Thomas Jefferson and the "Clergy."
By Bill Fairchild
I have been on a quote-gathering binge lately, scouring the Internet for large numbers of quotes by famous dudes like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Friedrich Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, etc. etc. Then I read through them and try to learn from other humans far wiser and cleverer with words than I.
I just found the most AWESOME quote of Thomas Jefferson that I want to share with the Painful Truth community. I have heard part of this quote before, but, as we TV-besotted couch potato moron Americans are so wont to do, had never heard this quote in its full context.
Thomas Jefferson wrote the following inspiring words: "I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Until today I thought he was referring to the evil King George III and other governmental tyrants of his day. I have read that many times, and I always get goose bumps thinking about how my great historical mythical hero Saint Thomas of Charlottesville is up there in the great pantheon in the sky making sure that we lucky Americans will always have liberty, because we can recognize political tyrants and either conquer or avoid them. At least that is what it seems to say. And Jefferson even said he swore "upon the altar of God"! Oh, wow! Surely he believed in God, Christianity, etc., like all the other founding fathers and good gospel writers who founded our Christian nation.
Well, let's do just a little bit more work than the average TV-besotted couch potato brainwashed entertainment-saturated moron American usually does, and, as Paul Harvey says, read the rest of the story. In this case we only have to read one extra sentence before and after that lovely sounding quote.
On the 23rd of September, 1800, patriot Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush. (OK, I'm still part couch potato, because I don't really know who Rush was.) This was the year in which Jefferson was first elected president, so presumably by the 23rd of September he was campaigning for the office and his enemies were campaigning against him. We all know how this works. We see political campaigns every few years, and they must have been just as disgusting and sleazy in Jefferson's day as they are now.
A more complete quote is as follows: "The clergy... believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion."
Jefferson was answering one of his political enemies' complaints. "The clergy" were one of his enemies who were trying to keep him from being elected President. Surely they would have wanted a devout, God-fearing Christian to be elected! So this is one more proof of Jefferson's religious beliefs. They did not want him elected because they feared that if he were President he would oppose their schemes. I don't know what their schemes were, but he promised Rush in the very next sentence that yes, he would oppose their schemes. Here is yet one more reason to hold Jefferson up as a great hero of liberty -he, unlike our modern politicians, did not try to appease every single special interest group. He was saying, in effect, to hell with the clergy. I don't want their votes. Maybe I need their votes, but I don't want their votes. I will use all the powers of the presidency to keep them from acting tyrannically over all other Americans.
Jefferson apparently believed in some kind of all-powerful force of nature which he sometimes referred to as "God" and at other times as "nature's God". But he certainly didn't suck up to the clergy or turn his mind over to their "schemes".
And he's still my hero.
It's too bad he wasn't around last century to exert presidential opposition to the schemes of clergy pervies like Herbert W. Armstrong, Jimmy Braggart, Jim Fakker, Awrful Roberts, Rex Humbug, Sun Myung Moonbeam, ElRon Hubbard, and on and on.
Bill Fairchild Douglas, Mass.
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