America’s Most Biblically Hostile U. S. President

America’s Most Biblically Hostile U. S. President

David Barton

February 29, 2012

 

        When one observes President Obama’s unwillingness to accommodate America’s four-century long religious conscience protection through his attempts to require Catholics to go against their own doctrines and beliefs, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Catholic. But that characterization would not be correct. Although he has recently singled out Catholics, he has equally targeted traditional Protestant beliefs over the past four years. So since he has attacked Catholics and Protestants, one is tempted to say that he is anti-Christian. But that, too, would be inaccurate. He has been equally disrespectful in his appalling treatment of religious Jews in general and Israel in particular. So perhaps the most accurate description of his antipathy toward Catholics, Protestants, religious Jews, and the Jewish nation would be to characterize him as anti-Biblical. And then when his hostility toward Biblical people of faith is contrasted with his preferential treatment of Muslims and Muslim nations, it further strengthens the accuracy of the anti-Biblical descriptor. In fact, there have been numerous clearly documented times when his pro-Islam positions have been the cause of his anti-Biblical actions.

       Listed below in chronological order are (1) numerous records of his attacks on Biblical persons or organizations; (2) examples of the hostility toward Biblical faith that have become evident in the past three years in the Obama-led military; (3) a listing of his open attacks on Biblical values; and finally (4) a listing of numerous incidents of his preferential deference for Islam’s activities and positions, including letting his Islamic advisors guide and influence his hostility toward people of Biblical faith.

1. Acts of hostility toward people of Biblical faith:

  • April 2008 – Obama speaks disrespectfully of Christians, saying they “cling to guns or religion” and have an “antipathy to people who aren’t like them.” 1
  • February 2009 – Obama announces plans to revoke conscience protection for health workers who refuse to participate in medical activities that go against their beliefs, and fully implements the plan in February 2011. 2
  • April 2009 – When speaking at Georgetown University, Obama orders that a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name be covered when he is making his speech. 3
  • May 2009 – Obama declines to host services for the National Prayer Day (a day established by federal law) at the White House. 4
  • April 2009 – In a deliberate act of disrespect, Obama nominated three pro-abortion ambassadors to the Vatican; of course, the pro-life Vatican rejected all three. 5
  • October 19, 2010 – Obama begins deliberately omitting the phrase about “the Creator” when quoting the Declaration of Independence – an omission he has made on no less than seven occasions. 6
  • November 2010 – Obama misquotes the National Motto, saying it is “E pluribus unum” rather than “In God We Trust” as established by federal law. 7
  • January 2011 – After a federal law was passed to transfer a WWI Memorial in the Mojave Desert to private ownership, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the cross in the memorial could continue to stand, but the Obama administration refused to allow the land to be transferred as required by law, and refused to allow the cross to be re-erected as ordered by the Court. 8
  • February 2011 – Although he filled posts in the State Department, for more than two years Obama did not fill the post of religious freedom ambassador, an official that works against religious persecution across the world; he filled it only after heavy pressure from the public and from Congress. 9
  • April 2011 – For the first time in American history, Obama urges passage of a non-discrimination law that does not contain hiring protections for religious groups, forcing religious organizations to hire according to federal mandates without regard to the dictates of their own faith, thus eliminating conscience protection in hiring. 10
  • August 2011 – The Obama administration releases its new health care rules that override religious conscience protections for medical workers in the areas of abortion and contraception. 11
  • November 2011 – Obama opposes inclusion of President Franklin Roosevelt’s famous D-Day Prayer in the WWII Memorial. 12
  • November 2011 – Unlike previous presidents, Obama studiously avoids any religious references in his Thanksgiving speech. 13
  • December 2011 – The Obama administration denigrates other countries’ religious beliefs as an obstacle to radical homosexual rights. 14
  • January 2012 – The Obama administration argues that the First Amendment provides no protection for churches and synagogues in hiring their pastors and rabbis. 15
  • February 2012 – The Obama administration forgives student loans in exchange for public service, but announces it will no longer forgive student loans if the public service is related to religion. 16

