For those ‘Dominionist*’ or just misinformed citizens who thinks America was founded as a ‘christian’ nation…. I am sorry, no, the founders, though possible believers in a creator of sorts, were, far and wide NOT christians by any standards of today.. the most famous, Jefferson, wrote his OWN Bible…. see link below which disavowed any miracles or divinity of Jesus… only the ‘moral’ teachings (which the current pope seems to be following somewhat) they, the founders, were ‘Enlightenment’ taught…
A little history for those who might not be familiar with Jefferson’s Bible: it is a leatherbound notebook which Jefferson filled with carefully cut-out excerpts from other source Bibles. He titled the volume the “Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” What makes it extraordinary is that Jefferson eliminated from his text any mention of miracles, divinity and the supernatural. The resulting volume reflects only Jesus’ moral philosophy, which Jefferson felt was the standard to which all men should aspire. Jefferson’s apparent preference for reason, logic and morality over superstition and magic is indicative of the Enlightenment’s influence on him.
Any discussion of Jefferson’s Bible has the potential for contentious argument about America as a Christian nation, but the exhibit managed to sidestep that quagmire while placing adequate emphasis on the influence of the Enlightenment in Jefferson’s thought. Iam posting a few of my own photographs here. I apologize for the poor quality of the images; I had only my cell phone camera with me that day.
The video which played in the exhibit hall is available on the Smithsonian channel website and can be viewed here: