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Message started by Freemasonry.Watch on Sep 27th, 2013 at 5:53pm
Title: Thomas Jefferson and Religion
Post by Freemasonry.Watch on Sep 27th, 2013 at 5:53pm
Thomas Jefferson and Religion
The religious views of Thomas Jefferson diverged widely from the orthodox Christianity of his day. Throughout his life Jefferson was intensely interested in theology, religious studies, and morality. Jefferson was most closely connected with Unitarianism and the religious philosophy of Christian deism.
As the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, Jefferson articulated a statement about human rights that most Americans regard as nearly sacred. While not necessarily being adverse to such things as affirming the people's "acknowledging and adoring an overruling providence" (as in his First Inaugural Address), and expressing the need for "the favor of that Being in whose hands we are, who led our fathers, as Israel of old" in his second inauguration, yet, together with James Madison, Jefferson carried on a long and successful campaign against state financial support of churches in Virginia. It is Jefferson who created the phrase "wall of separation between church and state" in his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists of Connecticut. During his 1800 campaign for the presidency, Jefferson had to contend with critics who argued that he was unfit to hold office because he did not have orthodox religious beliefs.
Jefferson cut and pasted pieces of the New Testament together to compose The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (the "Jefferson Bible"), which excluded any miracles by Jesus and stressed his moral message. Though he often expressed his opposition to clergy and to Christian doctrines, Jefferson repeatedly expressed his belief in a deistic god and his admiration for Jesus as a moral teacher. Opposed to Calvinism, Trinitarianism, and what he identified as Platonic elements in Christianity, in private letters Jefferson variously refers to himself as "Christian" (1803), "a sect by myself" (1819), an "Epicurean"
Title: Re: Thomas Jefferson and Religion
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