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News & Politics News & Politics

This Portrait of Jesus in an Ohio Middle School Sparks Major Church vs. State Battle

FFRF Demands Removal of Jesus Portrait From Jackson Middle School | Ohio

A replica of the photo of Jesus that is hanging in Jackson Middle School (Photo Credit: Jackson County Daily)

Atheists are demanding that an Ohio school district remove an image of Jesus Christ that is currently hanging inside of Jackson Middle School. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) claims that the portrait is potentially alienating non-Christian students and faculty, alike, and that it shows a public endorsement of Christianity over other faiths.

Despite these allegations, District Superintendent Phil Howard is refusing to remove the image unless he receives orders from a judge or the school board. The picture of Jesus and its posting is a decades-old student gift and initiative.

Currently, it is displayed in the school’s “Hall of Honor,” among pictures of other well-known individuals. According to WKKJ, the images featured in this hallway depict “influential figures and distinguished alumni.”

“A lot of things are permissible so long as they are student-led or student-initiated,” Howard explained, noting that pupils gave the image, thus allowing for it to hang.

The portrait was given to the school by a group of students in 1947. But after decades of hanging on the school’s walls without incident, the FFRF sent a letter on Jan. 2 to demand that it be taken down, charging that it is a violation of the First Amendment.

The Jackson County Daily reports that an anonymous source likely complained about the presence of the image, sending information about its presence to the Madison, Wisconsin-based organization:

It is believed that someone locally forwarded a photo of the picture to the foundation’s Staff Attorney Rebecca S. Markert, of Madison, Wisconsin. [...]

Markert protected the identity of the person who sent the information and would not divulge any information in regards to if this person was from Jackson. She indicated the foundation is a national membership organization that receives tips about church and state violations from all over the country and that they protect the identities of those individuals who make the reports. She also implied that many of the foundation’s members themselves are somewhat secretive because they don’t want to be outed in their communities as atheists.

In the letter, FFRF attorney Markert wrote that the image turns any student or staff member who does not embrace Jesus Christ “into an outsider.”

“If a large portrait of Jesus were to hang in Jackson Middle School, an objective observer would have no doubt that it had the district’s stamp of approval,” she added (read the full letter here).

FFRF Demands Removal of Jesus Portrait From Jackson Middle School | Ohio

Despite these claims, Howard is doubling down and has no intentions of complying.

“I’m certainly not going to run down there and take the picture down because some group from Madison, Wisconsin, who knows nothing about the culture of our community or why the picture is even there, wants me to take it down,” proclaimed the superintendent.

The debate is currently at a standstill, as the FFRF awaits a response from the district.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/church-vs-state-battle-erupts-over-middle-schools-portrait-of-jesus-christ-unconstitutional/

by on Jan. 8, 2013 at 2:11 AM
Replies (331-340):
blondekosmic15
Report
Wishing everyone a very happy new year~
Yesterday at 7:08 PM
by Blonde on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:48 AM

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

And the same schools you are complaining about were gov't sponsored institutions many yrs ago when they displayed images of God/Christianity.

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Are you going to address the real meaning of the Constitution according to the Founding Fathers? Separation of Church and State envisioned protecting the people from government interference with Religious practice.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 

 

LucyMom08
by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:52 AM

 What does that matter? Why is it important that these schools had these images up years ago?

And the founding fathers made it quite clear that they abhorred religion in government as well...still avoiding my question?

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

And the same schools you are complaining about were gov't sponsored institutions many yrs ago when they displayed images of God/Christianity.

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Are you going to address the real meaning of the Constitution according to the Founding Fathers? Separation of Church and State envisioned protecting the people from government interference with Religious practice.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 

 

 

blondekosmic15
Report
Wishing everyone a very happy new year~
Yesterday at 7:08 PM
by Blonde on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:03 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting chloedee:

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

And what does having a photo of ONE religious figure placed in a government institution imply? Certainly not that all faiths and their adherents are equally as important.

I am not aware of anyone claiming other religious views are forbidden. Are you?

quote>

“A lot of things are permissible so long as they are student-led or student-initiated,” Howard explained, noting that pupils gave the image, thus allowing for it to hang.

