was T Jefferson really a diest?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by LoVE, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. LoVE
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    LoVE Member

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    this seems to contradict that sentiment.

    Jefferson attended church at the Capitol while he was Vice President 5 and also throughout his presidency. The first Capitol church service that Jefferson attended as President was a service preached by Jefferson's friend, the Rev. John Leland, on January 3, 1802. 6 Significantly, Jefferson attended that Capitol church service just two days after he penned his famous letter containing the "wall of separation between church and state" metaphor.


    MANASSEH CUTLER
    U. S. Rep. Manasseh Cutler, who also attended church at the Capitol, recorded in his own diary that "He [Jefferson] and his family have constantly attended public worship in the Hall." 7 Mary Bayard Smith, another attendee at the Capitol services, confirmed: "Mr. Jefferson, during his whole administration, was a most regular attendant."
    WallBuilders - Issues and Articles - Church in the U.S. Capitol


    not only that but how many of you knew that the Whitehouse was also used for church services from about 1800 till after 1867...

    now what was that part about a so called separation of church and state?
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The First Amendment doesn't limit religious influence on the state, it limited the states influence on religion.
     
  3. Sunshine
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    Sunshine Trust the pie. Supporting Member

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    I don't know. But the Jefferson Bible completely cut out that turd tapper Paul. He's OK in my book.
     
  4. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    yes. any study of his writings show that

    franklin was too
     
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  5. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Attending church does not make one religious. Many people attend church for social reasons, to be seen or to give the illusion of piety

    In 1800 you were expected to be religious. Atheists were viewed as heathens and not attending church was not good for your political future

    Jeffersons private writings showed he was a deist though
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  6. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Dear Love:
    Jefferson believed in a "God of Nature."
    If you read all his statements in that light, they make sense as consistent.

    He did not require belief in anything outside natural laws to believe and follow God and Jesus. The Constitutional laws are based on natural laws given by God the same as divine laws, so these natural laws are just as valid in governing man yet without the religious compulsion or division that comes with that.

    Where most people say Jefferson was hypocritical was more about the dependence on slavery, since man is supposedly created equal. I understand Jefferson believed in and proposed a gradual abolition of slavery, recognizing the people still depended on that. He educated his slaves, and had more family like relations with his slaves, but they were not fully equal: it was explained to me that slaves were mortgaged similar to housing property and owned by the banks. So even if you bought slaves just for the purpose of setting them free, it would cost money; and the laws would have to be changed to prevent it from being a crime to break such people free who were legally the property of banks.

    You could call Jefferson a walking hypocrite for that, and be fair; but you'd also have to call people hypocrites today who still depend on slave labor, from the immigrant workers to the Chinese laborers and even laborers in India, where the population is so dependent on child labor it could not yet be abolished because more children would die!

    As for separation of church/state: the dual clause about "establishing of religion/free exercise of religion" goes both ways, the state can neither impose nor abridge religious freedom so it is a fine line to stay in check and balance with the people's interest.

    The only way I know to prevent bias or hypocrisy, is for people to form a CONSENSUS on any issue involving conflicting religious or political beliefs, and for the state to endorse only laws/decisions that respect/protect ALL interests/views EQUALLY in order to follow the 14th Amendment.

    Again, if you are going to call Jefferson a hypocrite for favoring one side of a religious debate over another, please also call everyone else a hypocrite who does the same thing.

    In general I understand people only hold Government accountable to the standards in the Bill of Rights; and citizens are not required by law to follow it, but that is where I personally believe people are hypocrites. I believe by the Golden Rule if you want religious freedom for yourself, or freedom from religion either way, it is more consistent that you practice and respect the same for others! That is just natural law, to do unto others as you would have done unto you!

    But people want only THEIR political/religious view, and want the Government to represent THEM even at the expense of the next person's views which is EQUAL under the law!

    So please count us ALL as hypocrites if you are going to point fingers at anyone!

    Thank you for your thought provoking question.
    I'm sure Jefferson would appreciate people applying REASON
    to check and balance government and how we apply the laws.

    He believed that no matter how govt or laws were set up there was always the propensity for abuse, so that it still relied on REASON on the public applying common sense as the ultimate check on government. He believed in the conscience of the people, so again that is part of natural laws. As Jesus is both of God and of man, Jesus fulfills both the divine laws and natural laws in truth and harmony. So you can still be Christian yet be governed under the natural laws and follow Christ that way, and it harmonizes with the divine laws in the Bible. The Gentiles are governed by Christ under natural laws, and Jefferson was equally if not more geared toward addressing that fold of the flock using natural laws.

    I am also more of a Constitutionalist type Christian, I use the Constitutional laws to enforce equality the same way others use the Bible to teach and judge truth by.

    So I understand and relate to Jefferson from this angle.

    Yours truly,
    Emily

    P.S. another troubling point I ran into, after hearing a historian talk about Jefferson's views against candidates "catering to the public for favor":
    he supposedly still believed officials had a duty or right to make decisions even if this disagreed with representing public opinion.

    So he believed in divine providence, that leaders may be called by God to make decisions the public was not able to understand.
    This smacked to me of still allowing "divine right to rule" or "manifest destiny" which we still see today, where decisions officials make "technically" go beyond either Constitutional limits or the consent of the governed, as if God's divine plans still trump any manmade convention or will.

    You could call that hypocritical, to be against religious beliefs imposed through the State, yet govt leaders may have some God given vision or wisdom beyond what the public opinion can understand, and reserves the right to make decisions under that!

    It seems then you cannot get away from people's beliefs affecting govt as long as humans are making govt decisions.

    So again, no matter what you do, you will have the influence of people's FAITH and you also have to relyon people's REASON
    to check and balance each other. People run the govt and the presses, so whatever we use, we are applying both FAITH
    and REASON to work out decisions. The point is to maintain freedom to check and balance each other's interests and prevent abuses.

     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2011

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