Founders & the Bible
This letter is in response to the letter by Bruce Braden ( “The Bible & violence,” March 2):
When checking the backgrounds of Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen, I found they both “followed in the tradition of early 18th-century British deism.” These men would have a bias in Bible interpretation.
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson wrote many articles on a wide variety of subjects. I found a quote from each that supports the Bible and God.
From Adams: “Suppose a nation in some distant region, should take the Bible for their only law Book, and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited. Every member would be obliged in conscience to temperance and frugality and industry, to justice and kindness and charity towards his fellow men, and to Piety and Love, and reverence towards Almighty God. In this Commonwealth, no man would impair his health by gluttony, drunkenness or lust — no man would sacrifice his most precious time to cards, or any other trifling and mean amusement — no man would steal or lie or any way defraud his neighbour, but would live in peace and good will with all men — no man would blaspheme his maker or profane his worship, but a rational and manly, a sincere and unaffected piety and devotion, would reign in all hearts” (diary entry, Feb. 22, 1756).
From Jefferson: “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure if we have lost the only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.”