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Thomas Jefferson and religion - Your Views?

  1. pisean282311 profile image58
    pisean282311posted 6 years ago

    Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason than of blindfolded fear. ... Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others which it will procure for you.

    - Thomas Jefferson

    1. Castlepaloma profile image22
      Castlepalomaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      A US president cannot declare he is an Atheist. You swear on a Bible and take an oath. None have admitted publically to date they were Atheists. You and I can assume Jefferson was an atheist but the majority portion of the US would not allow it. One reason is the word God, was not written in the constitution and it has been held up to today.

      The fear of God has been too great. Any race has a better chance to be US President than an atheist. I hope that will change.

      Being non bias

      1. pisean282311 profile image58
        pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        interesting ...

      2. wyanjen profile image89
        wyanjenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Neither T. Roosevelt and Adams swore on a bible. Adams used a book of law actually. There is no law requiring the use of the bible or the phrase "so help me god."

        Just as today, I am not required to swear an oath in court.

        Jefferson surely did declare himself an atheist. He edited the bible, deleting every reference to god or any supernatural myth.

        You are confusing politics with belief. I think you'd be quite surprised to know how many presidents did not actually believe in god. America is not a christian nation. However, when you are courting votes, it's a good practice to keep a minority view quiet.

        Official references to god - like on money - really didn't happen in this nation until the cold war. It's purely propaganda.

        1. pisean282311 profile image58
          pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          well so you mean to say religion of president is non issue?..

          1. wyanjen profile image89
            wyanjenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            In a political sense, it is. In terms of getting elected. Kennedy had an issue because he was Catholic - can you imagine that he would have been elected at all, if he was an atheist?

        2. thisisoli profile image61
          thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Yep, the money, 'in god we trust' swearing on the bible in court were nearly all brought in to mainstream use during the cold war.

        3. Castlepaloma profile image22
          Castlepalomaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          It is uncertain how many Presidents used a Bible or added the words "So help me God" at the end of the oath, or in their acceptance of the oath, as neither is required by law; unlike many other federal oaths which do include the phrase "So help me God."[29] There is currently debate as to whether or not George Washington, the first president, added the phrase to his acceptance of the oath. All contemporary sources fail to mention Washington as adding a religious codicil to his acceptance.[30]

          The historical debate over who first used "So help me God," is marred by ignoring the two forms of giving the oath

          1. Bonxboy profile image59
            Bonxboyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            The above Wikipedia snippet is somewhat misleading.

            Washington did not not use a bible at his 2nd inauguration. Andrew Jackson was the next president known to have used a bible. Franklin Pierce affirmed his oath.  He may have used a Bible, or more likely a book of the law.  As stated, Theodore Roosevelt did not use a Bible, but we also have Calvin Coolidge who did not place his hand on the Bible, which was nearby; Rutherford B. Hayes who had no Bible at his private ceremony; JFK who did not place his hand on the Bible, which rested on the podium; LBJ who placed his hand on a Catholic missal (Bible not available); and Obama, who omitted a Bible at his do-over ceremony with Chief Justice Roberts.

            There is no debate regarding the fact that there is no firsthand account describing GW as having added anything to the presidential oath. In addition, if one does the research, most presidents are not known to have added "So help me God." The notion that Washington initiated the traditioin of adding those four words to the  presidential oath is another cold war stunt.

      3. lady_love158 profile image60
        lady_love158posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Actually there is no requirement to swear on the bible, that's a choice those elected to office make on their own.

        Thomas Jefferson regularly attended services which were held in the capital on Sundays. The claim that Jefferson was an atheist is just not true.

        1. thisisoli profile image61
          thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Jefferson attended services and followed the Christian values however even a little bit of research in to his past life will show you that his interest in religion stopped at the values behind it.  He did indeed rewrite the bible to remove all references of divinity and supernatural happenings, including god himself.

          So help me god is actually a phrase that was in common usage by the populace, it's drifting in to official functions is no conundrum.

