September 25, 2019 · OPINION
Without the “virtues,” government can’t save us
By John Green
We question everything today, including capitalism and our values. They are related. Capitalism is our economic system. We question if it serves everybody or just those at the top.
We question our values: Are they suitable for today’s world or do they interfere with our “freedoms”? Values are what define our virtues, our moral values.
Capitalism has provided better living standards for more people than any other economic system. It has lifted millions of people from poverty to the middle class. But capitalism needs certain values in order to work properly.
Our Founding Fathers defined our values for the nation. They are based on a belief in a creator God and the Ten Commandments. They are commonly called our Judeo-Christian values. Our founders were smart , practical people who understood that mankind is imperfect.
In recognition of man’s faults, they gave us a Constitution containing numerous checks and balances. Power was divided among three branches of government – the executive, judicial and legislative. We are a republic, not a direct democracy. The Constitution defines the limits of federal power. All other power goes to the states. Even the powers between large and small states were limited. Our Constitution is a unique document in this world.
Our Founding Fathers also realized something else, perhaps the most important thing. James Madison said it this way: “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people is a chimerical (imaginary) idea.” Unless we, the people, have the correct virtues, no form of government will preserve our freedom.
That virtue comes from our Judeo-Christian values and our understanding of right and wrong. We get that from our creator God. These values and virtues are under attack by people who believe man, not God, decides right and wrong. They go so far as to believe each one of us decides our own right and wrong. It’s no wonder our society is so beset with problems. They are tied to nothing. They are adrift.
We are swamped with false virtues. Consider that in January 2019 New York State passed legislation that allows abortion up until the moment of birth. They were so proud of their work they had the Empire State Building illuminated in special lighting celebrating the new law. Then again in New York in August 2019 the legislature passed and the governor signed legislation outlawing the declawing of cats. It was deemed too painful to cats. Yet in New York State it’s OK to murder a child at any time up to birth. We can only imagine how painful that must be.
The United States of America became a great nation because of our values, not in spite of our values. As a nation we have made mistakes, but we have eventually corrected them. We have our work cut out for us now. Our society is in disarray. We are discarding our Judeo-Christian values. In their place we mainstream conduct never seen as acceptable in society because they were counter to the health of society. It’s no wonder we have so many problems in our society. We are paying a heavy price for all this new “freedom.”
Linda Ward · October 8, 2019 at 11:59 am
In the current White House, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe have no relevance, as the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution are being spit on every day. Take your case to the people, are they "I don't really care do you?" citizens or "I'll fight to the death to preserve both those documents."?
Jeffersonian American · October 8, 2019 at 4:16 am
I have been asked if I would testify under oath, and under penalty of perjury, to be a character witness for Thomas Jefferson in the matter of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable (a fictitious narrative of known origin) which contends that Thomas Jefferson, age 41, became smitten with a 14-year-old uneducated slave girl, and proceeded to carry out an illicit, 38-year love affair with her for the remainder of his life, fathering one or more or all of her children.
That is an easy question to answer. Yes, of course I would testify under oath as a character witness, based on the documented facts contained in the vast historic record to date concerning everything we know about Thomas Jefferson; and based on the total amount of historic data known about Sally Hemings, which would fit neatly onto one side of a modern 3x5-inch index card.
But don't just take my word on this- I would strongly encourage everyone who has an interest in seeking truth about The Real Thomas Jefferson to begin their research journey with several outstanding books and articles by distinguished Jefferson scholars of our past and present- many of which outline the exact legal case you raise in your challenge, and which are based on the significant mountain of evidence contained in the historic record to date wholly vindicating Thomas Jefferson from the charges that he fathered slave children by a girl and later- a woman- that he owned. According to all the documented evidence to date, Sally Hemings was a very inconsequential part of Thomas Jefferson's life.
May I recommend the following preliminary, highly credible, documented sources and scholarly references to kick off your independent research and American History dessert readings on the subject:
The Independent Scholars Commission Report:
Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society:
In Defense of Thomas Jefferson:
Cracking the Fable:
The Claremont Institute:
Jefferson Vindicated - Fallacies, Omissions, and Contradictions in the Hemings Genealogical Search:
Framing a Legend:
Dumas Malone: Complete 6 hardcover volumes of Thomas Jefferson:
Mark House · October 7, 2019 at 11:37 am
As written by Cammie Rodgers, no one know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If you were called before a court proceeding would you swear on a Bible Jefferson American that Thomas Jefferson is innocent of all past charges against him? With perjury being the consequences?
