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About MeGeorge Washington opened his first inaugural address by pointing out that "Among the Vicissitudes incident to life," no event could have filled him with greater anxieties than seeing expected changes put into action. In Thomas Jefferson's first inaugural he asked Congress to indulge his own errors, which he claimed would never be intentional and for "support against the errors of others, who may condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts." Both federalists and republicans saw the United States as a Democratic-Republican-Federalist experiment, each with its own approaches to achieving the same ends: Life, Liberty and Happiness. * * * Monticello is a Museum, not a political organization. As its building graces the reverse of the nickel, it attracts too many who neither understand Force nor Power; most academics who opine on Jefferson's Religion do so without understanding Religion as a department of the humanities. Anxiety and mistakes inherent to perpetual changes in academic approaches overwhelms too many in the modern world. That scenario was true for the bloody turn in the French Revolution and the advent of Germany's Nazi Party whereat old approaches were replaced by new approaches that were too radical for the people to bear. Jefferson was not intellectually surprised at the Reign of Terror, notwithstanding his being traumatized. I believe that such an advent in the United States was Jefferson's greatest subconscious fear, causing him to be very, very private about his religion. Whether Atheist or Theist, public support thereon is the common foundation for tragic turns of events, such as when Roman Catholic France turned atheist, or when Christian Germany exploited religion to promote a uniform secular ideology during and after the Weimar Republic. Jefferson did not see churches, organized religion or public religion as godly. Jefferson believed that love for Nature's God was universal to those acquainted with creation, productive work and experience in the American frontier. Jefferson firmly believed that "love" was a matter of the heart, and absolutely not a public concern.
What Motivated Jefferson to study? All who understand Jefferson know that money and ego weren't it. Jefferson's own words always give us a clue: "The consequences of foreign education are alarming to me as an American ... Cast your eye over America. Who are the men of most learning, of most eloquence, most beloved by their countrymen and most trusted and promoted by them? They are those who have been educated among them and whose manners, morals and habits are perfectly homogeneous with those of the country." (Jefferson to John Banister, 15 Oct. 1785). Ask Patrick Stevens, son of Jason Randall Stevens, "what motivated Jefferson to study?" He doesn't just know, he understands what motivated Jefferson.William Green
September 26, 2016 on Fellowships
A Jefferson of our time~William Green
March 20, 2016 on Gordon Moore, Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global Innovation