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Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man (Spurious Quotation)

This is a somewhat paraphrased version of the following:

"this was the real ground of all the attacks on you: those who live by mystery & charlatanerie, fearing you would render them useless by simplifying the Christian philosophy, the most sublime & benevolent, but most perverted system that ever shone on man, endeavored to crush your well earnt, & well deserved fame." - Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Priestley, Washington, March 21, 18011

Further Sources


ushistory1776's picture
Jefferson did not believe Christ was the messaiah. He believed in a supreme being as diests do. Those are Jeffersons words like it or not. What he was saying is Christianity is a benevolent religion that can and has been perverted by mankind. Now go look up some christian made atrocities in the name of christ. There is no anti-christian agenda here. Jefferson believed people should be able to choose if they wanted to believe or not and man has a natural right to choose not the government. He also said this about religion: But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. Jefferson was an admirer and fan of Priestly's book the Corruption of Christianity. more info here:
musketeer54's picture
"Somewhat paraphrased?" You have absolutely turned the meaning of Jefferson's original words upside-down! How dare you use Thomas Jefferson's name to push your own anti-Christian agenda, and to place that lie above Jefferson's actual words as a large-font, bold-type headline that drowns out the truth.
DSinSoCal's picture
I think you need to learn the definition of "spurious". The title clearly identifies the internet quote as such.
cwollerton's picture
I think you misunderstand the purpose of this page. It's to correct a quote that is commonly attributed to Jefferson. We didn't come up with the paraphrasing. It appears often on the internet, and we're trying let people know that it's inaccurate.
The Arbiter's picture
It is exactly that, paraphrased. I do not think that the top statement represents the beliefs of the Jefferson Monticello folks, it is merely a common enough statement one may find on the Internet. I have seen this version many times citing Jefferson as the author. For someone looking for the entire correct quote, the paraphrased quoted is listed as a reference. I see no anti-Christian agenda here and find the accusation rather ridiculous.
The Arbiter
tj_assessment's picture
I am a high school student doing a personality study on Thomas Jefferson and am struggling to understand some of the quotes and sources provided (about him) on this site. Some form of explanation would be much appreciated!!! thanks :)
RevTjchase's picture
Jefferson belived that the country needed to have the right to believe in whatever they chose rather than have a prescribed national religion. He even went to the trouble of going through his bible and lining out passages that he felt were not acceptable. Although he was part of the relocation of the native american population
Rev Timothy Chase


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