Jeffersonian American · October 6, 2019 at 9:12 am
First, to address your many misconceptions in the face of the vast historic record to date containing facts which overwhelmingly vindicate Thomas Jefferson as NOT being a Cad, a Hypocrite, or a Slave Rapist, as those many institutions behind America’s Raging Culture War today would have you believe.
There are a few honest reporters who know that attendance has been suffering at all our historical monuments after they switched over to the slavery agenda. The new radical owners of Monticello however- the former Thomas Jefferson [Memorial] Foundation who removed the word “Memorial” from their name about 20 years ago at the direction of their Radical Left Board of Directors- have refused to speak with the reporters about this topic, even though 70% of Monticello’s donations come from large liberal foundations that insist on how their money is going to be spent, including the promotion of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable. Quite clearly, Monticello is misrepresenting “Sally’s Room,” and this issue will be addressed and documented by the appropriate scholars along with new science results for the world to see in the near future. Scholars know where Sally Hemings lived when she bore all of her children- in a cabin on Mulberry Row that for some reason Monticello has not restored (having her living her entire life in the cook’s kitchen under the South Portico, presumably with a secret passageway to Jefferson’s bedroom, is a far more appealing story to them).
Slavery was barely mentioned whenever I visited Monticello and other historic sites in the 1960s through the 1990s. Only in recent years did they start promoting the Spectacular Lies that Sally Hemings was Jefferson’s “sister-in-law,” or that his wife’s father was also Sally’s father, or that when his father “gave” Jefferson his white daughter in marriage, he gave his other daughter to Jefferson to use for sexual relations. The problem with these fables are they simply are not true based on the vast evidence and documentation contained in the historic record ** TO DATE ** (with “to date” being the key wording for any study of our American history as a never-ending search for the truth).
Today, Americans have every reason to be proud of Thomas Jefferson for his many important contributions to the founding of our country. Sadly, too many in recent generations are not more familiar with Thomas Jefferson’s life and legacy, but there are several excellent web sites and numerous books by distinguished scholars past and present, that all serve to enhance our knowledge and understanding based on the documented facts contained in the historic record to date. The Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society (http://www.TJHeritage.org
) is an excellent place to start. Here is an introduction to some of their many source references:
Now for those who wish to gain an additional overview into the inherent decency and first-hand factual accounts that powerfully refute the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable, I thank you for reading on and am pleased to share this brief overview with you with a link to many of the documented facts you won't learn in Monticello's blasphemous and scripted tours, or the Smithsonian, the History and Discover Channels, Hollywood and the discredited, largely fake news media.
A fable has been defined as "a fictitious narrative or statement," usually of known origin. Proponents of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable are demanding modern Americans to believe that Thomas Jefferson became obsessed with an immature, uneducated 14-year-old slave girl while in Paris, less two years after the passing of his beloved wife Martha; and that he proceeded to conduct an illicit, 38-year love affair with Sally Hemings for the remainder of his life fathering one, or more, or all of her children. Based on everything we know documented in the extensive historic record to date pertaining to Thomas Jefferson, such a fable is not only unthinkable, it is preposterous. (Continued...)
Jeffersonian American · October 6, 2019 at 9:01 am
Scholar Boyd Cathey summarizes America's Raging Culture War with questions about what is happening in our educational system, how Western culture is being transformed before our very eyes, the attacks on the visible symbols of our past, and, perhaps more insidiously, examining assaults on our history, on our memory and on our very language, that is, how we communicate with each other.
