“Light is the Lifeblood of Democracy”
Thomas Jefferson, knew that:
“Light Upholds Liberty” and that:
Free Government relies upon Enlightened Citizens.
Jefferson spoke of light in a broad sense of the definition. He lived in the age of enlightenment.
Jefferson knew the value of morality and the “light” it provides in upholding our liberty.
You know these words were known to Jefferson:
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” JOHN Chapter 8
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Thomas Jefferson appreciated, and applauded the “light” of morals but was also under no illusions about the danger those who use and twist religion for their own purposes, causing honest and good people to throw off, the finest moral philosopher in history as an imposter.
Thomas Jefferson sought truth with an incredible intellect, disciplined reasoning and brutal honesty. Although he wrote profusely about the misuse of religion as if in the devils’ presence, his conclusion might surprise you.
“…. select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the Amphibologisms into which they have been led by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves.”
“his character & doctrines have received still greater injury from those who pretend to be his special disciples, and who have disfigured and sophisticated his actions & precepts, from views of personal interest, so as to induce the unthinking part of mankind to throw off the whole system in disgust, and to pass sentence as an imposter on the most innocent, the most benevolent the most eloquent and sublime character that ever has been exhibited to man.
For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” … Thomas Jefferson to William Roscoe, December 27, 1820
“The diffusion of information and the arraignment of all abuses at the bar of public reason, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration.” –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural Address, 1801. ME 3:322
No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth.
Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth.
The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.
Thomas Jefferson 1804
Gold Star Father; Khizr Khan on why public service is the root of patriotism. Watch the video on PBS
I would take my kids with our guests sometimes to Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., and I would ask them to read the inscription on the wall.
And they would be amazed to see what is written.
Khizr Kahn Gold Star Father
……patriotism begins to take root. When Captain Humayun Khan arrived at University of Virginia, Thomas Jefferson’s university, in Charlottesville, he became avid reader of Jefferson. And public service, the emphasis on public service, serving others, became his motto.
Khizr Kahn Gold Star Father
He took 10 steps, those 10 made-in-America bravery steps, towards the car. His hand extended trying to stop it. He did stop the car, causing it to prematurely detonate. He lost his life instantly there.
That has become symbol of Captain Humayun Khan, that there comes time in every person’s life when you have to stand up, even if it means risking your life, for the values that you cherish so very much. Khizr Kahn Gold Star Father