Thursday, April 19, 2012

Separating the Gold from the Dross

The so-called religious right often makes much of the fact that the Founders of the United States were Christian and, as it's told today, imagined this as a Christian Nation.  Yet not all were "Christian" in the same way.

Thomas Jefferson, for instance, while President began the project of cutting his Bible into pieces and then glueing some of those pieces into another notebook.  He explained this exercise in these terms:
"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.  I separate therefore the gold from the dross; restore to him the former and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, a roguery of others, of his disciples."
The Jefferson Bible is currently on display in a marvelous exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.  (It's also available for sale from, among other places, the UUA Bookstore.)

Here's a little more to whet your interest:

In Gassho,

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