Cathey observes it has been a great accomplishment of cultural Marxism and its adepts in the arts to separate in large measure our population from its heritage-a major step in the conquest of our culture and the transformation of our civilization. And the resulting atomistic individualism-a formless anarchy-is the exact condition desired by the enemies of our civilization. In the words of the late T. S. Eliot our foundations have been destroyed, made largely inaccessible or beyond our reach, "to make ready the ground upon which the barbarian nomads of the future will encamp their mechanized caravans." [Notes towards the Definition of Culture, 1948]. Among the most prominent attacks on our American heritage has been spearheaded in recent decades by the former Thomas Jefferson [Memorial} Foundation- the radical new owners of Monticello- who have championed the spreading of Spectacular Lies, obfuscation and omission of facts, and even defense of deliberate alterations of historic document transcriptions by Pulitzer Prize winning author and "Advocacy Scholar" Annette Gordon Reed of Harvard University. Everyone funding, networking and obscenely profiting in the promotion of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable- a fictitious narrative of known origin- have a single goal in common, to fundamentally transform Americans' traditional relationship with Thomas Jefferson, one of our greatest American founders and "Inventor of America," among his many notable accomplishments.
At the very base of our conflict today is this imperative- to recover those bonds which unite us to our heritage- for it is in retrieving that inheritance (and the faith which accompanies it) that we gain strength and renewal for the battles that lie ahead of us.
Many of the commonly accepted premises behind the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable were found to be false, according to the independent panel of scholars who drafted the Scholars Commission Report:
To all who are interested, thank you for reading and God bless.
Cammie Rodgers · October 3, 2019 at 4:13 pm
This is issue is not resolved against Thomas Jefferson. There are still so many questions. Was the room in Monticello really Sally's? Why did it not have windows? What was being hidden from view? If Sally Hemings looks almost WHITE then why didn't the father of her children marry her? Who had access to Sally on such a basis to impregnate her multiple times? Was she a kept as a courtesan for the Jefferson friends and family?
AGAIN, no one knows the whole TRUTH, not you Jeffersonian American, nor the scientists or the scholars. It's all hearsay, with the exception of the DNA results and a few notes on paper, so all is speculation on anyone living today.
Jeffersonian American · October 3, 2019 at 5:27 am
I forgot to add, with all due respect, the Charlottesville, Virginia Mayor's recent statement that Thomas Jefferson fathered children with Sally Hemings, and specifically, that he raped her, are uninformed and incorrect assumptions.
Sally Hemings was the youngest of six (6) siblings by the widowed planter John Wayles and a mixed-race woman he kept as a slave, Betty Hemings. Worthy of note was that Sally Hemings and her siblings were three-fourths (3/4) European (white), very fair skinned, and half-siblings of Jefferson's wife, Martha Wayles Skelton. As an infant Sally Hemings came to Monticello as part of Martha's inheritance of her father's slave holdings.
Hemings' children—Beverly, Harriet, Madison, and Eston--lived in Jefferson's house as slaves and were trained as skilled artisans and domestic servants, at the top of the slave hierarchy. They were 7/8 European (white) in ancestry, and 3 of the 4 entered white society as adults.
Sally Hemings was possibly the most attractive mulatto woman at Monticello at the time, and she and her sister were the only unattached young adult female servants. The fact that young Sally Hemings accompanied Jefferson's daughter to Paris, was a house servant, was an attractive mulatto, and had light-skinned children, made her a conceivable recipient of many potential affections.
What has almost been completely ignored is the excellent work of the independent Scholars Commission, who spent nearly a year looking carefully at all of the arguments and evidence. They included a diverse group of senior scholars- most had either held chaired professorships or served as departmental chairs at prominent universities- and several had written highly respected books about Jefferson. After nearly a year of careful study, they unanimously concluded that the case for Jefferson's paternity of any Hemings children was far from proven, and by a margin of 12 to 1 their final views ranged from "serious skepticism" about the allegation to a conviction that it was "almost certainly" not true. Their more than 500-page report, extensively footnoted with documented historic sources, disclosed numerous misrepresentations and at least one doctored historical document being used by scholars advocating Jefferson's paternity. Readers who wish to examine the evidence personally are invited to review the independent Scholars Commission Report at
and to compare it with the contrary view at:
We do our great Founding Father a disservice when we portray this issue as resolved against him.
