Introduction: Free to Pray, all about Religious Freedom in our Schools
Thomas Jefferson; Separation of Church and State
Supreme Court Rulings on Religion in Public Schools
We all know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, was the third President of the United States, started the University of Virginia and donated his library to establish the Library of Congress. He also wrote the words "A Wall of Separation between Church and State." Because of this last quote many people have come to think that Jefferson was an anti-Christian agnostic, or advocated that religion be barred from the government.
But what did Jefferson really believe about the Christian faith and its relation to our government? The late Dr. D. James Kennedy made some interesting observations about the life of Thomas Jefferson, in his new book "What if America were a Christian Nation Again?"
Mark A. Beliles has assembled an impressive list of some of Jefferson's actions as president.
You will notice that in many cases Federal Treasury money was used to support churches.
Engraved on the walls of the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. are the words of our third President: "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?"
Jefferson wrote this warning on September 6, 1819: "The Constitution . . . is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please."
It is very evident from the record that Thomas Jefferson believed in God and felt that religion should play an important role in the government, and that government could and should support churches. Would Jefferson who added the word "God" to the National Motto, agree with the 9th Circuit Court, who stated that the word "God" in the Pledge of Alegance is Unconstitutional? The War that the Supreme Court has launched on people of faith, Jefferson would be totally against.
Jefferson is also known for creating the "Jefferson Bible". He took a King James Bible and cut out all of the miracles that Jesus had preformed out of the New Testament. Jefferson then pasted the parts without the miracles into a red leather bound volume he titled , "The Life and Moral of Jesus of Nazareth." So in some measure Jefferson was of the Age of Enlightenment in which things had to have a logical explanation. Some have suggested he did this to make it easier for none believes to accept the Bible, but others will say Jefferson's faith in God was a little shallow. None the less Jefferson's long involvement in the Church is a testimony that he took faith in God very seriously.