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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/23/2006 9:13:16 AM EDT
And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter.
-Thomas Jefferson

I would like to know more about Jefferson, anyone recommend a good book?
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:14:39 AM EDT
Founding Brothers
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:20:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2006 9:21:10 AM EDT by PBIR]

From "Memoirs, Correspondence and Miscellanies from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson," edited by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, a grandson of the distinguished statesman, was printed in four large volumes, and published in 1829:


In speaking of the Jewish priests, he [Jefferson] denominates them "a bloodthirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, and the local God of Israel"

In a letter to John Adams, dated April 8, 1816, referring to the God of the Jews, Jefferson says:

"Their God would be deemed a very indifferent man with us" (Ibid., p. 373).

Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:22:29 AM EDT
Also American Sphinx
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 9:24:10 AM EDT
Second on the Founding Brothers. Good book

Ah, yes, dear, dear philandering Tom J. One of the heroes of Deism. One of the people I would most like to break bread with, uh, provided that is, if there is an afterlife.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 12:13:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/23/2006 12:14:19 PM EDT by 0ldGuy]
Thanks.

I will head over to Barnes & Noble
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 3:39:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 0ldGuy:
And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter.
-Thomas Jefferson

I would like to know more about Jefferson, anyone recommend a good book?



Careful with Jefferson, one can also find quotes of his that if someone were to say today would get them the label of Taliban.


"The only foundation for useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion."

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever."

"To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others..."

"I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest system of morality that has ever been taught but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invented..."

As President, Thomas Jefferson not only signed bills which appropriated financial support for chaplains in Congress and in the armed services, but he also signed the Articles of War, April 10, 1806, in which he:

"Earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers, diligently to attend divine services."

"A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian; that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus."

"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."

Jefferson declared that religion is: "Deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support."

“The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”

“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”

My views of the Christian religion 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 a Christian in the only sense in which he wanted anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself.

but he also said:
“I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.”

Jefferson remains an enigma. He hated the evil of slavery but refused to ever release his slaves. I don't think anyone yet has figured the man out.
Link Posted: 3/23/2006 4:45:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Belloc:
[
Jefferson remains an enigma. He hated the evil of slavery but refused to ever release his slaves. I don't think anyone yet has figured the man out.




The Jefferson quote in my post piqued my interest as I was led to believe he was a Christian.

PBIR then posted another Jefferson quote pertaining to Jews so now I am intrigued.
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 2:06:26 AM EDT
Jefferson was highly critical of many aspects of religion, as much for the way humans handled the affairs God than anything else. He seems to argue with himself about religion quiet a bit. IIRC he spent a lot of time w/ the Unitarian Church later in life.

Link Posted: 3/24/2006 6:09:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PBIR:
Jefferson was highly critical of many aspects of religion, as much for the way humans handled the affairs God than anything else. He seems to argue with himself about religion quiet a bit. IIRC he spent a lot of time w/ the Unitarian Church later in life.




yup, he attended Unitarian services throughout his life.

By Jefferson's definition of Christianity, I am a Christian as well. I don't think many Christians here would agree an atheist is a Christian.

You can see a lot of interesting Jefferson quotes at www.positiveatheism.org/hist/quotes/jefferson.htm
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 7:00:35 AM EDT

"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."


Quote of the day!
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 8:34:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 9:04:05 AM EDT by EricTheHun]

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By PBIR:
Jefferson was highly critical of many aspects of religion, as much for the way humans handled the affairs God than anything else. He seems to argue with himself about religion quiet a bit. IIRC he spent a lot of time w/ the Unitarian Church later in life.


yup, he attended Unitarian services throughout his life.


Baloney!

Jefferson never attended a Unitarian Church in his life....

"Like many others of his time (he died just one year after the founding of institutional Unitarianism in America), Jefferson was a Unitarian in theology, though not in church membership. He never joined a Unitarian congregation: there were none near his home in Virginia during his lifetime. He regularly attended Joseph Priestley's Pennsylvania church when he was nearby, and said that Priestley's theology was his own, and there is no doubt Priestley should be identified as Unitarian. Jefferson remained a member of the Episcopal congregation near his home, but removed himself from those available to become godparents, because he was not sufficiently in agreement with the trinitarian theology. His work, the Jefferson Bible, was Unitarian in theology..."

Famous Unitarians Website

Trust me on this....

Eric The(Historical)Hun
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 9:27:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 9:35:01 AM EDT by Dino]

Originally Posted By EricTheHun:

Originally Posted By Dino:

Originally Posted By PBIR:
Jefferson was highly critical of many aspects of religion, as much for the way humans handled the affairs God than anything else. He seems to argue with himself about religion quiet a bit. IIRC he spent a lot of time w/ the Unitarian Church later in life.


yup, he attended Unitarian services throughout his life.