Jeffersonian American · October 3, 2019 at 4:58 am
Compiling verbatim all listings and descriptions of Sally Hemings contained in the historic documents, Dr. Turner notes everything known about Sally Hemings fit onto one side of a standard index card. Quite clearly the report observes, with the almost total absence of information pertaining to Sally Hemings, she appears to have been a very minor figure in Thomas Jefferson’s life.
Today, many mistakenly believe Jefferson's paternity was established by 1998 DNA testing reported in the journal Nature, but those tests did not even involve DNA from Thomas Jefferson, and merely established that Sally's youngest child, Eston, was likely fathered by one of more than two-dozen Jefferson men living in Virginia at the time- of whom at least seven are thought to have been at Monticello when he was conceived. At the time of Eston’s conception, the elderly President Thomas Jefferson, age 64, was documented as suffering a host of medical and physical maladies including debilitating rheumatism clearly documented in the firsthand accounts; and intense migraine headaches which often lasted for weeks at a time.
By far the strongest family traditions (stories passed down from one generation to the next) suggesting President Jefferson's paternity of a Hemings child was told by descendents of Thomas Woodson, long thought to have been the slave "Tom" upon whom the original 1802 story was founded. However, six different tests of descendents of three of Woodson's sons proved beyond any doubt he could not have been fathered by Thomas Jefferson. And for many generations, descendents of Eston Hemings passed down the story that he was not President Jefferson's son, but rather the son of an "uncle." The report explains who that uncle might have been.
Furthermore, the scholars conclude that neither Sally Hemings nor her children received "extraordinary privileges" at Monticello, and her children were not all given their freedom at the age of 21 as is often claimed. It is true that Sally's sons Madison and Eston were freed in Jefferson's will, but so were all but two of the sons and grandsons of Sally's mother Betty Hemings who still belonged to Thomas Jefferson at the time of his death. Sally's sons received by far the least favorable treatment of those freed in Thomas Jefferson's will.
Other evidence contained in the historic record invites the question, “Would Thomas Jefferson have entrusted his reputation to the discretion of Sally Hemings?” Dr. Turner observes that shortly before Thomas Jefferson left for Paris, he wrote his only book, Notes on the State of Virginia, which included one of the most eloquent denunciations of human bondage in history, “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep for ever… The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.” Dr. Turner specifically notes Jefferson went on to denounce the sexual exploitation of slave women by their ‘masters:’ “The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submission on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal… If a parent could find no motive in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present.”
The Scholars Commission Report notes the only accounts we have of Sally Hemings as she traveled to Paris as being exceptionally immature and lacking the judgment of an eight-year-old child, and “As the servant to Jefferson’s daughters, she was presumably in their presence for hours at a time, day after day. Again, the issue is not whether Thomas Jefferson would have believed that such a child might be able to preserve his confidences, but whether he would be certain that he could entrust his cherished reputation to her discretion.” Significantly, period French Intelligence reports reveal no scandalous activities observed and recorded during his time in Paris, which would have served the French Government for the purpose of compromising Thomas Jefferson. Dr. Turner adds, we are asked to believe that Jefferson “took as his ‘concubine’ the young and immature Sally Hemings, the ladies’ maid to his beloved daughters, and apparently entrusted his reputation and their love and respect for him to her discretion. Such behavior would be totally inconsistent with everything we know about Thomas Jefferson."
Cammie Rodgers · October 1, 2019 at 3:20 pm
No one will really know the whole story, at least none of us posting here. Unless there is an artist's rendering or a diary somewhere we are only speculating on the truth. Several things are true, Sally Hemings was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson's wife's father. There is Jefferson DNA in the Hemings children's blood, maybe Thomas Jefferson's or his brother or cousins. Thomas Jefferson kept and cared for Sally Hemings and her children. Was it because she was half-sister to his wife, or for other reasons? The subject that should be discussed is the open secret that existed in this country of white slave owners having sexual relations with their female slaves. Was it consensual or non-consensual? That issue bothers me more then if he, oh great and mighty Thomas Jefferson's name is dirtied up a little. NONE of us posting here know the whole story and is conjecture on the part of anyone thinking they know the truth.
Jeffersonian American · October 1, 2019 at 7:05 am
Few times in my life have I been more saddened than to witness in our modern era the spreading of Spectacular Lies, deliberate or incompetent errors, alterations of historic document transcriptions and omissions of fact, in direct contradiction of the documented facts contained in the historic record to date in promoting the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable- a fictitious narrative of known origin.
