Contrary to what liberals, democrats, progressive and the revisers of history say Jefferson most definitely believed in God, served the Lord and followed the precepts of Jesus Christ. You’ll notice he says “our” when referring to the Christian religion as in this example: “the Holy Author of our religion” as a further example continue to read…He was against forcing people to serve God, yet I must point out the Bible itself teaches that God wants willing servants, serving out of love, not slaves serving out of fear or the whip.
Mr. Jefferson has observed in one of his private letters, “that the writer of these essays was the first man who ever called in question his religious sentiments, and much more, that ever branded him with the appellation of Atheist” He further observes, ” from my earliest youth I have ever had a great and reverential regard, for religion and for the ordinances of God: but at the same time, I do believe that there are those who are set for a defense of the gospel, who abuse its privileges, and trample upon the sacred rights of conscience. For it will be acknowledged by all, that conscience is the throne of God in the heart of man; and whoever requires a violation of conscience, requires more than ever God did: But it was to guard against these trampler’s upon the rights of conscience, that the bill for establishing religious Freedom in this state, was introduced into the house: and whether it will prove beneficial or injurious to society generally, must be left to God and posterity.” As the previous remarks quoted from the pamphlet, were principally founded on the bill for establishing religious freedom in the state of Virginia, we will subjoin the act for the benefit of our readers, many of whom, perhaps, have never seen it: An ACT for establishing Religious Freedom, passed in the assembly of Virginia, in the beginning of the year 1786.
“Well aware that Almighty God hath created the mind free; that all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments’ or burdens, or by civil incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do; that 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, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world, and through all time that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical; that even the forcing him to support this or that teacher not of his own persuasion, is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the ministry those temporal rewards, which proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct, are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labors for the instruction of mankind; that our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than oyx opinions, in physics or geometry; that therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow citizens he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it; that though indeed these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge that tendency, will make his opinions the rule judgment, and approve or condemn the sentients of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order; and finally, that truth is great and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.
And though we will know that this assembly, elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding assemblies, constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable, would be of no effect in law, yet we are free to declare, and do declare, that the rights hereby asserted are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.”