15th November 2010

“If by religion we are to understand sectarian dogmas, in which no two of them agree, then your exclamation on that hypothesis is just, 'that this would be the best of worlds if there were no religion in it.'”

Thomas Jefferson1743 – 1826

5 Responses to “15th November 2010”

  1. captainzero Says:

    Letter from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, April 19th, 1817 – “Twenty times, in the course of my late Reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, “This would be the best of all possible Worlds, if
    there were no Religion in it.” ! ! ! But in this exclamati[on] I should have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without Religion this World would be Something not fit to be mentioned in polite Company, I mean Hell. So far from believing in the total and universal depravity of human Nature; I believe there is no Individual totally depraved. The most abandoned Scoundrel that ever existed, never Yet Wholly extinguished his Conscience, and while Conscience remains there is some Religion. . . .”

    Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, May 5th, 1817 – “If, by religion, we are to understand Sectarian dogmas, in which no two of them agree, then your exclamation on that hypothesis is just, “that this would be the best of allpossible worlds, if there were no religion in it.” But if the moral precepts, innate in man, and made a part of his physical constitution, as necessary for a social being, if the sublime doctrines of philanthropism, and deism taught us by Jesus of Nazareth in which all agree, constitute true religion, then, without it, this would be, as you again say, something not fit to be named, even indeed a Hell.”

    Jefferson and Adams were clearly uncomfortable at best with the religious doctrine embodied by the organized churches of the day yet they both clearly saw a hand of god at work in the conscience of man and a true religion founded of love of fellow man and good works toward society. If this they were deist, not christian. I think they’d be surprised to see how much the religion they despised has come to infiltrate so much of the political sphere they tried to hard to protect.

  2. greateighthsin Says:

    Very well put, Zero. America is not a Christian nation, nor is it an Islamic nation, not even close to an atheist nation, or even a deistic nation. America is a nation based on the principal of religious freedom. American Christianity has forgotten something fundamental to the First Amendment. Yes, it protects religion from leaking into the government, but it too protects the government from leaking into religion. Watching Christians declare that America is a Christian nation solely on the fact that America is Christian dominant, and it’s forefathers were believers in a higher being, is doing nothing more than biting the hand that feeds you. Not only would our forefathers be disgusted at today’s religious congregated dominance, but so too would every soldier that stood at the line and sacrificed their lives during the Revolutionary War.

  3. tech Says:

    Hmmm Some things are better left unsaid Hmmm Yea better left unsaid.

  4. Mike G. Says:

    Truth hurts, huh Tech?

  5. Dan Says:

    Agreed, and this is a very good quote. It’s hard to believe that there are so many Americans who are so completely ignorant of American history as to believe that the USA is a Christian nation.