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Atheists' Billboard Falsely Attributes Quote To Thomas Jefferson

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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:18 PM
Original message
Atheists' Billboard Falsely Attributes Quote To Thomas Jefferson
Source: Huffington Post



A billboard in Costa Mesa, Calif., is getting some attention, but it's certainly not the kind its sponsors were hoping for.

The sign, paid for by atheist group Backyard Skeptics, includes a quote about Christianity attributed to Thomas Jefferson. But further research reveals there's no solid evidence that Jefferson ever uttered or wrote the words, the Orange County Register first reported.

The billboard includes a picture of Jefferson with the quote: "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology."

Experts at the Jefferson Library Collection at Monticello are constantly asked about the quote, the Orange County Register reports. Some say the former president wrote the words in a letter to a Dr. Wood, but officials cannot find trace of any correspondence to a person by that name.


Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/10/atheists-billb...
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Tom Ripley Donating Member (418 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
1. Believer's Billboard Falsely Attributes Quote To God
time and time again
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. +1 Million! n/t
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. lol n/t
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
2. "Vet the quote before you spend ten grand on the billboard." - Ben Franklin
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kayakjohnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Ha!
Nice.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. ROFL! n/t
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fishwax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. ha!
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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #2
24. "Most quotes on the Internet are false." -- Abraham Lincoln
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #24
34. ROFLMAO
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. Illustrates the importance of sourcing . . .
and that it's not enough to just say, so-and-so said it. Tell me WHERE they said it (the URL, page, book title, edition, etc.).
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. Oops. Our bad. n/t
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
8. In fairness, there are no quotation marks on that billboard
So maybe they're just offering up an opinion about Christianity, and they're simply labeling the portrait as Thomas Jefferson?
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Good save! n/t
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
9. Actually it is correct...
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 05:29 PM by and-justice-for-all
it has just been simplified because the original would not be as effective...

"I have examined all the known superstitions of the world, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." Thomas Jefferson.

I prefer:" John Adams, 2nd President of the United State; The Government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion." Because of how short and to the point it already is.
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Sal316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. No, the original doesn't exist.
According to people who would know, you know, the folks at Monticello


Status: We have not found this quotation in any of Jefferson's known writings.
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and-justice-for-all Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. uh okay...nt
:eyes:
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
16. No, your version is unknown in his writings too
See http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/superstition-c...

And the org that paid for the billboard has said:

10/17/11 I have an apology to make to the secular community. Although I placed the Jefferson billboard up in good faith that this quote was made by Jefferson, I have now learned that it was not. It was started in 1906 by an unknown author. I have requested the billboard to be replaced with a previous secular billboard we have used. Although the quote was not known to be of Jefferson, he had plenty to say about religion and Christianity:

This would be the best of worlds if there were no religion in it. in a reply to John Adams letter

We find in the writings of his biographers a groundwork of vulgar ignorance, of things impossible, of superstitions, fanaticisms and fabrications.
Thomas Jefferson, to William Short, August 4, 1822, referring to Jesuss biographers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law. Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814, responding to the claim that Chritianity was part of the Common Law of England
...
http://backyardskeptics.com/wordpress/index.php
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
36. You just can't believe anything a skeptic says!
lol!
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:29 PM
Response to Original message
10. Hey, if makes some people happy, what's the harm? nt
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hughee99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
12. If a made-up Jefferson quote isn't enough to convice those
who have been indoctrinated from a young age into a religion, I don't know what is. Well done, backyard skeptics!

I can just hear someone in their office yelling now, "For god's sake, didn't someone fucking look this up before we paid for the billboard?"

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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:30 PM
Response to Original message
13. Oh come on, you expect them to know everything?
They'd run for god themselves if they did!
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Nye Bevan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. Jefferson owned several hundred slaves.
That's pretty hard to reconcile with Christianity.
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Shadowflash Donating Member (180 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:57 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Not really.
The bible condones slavery and even give rules on how your slaves are to be treated. Christianity IS pro slavery.

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liberation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. Well, technically it is the Old Testament
God mellowed down once he had his kid, apparently.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
32. Are you kidding? Christians all over the world have been slave owners almost since 33AD
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Lars77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
18. Isnt this Ben Franklin?
I think i remember reading something like this Franklins diaries in Nortons Anthology of American Literature. I cant get to it right now though.

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ScottLand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
19. I'll be glad to claim it then. I'm the one who said it!
Regardless of who said it, it's still pretty hard to disagree. I don't really care what Jefferson thought; it has no bearing on what I believe.

I prefer "Man created a vengeful God out of his own hatred".
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
25. They meant this quote: "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of
".... Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity."

I think this one is catchier.
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Kurmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. And yet in none of those instances can you find where Christ would have approved.
The people that "burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned" were NOT following Christ's Teachings.
To imply otherwise is a direct lie. Call them out on their sins, don't attribute the cause falsely.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. Jefferson was talking about Christians, not Christ. He never said Christ murdered.
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 06:23 PM by McCamy Taylor
He said Christians did. He had his own Bible, scratched out everything that was not a direct quote from Jesus. No more Paul preaching against sodomy. No more Revelations. No more Genesis. The result would have been something like the Gospel of Thomas

I get the impression that he was less than impressed by self professed Christians.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
27. I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.
This one is all over the Internet and attributed to Jefferson.

http://thinkexist.com/quotation/i_do_not_find_in_orthod...
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
28. "They are all alike founded on fables and mythology" is also widely quoted on the Internet
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Livluvgrow Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
29. Confucious Say
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 06:33 PM by Livluvgrow
Every once in awhile it is O.K to out Faux the Faux
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. Especially when we all know that the spirit of the Billboard is correct and the Internet
has about a gazillion sites which attribute both lines to Jefferson meaning that this quote was not made up, it was Googled.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:35 PM
Response to Original message
33. And maybe the misquote was intentional to get buzz. nt
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #33
35. Naw. They just got sloppy and figured if 1000s of Internet sites had the quotes they were probably
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 06:39 PM by McCamy Taylor
legit. The problem is, we do not have Jefferson's papers----and I am not really sure I trust some dude at Monticello to look through all them in order to make sure that they are not there.
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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
37. A lot of people here propagate a phony Lincoln quote too
That one about "corporations being enthroned". Just a total fabrication.
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cbayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
38. Locking
This is not LBN criteria. Thread on this can be found here:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

cbayer
DU Moderator
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