You need to rally your troops to visit Congress with your complaints if you are sincerely concerned about God and religion in gov't venues.

Religion on the Hill

Opening Prayer

http://chaplain.house.gov/archive/index.html

blondekosmic15
Report
Wishing everyone a very happy new year~
Yesterday at 7:08 PM
by Blonde on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:44 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 What does that matter? Why is it important that these schools had these images up years ago?

And the founding fathers made it quite clear that they abhorred religion in government as well...still avoiding my question?

You are misguided, you have misinterpreted the Founding Fathers. You have not addressed the truth as presented in the Constitution and the intentions of the Founders.

Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. National days of thanksgiving and of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" were proclaimed by Congress at least twice a year throughout the war. Congress was guided by "covenant theology," a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people. This agreement stipulated that they "should be prosperous or afflicted, according as their general Obedience or Disobedience thereto appears." Wars and revolutions were, accordingly, considered afflictions, as divine punishments for sin, from which a nation could rescue itself by repentance and reformation.

The first national government of the United States, was convinced that the "public prosperity" of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a "spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens," Congress declared to the American people, would "make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people."

The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774 The Liberty Window
At its initial meeting in September 1774 Congress invited the Reverend Jacob Duché (1738-1798), rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, to open its sessions with prayer. Duché ministered to Congress in an unofficial capacity until he was elected the body's first chaplain on July 9, 1776. He defected to the British the next year. Pictured here in the bottom stained-glass panel is the first prayer in Congress, delivered by Duché. The top part of this extraordinary stained glass window depicts the role of churchmen in compelling King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.

 

The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774
Stained glass and lead, from The Liberty Window, Christ Church, Philadelphia, after a painting by Harrison Tompkins Matteson, c. 1848
Courtesy of the Rector, Church Wardens and Vestrymen of Christ Church, Philadelphia (101)

 


George Duffield George Duffield, Congressional Chaplain
On October 1, 1777, after Jacob Duché, Congress's first chaplain, defected to the British, Congress appointed joint chaplains: William White (1748-1836), Duché's successor at Christ Church, Philadelphia, and George Duffield (1732-1790), pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. By appointing chaplains of different denominations, Congress expressed a revolutionary egalitarianism in religion and its desire to prevent any single denomination from monopolizing government patronage. This policy was followed by the first Congress under the Constitution which on April 15, 1789, adopted a joint resolution requiring that the practice be continued.

Continued....

 

 

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel04.html

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

And the same schools you are complaining about were gov't sponsored institutions many yrs ago when they displayed images of God/Christianity.

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Are you going to address the real meaning of the Constitution according to the Founding Fathers? Separation of Church and State envisioned protecting the people from government interference with Religious practice.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 

 

 

 

LucyMom08
by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:50 AM

 And again, way to not answer my questions...*shrugs* I guess I'm to blame for expecting a straight answer...

Have a good night...

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 What does that matter? Why is it important that these schools had these images up years ago?

And the founding fathers made it quite clear that they abhorred religion in government as well...still avoiding my question?

You are misguided, you have misinterpreted the Founding Fathers. You have not addressed the truth as presented in the Constitution and the intentions of the Founders.

Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. National days of thanksgiving and of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" were proclaimed by Congress at least twice a year throughout the war. Congress was guided by "covenant theology," a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people. This agreement stipulated that they "should be prosperous or afflicted, according as their general Obedience or Disobedience thereto appears." Wars and revolutions were, accordingly, considered afflictions, as divine punishments for sin, from which a nation could rescue itself by repentance and reformation.

The first national government of the United States, was convinced that the "public prosperity" of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a "spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens," Congress declared to the American people, would "make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people."

The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774 The Liberty Window
At its initial meeting in September 1774 Congress invited the Reverend Jacob Duché (1738-1798), rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, to open its sessions with prayer. Duché ministered to Congress in an unofficial capacity until he was elected the body's first chaplain on July 9, 1776. He defected to the British the next year. Pictured here in the bottom stained-glass panel is the first prayer in Congress, delivered by Duché. The top part of this extraordinary stained glass window depicts the role of churchmen in compelling King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.

