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March 18, 2004



Didya know Jefferson was a Deist (or an Atheist)?

Gasp! Under Papa Bush's definition, he wouldn't even be considered a citizen.


And, if you listen closely, you'll note we aren't actually fighting terrorists. No, those are totally different... what we're actually fighting are terrists...


While the government of the US was founded to be secular, many of our ancestors who came over as part of the original settlement were, indeed, Christian, and came here to practice their own form of that religion.

Separation of church and state are absolutely taught in schools today, and is a large part of the US History education I received in both 8th and 11th grades.


That's really good then, I just wonder if it was taught that some of the founding fathers were Deists and not Christians.

Also I bring this up because many want that separation to collapse (namely, right wing Christian coalition.)


Consider yourself lucky, plzr... There is no uniformity in teaching standards across the US, something I can personally atest to.

Having spent my elementary years in New Jersey (very secular and liberal), Texas (yeah, right... we were prayin' every day in our humble little public school), Puerto Rico, I know how random the whole 'separation' thing is.

Ricardo and I both went through HS in PR, at what is possibly the most liberal, progressive high school on the island, and religion was a daily thing. School activities were always preceded by an 'invocation', prayer raised no eyebrows, and I (as the resident atheist) was frequently derided and challenged by my teachers (though I suspect they appreciated, secretly, my free thinking).

If you think there is religious freedom in the US, consider this: I consider myself an outspoken person (I've been ranting on the web for years, for &diety's sake) and have no compunctions about letting my political views be known, BUT it is only recently that I've started admitting my atheism to people outside my circle of friends. On the other hands, people here at work regularly sign off their emails with quotes from the bible, etc. I definite feel like a second class citizen.


Deists were not atheists. Deist comes from Deity; deity from God. Deism is a belief in One God that you can confess your sins directly to. Not a priest or minster. They would be called, in this time, Non-Denominational Christians, or more commonly, Born Again Christians.

Seeker: you might want to re-think your beliefs; the net's filled with Websites about what Deism is. The one thing that have all had in common is believing God.


I may have misworded my comment... I didn't mean to imply that a deist is a atheist - I meant to say that we don't really know what Jefferson was. He didn't explicitly say. Some believe he was a deist, some believe he was a atheist. No one knows for sure, because we have to derive these conclusions indirectly. I believe, based on my readings, that that it is likely he was an atheist.


i find your comments about the nature of our government HILARIOUS! i wonder.. have you ever read the Constitution??? or maybe the declaration of independence??? easily accessible historical documents. and they all refer to god. yet.. according to you...
"I believe, based on my readings, that that it is likely he was an atheist.."
yet, he refers to a creator and a god in the declaration. i wonder what documents you are reading??? try reading the basics before liberal commentary. i find this utterly amusing along with all your other liberal ignorant comments... and btw, give up the photography..or at least become educated in art. so go sip your latte and continue your typical liberal pseudo artsy fartsy life. and please feel free to rebut :) and since references to god somehow violate a policy of separation of church and state, i think all the framers are hypocrites. and i think all of you think that separation of church and state is separation of state from church, which is what we practice, because if they were two equally separated entities, then churches wouldnt be required to heed to the demands of state.


Mikey, Mikey, Mikey,

Why the vitriol?

Was Jefferson an atheist? He was accused of being such, but never said he was. The closest he ever came to stating his belief system was saying he was a materialist (Jefferson was actually QUOTED as saying this). If you look up the definition of a Materialist, you find this is:

"One who denies the existence of spiritual substances or agents, and maintains that spiritual phenomena, so called, are the result of some peculiar organization of matter."

"Also known as an irreligionist" - webster

I've had to claim to be a akin to a Materialist instead of an Atheist (hiding in my closet, so to speak) many times, this is what led me to suspect, personally, that Jefferson was an atheist in practice.

The constitution does have a lot of religious allusions in it, which I suspect were put in for practical expediency. As Newdon said yesterday, you don't get into office if you're an atheist, kinda like gays in the Bad Ol Days.

As an aside, what makes you think I consider myself a photographer? I snap pictures of my kids, badly, and thats about it :)

Artsy fartsy? I wish I was artful, but I'm just a stick-in-the-mud engineer plodding along like the rest of humanity. I do like real coffee, though (as opposed to that 'maxwell house' crap).

As for being accused of being a liberal, well, I am (for the most part) and I'm proud of it. Liberals have brought about a few social innovations over the last century or so, though they don't play them up very often (you may have heard about some of these? Like, maybe, the 40 hour workweek? Or, hey, what about the WEEKEND? Aren't *those* cool...). Liberals are on *your* side, even if you think they're not.

And finally, I don't consider myself ignorant. Stupid? Maybe. Slow, sure. But not ignorant. I've spent most of my life reading about religion, politics, ethics, and history (while listening to NPR and sipping latte's, I guess).


Mike I don't know if you are replyign to Seeker or to me. You seem to refer to Seeker, yet talk to me about photography?

I never said that Jefferson was an atheist. Also I am not giving up photography considering that I have had very well received comments from people with a clue about it. If all you can do is stupid ad hominem attacks totally unrelated to whatever point it is you want to bring, then please, of your own benefit, think twice before typing.

- Raist


I just had to reply, here, even though I haven't posted before. A few questions for Mike:

Mike, you seem to imply that seeker is "ignorant and poorly educated (or, at least poorly read)"

Before anyone else replies to your post, perhaps you should let us know what documents YOU have read. Perhaps you should also post some pictures so that we can all understand your brilliant photographic skills?

I hate it when someone posts using "holier than thou" language, and doesn't back up their post...

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