Have you ever checked into Thomas Jefferson's religious beliefs? Either you are extremely misinformed on the subject you speak of or you're just denying the truth of at least one of our founding fathers.|
[N]o man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
-- Thomas Jefferson, Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1779), quoted from Merrill D Peterson, ed, Thomas Jefferson: Writings (1984), p. 347
I am for freedom of religion, & against all maneuvres to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, 1799 (see Positive Atheism's Historical section)
I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others.
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Dowse, April 19, 1803
The 'Wall of Separation,' Again:
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.
We have solved, by fair experiment, the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.
-- Thomas Jefferson, to the Virginia Baptists (1808) ME 16:320. This is his second kown use of the term "wall of separation," here quoting his own use in the Danbury Baptist letter. This wording of the original was several times upheld by the Supreme Court as an accurate description of the Establishment Clause: Reynolds (98 US at 164, 1879); Everson (330 US at 59, 1947); McCollum (333 US at 232, 1948)
Link: Thomas Jefferson
Posted on 4/12 10:19 PM | IP: Logged