religious freedom jefferson s legacy america s creed jeffersonian america

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Religious Freedom

Author : John A. Ragosta
ISBN : 9780813933702
Genre : History
File Size : 51. 7 MB
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Offers a defense of Thomas Jefferson's advocacy for a strict separation of church and state by examining his views on religious freedom. Shows how the First Amendment's focus on maintaining the authority of states to regulate religious freedom demonstrates that Jefferson demanded a firm separation of church and state within the United States but never sought a wholly secular public square.

The Jefferson Bible

Author : Thomas Jefferson
ISBN :
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 89. 55 MB
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The Jefferson Bible, or The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth as it is formally titled, was a book constructed by Thomas Jefferson in the latter years of his life by cutting and pasting numerous sections from various Bibles as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson's composition excluded sections of the New Testament containing supernatural aspects as well as perceived misinterpretations he believed had been added by the Four Evangelists. In 1895, the Smithsonian Institution under the leadership of librarian Cyrus Adler purchased the original Jefferson Bible from Jefferson's great-granddaughter Carolina Randolph for $400. A conservation effort commencing in 2009, in partnership with the museum's Political History department, allowed for a public unveiling in an exhibit open from November 11, 2011, through May 28, 2012, at the National Museum of American History.

Establishing Religious Freedom

Author : Thomas E. Buckley
ISBN : 9780813935041
Genre : History
File Size : 41. 92 MB
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The significance of the Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom goes far beyond the borders of the Old Dominion. Its influence ultimately extended to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the separation of church and state. In his latest book, Thomas Buckley tells the story of the statute, beginning with its background in the struggles of the colonial dissenters against an oppressive Church of England. When the Revolution forced the issue of religious liberty, Thomas Jefferson drafted his statute and James Madison guided its passage through the state legislature. Displacing an established church by instituting religious freedom, the Virginia statute provided the most substantial guarantees of religious liberty of any state in the new nation. The statute's implementation, however, proved to be problematic. Faced with a mandate for strict separation of church and state--and in an atmosphere of sweeping evangelical Christianity--Virginians clashed over numerous issues, including the legal ownership of church property, the incorporation of churches and religious groups, Sabbath observance, protection for religious groups, Bible reading in school, and divorce laws. Such debates pitted churches against one another and engaged Virginia’s legal system for a century and a half. Fascinating history in itself, the effort to implement Jefferson’s statute has even broader significance in its anticipation of the conflict that would occupy the whole country after the Supreme Court nationalized the religion clause of the First Amendment in the 1940s.

Thomas Jefferson S Qur An

Author : Denise A. Spellberg
ISBN : 9780307388391
Genre : History
File Size : 51. 22 MB
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Reveals the influence of Islam in the birth of American religious freedom, describing how Jefferson studied the Qur'an because he believed that Islam's Enlightenment ideals could inform the fledgling country's practical governance.

American Sphinx

Author : Joseph J. Ellis
ISBN : 0375727469
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 42. 49 MB
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Following Thomas Jefferson from the drafting of the Declaration of Independence to his retirement in Monticello, Joseph J. Ellis unravels the contradictions of the Jeffersonian character. He gives us the slaveholding libertarian who was capable of decrying mescegenation while maintaing an intimate relationship with his slave, Sally Hemmings; the enemy of government power who exercisdd it audaciously as president; the visionarty who remained curiously blind to the inconsistencies in his nature. American Sphinx is a marvel of scholarship, a delight to read, and an essential gloss on the Jeffersonian legacy.

Wellspring Of Liberty

Author : John A. Ragosta
ISBN : 0199779929
Genre : History
File Size : 64. 53 MB
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Before the American Revolution, no colony more assiduously protected its established church or more severely persecuted religious dissenters than Virginia. Both its politics and religion were dominated by an Anglican establishment, and dissenters from the established Church of England were subject to numerous legal infirmities and serious persecution. By 1786, no state more fully protected religious freedom. This profound transformation, as John A. Ragosta shows in this book, arose not from a new-found cultural tolerance. Rather, as the Revolution approached, Virginia's political establishment needed the support of the religious dissenters, primarily Presbyterians and Baptists, for the mobilization effort. Dissenters seized this opportunity to insist on freedom of religion in return for their mobilization. Their demands led to a complex and extended negotiation in which the religious establishment slowly and grudgingly offered just enough reforms to maintain the crucial support of the dissenters. After the war, when dissenters' support was no longer needed, the establishment leaders sought to recapture control, but found they had seriously miscalculated: wartime negotiations had politicized the dissenters. As a result dissenters' demands for the separation of church and state triumphed over the establishment's efforts and Jefferson's Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom was adopted. Historians and the Supreme Court have repeatedly noted that the foundation of the First Amendment's protection of religious liberty lies in Virginia's struggle, turning primarily to Jefferson and Madison to understand this. In Wellspring of Liberty, John A. Ragosta argues that Virginia's religious dissenters played a seminal, and previously underappreciated, role in the development of the First Amendment and in the meaning of religious freedom as we understand it today.

