about Himself.
Hey, LS....see 26....were your ears burning?
Regarding Jeffersons "Bible" The scholars at the Univ of Virginia have this to say;"The so-called Jefferson Bible, more accurately "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth," is now the property of the United States National Museum at Washington, having been obtained by purchase in 1895."
"His original idea was to have the life and teachings of the Saviour, told in similar excerpts, prepared for the Indians, thinking this simple form would suit them best."
"it is interesting to note the title of the first compilation, which reads as follows:"THE PHILOSOPHY OF JESUS OF NAZARETH," Extracted from the account of his life and doctrines as given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Being an abridgment of the New Testament for the use of the Indians, unembarrassed with matters of fact or faith beyond the level of their comprehensions."
Source: Univ of Virginia
The following are quotes from a history book called "America's God and Country" by W. Federer, 1994.Jefferson Quotes:
"While in Philedelphia, Thomas Jefferson attended Christ Church."
"In Virginia Jefferson attended Bruton Parish Church (Episcopalian) in Williamsburg."
"His own bible a well worn, four-volume set, held preeminence in his personal library."
"In establishing the University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson not only encouraged the teaching of religion, but set aside a place inside the rotunda for chapel services"
"My views...are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus Himself. I am Christian in the only sense He wished anyone to be; sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others..."
-- Thomas Jefferson, April 21 1803 to Benjamin Rush
"A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am real Christian; that is to say a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Jan 9, 1816 letter to Charles Thomson.
"I hold the precepts of Jesus as delivered by Himself, to be the most pure, benevolent and sublime which have ever been preached to men..."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Nov 4, 1820 letter to Jared Sparks
"Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus." -- Thomas Jefferson, Writings, Vol XIII pg 377
"Had the doctrines of Jesus always been preached always as pure as they came from His lips the whole civilized world would now have been Christians."
-- Thomas Jefferson. Tyron Edwards New Dictionary of Thoughts- A Cyclopaedia of Quotations (1852) p.91
"I have always said, I always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands."
-- Thomas Jefferson. Tyron Edwards New Dictionary of Thoughts- A Cyclopaedia of Quotations (1852) p.46
- The doctrines of Jesus are simple and tend to the happiness of man.
- There is only One God and He is all perfect.
- There is a future state of rewards and punishment.
- To love God with all the heart and thy neighbor as thyself is the sum of all." These are the great points on which to reform the religion of Jews."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Life of Jefferson, by Stephen Abbot Northropp pp252-253
"No one sees with greater pleasure than myself the progress of reason and its advance towards rational Christianity, and my opinion is that if nothing had ever been added to what flowed from His lips, the whole world would at this day been Christian.... Had there never been a commentor there never would have been an infidel. I have little doubt that the whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator, and, I hope, to the pure doctrines of Jesus also."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Library of American Literature, Vol III pp 283-284 Stephen Abbot Northrop
"I am for freedom of Religion, and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendency of one sect over another..."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Catalog of the Library of T.J. Voll II Catherine Millard
"The Christian Religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity to its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind."
-- Thomas Jefferson, Mar 23rd, 1801 letter to Moses Robinson
"James Madison drank." I drink and don't think for a second that I don't believe in GOD!
Right, it's your morality that we must all abide by. We have no rights or power to elect reprsentatives who will pass laws in our towns and states that we agree with. We must be governed by a libertarian Washington DC. Federalism and local control over local issues? Pshaw, who needs that when we can be lorded over by a nice strong central power.
The funny thing is that everyone sees what they want to see. But there is only one reality, and that can be discovered only by reading large amounts of their writings as well as source info. They were not Libertarian in that they believed virtue mattered. They were not liberals in that they believed government was more of the problem than the answer. They were way more small gov't than most contemporary conservatives, but they probably believed in more local government on social issues than liberals or libertarians care to acknowledge. They believed in ordered liberty and natural law. They definitely believed in man's sin nature, and that is what made them so cautious of power concentrated in ANY hands.
Oh, and they believed in Intelligent Design. Ooooo, how "unconstituional" of them.
What makes you think that Christians who are Conservative want to impose their values on society?
I can think of no legislation that promotes Christianity by government fiat'.
I think most Christians want the government to leave THEM alone. A good example is Gay marriage. The constitutional amendment against Gay MArriage is not supported by me because I am a Christian. It is supported by me because I don't like some MAssachusetts Judge telling me what to think and denying the people a vote.
Did that make sense?
Follow any church you want to, just don't make me abide by your rules.
"Atheism is the death of hope, the suicide of the soul....."
not only did they sign it, they were the two mainly responsible for writing it...
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