Letters to the Editor

Deist myth

July 12, 2009

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To the editor:

I noticed that someone was repeating the urban myth that most of the “Founding Fathers” were deists. There are over 200 founders, and any generalization of the founders as deists is completely inaccurate.

Of the members of this notable group, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison were notable for their promotion of Christianity. Charles Pinckney and John Langdon, founders of the American Bible Society; James McHenry, founder of the Baltimore Bible Society; Rufus King helped found a Bible society for Anglicans; Abraham Baldwin, a chaplain in the Revolution and considered the youngest theologian in America; Roger Sherman, William Samuel Johnson, John Dickinson and Jacob Broom, also theological writers; James Wilson and William Patterson, placed on the Supreme Court by President George Washington, had prayer over juries in the U.S. Supreme Court room; and the list could go on. And this does not even include the huge number of thoroughly evangelical Christians who signed the Declaration or who helped frame the Bill of Rights.

I’d suggest that anyone really interested in this subject spend some time reading what the various “founding fathers” wrote. I know that I was quite surprised by some of it, especially Franklin’s comments.

Miller is from Lawrence

Comments

Weezy_Jefferson 6 years ago

A little defensive, aren't you, Nancy_Boy? Come on, is that the banana-boat spirit??

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Half of them owned slaves, and probably believed that leeches were effective medical treatments for most diseases. What difference does it make if some of them were Christians?

kugrad 6 years ago

Man, take your meds Nancy boy! A great book has been written on this subject that is a good introduction to the topic. It is "Founding Faith" by Steven Waldman. While no book is perfect, it provides insight into myths, misunderstandings and so on, and is not slanted toward one point of view, dispelling incorrect notions of both right and left. It's also worth pointing out that the people who first settled in the northeast where the country would eventually be founded where a diverse lot and spanned several generations. These people were NOT the same group as the so-called Founding Fathers. People often forget how much time, and how many experments in governance, passed between the first european settlers and the founding of the nation. Another book worth checking out is "The Colonial Mind" by Vernon L. Parrington - sort of a classic, which is very dense but interesting because 'puritans' didn't live in the way we imagine. The author of the letter that starts all this out is basically correct, many different ways of beliefs, not all deist, were present among the founders of our nation.

devobrun 6 years ago

Nancy_Boy: Replace liberal with conservative, and Obama with Limbaugh and you have the sum total problem of the media.

The media is aware of power. Politics is about controlling other people's lives, which was the real issue addressed by the founding fathers. Liberty is a political philosophy that neither the left, nor the right properly comprehends anymore. It didn't matter so much what the religion was for the founders. It was liberty that mattered most.

Many of the founders were free masons, too. So what.

Bush, Obama, and all the other current political leaders are about power and the use of the press to manipulate people.

I blame the populace for their obsequious servility. Welfare mothers and corporate executives alike look to the government for solutions to their problems. The cost of the government largess is lost liberty.

And it doesn't matter, here on this earth, whether you give up your liberty to the left, right, or religion. You gave up.

6 years ago

"Well, bozo, when ObamaCare kicks in, the use of maggots will be the approved treatment for necrotic or gangrenous wounds. "

Sorry maggot therapy was FDA approved in 04'

mom_of_three 6 years ago

A myth about founding fathers and deism, huh. I don't think it's a myth. Does the LTE say where he got his information? No. ANd is there a problem with some of the founding fathers not being Christian? Nope.
It's believed that some of the founding fathers didnt prescribe to one religious thought, just as all great men allowed other ideas to enhance their beliefs.

jayhawktownie 6 years ago

larry,

Your alleged reading of these founding fathers has obviously been largely skewed to validate your preexisting viewpoints. Anyone who has actually read "The Age of Reason" or researched the motivation for the creation of "The Jefferson Bible" could not possible assert that Paine or Jefferson were proponents of orthodox Christianity. It's possible to pick and choose quotes from any of these figures in order to cast them in one light or another. However, many famous historians who are undoubtedly better read on the subject than you are will tell you that deist philosophy was a strong and important influence on the development of our founding documents.

mom_of_three 6 years ago

Benjamin Franklin has been characterized as a Christian-deist by Professor Brands of Texas A&M in his book. He believed in a benevolent being, that watched over the earth, but didn't think the being watched over every person or decided what that person would do.
Its an interesting subject. One of my KU professors taught that some of the founding fathers, including Jefferson and perhaps Washington believed in Deism with their religion.