2. Acts of hostility from the Obama-led military toward people of Biblical faith:

  • June 2011 – The Department of Veterans Affairs forbids references to God and Jesus during burial ceremonies at Houston National Cemetery. 17
  • August 2011 – The Air Force stops teaching the Just War theory to officers in California because the course is taught by chaplains and is based on a philosophy introduced by St. Augustine in the third century AD – a theory long taught by civilized nations across the world (except America). 18
  • September 2011 – Air Force Chief of Staff prohibits commanders from notifying airmen of programs and services available to them from chaplains. 19
  • September 2011 – The Army issues guidelines for Walter Reed Medical Center stipulating that “No religious items (i.e. Bibles, reading materials and/or facts) are allowed to be given away or used during a visit.” 20
  • November 2011 – The Air Force Academy rescinds support for Operation Christmas Child, a program to send holiday gifts to impoverished children across the world, because the program is run by a Christian charity. 21
  • November 2011 – The Air Force Academy pays $80,000 to add a Stonehenge-like worship center for pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans. 22
  • February 2012 – The U. S. Military Academy at West Point disinvites three star Army general and decorated war hero Lieutenant General William G. (“Jerry”) Boykin (retired) from speaking at an event because he is an outspoken Christian. 23
  • February 2012 – The Air Force removes “God” from the patch of Rapid Capabilities Office (the word on the patch was in Latin: Dei). 24
  • February 2012 – The Army orders Catholic chaplains not to read a letter to parishioners that their archbishop asked them to read. 25

3. Acts of hostility toward Biblical values:

  • January 2009 – Obama lifts restrictions on U.S. government funding for groups that provide abortion services or counseling abroad, forcing taxpayers to fund pro-abortion groups that either promote or perform abortions in other nations. 26
  • January 2009 – President Obama’s nominee for deputy secretary of state asserts that American taxpayers are required to pay for abortions and that limits on abortion funding are unconstitutional. 27
  • March 2009 – The Obama administration shut out pro-life groups from attending a White House-sponsored health care summit. 28
  • March 2009 – Obama orders taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research. 29
  • March 2009 – Obama gave $50 million for the UNFPA, the UN population agency that promotes abortion and works closely with Chinese population control officials who use forced abortions and involuntary sterilizations. 30
  • May 2009 – The White House budget eliminates all funding for abstinence-only education and replaces it with “comprehensive” sexual education, repeatedly proven to increase teen pregnancies and abortions. 31 He continues the deletion in subsequent budgets. 32
  • May 2009 – Obama officials assemble a terrorism dictionary calling pro-life advocates violent and charging that they use racism in their “criminal” activities. 33
  • July 2009 – The Obama administration illegally extends federal benefits to same-sex partners of Foreign Service and Executive Branch employees, in direction violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 34
  • September 16, 2009 – The Obama administration appoints as EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, who asserts that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, if they may negatively affect homosexual “equality.” 35
  • July 2010 – The Obama administration uses federal funds in violation of federal law to get Kenya to change its constitution to include abortion. 36
  • August 2010 – The Obama administration Cuts funding for 176 abstinence education programs. 37
  • September 2010 – The Obama administration tells researchers to ignore a judge’s decision striking down federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. 38
  • February 2011 – Obama directs the Justice Department to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 39
  • March 2011 – The Obama administration refuses to investigate videos showing Planned Parenthood helping alleged sex traffickers get abortions for victimized underage girls. 40
  • July 2011 – Obama allows homosexuals to serve openly in the military, reversing a policy originally instituted by George Washington in March 1778. 41
  • September 2011 – The Pentagon directs that military chaplains may perform same-sex marriages at military facilities in violation of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. 42
  • October 2011 – The Obama administration eliminates federal grants to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for their extensive programs that aid victims of human trafficking because the Catholic Church is anti-abortion. 43