 

The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774
Stained glass and lead, from The Liberty Window, Christ Church, Philadelphia, after a painting by Harrison Tompkins Matteson, c. 1848
Courtesy of the Rector, Church Wardens and Vestrymen of Christ Church, Philadelphia (101)

 


George Duffield George Duffield, Congressional Chaplain
On October 1, 1777, after Jacob Duché, Congress's first chaplain, defected to the British, Congress appointed joint chaplains: William White (1748-1836), Duché's successor at Christ Church, Philadelphia, and George Duffield (1732-1790), pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. By appointing chaplains of different denominations, Congress expressed a revolutionary egalitarianism in religion and its desire to prevent any single denomination from monopolizing government patronage. This policy was followed by the first Congress under the Constitution which on April 15, 1789, adopted a joint resolution requiring that the practice be continued.

Continued....

 

 

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel04.html

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

And the same schools you are complaining about were gov't sponsored institutions many yrs ago when they displayed images of God/Christianity.

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Are you going to address the real meaning of the Constitution according to the Founding Fathers? Separation of Church and State envisioned protecting the people from government interference with Religious practice.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 

 

 

 

 

autodidact
by Silver Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 2:20 AM

excepting, of course, the "affliction" that earned us our independence from the British.

and you're surely not arguing that this reflects Jefferson's stance, are you?

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 What does that matter? Why is it important that these schools had these images up years ago?

And the founding fathers made it quite clear that they abhorred religion in government as well...still avoiding my question?

You are misguided, you have misinterpreted the Founding Fathers. You have not addressed the truth as presented in the Constitution and the intentions of the Founders.

Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. National days of thanksgiving and of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" were proclaimed by Congress at least twice a year throughout the war. Congress was guided by "covenant theology," a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people. This agreement stipulated that they "should be prosperous or afflicted, according as their general Obedience or Disobedience thereto appears." Wars and revolutions were, accordingly, considered afflictions, as divine punishments for sin, from which a nation could rescue itself by repentance and reformation.

The first national government of the United States, was convinced that the "public prosperity" of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a "spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens," Congress declared to the American people, would "make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people."

The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774 The Liberty Window
At its initial meeting in September 1774 Congress invited the Reverend Jacob Duché (1738-1798), rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, to open its sessions with prayer. Duché ministered to Congress in an unofficial capacity until he was elected the body's first chaplain on July 9, 1776. He defected to the British the next year. Pictured here in the bottom stained-glass panel is the first prayer in Congress, delivered by Duché. The top part of this extraordinary stained glass window depicts the role of churchmen in compelling King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.


The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774
Stained glass and lead, from The Liberty Window, Christ Church, Philadelphia, after a painting by Harrison Tompkins Matteson, c. 1848
Courtesy of the Rector, Church Wardens and Vestrymen of Christ Church, Philadelphia (101)

 


George Duffield George Duffield, Congressional Chaplain
On October 1, 1777, after Jacob Duché, Congress's first chaplain, defected to the British, Congress appointed joint chaplains: William White (1748-1836), Duché's successor at Christ Church, Philadelphia, and George Duffield (1732-1790), pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. By appointing chaplains of different denominations, Congress expressed a revolutionary egalitarianism in religion and its desire to prevent any single denomination from monopolizing government patronage. This policy was followed by the first Congress under the Constitution which on April 15, 1789, adopted a joint resolution requiring that the practice be continued.

Continued....


 

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel04.html

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

And the same schools you are complaining about were gov't sponsored institutions many yrs ago when they displayed images of God/Christianity.

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Are you going to address the real meaning of the Constitution according to the Founding Fathers? Separation of Church and State envisioned protecting the people from government interference with Religious practice.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 

 

 

 





jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Jan. 10, 2013 at 6:35 AM
2 moms liked this

And that is because the gov't stepped in to schools, in the past.  Once they did that, then they could control what would be taught.  In the process over the years, they removed God, who was included in all curriculm, in the way of daily prayer, memorizing scripture of encouragement, learning, and purpose for life, including Godly morals and convictions.  

Once God has been erased, BY THE GOV'T, many of these morals and values, such as negative behavior, shootings, aggression, violence, and respect for authority, have increased steadily through today.  Taxes had NOTHING to do with it, and are now, also, being pushed on by people, like you, who are part of this wiping out of God's morals and values.  You refuse to look at the crux of the matter and how far the gov't has overstepped its boundaries and is furthering its agenda to do so in everything.