Doubting Thomas

Author : Mark A. Beliles
ISBN : 9781630471507
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 81. 36 MB
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Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers intended a strict separation of church and state, right? He would have been very upset to find out about a child praying in a public school or a government building used for religious purposes, correct? Actually, the history on this has been very distorted. While Jefferson may seem to be the Patron Saint of the ACLU, his words and actions showed that he would totally disagree with the idea of driving God out of the public square. Doubting Thomas documents that. . . * Jefferson said that our rights come from God. God-given rights are non-negotiables. * At the time that he wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom---major contributions to human and religious rights—Jefferson served diligently as a vestryman (like an elder and a deacon rolled into one) for the Episcopal Church. * In 1777, he wrote up the charter for the Calvinistical Reformed Church in his town with an evangelical preacher, the Rev. Charles Clay--with whom he had a lifelong friendship. Jefferson was the biggest single contributor to this fledgling congregation. * Jefferson had nothing but the highest praise for Jesus’ teaching, which he studied religiously (even in the original Greek), in order to pattern his life after that which he called “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.” * As president, he attended church on a regular basis at the US Capitol building, even sometimes recommending preachers to fill that pulpit. * He had many positive relationships with orthodox clergymen and active lay Christians. * He actively supported Christian causes, financially, in ways that would put the average Christian to shame. * He set out to create a non-denominational college that accommodated Christian groups of different stripes. And on it goes. Historical revisionism has distorted the religious views of Thomas Jefferson, making him far more skeptical than he was. But there is no doubt that by the end of his life, he seemed to privately embrace Unitarian views of the Christian faith, while outwardly supporting and attending his local Trinitarian church. Thus, a legacy of Jefferson’s has been taken out of context and used to squelch religious freedom in America. Ironically, religious freedom was one of Jefferson’s core beliefs and contributions. But this is being turned on its head. Chiseled in stone at the Jefferson Memorial are his famous words: “The God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the Gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath?” Regardless of Jefferson’s private religious views, he stood solidly against the state making theological decisions for its people. Therefore, he would stand solidly against the anti-Christian crusade being carried out in his name today. It’s time to set the record straight.

Patrick Henry

Author : John A. Ragosta
ISBN : 9781317691327
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 67 MB
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Often referred to as "the voice of the Revolution," Patrick Henry played a vital role in helping to launch the revolt of the American colonies against British rule. An early and compelling Revolutionary orator, Henry played an active part in the debates over the founding of the United States. As a leading anti-federalist, he argued against the ratification of the Constitution, and at the state level, he opposed Thomas Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom in Virginia. In both his political triumphs and defeats, Henry was influential in establishing the nature of public discourse for a generation of new Americans. In this concise biography, John A. Ragosta explores Henry’s life and his contributions to shaping the character of the new nation, placing his ideas in the context of his times. Supported by primary documents and a supplementary companion website, Patrick Henry: Proclaiming a Revolution gives students of the American Revolution and early Republic an insightful and balanced understanding of this often misunderstood American founder.

America S Original Sin

Author : Jim Wallis
ISBN : 9781493403486
Genre : Religion
File Size : 83. 85 MB
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America's problem with race has deep roots, with the country's foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation's original sin. "It's time we right this unacceptable wrong," says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis. Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo. His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice. Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism. The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation. The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week. In America's Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians--particularly white Christians--urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing. Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change. Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America.

American Dialogue

Author : Joseph J. Ellis
ISBN : 9780385353434
Genre : History
File Size : 46. 38 MB
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The award-winning author of Founding Brothers and The Quartet now gives us a deeply insightful examination of the relevance of the views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and John Adams to some of the most divisive issues in America today. The story of history is a ceaseless conversation between past and present, and in American Dialogue Joseph J. Ellis focuses the conversation on the often-asked question "What would the Founding Fathers think?" He examines four of our most seminal historical figures through the prism of particular topics, using the perspective of the present to shed light on their views and, in turn, to make clear how their now centuries-old ideas illuminate the disturbing impasse of today's political conflicts. He discusses Jefferson and the issue of racism, Adams and the specter of economic inequality, Washington and American imperialism, Madison and the doctrine of original intent. Through these juxtapositions--and in his hallmark dramatic and compelling narrative voice--Ellis illuminates the obstacles and pitfalls paralyzing contemporary discussions of these fundamentally important issues.

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