brain sizes: Einstein's and women's
Joseph A Nagy Jr
pagan_prince at charter.net
Tue Aug 13 17:41:41 EST 2002
Bob LeChevalier wrote:
>>I'm neither, just mistaken, Mr. Knight. I apologize for my assumptions.
> I'm not sure what you are apologizing for. You were both wrong on a
> point of fact, and he was more wrong than you because your error was
> not fundamental to the argument, and indeed as will be seen below,
> your point agreed with Jefferson.
It's nice to know that I could agree with such a great man as he, even on only one point. Who knows,
maybe I should hit my local library and read some more of his writings (if they are available).
> Jefferson actually was NOT involved in the writing of the Bill of
> Rights (so you were wrong),
Not surprising I was wrong, but my heart was in the right place.
>so he could not have "wanted to include
> the word "Christian" in the Bill of Rights" (so the nincompoop was
> wrong). Jefferson was in France as the US ambassador from 1784 until
> 1789 when he took office as Washington's Secretary of State, and had
> little role in writing or ratification of the Constitution.
I knew that he was an ambassador to France, but numbers are not my forte, hence why I write poetry
and try to do web design.
> His major contribution to religious liberty other than the phrase
> "separation of church and state" was his 1779 bill on religious
> liberty, which most certainly did NOT include the word "Christian" nor
> favored Christianity. In that bill are words that pretty much agree
> with what you wrote above:
>>The religious of this nation (or any nation) should NOT
>>push their views upon those within in the nation.
>>the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as
>>ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired
>>men, have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their
>>own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible,
>>and as such endeavoring to impose them on others,
Was Jefferson ever a soldier?
> After years of controversy, with the pro-religious-establishment
> opposition led by Patrick Henry, and the pro-religious-freedom side
> led by James Madison, it did not pass until 1786, by which time
> Jefferson was in France. While Jefferson's bill did not use the
> phrase "separation of church and state" (that came a couple decades
> later in a letter), it had the basic concept, which Madison developed
> more fully in his "Memorial and Remonstrance", a petition that so
> strongly argued the case against establishment that it attracted a
> huge following and led to passing Jefferson's bill.
> The *principle* of separation of church and state (without that
> particular phrase used) was then embodied in both the Constitution and
> in the Bill of Rights, as written by Madison only a couple years after
> the Remonstrance. What the phrase means is clearly reflected in
> Jefferson's bill and Madison's remonstrance (and how the US SC saw
> those writings as being consistent with vouchers is beyond me).
> The phrase actually occurred in a letter he wrote as President in
> 1802, in which he said:
>>Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between
>>man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or
>>his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach
>>actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign
>>reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that
>>their legislature should `make no law respecting an establishment of
>>religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a
>>wall of separation between church and State. Adhering to this
>>expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights
>>of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of
>>those sentiments which tend to restore man to all of his natural
>>rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social
>>I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection and blessings of
>>the common Father and Creator of man, and tender you and your
>>religious association, assurances of my high respect and esteem.
> Note that despite the nincompoop's doctored quote "I am a Christian"*,
> he replied to the Danbury Baptist Association which prayed for
> Christ's mediation with an invocation of the Father and Creator AND NO
> MENTION OF CHRIST. He also explicitly equated the 1st amendment to a
> wall of separation, which is precisely the opposite of what the
> nincompoop claimed.
> *The full quote is:
>>"A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it
>>is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a
>>disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the
Why am I not surprised?
>>who call me infidel and themselves Christians and
>>preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic
>>dogmas from what its Author never said nor saw." --Thomas Jefferson
>>to Charles Thompson, 1816. ME 14:385
> where the "document" in question was Jefferson's rewrite of the Bible
> that eliminated all the miracles, leaving Christ as merely a great
> teacher of morals and ethics, by which standards, probably many
> Moslems and Wiccans could say "I am a Christian", too.
I'd like to think I could. I do try my best to be a nice guy, but sometimes idiots make that hard.
> The documents quoted in the web pages that I've cited are as
> fundamental to the history of our religious freedom as the 1st
> amendment itself, and every American should know what they say, and
> why our religious freedom is important.
> So please take back your apology.
What? I apologized for my assumptions and not much else.
>Your grasp of details was fuzzy,
Not surprising in the least. I think I am now seeing some of the long term effects of my
chemo-therapy (e.g. memory sucks like Hoover vacuum cleaner).
> but at least you understand the essentials of Jefferson's position.
The essentials are what matters in the end, to be sure, but it's nice to know the details behind the
I do thank you, though, for these links. I'm actually contemplating saving this whole thread (from
where I have it in my ISP's archives) to my personal computer. Who knows, one day I'll write up a
paper on the decline of civilization from my own perspective, although I might change a few names
here and there to protect the innocent (and not so innocent). To be honest, though, I'll probably
not write that paper and just lament the fact that I ever came across such bigotry hiding behind
something that had the potential to do more good then it has.
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