4. Acts of preferentialism for Islam:

  • May 2009 – While Obama does not host any National Day of Prayer event at the White House, he does host White House Iftar dinners in honor of Ramadan. 44
  • April 2010 – Christian leader Franklin Graham is disinvited from the Pentagon’s National Day of Prayer Event because of complaints from the Muslim community. 45
  • April 2010 – The Obama administration requires rewriting of government documents and a change in administration vocabulary to remove terms that are deemed offensive to Muslims, including jihad, jihadists, terrorists, radical Islamic, etc. 46
  • August 2010 – Obama speaks with great praise of Islam and condescendingly of Christianity. 47
  • August 2010 – Obama went to great lengths to speak out on multiple occasions on behalf of building an Islamic mosque at Ground Zero, while at the same time he was silent about a Christian church being denied permission to rebuild at that location. 48
  • 2010 – While every White House traditionally issues hundreds of official proclamations and statements on numerous occasions, this White House avoids traditional Biblical holidays and events but regularly recognizes major Muslim holidays, as evidenced by its 2010 statements on Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj, and Eid-ul-Adha. 49
  • October 2011 – Obama’s Muslim advisers block Middle Eastern Christians’ access to the White House. 50
  • February 2012 – The Obama administration makes effulgent apologies for Korans being burned by the U. S. military, 51 but when Bibles were burned by the military, numerous reasons were offered why it was the right thing to do. 52

       Many of these actions are literally unprecedented – this is the first time they have happened in four centuries of American history. The hostility of President Obama toward Biblical faith and values is without equal from any previous American president.


Endnotes

1. Sarah Pulliam Baily, “Obama: ‘They cling to guns or religion’,” Christianity Today, April 13, 2008.

2. Aliza Marcus, “Obama to Lift ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Bloomberg, February 27, 2009; Sarah Pulliam Baily, “Obama Admin. Changes Bush ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers,” Christianity Today, February 18, 2011.

3. Jim Lovino, “Jesus Missing From Obama’s Georgetown Speech,” NBC Washington, April 17, 2009.

4. Johanna Neuman, “Obama end Bush-era National Prayer Day Service at White House,” Los Angeles Times, May 7, 2009.

5. Chris McGreal, “Vatican vetoes Barack Obama’s nominees for U.S. Ambassador,” The Guardian, April 14, 2009.

6. Meredith Jessup, “Obama Continues to Omit ‘Creator’ From Declaration of Independence,” The Blaze, October 19, 2010.

7.Remarks by the President at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia,” The White House, November 10, 2010.

8. LadyImpactOhio, “ Feds sued by Veterans to allow stolen Mojave Desert Cross to be rebuilt,” Red State, January 14, 2011.

9. Marrianne Medlin, “Amid criticism, President Obama moves to fill vacant religious ambassador post,” Catholic News Agency, February 9, 2011; Thomas F. Farr, “Undefender of the Faith,” Foreign Policy, April 5, 2012.

10. Chris Johnson, “ENDA passage effort renewed with Senate introduction,” Washington Blade, April 15, 2011.

11. Chuck Donovan, “HHS’s New Health Guidelines Trample on Conscience,” Heritage Foundation, August 2, 2011.

12. Todd Starns, “Obama Administration Opposes FDR Prayer at WWII Memorial,” Fox News, November 4, 2011.

13. Joel Siegel, “Obama Omits God From Thanksgiving Speech, Riles Critics,” ABC News, November 25, 2011.

14. Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Remarks in Recognition of International Human Rights Day,” U.S. Department of State, December 6, 2011.

15. Ted Olson, “Church Wins Firing Case at Supreme Court,” Christianity Today, January 11, 2012.

16. Audrey Hudson, “Obama administration religious service for student loan forgiveness,” Human Events, February 15, 2012.

17.Houston Veterans Claim Censorship of Prayers, Including Ban of ‘God’ and ‘Jesus’,” Fox News, June 29, 2011.

18. Jason Ukman, “Air Force suspends ethics course that used Bible passages that train missle launch officers,” Washington Post, August 2, 2011.

19.Maintaining Government Neutrality Regarding Religion,” Department of the Air Force, September 1, 2011.

20.Wounded, Ill, and Injured Partners in Care Guidelines,” Department of the Navy (accessed on February 29, 2012).

