Tag Archives: Common ground

Let us remain where all religions agree.

at an earlier period of life I pursued enquiries of that kind with industry & care. reading, reflection & time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree, (for all forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, or bear false witness.) and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, and which are totally unconnected with morality.
To James Fishback, September 27, 1809

April 13 is Mr. Jefferson’s 274th Birthday!

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders seek common ground between opponents.
Fishback (1776-1845) was a Kentucky lawyer, physician, editor, active Presbyterian and later a Baptist minister. The 30 page pamphlet he sent Jefferson was entitled, in part, “The Philosophy of the Human Mind in Respect to Religion … Also, an Inquiry Into the Production, Nature, and Effects of the Christian Faith, According to the Expositions of Christ …”

Jefferson’s lifelong study of religion had convinced him that people of varying faiths, in their public engagements, should restrict their interaction to areas where all religions agreed, primarily regarding moral conduct. Where those faiths disagreed (and where their proponents liked to argue!) involved their “particular dogmas” which had nothing to morality.

Jefferson regarded Jesus as the world’s greatest teacher, though not divine. Here he could find common ground with the evangelical Fishback, whose basis for analyzing Christianity was “According to the Expositions of Christ.” Both men could look at Jesus’ own words and regard them (and him) as extraordinary, even if they disagreed on his divine nature.

“Each year we have a guest speaker,
and none has ever been so widely praised.”
Secretary, Missouri Emergency Preparedness Association
Mr. Jefferson will earn the praise of your members.
Invite him to speak. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Religion Tagged , , , , , , , |

I really do want to know what you think!

Early in the last month I received the ratification, by the first Consul of France[Napoleon], of the Convention between the US. and that nation. his ratification not being pure and simple, in the ordinary form, I have thought it my duty, in order to avoid all misconception, to ask a second advice and consent of the Senate, before I give it the last sanction by proclaiming it to be a law of the land.

Source: To the Gentlemen of the [U.S.] Senate, December 11, 1801

Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Wise leaders respect other leaders’ turf.
The Convention [treaty] of 1800 settled shipping disputes with France which began years earlier. It was negotiated by President Adam’s administration and ratified by a Federalist Senate. Now, a version slightly revised by France was in the hands of a new President and a Republican Senate.

Jefferson could have accepted the treaty as revised and chose not to. He respected the Senate’s right and responsibility to review and approve (or reject) agreements with foreign countries. To make sure the government was of one mind in this important matter, he wanted the Senate to review the amended document. Only with their approval would he regard the treaty as binding.

The Senate did approve the treaty on December 19. The President announced it to the people two days later. Approval appears to have been a formality, but Jefferson would not presume upon his partners in the Senate.

Thomas Jefferson has inspired conference audiences for almost 26 years.
Invite him to speak to your audience. Call 573-657-2739
Leave a comment Posted in Congress, Foreign Policy Tagged , , , , , , , |