Baloney!

Jefferson never attended a Unitarian Church in his life....

"Like many others of his time (he died just one year after the founding of institutional Unitarianism in America), Jefferson was a Unitarian in theology, though not in church membership. He never joined a Unitarian congregation: there were none near his home in Virginia during his lifetime. He regularly attended Joseph Priestley's Pennsylvania church when he was nearby, and said that Priestley's theology was his own, and there is no doubt Priestley should be identified as Unitarian. Jefferson remained a member of the Episcopal congregation near his home, but removed himself from those available to become godparents, because he was not sufficiently in agreement with the trinitarian theology. His work, the Jefferson Bible, was Unitarian in theology..."

Famous Unitarians Website

Trust me on this....

Eric The(Historical)Hun



He also attended Unitarian services while in Washington. Your own cut and paste showed he attended services led by John Priestly, a renowned Unitarian. Formally, he was always a member of the Anglican Church (now known as Episcopalians).

As I stated, he attended Unitarian Services throughout his life. How you got "he joined the Unitarian Church" from what I wrote is a mystery to rival the concept of the trinity. Reading is fundamental.

In 1822 he predicted that "there is not a young man now living in the US who will not die an Unitarian." Its too bad he wasn't correct

for an in-depth overview of his religious beliefs you can check another UU site
www.wsuuc.org/sermons/03archives/SER%20Thomas%20Jefferson.htm

It is no coincidence that a lot of Unitarian Christian and UU Churches are named for TJ, He is without a doubt the most famous Unitarian in world history.

Link Posted: 3/24/2006 9:38:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 9:38:44 AM EDT by EricTheHun]
Originally Posted By Dino:

It is no coincidence that a lot of Unitarian Christian and UU Churches are named for TJ, He is without a doubt the most famous Unitarian in world history.

No, Thomas Jefferson is without a doubt the most famous non-Unitarian in Unitarian history.

There. That is much, much better, and to the point.



Eric The(CeaseAndDeist)Hun
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 11:08:42 AM EDT
I'll let the man speak for himself


I am anxious to see the doctrine of one god commenced in our state. But the population of my neighborhood is too slender, and is too much divided into other sects to maintain any one preacher well. I must therefore be contented to be an Unitarian by myself, although I know there are many around me who would become so, if once they could hear the questions fairly stated.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, January 8, 182



There, that is much, much better, and to the point.


Link Posted: 3/24/2006 11:10:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 11:10:39 AM EDT by Dino]
bah double post
Link Posted: 3/24/2006 11:44:17 AM EDT
Hijack alert:

While Thomas Jefferson is the most famous Unitarian, I would argue that Ralph Waldo Emerson had the greatest effect on modern Unitarian beliefs.

Prior to Emerson, Unitarians typically held the Scriptures in high regard and often quoted numerous Scriptures in its support. William Ellery Channing considered by some to be the father of Modern Unitarianism stated, "Whatever doctrines seem to be clearly taught in the Scriptures, we receive without reserve or exception." Like Alexander Campbell and members of the Restoration Movement Unitarians emphasized the use of reason to understand and interpret Scripture.

Early Unitarians were often Unitarians not because they denied the existence of God (as did atheists) or his interaction with man (as did deists) but instead because the held God in highest esteem and believed the statement from Deuteronomy, "The Lord is our God. The Lord is one!"

Some Unitarians even acknowledged the divinity of Christ, but made him a subordinate deity. They at very least recognized him as the greatest man to ever live.

Early Unitarians maintained a concept of Salvation from sin based on faith, although that faith was centered in the Father instead of the Son. They saw this faith as being the result of man's free-will and strongly disagreed with the Calvinistic doctrines of total depravity, unconditional election and limited atonement.

Later Unitarians adopted the beliefs of Emerson in relation to:

God: Now seen as the Over-Soul described by Emerson.
Jesus: One of the great men, on a par with Ghandi or Mohammed.
Bible: One of many useful books on morality.
Salvation: Merged with Universalists who originally believed that Christ's death saved all. Later just meant that all are saved or nobody goes to hell.

This is a summary of a paper I delivered in a history class in grad school.


Link Posted: 3/24/2006 11:47:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/24/2006 11:49:16 AM EDT by Dino]
Agreed on that.

Christian Unitarianism and UUism have diverged since his day.

Many Christian Unitarians see Jesus as the Son of God, exactly as he claimed. That is not the same things as God, however.

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