« SpamBayes | Main | The Truth About Hot Dogs »

Jefferson versus Novak

A great juxtaposition from Eschaton:

Michael Novak tells us that religious liberty is only about Jewish or Christian religious liberty.
In addition, the defense that both Jefferson and Madison gave of the right to religious liberty depends crucially on a specifically Jewish and Christian concept of God. Theirs is not a Hindu, Buddhist, or Muslim concept, let alone the concept of God in Aristotle or Plato, Kant or Leibniz. It is the concept of a God who reads our intentions, hearts, and consciences, not just our outward behavior. This God demands to be worshiped in spirit and in truth. This God singles us out one by one, and renders the arena in which He meets the individual conscience sacred.
UPDATE: According to Jefferson himself (via comments over at Big Media Matt's place):
The bill for establishing religious freedom, the principles of which had, to a certain degree, been enacted before, I had drawn in all the latitude of reason and right. It still met with opposition; but, with some mutilations in the preamble, it was finally passed; and a singular proposition proved that its protection of opinion was meant to be universal. Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed, by inserting the word "Jesus Christ," so that it should read, "a departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.
Well done. When someone not only argues in favor of religious intolerance, but has the audacity to refer to Thomas Jefferson in his argument, it's great to see him undone by Jefferson's own words.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://boosman.com/blog-mt/mt-tb.fcgi/311

Post a comment