It has been said by some secularists and separationists that the theistic phrases in the Declaration of Independence, such as "the Supreme Judge of the world" and "divine Providence" are not references to Christianity or Jesus because the writer of those words is a confirmed deist.
Who is "the Supreme Judge of the world?"
One place to begin might be "The Jefferson Bible." This is a collection of the sayings of Jesus compiled by Jefferson to teach Christian morality to the Indians. Jefferson included only those sayings of Jesus which he (Jefferson) believed were truly spoken by Jesus.
Jesus said HE (Jesus) was the Supreme Judge of the World. Read about it here:
Birth of a Ruler
Does this sound like something a "deist" believes?
Would Jefferson be surprised to learn that in the 21st century, the federal government in Washington D.C. claims to have the power to prohibit local schools from teaching Jefferson's brand of "deism?"
Let us grant (contrary to fact) that Jefferson was a deist.
The writer of those words ("appealing to the supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions") in the Declaration of Independence was not Jefferson. If you look in TJ's writings, vol 1, p. 38 you will find (in his autobiography) that his original draft did not contain those words, but were added by the Congress. Numerous other changes were also made by the revising committee which included men like John Adams.
|Jefferson's Original||Final Wording|
|We therefore the representatives of the United States of America in General Congress assembled,
do in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these [states reject and renounce all allegiance and subjection to the kings of Great Britain and all others who may hereafter claim by, through or under them; we utterly dissolve all political connection which may heretofore have subsisted between us and the people or parliament of Great Britain and finally we do assert and declare these colonies to be free and independent states,] and that as free and independent states,
|We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America in General Congress assembled, appealing to the supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states,|
Who did John Adams believe was "The Supreme Judge of the World?" Read this link. Adams declared an official national day of prayer, not solely for individuals, but for the nation, to pray to God. Adams recommended that the nation
Is this not explicitly Trinitarian?
Is this how "deists" pray?
In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson had written:
And for the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
But Congress amended it to read:
And for the support of this declaration, [with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,] we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
"Providence" is the opposite of deism. Check out either of those two links.
The Declaration of Independence reflects the thinking of a nation which barred atheists from public office and which the US Supreme Court on several occasions described as a "Christian nation." It does not reflect "deism."
Civil Rights And The Sacred Truth -- Civil Rights Journal
How "sacred and undeniable" became "self-evident"
Vine & Fig Tree
12314 Palm Dr. #107
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
[e-mail to V&FT]
[V&FT Home Page]