Those who believe the study of history is a never-ending search for the truth would be well-served to examine the recent work by Dr. Robert F. Turner, Chairman of the independent Jefferson-Hemings Scholars Commission, which strongly challenges the modern-era view that President Thomas Jefferson fathered one or more children by an enslaved African-American woman named Sally Hemings.
The Report of the Scholars Commission on the Jefferson-Hemings controversy documents the results of a year-long, independent panel inquiry by thirteen distinguished academics from across the nation. Working without compensation at the request of the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society, the scholars were unanimous in their conclusion that "the allegation is by no means proven," and with but a single mild dissent their views "ranged from serious skepticism about the charge to a conviction that it is almost certainly untrue." Each argument in the debate is examined in careful detail in the comprehensive 412-page volume, with more than 1,400 footnotes documenting their analysis.
Many of the commonly accepted premises behind the story were found to be false, according to the panel of scholars.
There is a growing awakening across our land, a yearning by American citizens to recall and seek increased knowledge and understanding of the essential truths and guiding principles that represent our cultural, political and spiritual inheritance, much of it authored and championed by Thomas Jefferson. Ultimately, with the passage of time, works by revisionist historiographers (and one very brazen Pulitzer Prize winner who continues to promote and profit from the fable based on her very own deliberate alterations of historic document transcriptions) fail to withstand critical thought and scrutiny, and their efforts disintegrate before the underlying presence of the truth- their works become scorned and discredited. The Jefferson-Hemings Controversy: Report of the Scholars Commission, remains faithful to the study of our American history as a never-ending search for the truth, as it masterfully examines, weighs and documents the facts contained in the historic record to date along with newer research.
Why does it matter today for Americans to study the immense character and ideals of Thomas Jefferson factually and truthfully? The highly offensive disinformation campaign continually being spread by “Advocacy Scholars,” Revisionist Historians, Media Darling Pulitzer Prize winners, the pop culture media, and shameless, disgraceful public institutions, museums, foundations, universities and other special interest groups in flagrant and callous disregard to the documented facts of the historic record to date is a terrible thing to do, not only to students, but also to the citizens of the United States of America. In the matter of the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable, this is not a matter of "race," but rather, a very critical matter of "scholarship." Quite frankly, Americans should demand all institutions of higher learning- and the very foundations such as Monticello and the University of Virginia who profit from the immense historic reputation and good name of Thomas Jefferson- to elevate the discussion and to hold themselves to a much higher level of scholarship and fact-checking than what is currently being indoctrinated to visitors and students alike. The historic record to date overwhelmingly vindicates Thomas Jefferson as being wholly innocent of the charges being promoted by modern Revisionist Historians and "Advocacy Scholars" that Thomas Jefferson was a cad, a hypocrite and a slave rapist.
Thomas Jefferson once reminded us a nation cannot remain ignorant and free. It matters greatly that current and future generations of Americans learn about the immense character, legacy, ideals and essential truths of Thomas Jefferson, not only as a great American Founder and Patriot worthy of our remembrance and memorialization for his many noble qualities and contributions, but also for his deep inspiration and enduring influence which comprise the very foundation of America. His is a legacy that current and future generations of Americans- and citizens around the world- would be well-served to learn, to honor and remember, and to keep dear in our hearts.
Virtus · October 1, 2019 at 6:52 am
Mark House · September 30, 2019 at 11:02 am
Jeffersonian American - "In 1998, the scientific journal Nature published the results of DNA tests designed to shed new light on questions first asked some two hundred years earlier: Did Thomas Jefferson have a relationship with a woman who was his slave? Did that relationship produce children?
Now, the new scientific evidence has been correlated with the existing documentary record, and a consensus of historians and other experts who have examined the issue agree that the question has largely been answered: Thomas Jefferson fathered at least one of Sally Hemings's children, and quite probably all six. The language of "proof" does not translate perfectly from science and the law to the historian's craft, however. And the DNA findings in this case are only one piece of a complicated puzzle that many in previous generations worked hard to make sure we might never solve.
