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    (Original post by Bezzler)
    TSR STALKER!!! :eek::eek::eek:

    I must admit that I don't know that much about Jefferson's religious beliefs; however, given the fuss there was about Obama having the middle name Hussain, even though he IS Christian, I think that any atheist candidate would have such a big deal made out of it by the opposition that s/he would not stand a chance. In my opinion, anyway.
    Lol, I'm not a stalker (as much as you would like that) :p:

    I just saw this thread and decided to post on it.

    Anyway, some fun Thomas Jefferson quotes, which would probably render any candidate for the US presidency ineligible if uttered today.

    "May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826 (in the last letter he penned)


    "It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825


    "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 Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors."

    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823


    "I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823


    "To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, god, are immaterial, is to say they are nothings, or that there is no god, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise: but I believe I am supported in my creed of materialism by Locke, Tracy, and Stewart. At what age of the Christian church this heresy of immaterialism, this masked atheism, crept in, I do not know. But heresy it certainly is."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, Aug. 15, 1820


    "Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, April 13, 1820


    "Priests...dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live."

    -Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820



    "As you say of yourself, I too am an Epicurian. I consider the genuine (not the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing everything rational in moral philosophy which Greece and Rome have left us."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Short, Oct. 31, 1819



    "You say you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely, June 25, 1819



    "My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. The artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith, August, 6, 1816



    Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus."

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 30 July, 1816


    If we did a good act merely from love of God and a belief that it is pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? ...Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814



    In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814



    Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814




    The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814



    History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

    -Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.


    I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789


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

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787


    Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

    -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Anyway, some fun Thomas Jefferson quotes, which would probably render any candidate for the US presidency ineligible if uttered today.
    It looks like you put a lot of effort into typing those out/finding them on google and copying them in. It's a bit of a shame that nobody (myself included) will actually bother to read them all; modern teenagers don't have that sort of an attention span. I did glance through some of them though, they were very interesting. I liked his one about the Book of Revelation :p:
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    (Original post by Bezzler)
    It looks like you put a lot of effort into typing those out/finding them on google and copying them in. It's a bit of a shame that nobody (myself included) will actually bother to read them all; modern teenagers don't have that sort of an attention span. I did glance through some of them though, they were very interesting. I liked his one about the Book of Revelation :p:
    Yeah

    Most modern Americans wouldn't vote for Jefferson these days, given his anti-religious views. Kind of ironic considering the heritage of the United States.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Yeah

    Most modern Americans wouldn't vote for Jefferson these days, given his anti-religious views. Kind of ironic considering the heritage of the United States.
    It's almost impossible to determine what Jefferson thought of religion, not because of a dearth of writings by him on the subject of religion, but because he wrote so much about it.

    Jefferson also said "They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights," or "nature and nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence.

    Doesn't sound much like an atheist to me...
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    Yes it is, completely.

    Kennedy was the first Catholic elected and they said it was impossible.

    The US just elected a black president with Muslim ancestry, convicted bomber friend, and a crazy racist pastor.

    Anything is possible in America..
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    (Original post by Lefty Leo)
    Not within our lifetimes i don't think. Religion in the US is far far too strong. I mean, Mormonism is actually growing! :rofl2:
    The Mormons have more kids than the average, that's why :p: .
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    It's almost impossible to determine what Jefferson thought of religion, not because of a dearth of writings by him on the subject of religion, but because he wrote so much about it.

    Jefferson also said "They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights," or "nature and nature's God" in the Declaration of Independence.

    Doesn't sound much like an atheist to me...
    I'm not saying he was an atheist, the best interpretation I have is that he was a deist with a hostility to established forms of Christianity.
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    In one of his letters he did say the words: "I am a Christian" but I think you're correct in saying that he had quite a few anti-Christian fews. He wsa heavily critised for not being Christian enough.
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    Technically yes; as the First Amendment guarantees freedom of religious belief and practice.

