Thomas Jefferson, born on April 13, 1743, was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. Known as the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson dedicated his life to the cause of liberty passing away on July 4th, 1826 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Thomas Jefferson, the author of the phrase “separation of church and state” is often regarded as the least “religious” of all of the founding fathers and characterized today as almost an anti-theist. This is primarily due to his inquisitive approach to religion and the fact that he, like many others during the revolutionary period, explored and took serious consideration of Deism. With that said, Jefferson, like so many who find themselves on a spiritual journey in life, later affirmed the commonly accepted principles of Christianity. James Hutson, professor of History and historian at the Library of Congress stated in his book, “Religion and the Founding of the American Republic,” that “The description of Jefferson’s presidency as a rebuke to Christianity is a caricature that disregards conflicting evidence that has long been accessible. It has also been undercut by the conclusions of recent scholarship that Jefferson’s views on religion underwent changes as he grew older, changes that carried him far from his apparent infatuation with secular moralism in the 1770s and 1780s.”
"I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he [Jesus] wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, & believing he never claimed any other."
"The god who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time..."
"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever..."
"...I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus..."
"My god! How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy."
"...the Christian religion when divested of the rags in which they have inveloped it, and brought to the original purity & simplicity of it’s benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, & the freest expansions of the human mind."
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.