          1. Bonxboy profile image59
            Bonxboyposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            It is true that  adding "So help me God" to an oath was common practice during the colonial era. It was a British requirement during that period. The revolution brought an abrupt change in attitude towards national oaths administered outside of the courtroom.

            Luther Martin, an early dropout delegate to the Constitutional Convention presided over by Washington, recalled with a hint of sarcasm:
            "The part of the system which provides, that no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States, was adopted by a great majority of the convention, and without much debate; however, there were some members [like himself] so unfashionable as to think, that a belief of the existence of a Deity, and of a state of future rewards and punishments would be some security for the good conduct of our rulers, and that, in a Christian country, it would be at least decent to hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity or paganism."

            The "common practice" of adding "So help me God" to federal oaths for other than the president got a second breath only with the outbreak of the Civil War.

        2. pisean282311 profile image58
          pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

          jefferson was called infidel when he ran for election...but jefferson was not atheist ...he didnt believe in miracles of christ and believed that christ was great moral teacher...

    2. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      My views?

      I see that Jefferson labeled "reason" as an entity.  Yet was unsure of the existence of God Himself.  He was, therefore, lacking in spiritual insight and even his reasoning was flawed because of that acceptance of one thing but not the other.
      However, he at least doesn't sound like a die-hard atheist.  Maybe it was 'cause he was playing politics, as people here have suggested.  And in that sense, he made an attempt to lead people away from God in a way.  I'd say he was probably sorry for that later on!  Because we all meet our Maker eventually.

      And that quote about questioning with boldness even the existence of a God......Glenn Beck uses that.  And while Beck claims to be a Believer, he's a Mormon.  A Mormon trying to do the job that some of our bold Christian Pastors should be doing!  This actually puts the Pastors to shame, the fact that Beck attempts to preach what they should be preaching.  Because a Christian doesn't promote questioning the existence of God;  for us, (and for everyone, even though they don't admit it) it is a FACT.   In this regard, and in his softness about political Parties, I find Beck to be making use of political correctness himself.   But I agree with his views most of the time.

      1. wyanjen profile image89
        wyanjenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Jefferson had great respect for the concept of separation of church and state.

        He godless bible was not published for a full century because he - and his surviving family - did not want it to go public.
        He felt that as a politician, his personal religious views must be kept from the public eye in order to maintain that separation.

        The last thing Jefferson did was ever to attempt to lead people away from god. Unlike today's god-whore politicians, who use religion as a tool to get votes, the founding fathers did not go about spouting biblical morality as a basis for American law.

  2. thisisoli profile image61
    thisisoliposted 6 years ago

    A lot of religious aspects in US policies are fairly recent additions.  Your freedom of religion caused a lot of the fringe religions who were being persecuted in Europe by mainstream religions to flee to America. 

    The downside of this is that many offshoots of Christianity in America now have a fairly strong hold over communities, and therefore a hold over politics (Whether there is meant to be or not).

    America was not founded on religion, but it was founded WITH freedom of religion, all religions, it was freedom to believe what you want.  It was never intended to cause religion to have a viewpoint in US politics.  And indeed a lot of the research I have done on US presidents (in preparing to write my hubs on US presidents) has shown me a huge amount of concern from the early US presidents that religion would one day have an effect on the governance of the country.

    The good news is that large communities destroy religion.  As America grows and more out of the way towns turn in to small cities, you will see a drop in religion.  This has been shown all over the world, as education and population density increase, religion decreases.

    The bad news is that in the meantime we have incidents such as the Texas state education board writing Jefferson and other prominent US figures in history out of the history books because of their views on religion.  This insanity shows how some religious nuts still control power and politics in the US today, and why things do need to change to protect the American public from being shunned in to ignorance.

    1. pisean282311 profile image58
      pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      writing jefferson out?...now that is ridiculous...he was one of greatest thinkers ever lived...

