Is Thomas Jefferson a friend or foe of Christians? Or neither?

If you are looking for proof that Thomas Jefferson was a militant secularist, you can find it, the evidence is there. Ironically, if you are looking for proof and evidence that he was a committed Christian, you can find that too. Either way, some “cherry picking” will be required. The truly interesting thing about Jefferson is that he does not fit neatly into any of our modern-day-culture-war categories. Many textbooks label him as a deist, but many scholars argue that he wasn’t a true deist because he clearly believed in a god that intervened in history (see below). He clearly rejected Christian theology and the divinity of Christ, and wrote scathing criticism of New Testament writers (see below). But at the same time he considered himself a “real Christian.” He obviously celebrated Jesus, but not as the “Son of God,” but rather as a Jewish sage. Dammit! Does this make him a rogue Christian, or a kind of dazed-and-confused Jew? It’s hard to imagine any group in 2013 that can honestly claim Jefferson as one of their own. Perhaps he is truly, as he himself put it, “a sect of one.” Your thoughts? Any Jefferson wannabes out there?

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