Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ragosta Responds to Scherr

John Ragosta Responds to Arthur Scherr on the controversy here.

A taste:
... Yet, by giving the wrong impression about Jefferson’s deep religiosity and, most especially, overstating Jefferson’s objections, one risks not only confusion but gives those to whom Scherr is addressing his arguments too much ammunition.

1 comment:

Tom Van Dyke said...

Ragosta right:

Evidence of Jefferson’s sincere and deep belief in a god is overwhelming. To snipe that, when praying in both of his inaugurals, Jefferson “may have only uttered these platitudes with reluctance” (68), is, at best, speculative and inconsistent with Jefferson’s other actions and letters. To say later that Jefferson “lent a tacit approval to atheism” by attacking Calvin and corruptions of Christianity that suggest revelation is necessary to find a god (93), is to give the entirely wrong impression.

Ragosta oversteps along with Scherr:

I will end with Scherr’s final words: “Were Jefferson alive, he would probably say, contrary to the claims of the Religious Right and its scholarly adherents, who fecklessly attempt to depict him as a man of devout Christian faith, ‘let the wall of separation stand.’

The question is not that there is a wall of separation, but how high and how far. In fact, what a fine idea for a post...