Friday, July 20, 2007


One of the Big Lies pounded into American ears is that the United States is a Christian nation, founded on Christian (sometimes they ignorantly say “Judeo-Christian”) principles.

My friend Jim, who introduced me to the Cockettes and is revered by many Fomers as a prophet, sends along these ten quotes from Thomas Jefferson about religion. Jim is a real artist. Check out his Blue Elephant blog.

Thomas Jefferson probably qualifies as an American “Founding Father.”

Not only did Jefferson famously pen the Declaration of Independence, he served as the nation’s first Secretary of State, second Vice President, and two terms as President.

Plus he did a lot of other stuff, some of it unsavory and sinful.


There are eleven quotes below. Ten of them are attributed to Thomas Jefferson, one of them is attributed to another American Founding Father. Can you pick out the non-Jefferson quote? Can you name it’s author. Answer in Comments.

1. Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.

2. Religions are all alike -- founded upon fables and mythologies.

3. This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.

4. Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.

5. The Christian God is a being of terrific character - cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust.

6. The authors of the gospels were unlettered and ignorant men and the teachings of Jesus have come to us mutilated, misstated and unintelligible.

7. If the freedom of religion, guaranteed to us by law in theory, can ever rise in practice under the overbearing inquisition of public opinion, then and only then will truth, prevail over fanaticism.

8. The loathsome combination of Church and State…

9. In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.

10. On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind.

11. We discover (in the gospels) a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstition, fanaticism and fabrication.

This is all very tame compared to, say, Denis Diderot:

“Let us strangle the last king with the entrails of the last priest.”

Of course, Diderot, Jefferson, and Guess-who lived in a long-ago era called “The Enlightenment.”

[Note: This is a cross-post from Jesuit Watch.]

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sfwillie said...

Answer: #3, John Adams

sfmike said...

That was too hard.

sfwillie said...

Sorry, Mike,

What was your guess? ;-)

sfmike said...

I guessed #6, though I thought #3 might be Voltaire because of the "best of all possible worlds" phrase.