21.Air Force Academy Backs Away from Christmas Charity,” Fox News Radio, November 4, 2011.

22. Jenny Dean, “Air Force Academy adapts to pagans, druids, witches and Wiccans,” Los Angeles Times, November 26, 2011.

23. Ken Blackwell, “Gen. Boykin Blocked At West Point,” cnsnews.com, February 1, 2012.

24. Geoff Herbert, ” Air Force unit removes ‘God’ from logo; lawmakers warn of ‘dangerous precedent’,” syracuse.com, February 9, 2012.

25. Todd Starnes, “Army Silences Catholic Chaplains,” Fox News Radio, February 6, 2012.

26. Jeff Mason and Deborah Charles, “Obama lifts restrictions on abortion funding,” Reuters, January 23, 2009.

27.Obama pick: Taxpayers must fund abortions,” World Net Daily, January 27, 2009.

28. Steven Ertelt, “Pro-Life Groups Left Off Obama’s Health Care Summit List, Abortion Advocates OK,” LifeNews, March 5, 2009.

29. Obama Signs Order Lifting Restrictions on Stem Cell Research Funding,” Fox News, March 9, 2009.

30. Steven Ertelt, “ Obama Administration Announces $50 Million for Pro-Forced Abortion UNFPA,” LifeNews, March 26, 2009; Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012.

31. Steven Ertelt, “Barack Obama’s Federal Budget Eliminates Funding for Abstinence-Only Education,” LifeNews, May 8, 2009.

32. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Budget Funds Sex Ed Over Abstinence on 16-1 Margin,” LifeNews, February 14, 2011.

33. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Terrorism Dictionary Calls Pro-Life Advocates Violent, Racist,” LifeNews, May 5, 2009.

34.Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies,” The White House, June 17, 2009.

35. Matt Cover, “Obama’s EEOC Nominee: Society Should ‘Not Tolerate Private Beliefs’ That ‘Adversely Affect’ Homosexuals,” cnsnews.com, January 18, 2010.

36. Tess Civantos, “White House Spent $23M of Taxpayer Money to Back Kenyan Constitution That Legalizes Abortion, GOP Reps Say,” Fox News, July 22, 2010.

37. Steven Ertelt, “Obama, Congress Cut Funding for 176 Abstinence Programs Despite New Study,” LifeNews, August 26, 2010.

38. Steven Ertelt, “President Barack Obama’s Pro-Abortion Record: A Pro-Life Compilation,” LifeNews, February 11, 2012.

39. Brian Montopoli, “Obama administration will no longer defend DOMA,” CBSNews, February 23, 2011.

40. Steven Ertelt, “Obama Admin Ignores Planned Parenthood Sex Trafficking Videos,” LifeNews, March 2, 2011.

41. Elisabeth Bumiller, “Obama Ends ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy,” New York Times, July 22, 2011; George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, John C. Fitzpatrick, editor (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1934), Vol. XI, pp. 83-84, from General Orders at Valley Forge on March 14, 1778.

42. Luis Martinez, “Will Same Sex Marriages Pose a Dilemma for Military Chaplains?,” ABC News, October 12, 2011.

43. Jerry Markon, “Health, abortion issues split Obama administration and Catholic groups,” Washington Post, October 31, 2011.

44. Barack Obama, “ Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, September 1, 2009; Kristi Keck, “ Obama tones down National Day of Prayer observance,” CNN, May 6, 2009; Dan Gilgoff, “ The White House on National Day of Prayer: A Proclamation, but No Formal Ceremony,” U.S. News, May 1, 2009.

45.Franklin Graham Regrets Army’s Decision to Rescind Invite to Pentagon Prayer Service,” Fox News, April 22, 2010.

46.Obama Bans Islam, Jihad From National Security Strategy Document,” Fox News, April 7, 2010; “Counterterror Adviser Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam’,” Fox News, May 27, 2010; “‘Islamic Radicalism’ Nixed From Obama Document,” CBSNews, April 7, 2010.

