Comment: Once again

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Once again

Read "Common Sense." It is only 46 pages long. Paine was known to be a critic of religious institutions and their exploitation of particular parts of the Bible to base their institutional doctrines (as did Jefferson). However, he used the Bible and God to express the liberty, natural law message, and to refute tyranny. It was very effective. You are correct when you say that Americans were not all “Christians” in the context of an institution all of its own; a supermajority of people in America based their religion beliefs on the Bible from which Christians base their beliefs. For those whose God lived outside of the Bible, were considered heathens and savages by greater society...their basis for belief was illegitimate. Sure things in America have changed since then (for the better or worse depending on where you are coming from) but the point is that common ground can be found in spreading the liberty message that will apply to most people regardless of their religious beliefs. The trick is finding something that ties all people together that people place higher than ties to government. That is why “Common Sense” was so successful.

Jefferson believed in God, but did not think much of the organized religions. He did not want a Church of England to have control over government like it did in Great Britain. Here is couple of facts for you about Jefferson. In regard to religion in education Jefferson emphasized that religion in its moral, literary, and historical aspects had a place in the curriculum. (1) Non-denominational Bible based teaching was embraced in schools up until after the Civil war when government schools were put into place. Jefferson said this about the system of moral broached by Jesus, "if filled up in the true style and spirit of the rich fragments he left us, would be the most perfect and sublime that has ever been taught by man." (2) He also said this, "I am a Christian in the only sense he (Jesus) wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed other." (3)

It seems that I could debate these issues all day, but I see no point....the recorded history speaks for itself. Read what these people wrote in context and more than just bits and pieces and it all becomes pretty clear. Encyclopedias are sources with filtered information to push a certain view and many websites cannot be depended on for valid information a they tend to place words out of context too many times. Lots of progressive BS out there. Words out of context are fitting for political smears, but not for those who want more truth and transparency.

1. Merrill D. Peterson, Thomas Jefferson & the new nation, (Oxford University Press, Inc. 1970), 974.
2. Ibid., 959.
3. Ibid., 958.