      1. thisisoli profile image61
        thisisoliposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Google it, there was a huge uproar over it. I actually attended a rally at the State Capitol a few weeks after I arrived in the US.

        The real stupid thing about it all is that now the Texas state has paid a huge amount of money to get the history books reprinted and distributed, and it is all going to be turned around when these imbeciles get voted out, so even more history books will need to be corrected and reprinted again.

        The worst part is that there will be inaccurate history books floating around for years to come.

        1. Stump Parrish profile image59
          Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          Have you ever googled the home schooling courses that are available? 95% of them look like they were copied from the Wallbuilders site. If you want to know what they are trying to force into public schools look at the version of history they are pushing down the throats of young children. Out right lies are the norm. If they don't believe it, it never happened and that's not the way to teach our children anything. Since they can't handle the truth and think for themselves they're convinced no one can. It's working to, look at how quickly America slipped in the world rankings of education and knowledge. Foreign students know more about American history than Americans do.

          1. profile image0
            Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            What version of history are they "trying to push down the throats of young children"?

            1. Stump Parrish profile image59
              Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              The Christian version of history. You know the one where we are founded as a christian nation and that evolution is a myth. it's the one where history is rewritten by people like the good folks at the Wallbuilders site. The version that has been approved in Texas. This is the version of history that is being forced upon the minds of all children in this country. Historical facts that disagree with the religious view of how this country was forged are no longer considered important. Are you familiar with the version that ignores fact and promotes opinion. Science is another subject that has benefitted lately from rewritting. Lets ignore facts and simply teach the kids what we as unschooled undereducated people feel should be presented as fact. It is saddening that a group of religious conservatives feel they know more about a subject than the people who have spent a lifetime learning about it. Why bother sending our teachers to college to prepare for a carreer in teaching. We can simply hand them a bible and ask them to come up with something that makes sense to and is acceptable to the majority of christians out there. If you have any additional questions you can google home shcooling cirriculum and find all the religious propoganda you could ever desire. I'm sure you agree that the earth is only 6000 years old and that the sun still revolves around the flat planet earth. This is what christian conservative feel we should teach as facts. It doesn't have to make sense it only has to make them feel all warm and fuzzy. Denying the truth is a right each individual has. Teaching these lies to children is tantamount to a crime.

              1. wyanjen profile image89
                wyanjenposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                agreed

              2. profile image0
                Brenda Durhamposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Now now.  I don't know any Christians, actually anyone at all, who believes the earth is flat.

                Seems to me that many unBelievers have such a bias against Christians that they accuse us of everything they can drum up.

                But the really odd thing is that unBelievers even have the guts to call right, wrong and wrong, right.  Must be that "righteous wind" (actually an unrighteous one) that Obama says is behind his back.   Self-righteousness seems to have been wrested from the hands of the Pharisees and claimed by the liberals! lol   And little do they know (or do they?) what they've gotten themselves into....

                1. Castlepaloma profile image22
                  Castlepalomaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  The Bible says:  The Earth is flat! The flat Earth is established and can never move?!  The Sun hurries back to where it rises
                  At one time most people thought the world was flat Columbus proved them wrong  .

                  Today half of the USA thinks the world is under 10,000 years old, when most of the people of this world do not.

                  There is much evidence to support the arts, culture and civilization dating back 30,000 years ago. That will change soon enough.

                  What next Genius?

                  1. Stump Parrish profile image59
                    Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    It's amazing the number of christians who have no clue what's in the book that they feel we should all base our existence on. Of course the possiblity exists that they do understand the idiotic plan they have for mankind and simply hope the rest of humanity is just as ignorant as their are.

                  2. pisean282311 profile image58
                    pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    Today half of the USA thinks the world is under 10,000 years old?...this can't be true..i guess 2% might be thinking that way...