Randall Uhrich 6 years ago

You'd better read this article if you believe the founding fathers were not deists: http://www.sullivan-county.com/id3/debate.htm

Leslie Swearingen 6 years ago

It is useless to try to research this on the Net as every page has quotations to enforce their own belief. I really hate those who write, well if you can think for yourself you must think like me. I doubt if all the founding fathers had the same idea on religion or went to the same church. I don't think it matters at this point. What church does Sotomayer go to? How is this going to influence her decisions on the bench?

jonas_opines 6 years ago

Something tells me most of the founders would be offended by trying to be boxed into one set of dogma or another, on the basis of random things that they said over the years of their life.

Kryptenx 6 years ago

You don't check any of your facts before spewing them, do you? For instance, fact checked your claim of Thomas Jefferson promoting Christianity since it's false. This took 5 minutes, maybe you should try it next time before hitting 'Submit'.

"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 toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." -- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

"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 Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823, quoted from James A Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996)

"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 Jesus's biographers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

"A professorship of theology should have no place in our institution." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Cooper, October 7, 1814, referring to the University of Virginia

And the rebuttal to your claim of Jefferson being a Christian from his own mouth, hundred of yeard ago - "I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know." -- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Ezra Stiles Ely (June 25, 1819), quoted from Dickinson W Adams, ed, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Second Series (Princeton University Press, 1983; note that attributions saying "Ezra Stiles, president of Yale University (June 25, 1819)" are incorrect, as that Ezra Stiles died in 1795)

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

I agree with logicsound09. Good link to a good article rduhrich.


I'm me. Who are you behind your hood of anonymity?

Ralph Reed 6 years ago

Tom, (re: your 1129), So, you're implying only far-right zealots have any sense?

Oddly enough though, I agree with the first part of your post, "The Founder Fathers would hang their heads and sob uncontrollaby (sic) if they saw America in 2009."

[Frightening that you and I agree on something one of us wrote, isn't it?]


kugrad 6 years ago

Marion writes:"Unlike the Pseudo-liberal/Neo-socialists of today, “Supreme Being Deniers”, the Founding Fathers were not arrogant or just plain old stupid enough to have imagined that the universe just porpped up one day with no help from anyone" If this was satire, it is brilliant. If not, whoa.......

It is surely true that a supreme being is mentioned in many documents prior to the founding of the nation. It is also true that the main leaders of the group we call the "Founding Fathers" were acutely aware of the failures of government promotion of religion, government based on religious beliefs, and the general mingling of government and religion. Why? Because they had 150 years of failed experiments in which govt. and religion were intertwined from which to learn and draw their conclusions. They knew better from experience. So, while most, but not all, of them believed in some sort of supreme being (it was, after all the 1700's and they lacked much information we have today on the origins of scriptural texts, science, knowledge of the universe etc, so the reliance on a supreme being explanation was more common) it does not follow, logically or in fact, that they believed the new nation to be a "christian" nation, nor that they approved of government support of religion. They knew the value of freedom from religion.

kugrad 6 years ago

Marion, My previous post was not an attempt to put words into your mouth; I think you misread it. Partly that is my fault perhaps for not making two seperate posts. The first part of my post refers to your post. The second part of my post is referring to the content of the thread as a whole, not meant to single out your posts in particular, although I do acknowledge your comment about religious documents. So, I am not implying that you are a Christian, I am not suggesting that you personally believe religion and govt. should be intertwined. In fact, I'm not suggesting anything about your personal beliefs.