In November of 1998, following the release of DNA tests which, combined with the historical record, strongly point to Thomas Jefferson as the father of at least one of Sally Hemings's children, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation formed a Research Committee to verify the findings, gather all relevant evidence, and make a full assessment of the matter. This web version of the final report of the Research Committee on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings is organized into six sections, evaluating the DNA science and the documentary evidence; listing the "uncontested facts"; and investigating the possible paternity of other Jeffersons, including the Carr brothers, who were long reputed to have fathered Sally Hemings's children. The final section of the report contains the committee's conclusion: that there is a high probability that Thomas Jefferson fathered Eston Hemings and probably all six of Sally Hemings's children.”
Jeffersonian American · September 29, 2019 at 11:55 pm
One of the best scholarly lectures on the spirituality and religious beliefs of "The Inventor of America," Thomas Jefferson, was given at a Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society seminar held in 2013 at the University of Virginia- Jefferson himself conducted a life-long spiritual journey and very much believed God played an active role in our world. Here, Dr. William Wilson puts to rest many common fables about Jefferson's religious beliefs- and properly characterizes him as "Jefferson the Theist" in this fascinating lecture covered by C-SPAN:
Dr. Clyde Wilson, "America's Greatest Living Historian" (according to many scholars and his peers today) recently observed in his excellent essay, "Looking for Mr. Jefferson," some of the religious dimensions of Thomas Jefferson. "I have always thought that Jefferson’s advocacy of the separation of church and state was in part inspired by his distaste for the political power of the Yankee clergy. Remember, the famous letter about “the wall of separation” was addressed to a group of Baptists in Connecticut, who were independent of that state’s established Puritan church. One can still find die-hard Calvinists who denounce Jefferson as an atheist. For some reason they never mention that John Adams became a Unitarian."
Another excellent article which further illuminates Thomas Jefferson's thinking and deep spirituality, and the false narrative he was against religion in the public square can be found in a recent article by Daniel Dreisbach, Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation:
Finally, it should be noted that Thomas Jefferson studied the world's religions during his life-long spiritual journey. Much has been made in recent years regarding Thomas Jefferson's Koran as proof "Islam is foundational in America..." and other brazen, false claims by Obama, Congressman Keith Ellison, and others. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson read the Koran and marked extensive handwritten notes in the margins of his copy, now residing in the National Archives. The scholars and historians who have examined and studied Thomas Jefferson's notes in this specific book from his former personal library, have indicated Jefferson had absolutely nothing good to say about Islam. He certainly dealt forcefully with the hostile interruption of American commerce by the Barbary Coast pirates and the Tripoli problem specifically.
Not taught today at Monticello and elsewhere, is that Thomas Jefferson was in life, a moral and religious man who was deeply devoted to his wife, children and grand-children; and wrote eloquently and forcefully against the practice of slave-owners consorting (abusing) their female slaves in his only book, "Notes on the State of Virginia." The horrific Spectacular Lies being perpetrated by the former Thomas Jefferson [Memorial] Foundation- the current radical Directors of Monticello who dropped the word "Memorial" from their foundation's name utilized since the 1920s- and who today shamelessly and deceitfully promote the Thomas Jefferson-Sally Hemings Fable (a fictitious narrative of known origin) that Thomas Jefferson was a Cad, a Hypocrite, and a slave Rapist, and thus being unworthy of memorialization; and therefore discrediting everything he stood for including the founding of America begun with the drafting of his Declaration of Independence. Of course, pertaining to the Sally Hemings Fable, nothing could be further from the truth according to the facts contained in the extensive historic record to date. All who wish to learn the facts (not from the omission of facts and deliberate alteration of historic document transcriptions being promoted by the radical owners of Monticello today, and such authors as Annette Gordon Reed and many others) should read the independent Scholars Commission Report:
Dr. William Wilson also notes Thomas Jefferson completed his life-long spiritual journey, and from all evidence contained in the historic record to date, died a Christian.
