Anyway, the local Handi Wipe that passes for a newspaper in Orange County published a story debunking the billboard, but this failed to arrest Warner's tailspin of rage and depression, because the lie that some of the Founders were Deists rather than orthodox Christians is still out there! Hunkered down on the tundra, waiting, watching, like a Siberian husky possessed by a shapeshifting extra-terrestrial, and it just makes him so mad!
Talk about making a mistake everyone can see! Atheists in California have done a disservice to their own crusade to spread atheism by launching a new billboard campaign that ascribes a false quote to Thomas Jefferson. That's right, they've essentially become liars for atheism.The failure to vet one's source is an outrage! Unless you're running for the Republican presidential nomination -- then it's just Tuesday.
"I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature," the billboard "quotes" the president as having said. "It is founded on fables and mythology," this quote concludes. [...]The link goes to an Angelfire page that hosts the Jefferson Bible and introduces it thusly:
As the Jefferson library notes, it's a bit hard to believe that Jefferson saw no "redeeming features" in Christianity since he spent months cutting and pasting and rearranging the Christian Bible to his own liking! If there was nothing worth the effort in there he had a funny way of showing it.
Thomas Jefferson believed that the ethical system of Jesus was the finest the world has ever seen. In compiling what has come to be called "The Jefferson Bible," he sought to separate those ethical teachings from the religious dogma and other supernatural elements that are intermixed in the account provided by the four Gospels. He presented these teachings, along with the essential events of the life of Jesus, in one continuous narrative. [emphasis added]Jefferson liked the social philosophy espoused by Christ (all that peace, love, and charity stuff), he just didn't like the religious elements. So it seems clear that Warner is right, and Jefferson wasn't a Deist after all, since he blue-penciled the parts about Jesus being a deity.
This Jefferson-the-Deist business is has been a lie told by atheists for at least a generation. In fact, it is a calumny visited on most of our founders. It is also not true.
And a false calumny is the worst kind. It's probably my least favorite thing ever, except for maybe a circular tautology.
Never in his life did Jefferson call himself a Deist. He called himself a Unitarian (what we might call a Unitarian Universalist today). He did not call himself a Deist. Why should we call him something he never called himself?"Like the good socialist he is, Obama wants to pick the winners and losers in the world of business..."
---Warner Todd Huston, October 1, 2011
Additionally, while many modern atheists and half-informed hobbyists in things historical imagine that all or even many of the founders were "Deists," the truth is that almost none of them were — at least not by their own admission. Washington wasn't. Hamilton wasn't. John Adams sure wasn't. Neither was Madison or Monroe.Okay, then -- the Founders were orthodox Christians who just liked to whittle, and preferred using a Bible to the more conventional stick.
It is absolutely true that a large portion of our most famous founders had a great amount of disdain for organized religion and/or the priesthood. After all, students of history that they were, the founders knew that religious orders and churches were involved in some of the worst massacres in human history. Not only that but such monstrous actions were within recent memory of the founder's era. It's only natural that they were suspicious of organized religion.
But we simply cannot pretend that this country was not founded by thousands of extremely devoted Christians.Warner sets the scene so vividly I can almost see it. "Well done, Mr. Jefferson! Well done, Mr. Adams, Mr. Madison, Dr. Franklin -- we've founded a new nation which reflects our devout Christianity! Now what say we go across the road and worship at that monstrous institution that was lately involved in mass homicides? I needs must confess my sins to a suspicious and morally repugnant clergyman."
Even if a few of our most well known founders were somehow secret Deists, not many of their peers and co-founders nor their supporters back in their home states were anything but sincere believers.So none of the Founders were Deists, except for the ones who were, but at least they were cowards about it.
After all, religion was one of the first things that our founders strived to protect! Remember that whole "freedom of religion" thing?I do. Of course, one can be a vegetarian and still support the USDA inspection of meat-packing plants.
Perhaps two leading founders at one time claimed themselves Deism for themselves, but that is all I've ever run across.Okay, so two -- two tops! Two leading ones, anyway...there might have been a few obscure Deist Founders who snuck into Independence Hall, but all they did was photo bomb that John Trumbull portrait of the signing of the Declaration, then leave.
When he was a young man Ben Franklin once wrote that he was a Deist.Franklin? Never heard of him.
But he was hardly a "regular" Deist —He was a "foot long" Deist, at least to hear the French ladies tell it.
When he was young Franklin thought perhaps every universe had its own god but that perhaps they did not involve themselves too much in their own little realms. Not very orthodox Deism, that.It's amazing the Deist Pope didn't have him excommunicated. They're very strict about their doctrine.
The other was Governor K. Morris, the man responsible for helping write the Constitution of the United States. According to a book on Morris written by Richard Brookheiser, Morris claimed Deism for himself.So it's a untrue calumny that the Founders were Deists and not devout Christians, except for two of the most famous ones, and Jefferson, who loved the New Testament once you cut out all the Christianity.
Certainly it may be true that our founders harbored Deist ideas and it may be true that they feared a political backlash in a nation filled with Christians for saying so out loud, but if they didn't call themselves Deists, how can we?"Lincoln would not have approved of a president Barack Obama. Not because Obama is a black man, but because he is a socialist...But, regardless that he was arguing the case against slavery, the nugget of truth in his words can properly be applied to Obama's socialist agenda.
---Warner Todd Huston, April 29, 2009
"They imagine that this law was the first version of Obamacare and that this is somehow precedent for Obama's modern, socialist power grab...The fact is, the sailor's relief act is not in any way like Obamacare nor does it serve to justify Obama's socialist healthcare powergrab."
---Warner Todd Huston, July 6, 2011
In all the years of reading on the founders I've done I've never seen any other founders calling themselves Deists. If someone out there has proof otherwise I'd love to hear it.Meanwhile, you can't hand Obama a deli sandwich with arugula and spicy brown mustard without him saying, "Thanks. And keep the change -- I'm a socialist."
But let's not take the revisionism by decades of historians with an agenda as "fact."Also, while I personally have no doubt that Warner is, in fact, human, we should probably still make him take a blood test.