Thomas Jefferson is always one of my favorite reads. A mind constantly at work considering human possibilities, he did more than spout philosophy, he acted upon it.
Philosophers give us thoughts that transcend generations, and sometimes millenia.
Jefferson is an odd bird. He is at once a darling of both Left and the Right; and to read most of the literature being cranked out by the Right you would think he is ‘the man’.
There is an uneasy relationship however between Jefferson and the Right. Jefferson was strongly opinionated but enjoyed open debate. He accepted that democracy could be messy.
Jefferson was also a deist (as were 3 of the first 4 U.S. presidents) and a Unitarian Christian that spent his winters as president cutting and glueing parts of the Bible together to give us what we now call the Jefferson Bible — all the supernatural stuff was thrown out.
The difference between a deist Christian and a non-deist is that deists put more trust in logic and argument than in faith. They have faith in the tangible, not the ‘Trust me. My interpretation is correct. Just have faith.’
Thomas Jefferson had faith only in the ‘self evident’.
Faith makes the Right tick because it essentially means ‘if you have to ask why then you are not one of us’.
Why? Explain to me? Why not? These are important questions in making republican democracy work.
Texas schoolbook massacre
As some of you may know, the ultraconservative politically correct school curriculum commission in Texas (yes, it happens on the Right, too) threw Thomas Jefferson out of the state’s school books. And because Texas is such a huge market then that means that Thomas Jefferson is being thrown out of the school books of more than half of the United States.
We can argue about what it all means here in the USA, but here is how the Brits see it — and they have no reason to love Thomas Jefferson after that little Declaration of Independence note that he penned: “‘Texas schoolbook massacre’ rewrites American history“.
The ultraconservative self-proclaimed Christian members of the commission voted 15-5 to toss Jefferson completely from American schoolbooks. He will no longer exist.
It is 1984 … brought to you courtesy of those who would really rather you did not ask ‘why not?’
Learn more about this by Googling: http://www.google.com/search?q=texas+schoolbook+thomas+jefferson