Jefferson Vs The Religious Right

Dr Albert Mohler Jr.

“In the case Lawrence V. Texas, the Supreme Court of the United States of America struck down every sodomy law in this country. You see, they found the Constitutional right to sodomy. Does anyone believe that the framers of our Constitution intended for it to be there? By no means. Well if it’s not there, how did the court decision get there? By reading into the Constitution what they wanted to find, which isn’t there, but is constructed there, by expanding the Constitution by re-interpretation. Now, of all people, we ought to be the folks who understand that. Because we as Christians have had to understand there are people who will take the word of God, and say it’s really not about the text. It’s about what’s behind the text. We can take the text and make it say what it doesn’t mean. We have seen that pattern. And God’s people have had to learn to discern and say, no, the text is the inerrant and infallible word of God. It is what God said it is, and what God revealed it to be. And that’s what must constrain our interpretations. God bless you for believing that and affirming that.”

Thomas Jefferson:

“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 to Edward Dowse, 1803. ME 10:378

“Whenever… preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put [their congregation] off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art of science.” –Thomas Jefferson to P. H. Wendover, 1815. ME 14:281

“I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this [i.e., the purchase of an apparent geological or astronomical work] can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offense against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason. If [this] book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But, for God’s sake, let us freely hear both sides, if we choose.” –Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814. ME 14:127

“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, 1813. ME 14:21

“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 to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:119

I’m wondering when Jefferson’s writings will go to the Ministry of Truth… I remember reading 1984 but now I’m living it.

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2 thoughts on “Jefferson Vs The Religious Right”

  1. Thank you for the skillful, contextually accurate use of Mr. Jefferson’s words. These days he’s so oft misused by propagandists — particularly religious political extremist ones in the employ of the Anti-Gay Industry — to say precisely the opposite of what he meant, I find myself checking to make sure I’m on the proper side of the looking-glass.

  2. Thank you for the skillful, contextually accurate use of Mr. Jefferson’s words. These days he’s so oft misused by propagandists — particularly religious political extremist ones in the employ of the Anti-Gay Industry — to say precisely the opposite of what he meant, I find myself checking to make sure I’m on the proper side of the looking-glass.

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