As for my science comment, I am not implying that science has been utilized to disprove the existence of a supreme being. I don't even think this is a question science can answer. I was just pointing out that supernatural explanations were more common at that time period. For many people, knowledge of science and the laws of nature enable them to understand phenomenon they might have otherwise attributed to some supernatural cause. I don't think it is unreasonable to suggest that advances in science might contribute to a conclusion that there is no god for many people. For many other people, the same information might lead to the opposite conclusion, and I acknowledge that.

Reread my first post and you'll hopefully see that the first part was a comment on what I saw as a somewhat absurd generalization and the second a continuation of the group discussion minus the off-topic trolling. Sorry for the confusion.

emeryemery 6 years ago

Jefferson thought this, Franklin believed that, Thomas was a Payne!

It's all a pile of BS and mumbo jumbo that has no real bearing on the actual issue. These people forged a document that is very clear. Christians do not have a claim to the direction of this country and they certainly do not have the right to discriminate against Black, Gay or people who think they are out of their ever lovin' minds!

I don't care how much Larry Miller wants to revise history, the constitution is quite clear and it was written to protect us from each other. Springsteen's version of what the founding Fathers believed is obviously closer to reality than Miller's insane suggestion that "huge number of thoroughly evangelical Christians... signed the Declaration or who helped frame the Bill of Rights."

Obvious poppycock, but let's just think about what the claim would mean if it were indeed true.

Founder after founder was an insane bible thumping evangelical christian and yet they all laid signature to a document that ensures that their view cannot be used to govern over others who do not hold that belief.

I would love to see meet a christian who is that forward thinking and self aware.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"I love it when people read into posts what they want to have been said instead of waht was actually written!"

As often as you do it, it's really not necessary to express your love for it.

kugrad 6 years ago

Marion, your last post is simply rude and arrogant. I can express myself clearly and effectively. I was being polite in accepting part of the blame. I am not responsible if you misunderstood my post due to your own poor comprehension skills.

jonas_opines 6 years ago

"It has been my considered opinioin for some time that those who cannot effectively express themselves shoud shut up until they learn how."

What's your excuse, then?

Seriously, you're being even more foolish than normal today? Sunday drinking?

jonas_opines 6 years ago

It's okay, KUgrad, if Marion couldn't cast blame on everybody else, the only option left would be to see himself in a clear light, which would probably break his poor, old mind.

Reminds me of the climax in the Sword of Shannara.

lctchr1 6 years ago

I will simply paste this post from devobrun again, because it is so right on. I can't believe no one chimed in to agree with it. Yes indeed, the media and Washington (all) have us (the incredibly stupid) US citizenry right where they want us. . .

"Replace liberal with conservative, and Obama with Limbaugh and you have the sum total problem of the media.

The media is aware of power. Politics is about controlling other people's lives, which was the real issue addressed by the founding fathers. Liberty is a political philosophy that neither the left, nor the right properly comprehends anymore. It didn't matter so much what the religion was for the founders. It was liberty that mattered most.

Many of the founders were free masons, too. So what.

Bush, Obama, and all the other current political leaders are about power and the use of the press to manipulate people.

I blame the populace for their obsequious servility. Welfare mothers and corporate executives alike look to the government for solutions to their problems. The cost of the government largess is lost liberty.

And it doesn't matter, here on this earth, whether you give up your liberty to the left, right, or religion. You gave up. "

Tom McCune 6 years ago

The "founding fathers" had just witnessed about 300 years of religious civil wars in Europe fought over which faction of Christianity got to be the official state religion of England or France or Switzerland or someplace. Generally speaking, they believed in a creator or higher power, but they had seen too much of organized religion being perverted as a tool of political power. Washington, for example, attended Martha's church but refused to join as an official member and usually declined to take communion.

7texdude 6 years ago

"I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life.

I believe in the equity of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy and endeavouring to make our fellow creatures happy..........

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of, My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."

"Common Sense, Rights of Man, and Other Essential Writings of Thomas Paine" Pages 352-353

People, if you want to learn about Thomas Paine, read his pamphlets yourself. Judge for yourself. Saying Thomas Paine was a Christian and not a Deist is ridiculous when you read this. He believed in God because of what he saw around him and had faith in his fellow man, who were God's creatures.

