Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thomas Jefferson: In Heaven or A Heathen?

A very confusing thing: one minute I could swear that good ol’ Thomas Jefferson was a bona fide Christian, the next minute he looks like a Deist, and then again he looks like an all out Heathen! I find such a trend with several of the Founding Fathers.

Heaven knows I have no lack of respect and admiration for the men that instituted such an unrivaled system of governance (despite the state of peril it is in today), but it is a discomforting feeling to think that the very men whom (nearly) every citizen of the United States admires could have possibly been in direct personal rebellion against God. Here’s how I’m looking at it.

It seems to me that Thomas Jefferson was not a Christian for the most aggravating of reasons: he saw little to no difference between the Catholic Priesthood (read: Monopoly, or Monarchy, or Despotism), and the truly Bible-Believing Christians. I see this non-distinction a lot today. These are a collection of quotes that lead me to this conclusion about him:

“But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State." --- Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1810

In this quote, I thought, when he says “those who professed to be his special servants,” he was speaking of the apostles, but I now wonder if he was directly referring to the Catholics, especially when he uses the term “special servants,” and, certainly, the apostles never referred to themselves as anything other than “glorified dust,“ if you will.


"It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests." --- Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 1803

Here, I am still quite puzzled, as the Trinity is quite biblical, and not a specifically Catholic held belief. This shows, clearly, that Jefferson was not a reader of the bible, therefore, not a true Christian. Again, he was so blinded by a dislike of Catholicism that he removed himself from that area of his life to the point of disbelief in God, so I assume. I think he could have understood the Trinity by this simple analogy: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial; three branches, one Government.


"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." --- Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

Obviously speaking of the Catholic monopoly over men’s very lives. I share his opinion.


"But the greatest of all reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its luster from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man. The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent morality, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, invented by ultra-Christian sects (The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of the Hierarchy, etc.) is a most desirable object." --- Thomas Jefferson to W. Short, Oct. 31, 1819

Well, this sums it up in a nutshell; Jefferson was apparently morally upright, apparently well intentioned, and apparently misled by his own worldly mind. This, to me, shows that without the Bible, no one knows God’s truth from Man’s untruth. As far as I can see, he never believed in Jesus as the Son of God, he only admired him as a man.

While Jefferson was not a Christian, at least he was good enough to help make it a law to allow others to be Christians.

Good man morally, Great man politically, pitiful man Spiritually.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's good to know there are young people like you to fix this mess of a government.
Sorry we left it this way.

~Bummed Baby Boomer.

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