The (Masonic) Nation – United States of America.
Continued from Earlier Masonic Influences in USA
The following profiles demonstrate the commitment of the most prominent and influential founding fathers to Freemasonry, deism and/or theism.
Thomas Jefferson, a Deist, wrote the Declaration of Independence, which opens with a statement of rights deriving, not from the God of Holy Scripture, but Nature's God and the Natural Law.
"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."
Compare the above with seating arrangement –
“His masters Place ?? .. … …. .
Why is he placed there ?? .. … … ….. .. … …. .”
Deism links not only Franklin and Washington, but also Thomas Jefferson as well – although the available evidence suggests that he was not a Freemason. Jefferson created his own personal Bible from the New Testament, by omitting the supernatural sections and leaving only the philosophical teachings intact. This unique compilation became known as the ‘Jefferson Bible’ – in the early 1900s approximately 2,500 copies were printed for the United States Congress.
In The Jefferson Bible: The Life and Morals of Jesus, Jefferson describes his views of Jesus Christ, the Christian religion, and his own religious beliefs. In a Syllabus which he appended to his Bible, he compared the teachings of Jesus to those of the earlier Greek and Roman philosophers, and to the religion of the Jews of Jesus' time. The following excerpt is from a letter discussing the Syllabus. Of significance is his statement, "...(Jesus) preaches the efficacy of repentance towards forgiveness of sin; I require counterpoise of good works to redeem it..."
"But while this syllabus is meant to place the character of Jesus in its true and high light, as no impostor Himself, but a great Reformer of the Hebrew code of religion, it is not to be understood that I am with Him in all His doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of Spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance towards forgiveness of sin; I require counterpoise of good works to redeem it, etc., etc. It is the innocence of His character, the purity and sublimity of His moral precepts, the eloquence of His inculcations, the beauty of the apologues in which He conveys them, that I so much admire; sometimes, indeed, needing indulgence to eastern hyperbolism. My eulogies, too, may be founded on a postulate which all may not be ready to grant. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to Him by His biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same Being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore to Him the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, and roguery of others of His disciples. Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus. These palpable interpolations and falsifications of His doctrines, led me to try to sift them apart. I found the work obvious and easy, and that His past composed the most beautiful morsel of morality which has been given to us by man. The syllabus is therefore of His doctrines, not all of mine. I read them as I do those of other ancient and modern moralists, with a mixture of approbation and dissent..."
While historians point out that there is no evidence to tie Thomas Jefferson officially to any Masonic organization, it is a matter of fact that he had great sympathy for the cause. In a letter to Bishop James Madison in 1800, Jefferson relayed his thoughts on Adam Weishaupt and his much-maligned Illuminati group. In what amounts to a defense of both Masonry and Weishaupt’s Illuminati, against the conspiracy charges laid by the writers Barruel and Robison, Jefferson’s allegiances clearly lie with the Utopian and Masonic ideals rather than Church and monarchies:
[Weishaupt of Illuminati] is among those…who believe in the indefinite perfectibility of man. He thinks he may in time be rendered so perfect that he will be able to govern himself in every circumstance so as to injure none, to do all the good he can, to leave government no occasion to exercise their powers over him… Weishaupt believes that to promote this perfection of the human character was the object of Jesus Christ. That his intention was simply to reinstate natural religion, and by diffusing the light of his morality, to teach us to govern ourselves. His precepts are the love of god & love of our neighbor. And by teaching innocence of conduct, he expected to place men in their natural state of liberty and equality. He says, no one ever laid a surer foundation for liberty than our grand master, Jesus of Nazareth. He believes the Free Masons were originally possessed of the true principles and objects of Christianity, and have still preserved some of them by tradition, but much disfigured.
…As Weishaupt lived under the tyranny of a despot and priests, he knew that caution was necessary even in spreading information, and the principles of pure morality. He proposed therefore to lead the Free masons to adopt this object and to make the objects of their institution the diffusion of science & virtue…This has given an air of mystery to his views, was the foundation of his banishment, the subversion of the Masonic order, and is the color for the ravings against him of Robison, Barruel and Morse, whose real fears are that the craft would be endangered by the spreading of information, reason and natural morality among men…if Weishaupt had written here, where no secrecy is necessary in our endeavors to render men wise and virtuous, he would not have thought of any secret machinery for that purpose.
Jefferson was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, and as well as being the third President of the United States also served at various times as Vice-President, Secretary of State and ambassador to France. During his travels to France he accompanied his good friend Benjamin Franklin to the ‘Nine Sisters’ Masonic lodge. Many of his closest associates and confidantes were Freemasons.