Those quotes were from the Age of Reason. He ends it with this, "Adam, if ever there was such a man, was created a Deist; but in the mean time, let every man follow, as he has a right to do, the religion and worship he prefers."

Get your facts right before you twist the words of a great man. After all, "our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer."

Common Sense sparked the fire in our country's revolution. Statements like these show that we have no common sense at all now.

salad 6 years ago

"And this does not even include the huge number of thoroughly evangelical Christians who signed the Declaration or who helped frame the Bill of Rights."

I love this! Especially, because evangelism (as the writer knows it) did not exist until after the 2nd great awakening in the 1840's.

kugrad 6 years ago

Salad, there actualy were Evangelicals prior to the founding of the country; in fact, they were one of the main forces pushing for firm seperation of church and state (which seems ironic today). I'm not enough of a religious scholar to describe the differences between those evangelicals and modern evangelicals or those of the 1850s, but they did in fact exist.

There is interesting info on this in "Founding Faith" by Steven Waldman, which is a great read on the topic.

cthulhu_4_president 6 years ago

The founding fathers obviously believed in a supereme bieng, and our society should reflect that. We could have prayer in schools and government offices! After the recitation of adhan and iqama over the public address system, the gym would probably be the best place to gather for prayer. we could even have arrows on the floor pointing to Mecca! Of course this would happen several times per day, but the more the merrier, right? After all, we are nation founded on religion!

What's that? You don't want to participate? That's ok, I will remind you that Allah's mercy is great for those who believe in him and obey, you can just stand aside and have "quiet reflection" while the others pray. There's no need to feel you are being discriminated against, just because you choose not to take part in the historic American tradition of prayer.

You're still not satisfied with this arrangement? I thought you were the one who wanted a return to religous values in the first place! Oh, I see... you only want prayer in the manner of your religion. Well, I'm sorry to say that not everyone believes in your religion, and we can't have prayers for every possible religion! That would be ridiculous! Why don't you just pray silently to your own god while everyone else is reciting the "proper" prayer?

Still not good enough? Okay, how about this compromise. Instead of trying to shove any particular religion into society, why don't we just focus on education and other relevant societal issues instead? Let's not have an official govt. prayer for any religion. That way, no religion gets special treatment. No one needs to feel offended, embarrassed, or left out. You can pray to your own god or gods, on your own, whenever you like, and everyone else can do the same if they choose to do so. It's too bad you're not okay with the school prayer solution I suggested earlier, because it would bring glory to Allah and would be really convenient, but I suppose I can live with the compromise.

Now that I think about it, I guess the compromise is more in line with the First Amendment, anyway. It means no official state endorsement of a religion you or I disagree with. That works for me. Doesn't it work for you?

Maybe, just maybe, exactly what the founding fathers believed in isn't as important as the rights they left behind that allow us to express those beliefs.

salad 6 years ago

kugrad (Anonymous) says…

"Salad, there actualy were Evangelicals prior to the founding of the country;"

I know that: 1st great awakening (1740's). That's not my point. 1st great awakening was a different kind of evangelism and much more limited in scope. Modern style grabbin'-folks-off-the-street evangelism started with the 2nd great awakening; 70 years AFTER the signing of the declaration of independance and the founding of our country. Thus proving the ignorance of the letter writer and his selective fact pluckin'.

Satirical 6 years ago

Cthulhu_4_president….

Who here has made any argument advocating for government sponsored prayer in school? Talk about a red herring.

Larry Miller 6 years ago

The point is - read the original texts - don't go to the website that supports your point of view for quick-out-of-context quotes. For instance: there is not such thing as the "Jefferson Bible." That is something that someone made up. But you won't know that unless you read what Jefferson wrote, not someone else's opinion of what he wrote.

As I see it, the common theme throughout these early writings was that there should be no religious test to hold office. There should be no government-controlled official religion. However, for the US to survive, Christian morality and ethics were essential.