    Realistically no; as roughly 80% of the population identify themselves as religious, with a mere 15% or so labelling themselves as Atheist compared to 44% in Britain. Whilst in Britain it would still be a very great shock to have a self-confessed Atheist as Prime Minister despite the near equal split between religious and Atheist in the populous, presumably in the USA it would be completely impossible subject to some world cultural shift.

    On a funnier note, I always find it funny seeing the US dollar which reads "In God We Trust", this all for a self-labelled secular state.
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    (Original post by Komakino)
    On a funnier note, I always find it funny seeing the US dollar which reads "In God We Trust", this all for a self-labelled secular state.
    The only thing that the US constitution bans is an established national church and the stopping of someone from praciticing their religious freedoms. The US is not a secular state in the way you mean it.

    The dollar bill is completely constitutional.
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    (Original post by i_can_has)
    Just wondered...could a candidate be atheist and still become the President of the USA?
    Legally, or just politically? Politically, it would be unlikely, given the extent of religious belief in the US. Legally, there is no restriction on it.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    In one of his letters he did say the words: "I am a Christian" but I think you're correct in saying that he had quite a few anti-Christian fews. He wsa heavily critised for not being Christian enough.
    I think that in the letter you refer to Jefferson was saying something like "If being a Christian means X, then I am a Christian." I think most of the Founders were deists of some sort.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    I think that in the letter you refer to Jefferson was saying something like "If being a Christian means X, then I am a Christian." I think most of the Founders were deists of some sort.
    Quite a few were but the vast majority were Christians.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Quite a few were but the vast majority were Christians.
    Perhaps. But Washington, in the treaty of Tripoli, said that the government of the USA was not founded on Christian principles.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Quite a few were but the vast majority were Christians.
    Yeah, but Jefferson was one of the more anti-religious of the Founding Fathers, all things considered.
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    (Original post by Richard_A_Garner)
    Perhaps. But Washington, in the treaty of Tripoli, said that the government of the USA was not founded on Christian principles.
    That was to appease the Barbary states, mainly.

    Out of the 7 main Founding Fathers:

    Washington
    Adams
    Jay
    Madison
    Hamilton

    They were al Christians. Only Franklin and Jefferson could be considered non-Christian but it wasn't as if they were lke Dawkins or Hitchens.

    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Yeah, but Jefferson was one of the more anti-religious of the Founding Fathers, all things considered.
    Yes, that is correct.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    Yes, that is correct.
    Do you believe an individual of Jefferson's religious inclinations could be elected in America today?

    Sorry if this is tangential.
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    (Original post by Andy the Anarchist)
    Do you believe an individual of Jefferson's religious inclinations could be elected in America today?

    Sorry if this is tangential.
    As long as he didn't shout it from the rooftops. I mean Reagan was divorced but still many voted for him even though he went against family values in a sense.
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    (Original post by Made in the USA)
    Has there ever been an openly atheist UK PM?
    No but Tony Blair's spokes people publicly said "we don't do religion", when asked about his faith.

    In Britain talking about your faith in office is an election looser.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    As long as he didn't shout it from the rooftops. I mean Reagan was divorced but still many voted for him even though he went against family values in a sense.
    But Jefferson wasn't all that quiet about his religious standings. He believed quite firmly that there should be absolutely no involvement of Religion in government, and he fought for that all through his political career (well, I say 'fought', but there wasn't really an opposition to this ideal, it was unanimously thought among all politicians of the time, more or less, but they were deeply passionate about it, nonetheless).

    The argument about whether they are personally religious or not isn't really the first argument they would consider. Although many of the founding fathers were religious, they all believed passionately that it should not be allowed anywhere near government. Even if a Christian presidential candidate said that today, he would lose quite a lot of votes. Americans don't just believe that their president should be a Christian, they also tend to believe that he should actively involve God in his governance of the country.
 
 
 
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