"The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors."
Thomas Jefferson
(1743-1826), US Founding Father, drafted the Declaration of Independence, 3rd US President
letter to John Adams, from Monticello, April 11, 1823
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I believe he would be so ashamed of the people of these United States, who have drifted so far from the vision he had for us.
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    Jefferson could read and write Latin and Greek, and he studied the earliest versions of the Bible throughout his life. If only the Bible-thumpers of today would be willing to take off their blinders and think, Christians could become the 'light unto the world' for which they endeavor.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    E. Archer, what makes you think Jefferson was the only one who could (and can) read Greek and Latin and has studied the earliest versions of the Bible? Why should I, or anyone, venerate his conclusions above the "Bible-thumpers" of today? I suspect you disparage "Bible-thumpers" (Jesus was also often -illogically- discounted by name-calling) because you dont' like what they say, for the same reason they did not like what Jesus said in His day-- He constantly challenged them to believe what they refused to believe, could not accept. If Jefferson believed the virgin birth is a myth, then he disbelieved against the disciplines of historical analysis (too detailed for here, but google 'virgin birth debate' and you will find the positive arguments are not simple-minded mythological beliefs). He disbelieved the ability of God to create a virgin birth, he disbelieved God can keep man from polluting His revealed written word, this same God who formed the universe and life in such astonishing intricacy??!! What logic is that?! I'm rather astonished Jefferson, or anyone, could believe this contradiction as possible. This is a weak God, if indeed it is true, and it would make God a liar, for He has said His word is pure and inviolable, many times. Jefferson made himself God when he "helped" God by rewriting the Bible.
     -- Paul, Union, WA     
    Jefferson was able to believe and say anything he wanted. Ain't America grand?
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Interesting how one can read remarks from a person many years ago in a different time and surroundings and "jump" to conclusions for the present day. I respect truth, for it stands the test of time, against all who seek to pull power to themselves. There are many today that build their castles on the sand of tearing down others. When they are asked what they believe, there is no comment other than the other guy is wrong. Some logic this is. One is truly free when they respect anothers beliefs, not because they believe them to be true, but because the other person does believe them to be true. We have nothing to fear except fear itself.
     -- w dornth, Arizona     
    Emperor Constantine (a murderous pagan ruler) was one of the primary corrupters of Christian theology when he choose 'Christianity' (as redefined by his Council of Nicea) to be the official religion of the empire. Christianity has not recovered since. The corruptions adopted at that time fueled the Crusades, the Inquisition, and a host of religious wars to this day. Throw out that council's judgements and Jesus can be seen in a truer light -- a MAN, not God. The Bible is not written by God, but by men. If it is a 'revelation' then so are many other religious texts or even current reasoning pondered within oneself. Once again, fundamentalists choose to ignore their own fallibility and the politics that is organized religion. I honor the search for truth -- life is indeed a grand mystery, why spoil it with 'answers'. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Though my studies of the bible's original texts and translations draw a different conclusion than Jefferson's, his logic and reason describe a brilliant individual and sovereign free thinker. Today's Atheists and agnostics attempt to demonstrate how Jefferson (because his beliefs of Deity and scripture were antagonistic to much of what is considered main stream Christianity) was not Christian in a feeble attempt to debunk the working concept that this is a Christian nation. The source of this quote eliminates that false premise. With Jefferson I conclude, religion should be of an individual self examination and government should be a secular representation of life, liberty, law, justice, and individual rights. On this Christmas Eve, I wish an illumination of the Christ and 'His' teachings - and - His love, mercy, prosperity, and blessings to all. To each and every one, a Very Merry Christmas !
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA      
    I am disappointed at the choice of quotes, and more particularly, the choice of day to quote it. While I recognize that Jefferson was free to think as he liked, and the selection of Dec 25 had pagan origins, this quote, at this time, is clearly an challenge to those who hold historically to the virgin birth. While I respect the webmaster's right to do so, I find his actions distasteful.
     -- William, Lamar, MO     
     -- Al, DC     
    Jefferson like many others respect. admire and revere Jesus and his teachings and admie Him as one who did God's work on earth. Jesus as we know was both human and divine or at least we know he was human and the divine part we must take mostly on faith including the Virgin birth. To me the important part is like Jefferson, the humanity and teaching of Jesus. I tell people that I really don't know about heaven but I would like to be where ever Jesus is. If he is dead and in the grave that is okay for me also. Heaven is here now on earth if we live by the teachings of Jesus, I believe. As the song Supersition tells us "When you believe in things you don't understand you suffer." Taking Jesus' promise of heaven is a faith based experience, taking his teachings for living is a tried and tested and proven method of living that has proven effective and good for millions. Now pedofile Priests might believe in the heaven part but obviously don't practice the living part, go figure.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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