“For we are capable of doing only what we are inclined to do. And again, we truly incline only toward something that in turn inclines toward us, toward our essential being, by appealing to our essential being as the keeper who holds us in our essential being. What keeps us in our essential nature holds us only so long, however, as we for our part keep holding on to what holds us. And we keep holding on to it by not letting it out of our memory. Memory is the gathering of thought.”
"During the Enlightenment period, religious dogma was seriously questioned. Thomas Jefferson was one of America’s leading critics of Judeo-Christian orthodoxy.
In one of his many letters to John Adams, Jefferson remarked:
And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.
When Jefferson ran for the office of U.S. President, he correctly predicted that his opponents would use his writings in an attempt to smear him. In the tumultuous election of 1800, New England’s clergy, along with the conservative Federalist Party, vilified Jefferson as a ‘howling atheist’ and ‘infidel’.
Toward the end of his life Jefferson took Greek, Latin, French and English extracts of the New Testament and cut and pasted together his own version of the Bible.
His goal was to eliminate what he regarded as distortions in the Gospels. He believed that the New Testament was written by unlearned apostles who often misunderstood Jesus and misrepresented his teachings. Jefferson felt that his edited version of the Bible best expressed the moral code of what Jesus really taught.”
Make your own Bible. Select and collect all the words and sentences that in all your readings have been to you like the blast of a trumpet. —Ralph Waldo Emerson