Posted by: the warrioress | October 28, 2011

Atheist Billboard In Error


 Bruce Gleason, founder of Orange County’s Backyard Skeptics stands below the new atheist billboard at 1545 Newport Blvd. in Costa Mesa featuring a quote from Thomas Jefferson against Christianity but there is no evidence that Jefferson ever said it. 
It would appear that the atheists have jumped the gun, which isn’t at all surprising. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered virulent anti-theists’ tossing Thomas Jefferson into my face in order to stress again and again that many of the Founding Fathers were not Christian, that America was never a “Christian nation,” and that Jefferson and other Founding Fathers were Deist and not even close to what Christians claim today as Christianity.
I don’t know what the truth is anymore and evidently neither does anyone else. Seems we’re finding out more and more frequently that many of these claims that are put forth as fact are nothing of the kind. 
A billboard in Costa Mesa, Calif., is getting some attention, but it’s certainly not the kind its sponsors were hoping for.

The sign, paid for by atheist group Backyard Skeptics, includes a quote about Christianity attributed to Thomas Jefferson. But further research reveals there’s no solid evidence that Jefferson ever uttered or wrote the words, the Orange County Register first reported.

The billboard includes a picture of Jefferson with the quote: “I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on fables and mythology.”

Experts at the Jefferson Library Collection at Monticello are constantly asked about the quote, the Orange County Register reports. Some say the former president wrote the words in a letter to a Dr. Wood, but officials cannot find trace of any correspondence to a person by that name.

Bruce Gleason, a member of the group, told the Orange County Register that he should have done a bit more research before putting the words on the sign. The billboard was unveiled on Wednesday, the newspaper reports. Gleason explained that purpose of this sign and others around the city was to “expunge the myth that this is a Christian nation,” as well as to “share the idea that you can be good and do good without a religion or god.”

UPDATE: 6:24 p.m. —

Jefferson kept a personal book containing certain verses from the New Testament and the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Los Angeles Times points out. He arranged the snippets into a small “scrapbook,” which left out mentions of the virgin birth, Jesus’ resurrection, and other forms of divinity and miracles. He called it, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” but it later came to be known as the “Jefferson Bible.”

The founding father identified himself as a Christian, despite his questions, the Christian Post explains. Scholars have debated the issue, and some have posited that “without acknowledging Jesus’ divinity and resurrection, Christianity [is] baseless.”

Author Lori Ann Ferrel, who’s written about the “Jefferson Bible,” told the Los Angeles Times that Jefferson “was more skeptical about religion than the other Founding Fathers.”

Retrieved from Huff Post



  1. The US is not a Christian nation, but the Jefferson quote is wrong.

    And happily, the guy who put it up now admits his mistake.

  2. I agree with you that the US is no longer just a Christian nation, but I feel that initially it was founded upon belief in God, the god of the Bible. I think the majority of Americans considered themselves to be Christian; in many ways they still are, though defining “Christian” by the bible might throw a wrench into that these days, admittedly.

    I sure do appreciate you reading and commenting. Thank you, NotaScientist. 🙂

  3. “but I feel that initially it was founded upon belief in God”

    You may feel that, but the evidence is against you. The Constitution contains no mention of any god or religion, with the exception of the date and stating that there would be no religious test for holding office.

    Now, if what you mean by ‘Christian Nation’ is that most of the people in the country are Christian, then it is also a White nation and a Female nation.

  4. Well, if it wasn’t a Christian nation, what would you call what it was, initially? Just wondering about your point of view. 🙂

  5. A secular nation, where people of any religion could worship (or not) as they wished.

  6. I believe that some, like yourself, may see the USA as initially a secular nation and that this was the intent of the majority of the Founders, but how do you explain several of the states putting forth something to the contrary? (see below) And there is also mention of a Creator and another reference to Nature’s God within the Declaration of Indpendence..

    Certainly there wasn’t the opposition to God that there is now, in terms of those who are so vocal about doing away with every mention of God within the public square.

    “Secularism” has come to mean something different and is anti-theist leaning, and I don’t think this was the Founder’s intent either:


    It may surprise you (or perhaps not) to learn that some state constitutions specifically deny certain civil privileges to non-believers. As mentioned in the notes above, the restrictions include both denial to hold office and denial to serve as a witness in a trial. The ability of the state to deny elected office to a non-believer, be that person an atheist, agnostic, Humanist, Buddhist, Hindu, or any number of non-Abrahamic religions, is questionable from a national constitutional aspect.

    The point may be moot, however — for a non-believer to have a case against a state, he would have to be denied the ability to appear on the ballot, or be denied the office once having been elected. In some of these states, because of the religious demographics, it is entirely likely that a non-believer would have a hard time getting on a ballot, let alone elected, in the first place.


    Article 19, Section 1 (Denial of Office, Denial as Witness):
    No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil departments of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any Court.


    Article 36 (Denial as Witness):
    …nor shall any person, otherwise competent, be deemed incompetent as a witness, or juror, on account of his religious belief; provided, he believes in the existence of God, and that under His dispensation such person will be held morally accountable for his acts, and be rewarded or punished therefor either in this world or in the world to come.

    Article 37 (Denial of Office):
    That no religious test ought ever to be required as a qualification for any office of profit or trust in this State, other than a declaration of belief in the existence of God; nor shall the Legislature prescribe any other oath of office than the oath prescribed by this Constitution.


    Article 14, Section 265 (Denial of Office):
    No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.

    North Carolina

    Article 6, Section 8 (Denial of Office):
    The following persons shall be disqualified for office:
    First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.


    Article 1, Section 4 (Denial of Office):
    No person who acknowledges the being of a God and a future state of rewards and punishments shall, on account of his religious sentiments, be disqualified to hold any office or place of trust or profit under this Commonwealth.

    (This section specifies that someone who acknowledges God cannot be denied office; conversely, anyone who does deny God can be, rather than shall be, denied office. The restriction is not as concrete as other denials of office.)

    South Carolina

    Article 6, Section 2 (Denial of Office):
    No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.


    Article 9, Section 2 (Denial of Office):
    No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state.

    (Note that Article 9, Section 1 denies office to any “minister of the Gospel, or priest of any denomination.”)


    Article 1, Section 4 (Denial of Office):
    No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust, in this State; nor shall any one be excluded from holding office on account of his religious sentiments, provided he acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.

  7. “but how do you explain several of the states putting forth something to the contrary?”

    Because the states very often ignore the constitution. And the laws stay in effect until they are challenged. Most aren’t challenged, but they aren’t enforced either, because they know they’d be ruled unconstitutional.

  8. Just thought i would comment and say neat design, did you code it yourself? Looksexcellent.

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