September 19, 2006

Turn on, tune in, drop out

Frankie at Kitchen Table Learners is hot on the trail of a crackpot scheme, involving a number of blogs, not all of them related to homeschooling.* We've run afoul of some prankster who appears to have confused Jesus with Ken Kesey.

Word to the wise -- don't forget the all-important "s" in "blogSpot" if you want to keep up with your blogging pals and avoid the self-styled "Mega site of Bible studies and information". Voice of Satan, indeed. Better yet, get thee to Bloglines.

And a word the prankster, merry or otherwise: This is the sort of stuff that turns many people off, not on.

*updated to add that I did a Google search of "blogpot" and found that you can type anything -- anything -- in front of and end up there. Go ahead and try it. I'll wait.

And so on to our Homeschool History Lesson #1 for the Benighted: Today, class, we'll be studying Thomas Jefferson, who wrote:

"I have ever thought religion a concern purely between our God and our consciences, for which we were accountable to Him, and not to the priests." -- Thomas Jefferson to Mrs. M. Harrison Smith, 1816.

"Religion is a subject on which I have ever been most scrupulously reserved. I have considered it as a matter between every man and his Maker in which no other, and far less the public, had a right to intermeddle." -- Thomas Jefferson to Richard Rush, 1813.

"I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others." -- Thomas Jefferson to Edward Dowse, 1803.

"Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to God alone. I inquire after no man's, and trouble none with mine." -- Thomas Jefferson to Miles King, 1814.

"I do not know that it is a duty to disturb by missionaries the religion and peace of other countries, who may think themselves bound to extinguish by fire and fagot the heresies to which we give the name of conversions, and quote our own example for it. Were the Pope, or his holy allies, to send in mission to us some thousands of Jesuit priests to convert us to their orthodoxy, I suspect that we should deem and treat it as a national aggression on our peace and faith." -- Thomas Jefferson to Michael Megear, 1823.

"The Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they [the clergy] have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind." -- Thomas Jefferson to Moses Robinson, 1801.

"I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this [i.e., the purchase of an apparent geological or astronomical work] can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offense against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason. If [this] book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But, for God's sake, let us freely hear both sides, if we choose." -- Thomas Jefferson to N. G. Dufief, 1814.

"The advocate of religious freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from [the clergy]." -- Thomas Jefferson to Levi Lincoln, 1802.

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