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 


romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 10, 2013 at 6:43 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting jcribb16:

And that is because the gov't stepped in to schools, in the past.  Once they did that, then they could control what would be taught.  In the process over the years, they removed God, who was included in all curriculm, in the way of daily prayer, memorizing scripture of encouragement, learning, and purpose for life, including Godly morals and convictions.  

Once God has been erased, BY THE GOV'T, many of these morals and values, such as negative behavior, shootings, aggression, violence, and respect for authority, have increased steadily through today.  Taxes had NOTHING to do with it, and are now, also, being pushed on by people, like you, who are part of this wiping out of God's morals and values.  You refuse to look at the crux of the matter and how far the gov't has overstepped its boundaries and is furthering its agenda to do so in everything.

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 


Those things they "erased" didn't belong there in the first place.

We have erased other things over time too that shouldn't have been.

People can be as religious as they like.  They can learn scripture, pray, etc.

They can't be taught it in a public school.

What would be the point of teaching non-Christian kids scripture?  It would be a meaningless exercise and a waste of educational time that could be used for something the children need to learn.  

It would also be a good way to divide the kids into "Christians" and "others".  Don't think for a second this wouldn't happen.

But thankfully we have the First Amendment which protects ALL the children from having to have religion forced on them in a public school.


romalove
by SenseandSensibility on Jan. 10, 2013 at 6:44 AM
2 moms liked this


Quoting autodidact:

excepting, of course, the "affliction" that earned us our independence from the British.

and you're surely not arguing that this reflects Jefferson's stance, are you?

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 What does that matter? Why is it important that these schools had these images up years ago?

And the founding fathers made it quite clear that they abhorred religion in government as well...still avoiding my question?

You are misguided, you have misinterpreted the Founding Fathers. You have not addressed the truth as presented in the Constitution and the intentions of the Founders.

Congress appointed chaplains for itself and the armed forces, sponsored the publication of a Bible, imposed Christian morality on the armed forces, and granted public lands to promote Christianity among the Indians. National days of thanksgiving and of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" were proclaimed by Congress at least twice a year throughout the war. Congress was guided by "covenant theology," a Reformation doctrine especially dear to New England Puritans, which held that God bound himself in an agreement with a nation and its people. This agreement stipulated that they "should be prosperous or afflicted, according as their general Obedience or Disobedience thereto appears." Wars and revolutions were, accordingly, considered afflictions, as divine punishments for sin, from which a nation could rescue itself by repentance and reformation.

The first national government of the United States, was convinced that the "public prosperity" of a society depended on the vitality of its religion. Nothing less than a "spirit of universal reformation among all ranks and degrees of our citizens," Congress declared to the American people, would "make us a holy, that so we may be a happy people."

The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774 The Liberty Window
At its initial meeting in September 1774 Congress invited the Reverend Jacob Duché (1738-1798), rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, to open its sessions with prayer. Duché ministered to Congress in an unofficial capacity until he was elected the body's first chaplain on July 9, 1776. He defected to the British the next year. Pictured here in the bottom stained-glass panel is the first prayer in Congress, delivered by Duché. The top part of this extraordinary stained glass window depicts the role of churchmen in compelling King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215.


The Prayer in the First Congress, A.D. 1774
Stained glass and lead, from The Liberty Window, Christ Church, Philadelphia, after a painting by Harrison Tompkins Matteson, c. 1848
Courtesy of the Rector, Church Wardens and Vestrymen of Christ Church, Philadelphia (101)

 


George Duffield George Duffield, Congressional Chaplain
On October 1, 1777, after Jacob Duché, Congress's first chaplain, defected to the British, Congress appointed joint chaplains: William White (1748-1836), Duché's successor at Christ Church, Philadelphia, and George Duffield (1732-1790), pastor of the Third Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. By appointing chaplains of different denominations, Congress expressed a revolutionary egalitarianism in religion and its desire to prevent any single denomination from monopolizing government patronage. This policy was followed by the first Congress under the Constitution which on April 15, 1789, adopted a joint resolution requiring that the practice be continued.

Continued....


