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Old 01-25-2005, 02:23 PM   #1
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Religions of the First 10 Presidents

George Washington - Episcopalian
John Adams - Unitarian
Thomas Jefferson - [Questionably] Unitarian

"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god." -- Thomas Jefferson

"To the corruptions of Christianity, I am indeed opposed; but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished any one to be; sincerely attached to his doctrines, in preference to all others; ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other." -- Thomas Jefferson

James Madison - Episcopalian
James Monroe - Episcopalian
John Quincy Adams - Unitarian
Andrew Jackson - Presbyterian
Martin Van Buren - Dutch Reformed
William Henry Harrison - Episcopalian
John Tyler - Episcopalian

Thoughs, etc?
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:32 PM   #2
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Re: Religions of the First 10 Presidents

Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Thoughs, etc?
Apparantly Episcopalian was a popular denomination back then.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:36 PM   #3
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Unitarian as well.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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Washington was pretty much Episcopalian in name only. In this respect he was like other founding fathers who knew it was better politically and business - wise to say that you belonged to a certain denomination. In reality his religious beliefs were similar to Jefferson's and Paine's more Deist views.

And from what I remember reading, John Adams was no fan of Christianity or any religion for that matter.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:45 PM   #5
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From what I understand (and correct me if I'm wrong), the Unitarian Church rejects the Trinity.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:45 PM   #6
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There are a lot of problems with Unitarianism. It's considered a cult.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:48 PM   #7
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http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/uufaq.html#jesus

What about Jesus?

Classically, Unitarian Universalist Christians have understood Jesus as a savior because he was a God-filled human being, not a supernatural being. He was, and still is for many UUs, an exemplar, one who has shown the way of redemptive love, in whose spirit anyone may live generously and abundantly. Among us, Jesus' very human life and teaching have been understood as products of, and in line with, the great Jewish tradition of prophets and teachers. He neither broke with that tradition nor superseded it.

Many of us honor Jesus, and many of us honor other master teachers of past or present generations, like Moses or the Buddha. As a result, mixed-tradition families may find common ground in the UU fellowship without compromising other loyalties.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
There are a lot of problems with Unitarianism. It's considered a cult.
Has Unitarianism always been a "liberal religion", as they are now being advertised as?

http://www.uua.org/aboutuu/

With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion -- that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We are a "non-creedal" religion: we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed.
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Old 01-25-2005, 02:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
From what I understand (and correct me if I'm wrong), the Unitarian Church rejects the Trinity.
Follow-up:

http://www.firstuu-philly.org/Histor...iversalism.htm

Unitarian leaders rejected the doctrine of the Trinity used within other Christian churches, and instead stressed the humanity of Jesus and the importance of his teachings, rather than his divinity. This basic foundation has its' roots in the Arian theology espoused in the earliest days of the Christian church.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:05 PM   #10
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I had never heard of Jefferson referred to as a Unitarian, so I did a quick search. Apparently, institutional Unitarianism wasn't founded in the US until the year before he died, and if I'm not mistaken, John Adams died the same year (same day in fact, July 4).

So wouldn't it be a stretch to refer to them as Unitarian? They were without a doubt Deists, but they held some views similar to those in Unitarianism as well. Unless there's something I'm missing, though, wouldn't it be going a bit far to label them as absolutely Unitarian (I know you didn't do that for Jefferson, btw)?
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by coemgen
There are a lot of problems with Unitarianism. It's considered a cult.
Believe it or not, I was a member of a Unitarian Church prior to my conversion to Catholicism. I'd been raised in a very conservative Protestant environment, rebelled, went to the Unitarians for six years, then..........I became a Catholic. Unitarianism isn't a cult; it's a group of liberal religious people. It originally got its name from its rejection of the divinity of Christ and the Trinity and in 1961 they merged with the Universalists, a group who believe in universal salvation. Unfortunately my group had some people who were very intolerant of more conservative religious people and there was one really bad incident in particular where some people were rude as hell to a terrific gospel choir that had been invited by some of the members. I talked to the gospel singers and told them I thought they were cool. It was embarrassing.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
From what I understand (and correct me if I'm wrong), the Unitarian Church rejects the Trinity.
that is correct.....

John Quincy Adams believed it was indeed a SIN against GOD to proclaim teach the trinity.

And, he was labeled Unitarian because of his family heritage, but he was not based on my readings a practicing one.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:23 PM   #13
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Many of the founding fathers are labeled Unitarian because you can be a DEIST and go into the Unitarian church and be accepted.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:24 PM   #14
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One example would be my fantasy baseball partner. She is an atheist, but attends the Unitarian Church.
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Old 01-25-2005, 03:26 PM   #15
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http://www.americanpresident.org/history/johnadams/

Source claims he was a Unitarian.

http://www.americanpresident.org/his...omasjefferson/

Source doesn't he was a Unitarian, so I hunted on Google.

I researched Jefferson a little more than just this, but it seems as though he vocally opposed the corruption in Christianity, but he believed in the message of Christ. Whether he accepted the divinity or just the moral teachings I'm not positive on. He had criticisms for Protestant reformer John Calvin, and Catholic St. Athanasius.

Jefferson's death was in year 1826.
Not sure when the Unitarian church was established in the USA.

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From http://www.sullivan-county.com/ident...f_letters.htm:

A Unitarian Creed

----- To Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, June 26, 1822

Dear Sir,- I have received and read with thankfulness and pleasure your denunciation of the abuses of tobacco and wine. Yet, however sound in its principles, I expect it will be but a sermon to the wind. You will find it as difficult to inculcate these sanative precepts on the sensualities of the present day, as to convince an Athanasian that there is but one God. I wish success to both attempts, and am happy to learn from you that the latter, at least, is making progress, and the more rapidly in proportion as our Platonizing Christians make more stir and noise about it. The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.


1. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.
2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.


These are the great points on which he endeavored to reform the religion of the Jews. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin.


1. That there are three Gods.
2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, are nothing.
3 That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit in its faith.
4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use.
5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save.


Now, which of these is the true and charitable Christian? He who believes and acts on the simple doctrines of Jesus? Or the impious dogmatists, as Athanasius and Calvin? Verily I say these are the false shepherds foretold as to enter not by the door into the sheepfold, but to climb up some other way. They are mere usurpers of the Christian name, teaching a counter-religion made up of the deliria of crazy imaginations, as foreign from Christianity as is that of Mahomet. Their blasphemies have driven thinking men into infidelity, who have too hastily rejected the supposed author himself, with the horrors so falsely imputed to him. Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian. I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die an Unitarian.

But much I fear, that when this great truth shall be re-established, its votaries will fall into the fatal error of fabricating formulas of creed and confessions of faith, the engines which so soon destroyed the religion of Jesus, and made of Christendom a mere Aceldama; that they will give up morals for mysteries, and Jesus for Plato. How much wiser are the Quakers, who, agreeing in the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, schismatize about no mysteries, and, keeping within the pale of common sense, suffer no speculative differences of opinion, any more than of feature, to impair the love of their brethren. Be this the wisdom of Unitarians, this the holy mantle which shall cover within its charitable circumference all who believe in one God, and who love their neighbor! I conclude my sermon with sincere assurances of my friendly esteem and respect.

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