Founding presidents not Christian
February 7, 2010 by Bill
One of my favorite times of the year is the Presidents month of February. Why? Because it gives me an annual opportunity to make a dent in the historical and religious ignorance of the political and Christian knee-jerk right-wingers. They spend almost full time in perverting American history, claiming that the bible and Christianity were at the foundation of this nation. What total hogwash. Once a year, I get to bring a few undisputed facts to their attention.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1968, Vol. 2, p. 420, says: “One of the embarrassing problems for the nineteenth-century champions of the Christian faith was the fact that NOT ONE of the first six presidents of the United States was a Christian. They were Deists.”
In Deism, there is no personal “God,” only an impersonal “force” or “energy” or “Nature’s God” or “providence.” In Deism, the bible is nothing but literature, and bad literature at that. Jefferson and Paine both called it “a dunghill.” Others of our founders used similar language. In Deism, Jesus was nothing more than a nomadic teacher. I will now let these men speak for themselves:
George Washington: “Being no bigot, I am disposed to humor Christian ministers and the church.” Looking for servants, he said: “I will be happy to have atheists, Jews, Christians, or Mohammedans.” In 1831, Episcopalian minister Bird Wilson said in a sermon: “Washington is no more than a Unitarian, if anything.” Washington refused to take communion, looking upon it as superstition. He refused to ever kneel in church according to his wife and minister, James Abercrombie. In the Treaty of Tripoli, written under Washington, Article 11 begins: “As the government of the United States is NOT IN ANY SENSE founded on the Christian religion…” This Treaty was ratified by the senate in 1797 under Adams, without a SINGLE OBJECTION.
Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence: “I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half of the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. And to support roquery and error all over the earth.”
James Madison, Author of our Constitution and Bill of Rights: “A just government instituted to perpetuate liberty, does not need the church or the clergy. During almost 16 centuries, the legal establishment of Christianity has been on trial. What have been its fruits? These are the fruits in all places: pride and indolence in the clergy…ignorance and servility in the laity… and in both clergy and laity superstition, bigotry and persecution.” Madison passionately objected to state-supported chaplains in Congress and the military, as well as the exemption of churches from taxation. And rightly so. They should be taxed.
John Adams: “The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus has made a convenient cover for absurdity.” Adams signed the Treaty of Tripoli, which states that the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion. Episcopalian minister Bird Wilson, in a sermon of October 1831, summed up the religion of our founding presidents in these words: “Among all of our Presidents, from Washington downward, not one was a professor of Christianity.”
Abraham Lincoln: Not a founding president, but a giant who shared exactly the same religious views: “Christianity is not my religion and the bible is not my book. I have never united myself in any church because I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian doctrine and dogma.” Lincoln never joined any church and was never baptized, looking upon it as superstition. His wife said: “My husband is not a Christian, but is a spiritual man I think.” The most magnificent Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of this giant is Carl Sandburg’s “Abraham Lincoln.” And as Sandburg put it: “His view were such as would place him entirely outside of Christianity.”
Thomas Jefferson put in one succinct sentence, what they all believed. “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by a 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.” (Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823)
Why are these facts of American history not being taught in our high schools? What forces are at work in our society to keep historical truth from our young people? We get all hot and sweaty about censoring movies and television. A far, far more lethal virus that is at work is the censorship of the religious views of our first six presidents, our Founding Fathers. Why is this not being taught? Why is your minister not telling you about it, assuming he is historically literate?
The genius, Goethe, said it best: “Nothing is more terrifying than…ignorance in action.”