You have to read a lot of the early writings to realize that common theme - even from people who were not Christian.

jimmyjms 6 years ago

Damn facts an' such, getting in the way of good old fundie angst.

And once again, a post sails squarely over satirical's head.

Satirical 6 years ago

jimmyjms.... "And once again, a post sails squarely over satirical's head."

So, you know why cthulu_4_president randomly brought up prayer in school? Was he countering an argument made by someone or just wanted to aruge with himself? Please illuminate.

boltzmann 6 years ago

LarryM (Anonymous) says…

"The point is - read the original texts - don't go to the website that supports your point of view for quick-out-of-context quotes. For instance: there is not such thing as the “Jefferson Bible.” That is something that someone made up. "

http://store.doverpublications.com/0486449211.html

Satirical 6 years ago

jimmyjms...

Or were you just planning on throwing around baseless accusation and ignorant comments like usual?

cthulhu_4_president 6 years ago

"Who here has made any argument advocating for government sponsored prayer in school? Talk about a red herring."

Prayer in school=not the point of my post.

If you didn't make it to the last line of my previous post, then please read (I understand if ya didn't make it last time, it's long-winded). If you're still not sure what the point was, then there's not much I can do.

I thought for sure that if I had to explain my satire to someone, it wouldn't be to someone with the name 'Satirical'.

Plus, I obviously love arguing with myself (no you don't!).

UlyssesPro 6 years ago

"What church does Sotomayer go to? How is this going to influence her decisions on the bench?"

Umm it actually does matter. Clarence Thomas wen to the church of Monsanto and a year after he was appointed to the bench, Monsanto picked up the rights to patten life along with their bio-engineered seeds. They now rule a huge portion of the food industry.

So yes, background does mater.

Satirical 6 years ago

cthulhu_4_president....

I read and understood everything (including the last line). In order for satire to be effective and witty the example must be on point. Otherwise it is simply superflous and distracting.

But I will give you props for the effort. I do not materially disagree with your example or final statement. I just thought it was out of left-field.

cthulhu_4_president 6 years ago

You are right, Satirical, but I don't think it's superflous. I perceive the topic as a mere one degree of seperation away from the article topic. Perhaps I can validate myself if I recount my internal Q&A I had with myself dealing with this topic.

Q: "Why would anyone care what the founding fathers believed in with regards to religion, in a country where we have freedom of religion?" A:"They probably wouldn't, unless it was their religion or a derivitive therof."

Q: "Why would a person of that religion form an argument that this nation is a religious nation, and should have religious morals, using the founding fathers as examples?" A: "Most likely to increase that religion's prominence in society, and to demonstrate that our government has religious roots, hence should be operated with religious input, all using the founding father's legal credibility, since the religion itself has no more legal footing than any other religion."

Q: "What is a topic that I could discuss the unintended consequences of a religion being inserted into government function?" A: "Religon in schools and government facilities".

Hopefully this illustrates the bridge I made between the letter content and my original post. Looking back, I do see how it could be viewed as a red herring. Hopefully I have illustrated why I think that is not the case. (You were right, though, I do like arguing with myself!)

Thanks for the constructive criticism!

Satirical 6 years ago

Cthulhu_4_president…

I am not claiming you brining up school prayer is completely unrelated, but since even you had to create 3 logical steps (degrees of separation) to get to that point, it suggests it was a little off the beaten path.

Some possible alternative answers you may want to consider…

Q1: “Why would anyone care what the founding fathers believed in with regards to religion, in a country where we have freedom of religion?” A1: Because some people love history, love biographies, and desire to understand the motivations behind some of the most influential documents in our world’s history, whether they be religious or not.

Q2: “Why would a person of that religion form an argument that this nation is a religious nation, and should have religious morals, using the founding fathers as examples?” A2: If I were trying to persuade people to behave, think, or believe a certain way, a common marketing technique is to appeal to celebrity or authority. Using this appeal isn't necessarily advocating change in government, and could merely be advocating a change in society’s behavior.

puddleglum 6 years ago

kittykats! now Marion is for K-state?

jimmyjms 6 years ago

"Please illuminate."