47. Chuck Norris, “ President Obama: Muslim Missionary? (Part 2),” Townhall.com, August 24, 2010; Chuck Norris, “President Obama: Muslim Missionary?,” Townhall.com, August 17, 2010.

48. Barack Obama, “Remarks by the President at Iftar Dinner,” The White House, August 13, 2010; “Obama Comes Out in Favor of Allowing Mosque Near Ground Zero,” Fox News, August 13, 2010; Pamela Geller, “Islamic Supremacism Trumps Christianity at Ground Zero,” American Thinker, July 21, 2011.

49.WH Fails to Release Easter Proclamation,” Fox Nation, April 25, 2011; “President Obama ignores most holy Christian holiday; AFA calls act intentional,” American Family Association (accessed on February 29, 2012).

50.Report: Obama’s Muslim Advisers Block Middle Eastern Christians’ Access to the White House,” Big Peace (accessed on February 29, 2012).

51. Masoud Popalzai and Nick Paton Walsh, “ Obama apologizes to Afghanistan for Quran burning,” CNN, February 23, 2012; “USA/Afghanistan-Islamophobia: Pentagon official apologizes for Quran burning,” International Islamic News Agency (accessed on February 29, 2012).

52.Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan,” CNN, May 22, 2009.

From the Seed

 

From the Seed
 
    A simple explanation of why Barack Obama is so focused on destroying all that the Framers intended for America is evinced and exposed in the totality of his past. Certainly persons repenting of past failures and actions can change. But from childhood on, this man’s course was formed and directed by those embracing ideologies and faiths diametrically opposed to and opposite of the Framers’ original intention. Shaping Obama’s character and motivation manifesting in the betrayal of the trust of patriotic Americans loyal to the original intention of the Constitution are the enemies of truth and justice. Ignoring the truths of science and history, those attacking America are aided and abetted by the propaganda spewing from the cesspools of the liberal media funded by those resting in blessings already afforded to them because of all that the America they are seeking to destroy has provided them. Before those politically bribed and unaware of the truth elected Obama, this Committee for the Constitution published many articles warning of the threat to freedom and justice for all represented in this foreign born person ineligible to hold the “highest office of honor and trust” in this “one Nation under God”. Combining The Perfect Stranger, Krauthammer On Obama, Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis, and Barack Obama: Red Diaper Baby, there is a repetitive pattern and foundation answering not only David Barton’s rhetorical question as to why Obama is “America’s Most Biblically Hostile U. S. President“, but why all that made America great is being attacked and destroyed by what many call a traitor in our midst.
 
    America needs a leader of truth and integrity, a person calling to science and history, a person seeking only to serve and reclaim a heritage lost to the greed and ignorance of those in the congregations of humanism led by lies and deceptions. The Truth shall set us free!
 
CftC

The Religion of Thomas Jefferson – David Barton

The Religion of Thomas Jefferson

By David Barton

 

Of the 200+ Founding Fathers, the faith of most can be clearly identified. For example, one can say with great certainty that Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Roger Sherman, and William Livingston were definitely Christians; and one can say with equal certainty that Charles Lee, Henry Dearborn, Thomas Paine, and Ethan Allen definitely were not; but Thomas Jefferson’s faith is much more difficult to label with certainty.

Some assert that Jefferson was a Christian; others that he was not; and the source of this contradiction is Jefferson himself, for his own writings contain content that can be used to prove either position. Yet while the condition of Jefferson’s private faith is subject to speculation, his public actions regarding Christianity are not.

For example, Jefferson began his federal career in 1789 as Secretary of State to President George Washington, and one of his early assignments was to oversee the layout and construction of Washington, D. C. In late 1800, the new Capitol building was ready, and on December 4, Congress (with Vice President Thomas Jefferson presiding over the U. S. Senate) approved a plan whereby Christian church services would be held each Sunday in the Capitol.

Throughout Jefferson’s presidency, he faithfully attended the Capitol church (arriving each week on horseback) and did not even allow bad weather to impede his attendance. He had the Marine Band play at the worship services, and under his tenure Sunday services were also started at the War Department and Treasury Department. Of his faithful participation at the Capitol church, he explained:

No nation has ever existed or been governed without religion – nor can be. The Christian religion is the best religion that has been given to man and I, as Chief Magistrate of this nation, am bound to give it the sanction of my example.