  3. thisisoli profile image61
    thisisoliposted 6 years ago

    For the record though many of the early presidents and founding figures in US history may have expressed a lot of atheist views, however many of them still expressed how Christian values were important. i'm not defending Christianity I just like to be fair in what I say.

    1. Stump Parrish profile image59
      Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      I can agree with you on this and will further state that they knew enough about religion to make quite clear it had no place in our government. They felt that religion was between a person and their god. Religion of late has tried to stick it's nose in every aspect of every persons life. Not quite what they had in mind. If more people today had recent memory of what religion did to the world prior to America being ripped from the hands and hearts of the natives, they wouldn't be quite so anxious to take control of this country. No my bad, I forgot their god told them they're morally superior beings and prove this by stating their belief in this god is absolute proof he exists and that they get to be kings for awhile.

      1. pisean282311 profile image58
        pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        lol

  4. kess profile image61
    kessposted 6 years ago

    no president can be an out spoken atheist simply because he wont be voted in.

    democracy is a popularity game instituted and controlled by the invisible false god. religion is his right hand man. and atheism is just a part of his religious system.

    religion and politics are one and the same, though they may disagree but only in a limted sense.

    1. pisean282311 profile image58
      pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

      interesting comments..."religion and politics are one and the same" ..so true..

  5. profile image61
    exorterposted 6 years ago

    people running for election must be voted in by the majority of the people, whatever their religion, or lack of, they convince the people , they will do better at the job. I have heard very few people state their beliefs during the election process

    1. Druid Dude profile image60
      Druid Dudeposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      That is really odd. Been To the T.J. Mem in DC? Engraved on the walls inside are supposed to be his words. God this, God that, and God, the other thing. Who is the real Thomas Jefferson, please stand up. I smell the foul odor of revisionism.

      1. pisean282311 profile image58
        pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

        jefferson surely believed in god but not religious god...since in those days belief in god was restricted to those believing in book version of god only...he was called infidel...

        1. Stump Parrish profile image59
          Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

          I don't know if Jefferson was a religious man or not as you can find evidence to support either stance. I am however quite sure of how the religious people in America view him. He was so against religioncontrolling government that he is being written out of the christian approved text books due to his stance against them aquiring the same power over our government that the Church of England wielded against the citizens of that country, prior to the creation of America. He knew that if any church was given that much perceived or actual power again, they would be acting just like present day christians are acting, Holier than thou and me. Willing to sacrifice any and all rights all of us possess to advance their cause. That cause is to become the sole decider of who get the right, to have any rights.

          1. pisean282311 profile image58
            pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

            @stump in end jefferson's thought would prevail...his thoughts are right way to move forward...in today's world text book things would happen...but as we become  more global , religion taking back seat is natural way...yes insecure voices would make noise but in end religion would take back seat because that is its actual place..that is in private domain...

            1. Stump Parrish profile image59
              Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

              pisean, I agree with you about the eventual decline of religion. I also freely admit that several of our founding fathers were christians and religious people. I also accept that they had enough sense to keep god out of government. Most people today forget and or ignore that there was no dominate sect of christianity at the time of our countries founding. Christians were still killing other christians based on a slightly different part of the basic christian beliefs. Every person alive back then was familiar with what happened when the church wields total control over a population. They wanted no part of it. There are current examples of what happens when religion is master of a country. All christians condemn the actions of the islamic controlled countries that permit a person to be killed based on a religious belief. They actually think this type of behavior won't become common place in America if the church takes control. Sorry but the lunatics that are killing people in god's name will feel they have been given free reign to do what turns them on. They are tolerated now and will become the radical sects that are causing so much trouble in Iraq, ect. They will be the true christians in their mind also.

          2. Stump Parrish profile image59
            Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

            Oh yea, please don't tell me that God is the only one who decides. I have yet to see God standing at a funeral holding a sign that says he hates America, only christians. I haven't come across any pictures or eyewitness acconts of god shooting an abortion doctor, or picketing an abortion clinic, only christians.