Jeffersonian American · September 29, 2019 at 11:54 pm
Sadly, many Americans today know very little of the essential truths of Thomas Jefferson, "The Inventor of America," and one of our greatest American founders. However, the more they study the historic record to date, they have every reason to be proud of Thomas Jefferson's immense personal character and legacy, and devotion to God first, then to his family, then to his community, then to his native State of Virginia, and then to the voluntary union of states in the confederation of independent, sovereign states he helped to establish- precisely in that hierarchy. We have much to learn from Thomas Jefferson's legacy if we are to ever regain what has been lost on our American continent over the past 158 years- that time since Abraham Lincoln singlehandedly turned our original U.S. Constitution upside-down, eliminating the old Jeffersonian order of things, and waged the bloodiest conflict of the 19th Century to preserve the Union- at all costs- instead of upholding the U.S. Constitution as he swore when taking his presidential oath of office.
The answer to the question, "What does it mean to be an American?" has a Jeffersonian answer and a Lincolnian answer. And both views are diametrically opposed to one another. Clearly, the time has come in our nation's history once again to chose sides- Americans cannot have it both ways. We either must choose small, limited, decentralized government championed by Thomas Jefferson and his colleagues; or embrace the massive concentration of power in Washington, D.C. brought about by Abraham Lincoln- a ruthless, menacing force of centralized authority controlling our everyday lives and stealing our freedoms at every turn.
Jim Griffin · September 27, 2019 at 8:03 am
Yes, God (or not) -- but definitely not "Judeo-Christian."
Our founders battled over "Judeo-Christian" values and rejected it, preferring instead a reference to any God, or no God at all. In other words, complete freedom as regards worship (or not).
In adopting the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom -- an effort that predated and informed our US Constitution -- a proposal to assert Judeo-Christian values was defeated because in part Jefferson and others abhorred England's insistence they worship the Church of England.
As Monticello's guide explains, "one of the great successes of Jefferson’s life. Jefferson reported triumphantly that the legislative effort to insert “Jesus Christ” in the preamble to the Virginia Statute was defeated, establishing that religious freedom was “meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it’s protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.”
"For Jefferson, an Enlightenment rationalist, reason had to govern in all areas, including religion. “For the use of … reason… every one is responsible to the God who has planted it in his breast, as a light for his guidance, and that, by which alone he will be judged,” Jefferson explained. His declaration to Benjamin Rush that “I have sworn upon the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man,” was made in the context of religious freedom: any government effort to control religious beliefs was “tyranny over the mind of man.”
"Politically, Jefferson believed that the new nation required complete religious freedom and separation of church and state. Many historians note that the broad diversity of ethnicities and religions in the thirteen colonies meant that religious freedom was necessary if the union was to be successful. This is true, but for Jefferson the political necessity of religious freedom went further. Before the Revolution, Virginia had an official church – the Church of England – and dissenters from that Church (primarily Presbyterians and Baptists) were discriminated against and seriously persecuted. This deeply disturbed Jefferson. Later in life, Jefferson referred to the early battles in this conflict as “the severest contests in which I have ever been engaged.” Ultimately, this political controversy resulted in the adoption of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, one of the three items that Jefferson wished to have preserved on his grave marker."
or shortened to:
Demosthenes · September 26, 2019 at 9:48 pm
Yes, our founding fathers definitely created our nation based on the 10 Commandments, as John Green states.
That is why we have clear laws regarding:
Taking the Lord's name in vain
Disrespecting your parents
Not making idols
Not getting jealous about other people's stuff (coveting in old school English)
Not getting jealous about other men's wives
Wait. This doesn't make any sense. Now that I see the list laid out I don't see evidence that this was ever a nation based on Judeo-Christian laws or the 10 Commandments. We do have laws on stealing and murder, but that is true in every nation whether they are based on the Bible or not.
Now that I think about it I almost think we were designed from the start as a secular state...
Virtus · September 26, 2019 at 7:14 am
Virtus · September 26, 2019 at 6:46 am
Tony Bentley · September 25, 2019 at 3:35 pm
"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."
Tony Bentley · September 25, 2019 at 3:34 pm
Pshaw! You seem to have forgotten about the separation of church and state, or is that more "fake news" from the Founding Fathers.
Virtus · September 25, 2019 at 1:47 pm
Without virtue, we will lose our liberty.
"The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty," - John Adams
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