Um, I thinks it's perfectly obvious, no?

Cthulhu is merely following the LTE writers logic, but replacing one important detail. Seems to me that prayer in school was the least of his/her points.

Satirical 6 years ago

jimmyjms... "Seems to me that prayer in school was the least of his/her points"

There you go making invalid and baseless assumptions again. Not even Cthulu claims prayer is school was one his (Larry Miller’s) points, and admits that prayer is school wasn’t his point.

You illogically and irrationally think that if someone asserts, as Larry Miller did, that the founding fathers may have been influenced by religion, that this individual is advocating for a theocracy or at “least” school prayer. You are either extremely paranoid or desperately need to take an introductory course in logic (or both). If you want to have a discussion with the big kids, you have to act like one.

Satirical 6 years ago

Correction: "prayer (in) school"

Leslie Swearingen 6 years ago

Lambert (2003) has examined the religious affiliations and beliefs of the Founders. Some of the 1787 delegates had no affiliation. The others were Protestants except for three Roman Catholics: C. Carroll, D. Carroll, and Fitzsimons. Among the Protestant delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 28 were Church of England (Episcopalian, after the Revolutionary War was won), eight were Presbyterians, seven were Congregationalists, two were Lutherans, two were Dutch Reformed, and two were Methodists, the total number being 49. Some of the more prominent Founding Fathers were anti-clerical or vocal about their opposition to organized religion, such as Thomas Jefferson(who created the "Jefferson Bible"), and Benjamin Franklin. However, other notable founders, such as Patrick Henry, were strong proponents of traditional religion. Several of the Founding Fathers considered themselves to be deists or held beliefs very similar to that of deists.

Fascinating I am sure, but what has any of this got to do with politics today?

cthulhu_4_president 6 years ago

"Q1: “Why would anyone care what the founding fathers believed in with regards to religion, in a country where we have freedom of religion?”"

Your answer is really good, and I should have rephrased the question in the spirit that I was thinking about. When i say "care what they think", I suppose I am speaking in terms of social validity. For example, I would not ask a farmer from 1778 what his opinion was on an gas-powered tractor: his opinion, though insightful, would be functionally useless as he has no knowledge of how this machine functions in our world. In that light, indeed I realize that knowledge about our founding fathers is a good thing, but if we were to ask them about the parts of their specific faith and religion, their insight would probably be equally obsolete from a social perspective, as they have no idea how religion has changed in our society 200 years later. Their opinions, while valuable and great insight in themselves, are functionally useless. In retrospect, I would rephrase "care what they believed" in the above question to "assign social validity to their beliefs".


"Q2: “Why would a person of that religion form an argument that this nation is a religious nation, and should have religious morals, using the founding fathers as examples?” "

You give a great Devil's Advocate-type answer, and, of course, one that is impossible for me to refute without further delving into the realm of the hypothetical =)

Again, thanks for the discussion.

Although, this hasn't really felt like a typical LJW conversation; it's much too rational. In keeping with the forum spirit, I must demand that you tell me that I don't know what I'm talking about, throw up 3 wikipedia links to prove that I'm wrong (which I won't read), and then insult me personally in a passive-aggressive way. ;)

Leslie Swearingen 6 years ago

Right, I am going to look up all 200 founders and read what they wrote and meditate on it and then blog about it. Fast forward to today. There are many, many faiths in this country and many levels of personal involvement. An individual in any of the three branches of government who is practicing their faith will bring that to bear on any decisions they make. They will do so with respect for all of those that this decision will affect.

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

Save

the

column

inch

.

Still

having

a

wonderful

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life

.

Larry Miller 6 years ago

cool, I;m starting to see people go beyond the "whack a quote" thing and actually start to research the subject.

Larry Miller 6 years ago

Actually, I've stuck mostly to reading what the various people wrote, rather than reading other people's opinions about what they wrote. If you haven't read "The Study of God" by Paine the you won't understand my reference to him. I suspect tacking the larger issues would take more space than we are allowed on this board.

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