Jefferson Worked Toward States to Disestablish State-Churches

Religious freedom, as Thomas Jefferson understood it, was best served by having states not have any particular state-church—by law established. He helped Virginia disestablish its state-church (Anglican) by writing the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (written in 1777, passed when he was in France in 1786). That Statute calls on …

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Reaffirmation of Jefferson’s “Christian” Identity (Although Noncreedal)

On May 16, 1816, Charles Thomson replied to Jefferson saying he was glad to hear of his extracts of the Gospels* and proof that he was a “real Christian, that is, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” Thomson also told him of his habit every morning and sometimes at night of reading …

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Jefferson’s Skepticism Comes Through in Some Letters

Although he was a brilliant man, Thomas Jefferson was a flawed theologian. Nonetheless, he was not the lifelong skeptic that he is often made out to be. Nor did he believe in keeping Christian influence out of the government or the public square. The book I cowrote with Mark Beliles, …

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Jefferson Was Generous to Church Causes

It might surprise the average American today that Thomas Jefferson had many positive dealings with clergymen all his life. Most of these were believers in Jesus. There were a few Unitarians, but they were not the majority. Although Jefferson later in life expressed some doubts about some core Christian doctrines, …

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