 

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/religion/rel04.html

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 A public school is a government sponsored and supported institution...

And the same schools you are complaining about were gov't sponsored institutions many yrs ago when they displayed images of God/Christianity.

Are you going to address the rest of my comment?

Are you going to address the real meaning of the Constitution according to the Founding Fathers? Separation of Church and State envisioned protecting the people from government interference with Religious practice.

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting LucyMom08:

 If you don't want there to be a separation of church and state, churches need to start paying taxes...they want to play like everyone else, they can pay like everyone else...

The Founding Fathers did not establish separation of church and state as some of you interpret the Constitution. They were concerned about ONE Religion governing this nation, not removing God from public places.

 

 

 

 


You know it just doesn't matter.

Constitutional, not Constitutional, fair, unfair, non-Christians being discriminated against....as long as they can have what they want it matters not.

I think I'm done with this topic because it's not worth it to try and argue facts with people who only argue emotion.

jcribb16
by Primrose Foxglove on Jan. 10, 2013 at 7:04 AM
2 moms liked this

Are you a Christian?  If so, then you would know that this speech of Jefferson's is taken TOTALLY out of context with what he meant by what you have only posted for what you think is your advantage.  I am including the whole speech, including who it was directed to (Calvin) and how he opposed Calvin's views, that he saw as ATHEISM, and his response to and about this:


Letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams

Thomas Jefferson
April 11, 1823
Print Page 
Jefferson attacks Calvin, predestination, the immaculate conception and other facets of Christianity.
DEAR SIR, -- The wishes expressed, in your last favor, that I may continue in life and health until I become a Calvinist, at least in his exclamation of `mon Dieu! jusque à quand'! would make me immortal. I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did. The being described in his 5. points is not the God whom you and I acknolege and adore, the Creator and benevolent governor of the world; but a daemon of malignant spirit. It would be more pardonable to believe in no god at all, than to blaspheme him by the atrocious attributes of Calvin. Indeed I think that every Christian sect gives a great handle to Atheism by their general dogma that, without a revelation, there would not be sufficient proof of the being of a god. Now one sixth of mankind only are supposed to be Christians: the other five sixths then, who do not believe in the Jewish and Christian revelation, are without a knolege of the existence of a god!
"And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter"
(My note regarding his part in red: He is NOT speaking of believers as the mystical generation of Jesus, but rather disbelievers who think it's a myth, and how they will compare God's Word of events and truth, as fable, which is exactly what people are doing today, by claiming Christians "stole" what holidays we celebrate in honor of Christ's birth (Christmas), and His death, burial, and resurrection (Easter.) )
This gives compleatly a gain de cause to the disciples of Ocellus, Timaeus, Spinosa, Diderot and D'Holbach. The argument which they rest on as triumphant and unanswerable is that, in every hypothesis of Cosmogony you must admit an eternal pre-existence of something; and according to the rule of sound philosophy, you are never to employ two principles to solve a difficulty when one will suffice. They say then that it is more simple to believe at once in the eternal pre-existence of the world, as it is now going on, and may for ever go on by the principle of reproduction which we see and witness, than to believe in the eternal pre-existence of an ulterior cause, or Creator of the world, a being whom we see not, and know not, of whose form substance and mode or place of existence, or of action no sense informs us, no power of the mind enables us to delineate or comprehend. On the contrary I hold (without appeal to revelation) that when we take a view of the Universe, in it's parts general or particular, it is impossible for the human mind not to percieve and feel a conviction of design, consummate skill, and indefinite power in every atom of it's composition. The movements of the heavenly bodies, so exactly held in their course by the balance of centrifugal and centripetal forces, the structure of our earth itself, with it's distribution of lands, waters and atmosphere, animal and vegetable bodies, examined in all their minutest particles, insects mere atoms of life, yet as perfectly organised as man or mammoth, the mineral substances, their generation and uses, it is impossible, I say, for the human mind not to believe that there is, in all this, design, cause and effect, up to an ultimate cause, a fabricator of all things from matter and motion, their preserver and regulator while permitted to exist in their present forms, and their regenerator into new and other forms. We see, too, evident proofs of the necessity of a superintending power to maintain the Universe in it's course and order. Stars, well known, have disappeared, new ones have come into view, comets, in their incalculable courses, may run foul of suns and planets and require renovation under other laws; certain races of animals are become extinct; and, were there no restoring power, all existences might extinguish successively, one by one, until all should be reduced to a shapeless chaos. So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have existed thro' all time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypothesis of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe. Surely this unanimous sentiment renders this more probable than that of the few in the other hypothesis. Some early Christians indeed have believed in the coeternal pre-existance of both the Creator and the world, without changing their relation of cause and effect. That this was the opinion of St. Thomas, we are informed by Cardinal Toleto, in these words `Deus ab aeterno fuit jam omnipotens, sicut cum produxit mundum. Ab aeterno potuit producere mundum. -- Si sol ab aeterno esset, lumen ab aeterno esset; et si pes, similiter vestigium. At lumen et vestigium effectus sunt efficientis solis et pedis; potuit ergo cum causâ aeterna effectus coaeterna esse. Cujus sententiae est S. Thomas Theologorum primus' Cardinal Toleta.

