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John Fea calls Jefferson not a Christian, but a follower of Jesus. There’s an old saying that sometimes the truth is a long road from the facts. It’s a fact that Jefferson was a follower of Jesus. But it’s misleading to call him that precisely because of what happened when Fea did. Gordon-Reed said “Yes, Jesus the Redeemer!” And, if we’re to believe the Christians, there’s two whole words of difference between that and “Yes, Jesus the secular ethicist!”
Finally, another interesting part of the discussion centered on whether Jefferson wanted the United States to be a Christian nation. I’m not quite sure what that means. Peter Onuf and Annette Gordon Reed state that Jefferson made those statements. What do you think Jefferson might have meant by those statements? What would a Jeffersonian Christian nation have looked like?
For Jefferson it was pretty simple. Jefferson meant the United States would be, and should be, Unitarian. It was quixotic then too.