            Please don't use the worn out line that these christians aren't true christians. If they are wearing the christian uniform and identification badge, they are christians just like all other's who claim to be are. I am quickly tiring of hearing the lunatics dismissed as untrue christians by the so called, true christians. If you don't want to be associated with them, you need to pick a new name for your club and stop accepting their help in the voting booths. Considering the christian veiw of women as second class citizens, I'll offer this suggestion...The He-Man Woman Haters Club.

            I notice that when there is a christian victory in politics, no christian stands up and declares they can't accept this ill gotten control over the general population. There is no hestitation in accepting this with the help of the non christian, christian. The non-christian, christian is thanked for their vote along with the true christian, christian.

            1. pisean282311 profile image58
              pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

              whom are you talking to stump?

              1. Stump Parrish profile image59
                Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                Anyone who will listen, lol. My statements are directed at the general population in most cases. Just expressing the ramblings of a tormented mind.

                1. pisean282311 profile image58
                  pisean282311posted 6 years ago in reply to this

                  well i understand stump...

                  1. Stump Parrish profile image59
                    Stump Parrishposted 6 years ago in reply to this

                    I think my IP caught the same bug Earnest did. I am waiting for a tech to show up and allow me to stay on for more than 5 minutes. Been a frustrating week end to say the least..

      2. Daniel Carter profile image90
        Daniel Carterposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        Jefferson was "officially" a deist. The most prevalent definition of that term is that he believed in something, most likely a god, who created the universe and everything in it, based on rational information and knowledge. However, a deist does not believe in revelation or inspiration, a deist relies on reason.

        And therefore, using reason, Jefferson also had doubts about there being any god at all. He could see it both ways, and therefore, there are quotes that show his unsureness on the subject. Based on rational thought, it becomes easier to see this rather duplicitous exposé of Jefferson.

        If you take a look at several of the founding fathers, you see very similar evidence among some. Benjamin Franklin often spoke of God, but abhorred organized religion. But again, there is evidence that he too, had doubts throughout his life as to the existence of a god. It was simply an unanswered question to these men. They believed they were a part of something greater than themselves, and there was no other truly rational evidence for more than that. But that evidence did not have to necessarily mean there is a god, only something greater than themselves, with the wonders of the universe as their evidence.

        I think these men were remarkably aware of who they are and their place in the universe, unlike many of us. They did not demand an answer to the question of whether or not there is or isn't a god.

        At least these are my findings through my own readings and studies.

  6. IntimatEvolution profile image84
    IntimatEvolutionposted 6 years ago

    It is a known fact that Thomas Jefferson is the most quoted US President. 

    Which tells me there is a lot of misinterpretations of his words.  That's my view.

    1. Castlepaloma profile image22
      Castlepalomaposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Do you wonder if he was a man of God.

      Why is the word God, not written in the constitution and it has been held up to today.

      1. IntimatEvolution profile image84
        IntimatEvolutionposted 6 years ago in reply to this

        To me, I don't care if he was or wasn't.  God has no place in government.

  7. pylos26 profile image78
    pylos26posted 6 years ago

    Daniel...don't forget Thomas Paine.
    google him sometimes,
    especially his "The age of Reason".

    1. IntimatEvolution profile image84
      IntimatEvolutionposted 6 years ago in reply to this

      Have you ever read that?

      I did quite a while back. 

      I love his "I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy."

      and..........,

          "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."

      As a Christian I strongly support this theoretical approach to Christianity. Ironically, Teddy Roosevelt referred to Thomas Paine as a "filthy little atheist." Which I didn't know until I actually read a summary on the Age of Reason.  Because his views so closely matched my own, I couldn't figure out what the book was about.  I didn't see his views as a attack on the Protestant church, Christianity or Atheist in anyway.  However, his selfish rantings gained him notoriety during his time, and essentially he was also labeled as a great free thinker. 

      Which told me just how far, we Americans have really come. His worries, is why God has no place in government.

 
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