In honor of our third president, I can suggest a worthy gift given to anyone in his name.
Written mostly to debunk David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies, the book stands on its own as an examination of Jefferson’s views on religion, the Bible, and slavery.
Barton spent a lot of time at the Faith Baptist Church telling the audience that the founders all followed Blackstone’s ideas that our government was based on the Bible. Thomas Jefferson wasn’t impressed with that argument as this letter to John Adams shows. Here’s just a bit that sounds like what David Barton would like us to do:
it is not only the sacred volumes they have thus interpolated, gutted, and falsified, but the works of others relating to them, and even the laws of the land. we have a curious instance of one of these pious frauds in the Laws of Alfred. he composed, you know, from the laws of the Heptarchy, a Digest for the government of the United kingdom, and in his preface to that work he tells us expressly the sources from which he drew it, to wit, the laws of Ina, of Offa & Aethelbert, (not naming the Pentateuch.) but his pious Interpolator, very awkwardly, premises to his work four chapters of Exodus (from the 20th to the 23d) as a part of the laws of the land; so that Alfred’s preface is made to stand in the body of the work. our judges too have lent a ready hand to further these frauds, and have been willing to lay the yoke of their own opinions on the necks of others; to extend the coercions of municipal law to the dogmas of their religion, by declaring that these make a part of the law of the land.