The below article, Thomas Jefferson Versus Pat Robertson, makes clear the profound Deism of Thomas Jefferson.
The inclination Pat Robertson and the religious right have to equate themselves with such important and intelligent Americans as Thomas Jefferson is obvious to anyone who has glanced through any of Pat's numerous books. The fraudulent nature of their efforts is manifest to those of us who take the time to read the writings of Jefferson and compare them to the rantings of Robertson.
His ability to not only lie, but to lie convincingly, has been essential in Pat's self-ordained mission to organize millions of primarily sincere Americans into a political action organization that sends Republican "leaders" scurrying to please the powerful organization and its leaders.
Because most of the rank and file in the religious right consider themselves patriotic Americans, and falsely believe such Americans as Thomas Jefferson were Christians as defined by today's standards, it is important to the continuation of free thinking that those misled rank and file members be enlightened regarding this subject. It will then be impossible for Pat and other charlatans to continue abusing them for his own selfish gains. Once they lose their rank and file members the environment will breath more easily, workers will stop their assent into the bowels of crass materialistic capitalism and its degradation, the arts will once again enjoy their rightful place in society, and most importantly, religious fanaticism will not be pushing the world towards an irreversible nuclear holocaust based on the insane ideas found in Revelation.
Let's take a realistic look at the profound differences between the televangelist/politician and Thomas Jefferson.
1. Pat says he firmly believes Jesus Christ has a divine nature and is the son of God.
2. Pat says he firmly believes in the immaculate conception.
3. Pat says he firmly believes in the miraculous powers of Jesus Christ.
4. Pat says he firmly believes in the resurrection and visible ascension of Jesus.
5. Pat says he firmly believes in the Trinity.
6. Pat says he firmly believes in original sin.
7. Pat says he firmly believes the Book of Revelation is part of God's word.
Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, chose to employ his God-given reason in all situations including, and especially, in matters of religion. Here is what Mr. Jefferson wrote to William Short in a letter dated October 31, 1819 from his beautiful home of Monticello in Virginia as published in Basic Writings of Thomas Jefferson, edited by Philip S. Foner, Ph.D.:
The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist (Jesus), and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems [E.g., The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity, original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy, etc.] invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, . . .
Thomas Jefferson, in the same spirit of love of God and of truth as the above example, gave this advice to his nephew Peter Carr regarding religion:
In the first place divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty and singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. It is too important, and the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other hand shake off all the fears and servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first the religion of your own country. Read the bible then, as you would read Livy or Tacitus.
Regarding the Bible's Book of Revelation Thomas Jefferson did not believe it was from God, but thought it was from a lunatic! In a letter to General Alexander Smyth dated January 17, 1825 Jefferson wrote that he “considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams. I was, therefore, well pleased to see, in your first proof sheet, that it was said to be not the production of St. John, but of Cerinthus, a century after the death of that apostle. Yet the change of the author's name does not lessen the extravagances of the composition; and come they from whomsoever they may, I cannot so far respect them as to consider them as an allegorical narrative of events, past or subsequent. There is not coherence enough in them to countenance any suite of rational ideas. You will judge, therefore, from this how impossible I think it that either your explanation or that of any man in 'the heavens above, or on the earth beneath,' can be a correct one. What has no meaning admits no explanation; and pardon me if I say, with the candor of friendship, that I think your time too valuable, and your understanding of too high an order, to be wasted on these paralogisms. You will perceive, I hope, also, that I do not consider them as revelations of the Supreme Being, whom I would not so far blaspheme as to impute to Him a pretension of revelation, couched at the same time in terms which, He would know, were never to be understood by those whom they were addressed.” Thomas Jefferson makes it refreshingly clear how little he thinks of the Book of Revelation and that he thinks it's a waste of time to attempt to understand its meaning because it really has none.
Thomas Jefferson disagrees with Pat on all seven of these essential points of religious indoctrination and dogma! This leaves absolutely no common ground between the thinking of Pat and that of Mr. Jefferson. Pat is attempting to deceive the people the way he did during his presidential bid in 1988 regarding his fraudulent war record.
One quote Pat and other politically greedy Christian-politicians abuse of Thomas Jefferson's is, "I am a Christian, in the only sense he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others. . .;" The calculating political deceivers stop at this point, completely losing the meaning Mr. Jefferson conveyed with his entire passage, for it continues, "ascribing to himself every human excellence; and believing he never claimed any other." Would Pat and his congregation of sheep welcome Mr. Jefferson as a Christian knowing he rejected the idea of the divinity of Jesus? Would the Christian Coalition bank-roll him (although I'm positive he would not accept their backing) being fully aware of his "blasphemous" and dangerous ideas?
Taken from the same source as the above quote, a letter from Thomas Jefferson to Doctor Benjamin Rush dated April 21, 1803 from Washington D.C., Jefferson paints Jesus as a Deist, as the following quote illustrates.
"II. Jews. I. Their system was Deism; that is, the belief in one only God. But their ideas of Him and of his attributes were degrading and injurious.
"2. Their ethics were not only imperfect, but often irreconcilable with the sound dictates of reason and morality, as they respect intercourse with those around us; and repulsive and anti-social, as respecting other nations.(Pat would definitely disagree with Jefferson on this point, for we all know God Himself instructed the Jews to slaughter other nations and people according to the Bible. Editor) They needed reformation, therefore, in an eminent degree.
"III. Jesus. In this state of things among the Jews, Jesus appeared. His parentage was obscure; his condition poor; his education null; his natural endowments great; his life correct and innocent: he was meek, benevolent, patient, firm, disinterested, and of the sublimest eloquence.
"1. Like Socrates and Epictetus, he wrote nothing himself.
"3. According to the ordinary fate of those who attempt to enlighten and reform mankind, he fell an early victim to the jealousy and combination of the alter and the throne, at about thirty-three years of age, his reason having not yet attained the maximum of its energy, not the course of his preaching, which was but of three years at most, presented occasions for developing a complete system of morals.
"4. Hence the doctrines which he really delivered were defective as a whole, and fragments only of what he did deliver have come to us mutilated, misstated, and often unintelligible.
"5. They have been still more disfigured by the corruptions of schismatizing followers, who have found an interest in sophisticating and perverting the simple doctrines he taught, by engrafting on them the mysticisms of a Grecian sophist, frittering them into subtleties, and obscuring them with jargon, until they have caused good men to reject the whole in disgust, and to view Jesus himself as an imposter.
1. "He corrected the Deism of the Jews, confirming them in their belief of one only God, and giving them juster notions of his attributes and government."
As is evident from the above material, Mr. Jefferson was not a Christian by Pat's standards. In reality, Jefferson was a Deist. In part two of this article I will examine a project Jefferson took upon himself, which in and of itself, proves he emphatically denied the divinity of Jesus, yet he admired him for his reported sincerity and altruistic teachings.