9781591023562

Ye Will Say I Am No Christian

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781591023562

  • ISBN10:

    1591023564

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2005-11-07
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
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Summary

The 'Culture Wars' have produced a lot of talk about religion, morals, and values, with both sides often hearkening back to our Founding Fathers. Here is your chance to learn firsthand what two of the most influential pillars of the American Republic thought about these perennial topics. From 1812 to July 4, 1826 -- when ironically death claimed both men -- Thomas Jefferson and John Adams exchanged letters touching on these still controversial issues. These little-known letters contain many surprising revelations. In the 1800 presidential election, in which the Republican Jefferson opposed the Federalist Adams, religion was a topic of hot debate, as reflected in this correspondence written many years after. What was it about Jefferson's religious beliefs that provoked such vitriol against him in the campaign? And what was there in Adams's theology that prompted certain Calvinists and Trinitarians to label him 'no Christian'? Though they expressed different opinions, Jefferson and Adams agreed on what they called the 'corruptions of Christianity'. Despite their criticisms and their critics, both men considered themselves Christians, in different senses of the term. Hearing these champions of liberty and freedom of religion speak out frankly on church and state, the Bible, Jesus, Christianity, morality, and virtue, modern readers may well ask themselves whether either of these Founding Fathers could today be elected president. Editor Bruce Braden has done us all a service by collecting this revealing and intimate historical correspondence on topics that continue to stir emotions and debate in the 21st century.

Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 15(2)
INTRODUCTION 17(6)
THE CORRESPONDENCE 23(206)
1. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 10, 1787)
23(1)
Reformations
2. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (February 10, 1812)
23(2)
Prophecies
3. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (April 20, 1812)
25(2)
Richmond and Wabash prophets
4. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 1, 1812)
27(1)
Charges of corruption
5. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 3, 1812)
27(1)
Spreading delusions
6. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (June 11, 1812)
28(4)
Indian traditions
7. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 28, 1812)
32(4)
Indian metaphysical science
8. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (October 12, 1812)
36(6)
New England histories/Wollaston
9. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (December 28, 1812)
42(6)
Wollaston/Thomas Morton
10. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (May 27, 1813)
48(3)
Death of Benjamin Rush/Indian origins
11. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 29, 1813)
51(2)
Unitarians/Lindsey's memoirs
12. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 10, 1813)
53(2)
Letter to Dr. Joseph Priestley
13. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 11, 1813)
55(1)
The living and the dead
14. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (June 15, 1813)
55(3)
Enemies of reform
15. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 25, 1813)
58(2)
Spiritual tyranny beginning
16. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 28, 1813)
60(4)
Denunciations of the priesthood
17. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 30, 1813)
64(4)
Terrorism of the day
18. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 1813)
68(2)
The most lying tongue
19. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 9, 1813)
70(3)
Histories are annihilated
20. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 13, 1813)
73(2)
Inequalities of mind and body
21. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 15, 1813)
75(2)
The progress of the human mind
22. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 16, 1813)
77(3)
Promise to Benjamin Rush
23. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 18, 1813)
80(3)
More to say on religion
24. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 22, 1813)
83(2)
Dr. Priestley says...
25. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (August 9, 1813)
85(1)
Bible compared with other scripture
26. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (August [14?] 1813)
86(1)
Theognis lived 540 years before Jesus
27. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (August 22, 1813)
87(2)
The basis for my own faith
28. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (September 14, 1813)
89(4)
Ye will say I am no Christian
29. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (September 15, 1813)
93(1)
No mind, but one, can see
30. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (September 22, 1813)
94(2)
Zeno and his disciples too Christian?
31. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (September [or October 4], 1813)
96(2)
How much of Judeo-Christianity was learned from Babylon, Egypt, and Persia
32. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (October 12, 1813)
98(3)
Cutting verse by verse out
33. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (October 28, 1813)
101(7)
Natural versus artificial aristocracy
34. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (November 14, 1813)
108(3)
A second set of Ten Commandments
35. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (November 15, 1813)
111(7)
Aristocracies
36. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 3, 1813)
118(6)
Honor the gods established by law
37. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 25, 1813)
124(5)
I return to Priestley
38. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (January 24, 1814)
129(4)
Such tricks have been played
39. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (February 1814)
133(5)
Looking into Oriental history and Hindoo religion
40. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (July 5, 1814)
138(2)
Use of Plato to construct artificial Christianity
41. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 16, 1814)
140(2)
Platonic Christianity has received a mortal wound
42. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 19, 1815)
142(2)
Science, religion, government need reform
43. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 20, 1815)
144(2)
Whether priests and kings shall rule by fictional miracles
44. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 22, 1815)
146(5)
Acts of the saints (Acta Sanctorum)
45. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (August 10, 1815)
151(1)
Acta Sanctorum: A mass of lies, a farrago of falsehood
46. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (August 24, 1815)
152(1)
Acta Sanctorum: A most complete history of the corruption of Christianity
47. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (November 13, 1815)
152(2)
Another St. Bartholomew's Day threatened
48. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (January 11, 1816)
154(2)
Arts and sciences soften and correct the manners and morals of men
49. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (February 2, 1816)
156(4)
The people wish to be deceived
50. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (March 2, 1816)
160(3)
Who and what is this Fate?
51. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (April 8, 1816)
163(3)
A good world on the whole
52. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 3, 1816)
166(4)
If "afterlife" is fraud, we shall never know it
53. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 6, 1816)
170(4)
Use of grief/Grimm/Pascal/History of Jesus
54. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (August 1, 1816)
174(2)
Dreams of the future better than history of the past
55. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (August 9, 1816)
176(2)
Van der Kemp/Quality of life/Jesuits
56. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (September 3, 1816)
178(3)
Cross most fatal example of abuse of grief
57. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (September 30, 1816)
181(1)
Priestley on Dupuis's Origin of All Cults
58. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (October 14, 1816)
182(3)
Essence of virtue is in doing good to others
59. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (November 4, 1816)
185(1)
Purify Christendom from corruptions
60. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (November 25, 1816)
186(1)
Bible societies
61. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 12, 1816)
187(1)
Be just and good
62. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 16, 1816)
188(2)
Greatest fictions immortalized in art
63. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (January 11, 1817)
190(1)
They supposed they knew my religion
64. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (February 2, 1817)
191(1)
Passions and interests generally prevail
65. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (April 19, 1817)
192(2)
I never can be a misanthrope
66. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (May 5, 1817)
194(1)
Resurrection of Connecticut to light
67. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 18, 1817)
195(2)
You think Protestant Popedom is annihilated in America?
68. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 26, 1817)
197(2)
Controversy between spiritualists and materialists
69. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 15, 1817)
199(1)
I choose to laugh
70. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (October 10, 1817)
199(1)
Will their religion allow it?
71. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (January 28, 1818)
200(1)
A mind too inquisitive for Connecticut
72. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (May 17, 1818)
201(1)
I am glad he is gone to Kentucky
73. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 29, 1818)
202(1)
His system is founded in hope, not fear
74. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (July 18, 1818)
202(1)
Dr. Mayhew
75. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (October 20, 1818)
203(1)
The dear partner of my life lies in extremis
76. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (November 13, 1818)
204(1)
I know well and feel what you have lost
77. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 8, 1818)
204(1)
If I did not believe in a future state
78. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (January 29, 1819)
205(1)
How has it happened?
79. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (February 13, 1819)
205(1)
Abolish polytheism
80. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (March 21, 1819)
206(1)
Eccentricities of planets
81. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 21, 1819)
206(1)
The world is dead
82. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (December 10, 1819)
207(1)
Follow truth, eschew error
83. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 21, 1819)
207(1)
To render all prayer futile
84. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (January 20, 1820)
208(1)
God: An essence we know nothing of
85. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (March 14, 1820)
208(2)
The ablest metaphysicians
86. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 12, 1820)
210(1)
The cause of all is beyond conception
87. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (August 15, 1820)
211(2)
This heresy of immaterialism
88. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (January 22, 1821)
213(2)
We prescribe a cure for others
89. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (February 3, 1821)
215(1)
Free government and the Roman Catholic religion can never exist together
90. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (May 19, 1821)
216(1)
Surrender hope
91. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (September 24, 1821)
217(1)
Hope springs eternal
92. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (June 1, 1822)
217(2)
When all our faculties are gone, is death an evil?/War
93. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (June 11, 1822)
219(1)
Death is a blessing/Globe is a theater of war
94. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (March 10, 1823)
219(1)
Right and justice have hard fare
95. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (April 11, 1823)
220(4)
Virgin birth of Jesus classed with fable
96. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (August 15, 1823)
224(2)
Dr. Priestley came to breakfast
97. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (September 4, 1823)
226(1)
Art of printing changed the world
98. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (October 12, 1823)
226(1)
The evening of our lives
99. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (January 8, 1825)
227(2)
Experiments on the nervous system/Soul?
100. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (January 22, 1825) 229(1)
This awful blasphemy
101. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (January 23, 1825) 230(1)
Liberty of conscience, right of free inquiry
102. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (February 25, 1825) 231(1)
I like him much for his curiosity
103. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (December 1, 1825) 231(1)
Rather go forward, meet what is to come
104. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (December 18, 1825) 232(1)
In favor of treading the ground over again
105. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (January 14, 1826) 232(1)
Death: A transformation or an end?
106. Thomas Jefferson to John Adams (March 25, 1826) 233(1)
What he has heard and learnt of the Heroic Age
107. John Adams to Thomas Jefferson (April 17, 1826) 233(2)
More personal abuse than there used to be
ADDENDUM: A SAMPLING OF JEFFERSON AND ADAMS WRITING TO OTHERS ON RELIGION, PHILOSOPHY, AND MORALS 235(10)
INDEX 245

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