"I know it will give great offense to the New England clergy,
but the advocate of religious freedom is to expect
neither peace nor forgiveness from them."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson to Levi Lincoln, January 1, 1802
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Reader comments about this quote:
When one studies the many quotes from our forefathers along this line. That many use to claim they hated religion or were not religious. Is not true from my studies. What are forefathers hated was anything to do with we, us, together, which involves religion and tyranny. Because they lost freedom with those words.
 -- charleydan, den     
    (-; absolutely ;-) There is no intermediary between an individual and his Christian God. As per the sentiment set forth in Jefferson's statement, a legitimate hope would be the same concerning the statist theocracy that infests this land, but to no avail (there is constant wars and rumors of wars and the clergy are unforgiving tyrants).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Waffler, Smith      
    Jefferson was a Diest and had no use for the doctrine of the Trinity. Read Jefferson's writings on religion in "The Essence of Jefferson", by Martin Larson.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    History is replete with examples of this statement. For the most part, the 'believers' have already judged the 'unbelievers', and if they cannot convince us of their doctrines, they have written us off as lost and damned, and therefore, worthy of perpetual torment, and all too often the 'faithful' are readily eager to initiate the process in their god's name.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Good Archer. How can you believe in a God that threatens to send you to eternal misery (hell) just because you are not a believer? "But those Christians who are unfaithful (Matt. 25:28-30) will have their rewards taken from them and given to those who were faithful, and, and they will be cast into "outer darkness," the place where there shall be "weeping and gnashing of teeth." And to be sent to everlasting torment "fire and brimstone" in other words hell. The wonderful thing about atheists is that they have no documents, no scriptures, no pain, no written authority, no commandments, etc, etc. etc. When atheists say they believe in something (anything) it does not mean that that belief is said on behalf of atheism.
     -- RBESRQ     
    Just wish we all were as rational in our political thinking as our theological.
     -- dick, fort worth     
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