It is widely believed that Paine was a Freemason. After his death an essay was published, said to be a chapter from Part III of Age of Reason, titled “The Origins of Freemasonry”. Whatever his official status was, Paine certainly had access to information about the Craft:
The Entered Apprentice knows but little more of Masonry than the use of signs and tokens, and certain steps and words by which Masons can recognize each other without being discovered by a person who is not a Mason. The Fellow Craft is not much better instructed in Masonry, than the Entered Apprentice. It is only in the Master Mason’s Lodge, that whatever knowledge remains of the origin of Masonry is preserved and concealed.
Paine believed that Masonry had a different origin than is stated in the myths of the Craft. He promoted his own view that Freemasonry was derived from the remnants of the Druidic religion, which was the most recent culture to bear a line of mystical knowledge which also passed through the hands of the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians and Chaldeans. And ultimately, according to Paine, Masonry was based on the worship of the heavens, and in particular, the Sun.
Paine claimed that the veil of secrecy which Masons worked under was in order to avoid persecution by the religion which took over the worship of the Sun – Christianity:
The natural source of secrecy is fear. When any new religion over-runs a former religion, the professors of the new become the persecutors of the old. We see this in all instances that history brings before us…when the Christian religion over-ran the religion of the Druids in Italy, ancient Gaul, Britain, and Ireland, the Druids became the subject of persecution. This would naturally and necessarily oblige such of them as remained attached to their original religion to meet in secret, and under the strongest injunctions of secrecy…from the remains of the religion of the Druids, thus preserved, arose the institution which, to avoid the name of Druid, took that of Mason, and practiced under this new name the rites and ceremonies of Druids.
Paine’s enmity against Christianity has meant that to a large extent, his role in the independence of the United States has been swept under the proverbial carpet. Theodore Roosevelt inaccurately called Paine “a dirty little atheist” (being a Deist, Paine actually did believe in a supreme being), and in 1925 Thomas Edison conceded that “if Paine had ceased his writings with The Rights of Man he would have been hailed today as one of the two or three outstanding figures of the Revolution…The Age of Reason cost him glory at the hands of his countrymen.”
Thomas Paine, published his pamphlet "Common Sense" in January of 1776, which turned the tide of public opinion in favor of declaring independence. Paine's arguments against all forms of monarchy dissolved any lingering attachment to Great Britain. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence declaring the colonies free and independent states. Although Paine quoted Scripture to denounce the concept of monarchy, his later work, Age of Reason, is a treatise on the implausibility of the Bible and the irrationality of Christianity. Paine believed in one God, but rejected all religions, saying:
"My own mind is my own church." His pamphlet, Origin Of Free-Masonry, proposed that Masonry's embodiment of the sun worship of ancient Druidism was a legitimate alternative to Christianity. He notes that Freemasonry's god, "...Osiris and Isis, theologically represented the Supreme Being and universal Nature
Born and bred in England, Paine didn’t move to the colonies until his late thirties, only a matter of years before the Declaration of Independence. He emigrated on the advice of Benjamin Franklin, whom he had met in London. Barely a year after arriving, he published the massively influential Common Sense on January 10th 1776, which is said to have sold more than 600,000 copies in a population of only three million. His words inspired George Washington to seek the route of independence from Great Britain, and Thomas Jefferson partly based the Declaration of Independence upon Paine’s statements. Paine also has the honor of being the person to suggest the name of the United States of America.
This revolutionary thinker was sentenced in absentia in Great Britain for sedition, and despite his support for the French Revolution in his Rights of Man, was imprisoned and sentenced to death by the revolutionaries for arguing against the execution of Louis XVI. Miraculously, his life was spared when the executioner marked his door incorrectly. Many Americans would be surprised to know that the man who coined the name of the United States, and had such a profound impact upon its independence, had strong feelings against Christianity. In his Age of Reason he wrote:
The opinions I have advanced…are the effect of the most clear and long-established conviction that the Bible and the Testament are impositions upon the world, that the fall of man, the account of Jesus Christ being the Son of God, and of his dying to appease the wrath of God, and of salvation by that strange means, are all fabulous inventions, dishonorable to the wisdom and power of the Almighty; that the only true religion is Deism, by which I then meant, and mean now, the belief of one God, and an imitation of his moral character, or the practice of what are called moral virtues.
We have seen that a number of the Founding Fathers of the United States were ambivalent, if not downright hostile, towards Christianity.