In part II of my response to Mr. Dave Miller's tour de farce entitled Why the Texas Taliban Fears Mr. Jefferson, (the full text of which can be read by clicking here) I would like to actually address some of the points Miller made re: President Jefferson. First.....
"..he (Jefferson) was proud of his authorship of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, which disestablished the Anglican church as the official church of Virginia, thus removing it from its chief source of income, which was from taxes on the public. Authorship of that statute was one of the three things that he requested to be inscribed on his grave monument (none of the three were to be his political offices, even his service as President of the United States)"
The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom did put other denominations on an equal footing with the Anglican church in Virginia. This statute is best viewed in terms of the Parson's Cause attributed to Jefferson's fellow Virginian, Patrick Henry.
For reasons known only to Mr. Miller, he does not make mention of the infamous "Thomas Jefferson's Letter to the Dansbury Baptists" within the text of his arguments. There is something that I would like to get Mr. Miller's opinion on, should he ever wish to comment, concerning Jefferson's use of the term, "seperation of church and state" in this private letter.
Shortly after he wrote his letter to the Dansbury Baptists, Thomas Jefferson himself, "Mr. Seperation of Church and State", was sitting in what was most clearly a Christian, religious worship service held inside the US House of Representatives. Yes, you read that right. And these services were held on Sundays until after the US Civil War in the late 1800's. Or, as this writer puts it...
And not only that, Jefferson further CLEARLY endorsed such services by having the US Marine Corps Marching Band (depicted above) appear in the US House to help liven up the music in said services thus providing the ACLU with another, potential heart-attack inducing moment.
So why did Jefferson and Madison not speak out against the use of governmental buildings for expressly Christian religious services but in fact, actively participate in them? Because nobody in attendence was compelled to do so and there is little doubt that neither Jefferson nor Madison would have ever advocated that attendence at these services should have been made compulsory. Mr. Miller, your thoughts please.
Of course, all of this is before we get into why President Jefferson OK'ed federal monies for, "a plan by which the blessing of Christianity might be propagated among the heathen." No, not for atheists/secular humanists Mr. Miller, but for missionary efforts among Native American tribes.
Stop by tomorrow and we'll examine two more of Mr. Millers
urban legends key points. The so-called "Jefferson Bible" and the fairy-tale for adults being propagated that the University of Virginia was founded as a "secular" college.