Of the nature of this being we know nothing. Jesus tells us that `God is a spirit.' 4. John 24. but without defining what a spirit is {pneyma o Theos}. Down to the 3d. century we know that it was still deemed material; but of a lighter subtler matter than our gross bodies. So says Origen. `Deus igitur, cui anima similis est, juxta Originem, reapte corporalis est; sed graviorum tantum ratione corporum incorporeus.' These are the words of Huet in his commentary on Origen. Origen himself says `appelatio {asomaton} apud nostros scriptores est inusitata et incognita.' So also Tertullian `quis autem negabit Deum esse corpus, etsi deus spiritus? Spiritus etiam corporis sui generis, in suâ effigie.' Tertullian. These two fathers were of the 3d. century. Calvin's character of this supreme being seems chiefly copied from that of the Jews. But the reformation of these blasphemous attributes, and substitution of those more worthy, pure and sublime, seems to have been the chief object of Jesus in his discources to the Jews: and his doctrine of the Cosmogony of the world is very clearly laid down in the 3 first verses of the 1st. chapter of John, in these words, `{en arche en o logos, kai o logos en pros ton Theon kai Theos en o logos. `otos en en arche pros ton Theon. Panta de ayto egeneto, kai choris ayto egeneto ode en, o gegonen}.Which truly translated means `in the beginning God existed, and reason (or mind) was with God, and that  mind was God. This was in the beginning with God. All things were created by it, and without it was made not one thing which was made'. Yet this text, so plainly declaring the doctrine of Jesus that the world was created by the supreme, intelligent being, has been perverted by modern Christians to build up a second person of their tritheism by a mistranslation of the word {logos}. One of it's legitimate meanings indeed is `a word.' But, in that sense, it makes an unmeaning jargon: while the other meaning `reason', equally legitimate, explains rationally the eternal preexistence of God, and his creation of the world. Knowing how incomprehensible it was that `a word,' the mere action or articulation of the voice and organs of speech could create a world, they undertake to make of this articulation a second preexisting being, and ascribe to him, and not to God, the creation of the universe. "The Atheist here plumes himself on the uselessness of such a God, and the simpler hypothesis of a self-existent universe."

The truth is that the greatest enemies to the doctrines of Jesus are those calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them for the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with all this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this the most venerated reformer of human errors.

(My note to show this is where he supports the genuine doctrines (God's Word) and the "artifical scaffolding" comment is directed to what he, himself, called the "ATHEIST" trying to deny God and push God out.)

So much for your quotation of Calvin's `mon dieu! jusqu'a quand' in which, when addressed to the God of Jesus, and our God, I join you cordially, and await his time and will with more readiness than reluctance. May we meet there again, in Congress, with our antient Colleagues, and recieve with them the seal of approbation `Well done, good and faithful servants.'

http://www.beliefnet.com/resourcelib/docs/53/Letter_from_Thomas_Jefferson_to_John_Adams_1.html

Quoting LucyMom08:

 More Jefferson words...

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance of which their civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes.

-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest. The artificial structures they have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it pence and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mrs. Samuel H. Smith, August, 6, 1816

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823


Quoting blondekosmic15:

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."

 


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