140423Re: [Revlist] RE: Religion
- Dec 7, 2013Which ships? Jefferson's gunboat flotillas?
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On Dec 7, 2013, at 2:37 PM, hgreenland1666@... wrote:
Dear List (& Suzanne),
One avenue of exploration might be the influence of the Franco-American Alliance on the Second-Mysore War in India. Two heroes of that conflict, Hyder Ali and Tippoo Saib, had American warships named for them. (A lot of people don't realize the last battle of the Revolution was fought off the coast of India in 1783, the Battle of Cuddalore).
My own research traces some of the Founders' ideas of religious liberty; a neglected influence (particularly on Jefferson's views) is the Welsh philosopher and economist Richard Price. Price did not, for instance, like the term "tolerance" because it implied a dislike for the faith of others.
My own opinion is that too many scholars and other contentious people like to point out various religious views of the Founders (including the lack thereof) to support their own notion of what they'd prefer to believe the Revolution favored. This is an error of the greatest magnitude. It is irrelevant whether Jefferson was a Deist, an Atheist, Washington a Christian, etc etc., because they were enlightened men who believed in Liberty of Conscience and Free Inquiry.
From a natural history perspective, Montesquieu's idea that Christianity was the most suitable religion for a Free Republic was favored by many of the Founders.
I prefer the research of Akhil Reed Amar with regard to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Amar points out that several states had established religions in 1789-91, and the purpose of the First Amendment was to assure these states that Congress would not interfere with the states! Madison did not want any reference to religion in the Constitution of Bill of Rights because this would imply the government had authority in the matter. He didn't get his way, but being a brilliant statesmen the wording of the First Amendment cancelled out Federal authority in matters of religion. Too many scholars ignore this or misinterpret this history, taken in the perspective of why the Bill of Rights was composed in the first place- it's historical context.
.It need not be pointed out that Islam was not a popular faith among the colonists. The Reverend John Witherspoon and Governor William Livingston, for example, referred to the "imposture of Mohammed" on several occasions. When the specific reference to Jesus Christ, in Jefferson's Statute for Religious Liberty, was excised by the Virginia Assembly prior to its passage, Jefferson wrote:
.. here 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 it’s (sic) protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”
There is a book recently published entitled "Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an: Islam and the Founders. By Denise A. Spellberg, though I have not read this book and cannot comment concerning it.
~ William Myers, independent historian.
---In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, <suzanneadair@...> wrote:I've finally gotten irked enough by people who believe erroneously that the Revolution was populated solely by devout Christians that I'm going to blog about it. There's plenty of information available about the Jew and Muslim presence in the war. Does anyone know of the presence of other major religions in the war? Any references to recommend? Thanks.
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