Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

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nancyer

Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

Post by nancyer » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:09 am

I am wondering if anyone here can help me. I am currently reading a book by Gordon S. Wood called Revolutionary Characters; What Made the Founders Different. Found it at a thrift store and was intrigued. Very wordy but interesting.

Chapter 1 is The Great George Washington and Mr. Wood states he "was not a religious man, though he attended church regularly to keep up decorum," and rarely mentioned Christ in his writings. "Washington had no dislike of the clergy or organized Christianity as Jefferson did." He compares them in that Washington would never have said, as Jefferson did, that "our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry."
Then, only sentences later, he says that Washington "became convinced, as he declared in his Farewell Address, that religion was in indispensable prop for both morality and republican growth."

I vaguely remember seeing Jefferson quoted as saying we absolutely need the values and ethics brought forth by the Bible to be able to govern ourselves (or words to this effect).

Maybe I'm just confused. I'm sure someone (many?) here are far more knowledgeable of history than I and I would love some feed back and history lesson.

Thank you,
In Christ's precious name,

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TheEditor
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Re: Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

Post by TheEditor » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:48 am

Hi Nancy,

Figuring out exactly what the Founders persuasions were religiously, is a difficult thing. Many quotes from them have been taken out of context. In the case of Jefferson, it's safe to say he was essentially a Deist, as was Franklin and others. Look at the Jeffersonian Bible and you can see to what degree he eliminated portions of the Bible because they did not suit his taste.

Many of the Foundes had respect for the Bible, and for Christianity. The problem is that many Fundamentalist Christians have tried to rewrite historry to suit a "special hand of God on America" paradigm. Just because "God" is mentioned, does not mean the Founders had Jesus or the Father in mind. John Locke, I believe, was the one who wrote "Endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." And yet, Locke was a Deist.

Regards, Brenden.
[color=#0000FF][b]"It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."[/b][/color]

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darinhouston
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Re: Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

Post by darinhouston » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:05 am

My kids just went through their school's "house selection" (think Harry Potter). They were placed in Washington (thankfully not Hamilton). So I'm interested particularly in Washington's views on faith. Any pointers appreciated.


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mattrose
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Re: Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

Post by mattrose » Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:26 am

I recently finished David Bercot's book "In God we Don't Trust" and he had a pretty critical section on Washington's supposed faith

nancyer

Re: Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

Post by nancyer » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:44 pm

Interesting, everyone. I'll post more quotes and questions as I deem them pertinent to this forum.

Thanks for the responses.

nancyer

Re: Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

Post by nancyer » Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:47 pm

darinhouston wrote:My kids just went through their school's "house selection" (think Harry Potter). They were placed in Washington (thankfully not Hamilton). So I'm interested particularly in Washington's views on faith. Any pointers appreciated.


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Darin;

I've only just started Chapter 1, but will include what I learn about Washington as it comes up. I read the first 36 pages of the book not realizing I wasn't even in chapter 1 yet, just the introduction. As I said, it is a little wordy (and some I've even had to look up) but interesting enough to keep me reading. I generally read for pleasure at night and I'll highlight what I think you'd be interested for me to post.

nancyer

Re: Historical View, Thomas Jefferson

Post by nancyer » Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:56 pm

darinhouston wrote:My kids just went through their school's "house selection" (think Harry Potter). They were placed in Washington (thankfully not Hamilton). So I'm interested particularly in Washington's views on faith. Any pointers appreciated.


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Hey there, darinhouston,

Reading last night I came across the quote from George Washington I thought you might like.
"We are a young Nation and have a character to establish. It behooves us therefore to set out right for the first impression will be lasting." Washington was a realist. At the outset of the war against Britain he said we ought to "make the best of mankind as it is for we cannot have them as we wish."
Rather insightful, I thought. Hope this is useful. God Bless.

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