Jews Respond to Thomas
(18th century American statesman)
"Dispersed as the Jews are, they still form one nation, foreign to the land they live
Thomas Jefferson (D. Boorstin, THE AMERICANS)
Firstly, anti-Semites should learn to quote their "sources" correctly and also
include the relevant page number. The correct citation for the book is "The Americans
The Colonial Experience", Daniel. J. Boorstin, Vintage Books, 1958. The
"quote" above has been changed from the original, which appears on page 64 of
the paperback edition. Speaking about the American Quakers and the problems they
experienced because, for example, they would not defend themselves against Indian attacks,
he speaks of them as "a religious sect
acting with one mind, and that directed
from the mother Society in England. Dispersed, as the Jews, they still form, as those do,
one nation, foreign to the land they live in."
I don't see this as anti-Semitic or even anti-Quaker. Jefferson is simply commenting on
the character of both the Quakers and the Jews of not totally assimilating with the
surrounding society and maintaining their traditions. Whatever is wrong with this in a
free society? Wasn't the freedom to practice one's religious beliefs one of the founding
principles of the United States?
Yes, this is precisely the point. Christians wrote
"free exercise of religion" to establish free exercise of religion for
Christians to practice Christianity, but modern jews want to impose their amoral,
despicable, destructive "principles" on Christians. What Christians view
as pro-Christian you jews view as nothing but "anti-semitic". Your
suggestion that our Forefathers were "anti-semitic" is reason alone for exiling
The imputation behind the original misquote is also at variance with Jefferson's
support for both freedom of religious belief and practice and also his belief in freedom from
religion. He was determined that the religious bigotry and intolerance in the Europe of
his time would not be exported to America. In 1777 he drafted "An Act for
Establishing Religious Freedom" and in 1779 when he became Governor of Virginia he
introduced the Act into the legislature. An opposing bill, proposing to make Christianity
the official religion of America was then introduced by Patrick Henry and had primarily
Jews along with Baptists, freethinkers and some Anglicans supported the Jefferson bill.
James Madison made a speech to the Virginia General Assembly which strongly swayed support
to the Jefferson bill and it became law on 16 Jan 1786. It read, in part:
"II. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to
frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be
enforced, restrained, molested or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise
suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to
profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinion in matters of religion, and that the
same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.'
David S. Maddison (email@example.com)
Which of course ignores that the Virginia Constitution,
thanks to Thomas Jefferson, contains to this day the direct reference to Christianity
That religion or the duty which we
owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and
conviction, not by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the
free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the
mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each
Someone recently asked about Jefferson and the Jews. Of all the Founders, Jefferson is the
only major figure in whose writings something anti-Semitic cannot be found. Jefferson
disagreed with the inward directedness of the Jewish people in the Old Testament, and he
believed that Jesus (a Jew) improved upon Judaic thought by taking ethical concerns into
the human conscience. To Dr. Jacob De La Motta, Savannah, Georgia, Jefferson wrote that he
rejoiced "in the restoration of the Jews, particularly to their social rights."
Jefferson hoped that the Jews "will be seen taking their seats on the benches of
science as preparatory to their doing the same at the board of government."
If someone were to write the following about jews today,
they would be labled as "anti-semitic":
II. Jews. 1. Their system was
Deism; that is, the belief of one only God. But their ideas of him & of his attributes
were degrading & injurious.2. Their Ethics were not only imperfect, but often
irreconcilable with the sound dictates of reason & morality, as they respect
intercourse with those around us; & repulsive & anti-social, as respecting other
nations. They needed reformation, therefore, in an eminent degree.
III. Jesus. In this state of things among the Jews Jesus
appeared. His parentage was obscure; his condition poor; his education null; his natural
endowments great; his life correct and innocent: he was meek, benevolent, patient, firm,
disinterested, & of the sublimest eloquence.
"What a wretched depravity of sentiment and manners must
have prevailed before such corrupt maxims could have obtained credit! It is impossible to
collect from these writings a consistent series of moral Doctrine.' Enfield, B. 4. chap.
3. It was the reformation of this `wretched depravity' of morals
which Jesus undertook.
Should we now dig up Thomas Jefferson and try him
as an "anti-semite"?
If jews of today admit that our other Forefathers were
more "anti-semitic" than Thomas Jefferson, then why do they spend so much
time claiming that Benjamin Franklin or George Washington didn't write what is attributed
To Mordecai M. Noah Jefferson wrote, in 1818, "You sect by its sufferings has
furnished a remarkable proof of the universal spirit of religious intolerance inherent in
every sect, disclaimed by all when feeble, and practiced by all when in power."