Other presidential actions of Jefferson included:

• Urging local governments to make land available specifically for Christian purposes;

• Federally funding Christian missionaries to the Indians and providing funds to erect a church building in which they might worship;

• Assuring a Christian school in the newly purchased Louisiana Territory that it would receive “the patronage of the government”; and

•Closing presidential documents with “In the year of our Lord Christ” (see inset).

Before his presidency and while Governor of Virginia, Jefferson called for a time of prayer and thanksgiving, asking the people to give thanks . . . that He hath diffused the glorious light of the Gospel, whereby through the merits of our gracious Redeemer we may become the heirs of His eternal glory.

His call further asked Virginians to pray that . . .

He would grant to His church the plentiful effusions of Divine grace and pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would bless and prosper the means of education and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth.

As a state legislator, Jefferson introduced the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom to disestablish the Anglican Church and place all Christian denominations on an equal footing. He also introduced a number of other religious bills, including “A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers,” “A Bill for Appointing Days of Public Fasting and Thanksgiving,” and “A Bill Annulling Marriages Prohibited by the Levitical Law and Appointing the Mode of Solemnizing Lawful Marriage.”

There are many additional examples, and Jefferson’s public actions certainly show no hostility toward Christianity; in fact, they display a strong support for public Christian expressions and practices. Nevertheless, two major accusations of irreligion wrongly persist against him, one related to the “Jefferson Bible” and another concerning the University of Virginia.

The So-Called “Jefferson Bible”

According to this allegation, Jefferson made his own Bible (i.e., “The Jefferson Bible”) by removing from the Gospels the miracles and parts with which he disagreed; but there are many problems with this charge.

First, Jefferson was one of the founders of the Virginia Bible Society and contributed liberally to the distribution of the complete, unedited, traditional Bible.

Second, no such work as a “Jefferson Bible” actually exists; it is a widely-used pejorative concocted by modern writers loosely referring to one of two works that Jefferson prepared about the teachings of Jesus (the first in 1804 and the second in 1820). Significantly, Jefferson assigned a specific title to each work accurately describing its scope and purpose; neither was a “Bible.”

For years prior to the 1804 work, Jefferson had taken an active role in promoting Christianity among the Indians. He not only signed numerous federal laws to that end but also carried on a correspondence about the subject with several ministers and government officials, who recommended “a plan by which the blessing of Christianity might be propagated among the heathen.” One friend showed Jefferson a sermon endorsing a plan whereby just the simple teachings of Jesus (i.e., Jesus’ own words) were presented to Indians, avoiding the many controversial doctrines over which groups of Christians so often fought. Jefferson took two Bibles that he had in the White House, cut the words of Jesus from those Bibles, and pasted them into a separate folio, arranging them so that Indians could read the teachings of Jesus in a non-stop, end-to-end fashion.

Jefferson titled that work “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth, being Extracted from the Account of His Life and Doctrines given by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; Being an Abridgement of the New Testament for the Use of the Indians, Unembarrassed [Uncomplicated] with Matters of Fact or Faith beyond the Level of their Comprehensions.” This work is the so-called “Jefferson Bible,” and significantly, it did include miracles, such as Jesus’ command to His disciples to heal the sick and raise the dead, the account of the resurrection of Jarius’ daughter, the healing of the bleeding woman, the healing of two blind men, the casting out of a demon, and other acts of a miraculous and supernatural nature.

Jefferson’s second religious work was undertaken more than a decade later. Titled “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” Jefferson took the moral teachings of Jesus and arranged them end-to-end in four side-by-side columns – one column in English, Latin, French, and Greek.

