Inspite of the right attempts of Christians to rewrite the history inorder to try converting Thomas Jefferson to a Christian, not muchabout his thought resembles those of the Christian beliefs. InDeclaration of Independence, Jefferson wrote about the Nature’s Godand Laws of Nature however, there is no element of Christianity inthe Declaration. Jefferson believed (or had faith) in a Maker, buthis notion of it was similar to that of the deism god (the phrase“Nature’s God” utilized by the deists of that period)(Gottesman et al. 673). With the scientific bent, he soughtorganizing his philosophy on religion.
Jeffersonrejected the mysticism and superstitions of Christianity. Inaddition, he even went as far as editing the gospels, confiscatingthe mysticism and miracles of Jesus leaving just what he consideredthe right ethical thoughts of Jesus. Historical distortions takeplace in the thoughts of several Christians ay time they see thephrase “God” stamped in memorial concrete or stature. Jeffersontargeted laissez-faire liberalism or tolerance in the name ofpersonal freedom. He had a feeling that all sorts of governmentadministrations, not merely of religious conviction, but of personalmercantilism comprised of tyranny.
Hebelieved that the civil rights of people have no reliance on theirreligious viewpoints, any more than their perceptions in geometry orphysics. Even though Jefferson had an intricate religious viewpoint,several quotes offer an idea of the manner in which he regarded thecorruptions of religion and Christianity. One of these quotes is “Yousay you are a Calvinist. I am not. I am of a sect by myself, as faras I know.”(Gottesmanet al. 674) Nowadays, no serious Jewish or Christian leader withinthe U.S. supports a theocratic nation. They think weldingecclesiastical and political influence would corrupt both politicsand religion and result in chaos, tyranny, or both.
Thefounders of America were devoted to a pluralistic and democraticnation in which all citizens are free to think as they wish. WhetherUnitarians or Calvinists, they argued that liberty was a reward fromNature’s God or the Creator. According to Thomas Jefferson, “TheGod who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time.”(Gottesmanet al. 676) Jefferson believes that so long as we have faith in thedream of the founders, America will never become a theocracy. Inaddition, every citizen is free to worship in mosques, churches, orsynagogues and to teach their kids as their see best as long as theydo not breach the law.
Thetheological or spiritual vision of love of John Woolman, a Christian,and man of God, pushes the confines of social justice and integrityeven by the standards of today. Woolman was concerned about thesanctity of the creations of God and animal rights long before evenslave trade or slavery was on the sensor of religious thoughts. Hisexperience at the industry of clothing alongside its slaves’exploitation hastened his conscious. In addition, his silenttestament of undyed outfits bore witness or authentication to theReality (Gottesman et al. 698). Woolman had found out that love andequality can transform all aspects of people’s lives with theredeeming love of Christ.
Therelationship of Woolman with Christ generated fruitful testaments inthe areas of equality, peace, simplicity, and integrity, togetherwith a loving overseer of all the creations of God. Truly, hisexample is challenging. Most of the issues he encountered in hisgeneration are still greater in our generation. As people tryconfronting such challenges today, they would do better in learningfrom the transformational testament of John Woolman. In 1754, hepublished Some Considerations about Keeping of Negros (Gottesman etal. 600). Woolman still refused to draw up the wills, whichbequeathed the possession of slaves to the heirs. Working on anindividual level, and with time, he personally convinced severalQuaker slave-owners to release their slaves.
Ashe toured, when he consented hospitality from slaveholders, Woolmaninsisted on compensating the slaves for attending to him. Woolmanrefused being served with silver plates, utensils, and cups, as hesupposed that slaves from several other regions were compelled to digthese precious gems and minerals for the wealthy. He realized thatsome slaveholders used their slaves’ labor to have lives of ease.He found this to be the nastiest situation for the slaves and thespiritual and moral condition of these owners. Woolman could toleratethose slaveholders who treated their subjects gently or workedtogether with them.
Hewas devoted to the Testimony of Simplicity of Friends. Throughout his20s, Woolman decided that his merchandising business demanded so muchtime. He supposed his calling was to preach “light and truth”among the Friends and several others. In his article, Woolmanaddressed the issues of oppression and economic injustice (Gottesmanet al. 604). He worked in the Friends’ belief of seeking the Spiritof Christ’s guidance and waiting patiently to attain unity in thisSpirit. While attending different Friends’ meeting, Woolmanexpressed his worry on slaveholding. Gradually, different QuakerMeetings started seeing the ills of slavery and slave trade theirminutes revealed their criticism of the practice.
TheFederalist Papers refer to an assortment of eighty-five politicalpapers published by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamiltonfrom 1787 to 1788. Even though both Madison and Jay contributededitorials to the book, Alexander Hamilton was accountable for mostcontent. The latter is credited with publishing fifty-nine essays,Jay with five and Madison with twenty-nine (Gottesman et al. 678).The main objective of The Federalist Papers’ publication was to actas a portable or convenient advocate for the Constitution’sratification. Nevertheless, The Federalist Papers’ authors wereaware of the insinuations of all doctrines, which were considereddogmatic: the obscurity of interpretation.
Thepolarity between “oral” and “written” translation was ofimmense concern to Hamilton, Jay, and Madison. The introduction oftechnology, future alignment, and progress left less room for anylongevity. The authors regarded the absolute authority of archaicprinciples to be like the overall influence of a totalitarian leader.Yet, Hamilton and Jay were opposing the introduction of the Bill ofRights, an article, which could prospectively act as a vehicle forensuring the timelessness and relevancy of the national Constitution.The Bill of Rights’ creation would enable the focal points and theprincipals of the Constitution to progress concurrently with theprogression of society, which it serves.
Nevertheless,two Federalist Papers’ authors were adamant on controlling theauthority given to people, as well as on the distribution andtransfer of that mandate. For example, Hamilton delighted in theobscurity of the text of the Constitution because it did not concludea finite sum of rights to which all citizens of that country would betitled. He was afraid that if this Bill of Rights were to be created,then that would generate a restriction to the citizens’ rights. Hewas anxious that the limitation creation would confiscate theequilibrium, which existed between the citizens and the governmentagency, which served them.
Mostpolitical philosophers of the era disputed the two authors’ logicof the Federalists Papers, arguing that the absence of definition –alongside the plenty of obscurities – would push the Americancitizens of the country into slavery. The Federalists Papers’critics argued that by prohibiting amendments to a rigid doctrine,such restrictions would compromise the document’s relevancy and thefuture American citizens may be subject to antiquated laws (Gottesmanet al. 677). Furthermore, a majority proposed that the dogmaticdocument’s amendment would permit more rights of citizens, as itwould deal with the modernity needs, instead of the stale antiquityneeds.
Hamiltonwas focused on preventing the dogmatic doctrine’s oral translation.By doing that, the U.S. Constitution would be invulnerable to humanmistake, and any self-serving benefits of one person. Nevertheless,most people claimed that establishing a governing agency as acitizens’ “servant” ascertains that not only would authority bedispersed justly among several governing groups hence, barringtyranny, but also sets that the democratic government’s role wouldconstantly entail its citizens’ service. The clash between writtenand oral translation was an object of debate throughout the momentsof deciding of the Constitution’s ratification.
Gottesman,Ronald, Laurence B. Holland, Hershel Parker, David Kalstone, FrancisMurphy, and William H. Pritchard. TheNorton Anthology of American Literature.New York: Norton, 1979. Print.