Thomas Jefferson Plus God

Thomas Jefferson, the “Sage of Monticello,” was a complex and sagacious man; wise and farsighted. He was a Deist very familiar with the Bible. He believed in the morals and ethics of Christianity but not in Christ as divine. Much of what he and others of his ilk espoused has been written out of textbooks. As a reminder to some and as news to others following are extracts from the latitudinarian Jefferson that are pertinent for today.
“Indeed, I tremble for my county when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”
“It is incumbent upon every generation to pay its own debt as it goes. A principle which acted on would save one-half of the wars of the world.”
“I predict happiness for Americans if they can prevent government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”
“A wise and frugal Government … shall leave them [citizens] otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement andnot take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned — this is a sum of good government.”
“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for propagation of opinions he disbelieves or abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
“Educate and inform the masses of people. They are the only reliance for the preservation of liberty.”
“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
“No free man shall ever be debarred the use or arms.”
On the principle of separation of church and state his reference to a “wall of separation” can be better understood by other comments he made on the subject.
In what is known as the “Kentucky Resolution of 1798,” Jefferson wrote: “No power over the freedom of religion…[is] delegated to the United States by the Constitution.”
In his Second Inaugural Address, 1805, he said, “In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General [federal] Government.”
In a letter to Samuel Miller, 1808, he wrote of the “free exercise of religion,” as stated in the First Amendment.
As President in 1787, Jefferson recommended special lands “for the sole use of Christian Indians” and reserved lands for the Moravian Brethren “for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity.”Congress extended the act three times and Jefferson signed it each time. They were not prohibiting religious activity they were actually evangelizing.
Our liberties are eroding more rapidly than we realize. It is actually being accomplished not only speedily but easily. Could it be because we have failed to do what Jefferson enjoined us to do: “Educate and inform the masses of people. They are the only reliance for the preservation of liberty.”
People of good conscience dare not remain silent.