Jefferson described that work to his friend, the Rev. Charles Clay:

Probably you have heard me say I had taken the four Evangelists, had cut out from them every text they had recorded of the moral precepts of Jesus, and arranged them in a certain order; and although they appeared but as fragments, yet fragments of the most sublime edifice of morality which had ever been exhibited to man. (emphasis added)

Because the purpose of the 1820 work was to compile the morals of Jesus from his teachings, that work did not contain miracles. As confirmed by Jefferson scholar, Dr. Mark Beliles:

Because of Jefferson’s intention to compile primarily what Jesus taught rather than what he did, many of the miracles and other events included in the Gospels concerning Jesus were naturally deleted.

Today, some claim that the 1820 work (rather than the 1804 work) is the “Jefferson Bible,” but that 1820 work was not for public use and Jefferson would never have allowed it to have been described as a “Bible”; it was merely a personal devotional aid for his own use. Jefferson’s eldest grandson noted that his grandfather “was in the habit of reading nightly from it before going to bed.”

How did either of Jefferson’s simple works on the words of Jesus come to be characterized by modern writers as a supposedly anti-Christian “Jefferson Bible”? A contemporary researcher has accurately reported:

Unfortunately, all those who have published the “Jefferson Bible” since 1903 have been almost universally either Unitarian or rationalist and secular in their approach, and their introductions to the book have. . . . misrepresented Jefferson’s motivations and beliefs to conform to their own theological assumptions or agendas.

Jefferson’s So-Called “Secular” University of Virginia

Modern critics also assert that that Jefferson founded the University of Virginia as America’s first explicitly secular school – that he barred religious activities and instruction from the curriculum and that the University had no chaplain; however, Jefferson’s writings readily disprove those charges. For example, he personally:

• Directed the Professor of Ethics to teach students “the proofs of the being of a God – the Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Ruler of the Universe – the Author of all the relations of morality and of the laws and obligations these infer”;

• Directed the Professor of Ancient Languages to teach Biblical Greek, Hebrew, and Latin so that students would be equipped to read and study the “earliest and most respected authorities of the Christian Faith” and he also placed “the writings of the most respected authorities of every sect [denomination]” in the university library;

• Arranged the curriculum so that religious study would be an inseparable part of the study of law and political science;

• Invited several denominations to establish seminaries at the University and participate in student instruction; and

• Ordered that a room in the University Rotunda “shall be used for . . . religious worship,” stating that “the students of the University will be free and expected to attend.”

Additionally, contrary to modern claims, the University of Virginia did have chaplains who oversaw “the regular services of the Sabbath [and] a Sabbath School” as well as “the monthly concert for prayer.” Furthermore, University students who studied for the Gospel ministry were exempted from normal tuition fees.

— — —  — — —

Jefferson’s actions definitely do not indicate that he was irreligious or hostile to Christian public policy. In fact, two centuries ago he accurately noted: “My views are very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions.”

So do Jefferson’s public actions therefore mean that he was personally a Christian? Not necessarily. He called himself a Christian on multiple occasions but those declarations do not settle the matter, for there were also times when he stated that he rejected the divinity of Christ, the virgin birth, and the inspiration of the Scriptures. (Significantly, however, historical analysts have pointed out that of the nearly 20,000 letters Jefferson wrote, only half-a-dozen – a very miniscule percentage – raise any questions as to orthodox Christian teachings.)

Jefferson’s public pro-Christian actions are numerous and his private letters raising concerns are few, but they definitely do exist. It is therefore difficult to take any absolutely firm position on the personal faith of Thomas Jefferson.

Dumas Malone, the Pulitzer-Prize winning biographer of Thomas Jefferson, recognized this difficulty, acknowledging that on the one hand, “This apostle of spiritual freedom regarded himself as a Christian, and unquestionably he was one in his ethical standards,” but that on the other hand, “Jefferson did not refer to the Messiah, the Savior, or the Christ, but he had unbounded admiration for Jesus.”

Probably no human today can know for sure whether or not Jefferson finished his life as a Christian according to an orthodox definition; only God knows. But while the condition of his private personal faith might be questioned, what cannot be questioned is the fact that Jefferson was not a Deist, a secularist, or irreligious but rather a strong promoter of public religion, being pro-Christian in his demeanor and endeavors.