Today the service was conducted by Rick (that is to say, me.)  In a larger sense, however, the service was the work of Mr. Clay Jenkinson, a noted Jefferson scholar because I borrowed heavily from his work.

A evangelical Christian named David Barton has set out to pull quotes and facts out of context in order to make a case that the Founding Fathers intended America to be a Christian nation.  He has written a book that claims that people have been telling lies about Thomas Jefferson for the last two hundred years and that really Jefferson was an avowed Christian who never meant for the people of America to draw such a hard line between the church and the secular government.  Anyone who knows anything about Thomas Jefferson will know that this is nonsense.  However, Barton knows that his audience of evangelical Christians won’t do the fact checking necessary to know that it is nonsense.  A significant number of the people who already believe that the Founding Fathers intended the United States to be a Christian Nation will simply believe what he has written.

According to Jenkinson, “The Jefferson Lies is an important contribution to the culture wars of our time, not because it represents a valid analysis of Jefferson’s religious views, but because it makes claims that millions of Americans believe or want to believe. Even so, no one should mistake The Jefferson Lies for careful or thoughtful history.”

Jenkinson continues: “A well-known letter to Benjamin Rush perfectly illustrates Barton’s method. Jefferson wrote, “I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.”  In other words, what Jefferson is actually saying is I’m more of a ‘Christian’ than the so-called ‘Christians,’ because I understand, as they don’t, that Jesus was a very great ethical teacher, and I subscribe to his teachings rather than the aura of divinity that has been imposed on him by the so-called Christians.  When Barton quotes the passage, he fixates on “I am a Christian.”

If you would like a complete examination of the lies and misstatements in this book, follow read the complete review of the book by Clay Jenkinson at this address.

http://www.jeffersonhour.com/Barton Review.html

Because I was presenting, I have very little news recorded to tell you about.  One thing is that Thurman’s apartment landlords are asking people to  leave.  He is interested in talking to a real estate person and would be grateful for any recommendations.

Peace,

Rick