Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and was America's third President. He was a noted author, educator, architect and scientist. He founded the University of Virginia. In his Notes on the State of Virginia, he made this statement:

God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.

In a letter dated March 23, 1801, Jefferson wrote:

The Christian Religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of its Benevolent Institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind.

In a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, dated January 1, 1802, Jefferson reassured the Baptists that the First Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed them protection from government oppression and interference:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

On April 21, 1803, Jefferson wrote this to Dr. Benjamin Rush (also a signer of the Declaration of Independence):

My views...are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from the anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am, indeed, opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others...

President Thomas Jefferson extended three times a 1787 act of Congress in which special lands were designated ...

... for the sole use of Christian Indians and the Moravian Brethren missionaries for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity.

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