We point out in “Doubting Thomas” that Jefferson would not agree with the secularist witch-hunt that is going on today in modern America in his name. One of the key questions to ask about Thomas Jefferson is about his policies themselves. What did he intend as far as religion in the public square? It’s one thing to say he had his own personal doubts about the Trinity. It’s another thing to say that he believed in a “naked public square.”
Why did Jefferson belong to churches that taught the Gospel? He himself had helped liberate people from being forced to belong to any church. So his involvement in church was purely voluntary. I suppose one could argue about the image he tried to project. But does that cut it all the way? We don’t think so. Was Jefferson basically a hypocrite? Was he a closet unbeliever, while outwardly Christian?
It’s interesting that even though Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter disagree with David Barton on many fine points about Thomas Jefferson, even they admit a number of key points that Barton has helped to popularize, such as the notion that Jefferson attended Christian worship services on a regular basis at the U.S. Capitol. When we mentioned that to someone recently, he had no idea Jefferson worshiped at the Capitol; he instinctively asked, “But what about the separation of church and state?” That very phrase came from Thomas Jefferson, yet if they meant to him what they mean to modern Americans than Mr. Jefferson violated that separation regularly.
The study of Jefferson is important because it has to do with who we are as a nation. In Jefferson’s name today, we are being robbed of our religious freedom. It’s going beyond reason—as in the example of a little 5 year old girl who wrote “I love God” on the palm of her hand, and her teacher rebuked her since God is supposedly not allowed at school.
Once we learn the full facts about Jefferson, it raises many questions. If Jefferson was so skeptical, why did he support so many churches, financially (and sometimes with his presence)? Most people have no idea about the Christian milieu that was so prevalent in Jefferson’s home area. Jefferson was not an atheist, although many today seem to hold that view. Misinformation about the faith of our third president abounds. Jefferson was not the anti-Christian man he’s being made out to be. Thomas Jefferson is being misused to strip away our heritage, and it’s all based on false information.