The Declaration of Independence and John Locke

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    In the “The Declaration of Independence” lesson, you state that John Locke was a deist. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He was thoroughly a Christian, though unorthodox. No one can read his “The Reasonableness of Christianity” or “Notes on the Epistles of Paul,” and still believe that he was any type of deist. And, as to Jefferson’s being the “author” of the document, it doesn’t seem–since there is no evidence that the man was any kind of egotistical liar–that he would have had that claim inscribed on his tombstone if he hadn’t considered himself to be its author, even if he wasn’t the originator of all its words and phrases.


    John Locke was a Socinian, hence not a Christian.

    I didn’t say anything about whether Jefferson wanted to be considered the author of the Declaration of Independence. Of course he did–by the time he sketched his gravestone. At the time that Congress voted on the Declaration of Independence, however, Jefferson drew a firm distinction–in letters to several friends–between his handiwork and what Congress actually adopted. Virtually all historians agree that Congress’s document is far superior. For the full story, see Maier’s _American Scripture…_.

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