Fandango’s Provocative Question #29

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Today’s provocative question occurred to me when I read a quote from Thomas Jefferson that I was originally intending to use for my One-Liner Wednesday post. But I decided to use it here, instead. Why? Because (1), the quote is actually a two-liner, and (2), I think it might generate some provocative responses. Let’s see if I’m right.

BC7626CA-C702-4FC1-9BEB-C010C89F4E91Thomas Jefferson said, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to tell me there are 20 gods or no gods. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

As you probably know, Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, and Founding Father. He was the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and served as the third President of the United States.

Jefferson was also known as a deist who said that he was a Christian “in the only sense in which Jesus wished any one to be.” Jefferson defined being a Christian as one who followed the simple teachings of Jesus and he wrote the Jeffersonian Bible, which compiled Jesus’ biblical teachings while omitting biblical miracles and supernatural references.

So with all that as background, here’s my question:

“Do you agree with Thomas Jefferson that it doesn’t matter or hurt you if people believe in many gods, in one god, or no gods? Why or why not?

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24 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #29

  1. Celestial June 26, 2019 / 3:18 am

    Hmmm…well my response is two fold. The question as to whether it affects me if someone believes that there is one, two or ten Gods…I suppose it doesn’t. At least, not in the sense that it would sway my personal beliefs one way or the other.
    However, I wholeheartedly disagree with Jefferson’s belief that Christianity is merely following the teachings of Jesus. That, to me, is legalism. That’s exactly what Christ came to abolish: legalistic followers of God, who followed the law but did not give their hearts to God. We need the holy spirit, we need faith, we require a belief in the miraculous in order to be a true follower of Christ. “Good works” (i.e. legalism) does not make one a Christian. God judges the heart. It’s impossible for us on our own to be justified to God. It’s only through salvation, the free gift of God, that we can ever be truly saved.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango June 26, 2019 / 7:56 am

      “It’s only through salvation, the free gift of God, that we can ever be truly saved.” Uh oh, I guess I’m doomed.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. paeansunplugged June 26, 2019 / 5:28 am

    Lol! Do pardon me but this question would make no sense in India, as we have 33 million gods and most people believe in at least more than two gods.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Marleen June 26, 2019 / 5:32 am

    It sounds like Jefferson wasn’t trying to be “a Christian” but also wasn’t breaking the terminology into it’s parts. He was, rather, deconstructing the good Christianity could offer him… based on his holding Jesus — as a human — in high esteem. It just so happens that I’ve recently had a conversation with someone wherein they were perceiving both farce and discrimination in people being alarmed that someone (a Christian) had spoken out against homosexuality. The Christian had put out a list of reasons people would go to hell. [The person who was concerned about the general public being biased against the Christian did, however, point out that it is not fitting to put burdens of behavior leading to hell on non-believers… or the general public.]

    I agree in principle with the statement by Thomas Jefferson. My response to my friend was that the list included other behaviors that society punishes — picking pockets and hurting people, for instances. Homosexuality has been in the category of things punished until very recently (in fact, still is in some ways). And it wasn’t long ago that some Christians went and convinced cultures in their missionary efforts to outlaw being homosexual such that homosexuals would be put to death. That is injury associated with, in the cases of those people, telling others there are twenty or however many gods. Society in general doesn’t care if people go to hell but do care if there are and do want there to be consequences for stealing their shit or breaking their leg.

    Nevertheless, I liked this this morning:

    Global Political Crisis: Can Spirituality Heal The Divide?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Irene June 26, 2019 / 5:59 am

    I practice my religion differently from Jefferson, but I agree with his quote; I always say that God is not like Santa Claus; God doesn’t need people to believe in order to exist, or how one might interpret God’s manifestation (one God, millions, or none) as long as we all pursue doing the right thing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango June 26, 2019 / 8:48 am

      I agree. But some suggest that one can’t “do the right thing,” or even know what the right thing is, without believing in the existence of the almighty God.


      • Irene June 26, 2019 / 9:18 am

        I have nothing to say to them 🤷🏻‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Suze June 26, 2019 / 6:35 am

    I was delighted to see a reference to the Jeffersonian Bible. Not many people realize that Thomas Jefferson compiled the teachings of Jesus into sch a tome. I agree with Jefferson..probably a Virginian thing. It doesn’t bother me or even affect me what others believe. How could it? UNTIL they start in with the “you haves”…you know the “you have to believe what I believe because the bible says”. Sorry, but I don’t have to believe anything at all…much less a few fairy tales, a history of the Jewish wars and Kings, or Torah…nor do I have to believe the rantings of that poor man shoved into a Roman prison eating tainted rye bread and hallucinating. So long as we are attempting to live a good and/or “moral” life, who cares what others believe?


    • Fandango June 26, 2019 / 9:46 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more.


  6. Goin' the extra...aaamile June 26, 2019 / 9:26 am

    It doesn’t really matter. Everyone has their own perspective about various subjects – and this should be treated no differently.
    Religion, Politics and Sex are taboo topics to talk about.. and hence we don’t find many people talking about it. ‘Do as you wish’ is more like the thing people do… go about doing things without having anything to say about it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Goin' the extra...aaamile June 26, 2019 / 9:31 am

    However I do like this ‘Fandango’s Provocative Question’ – maybe a question that really spurs me on… you’ll have me write a post about it and TAG you all the same

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Marleen June 27, 2019 / 8:11 am…5 Which is easier: to say, {from verse 2}‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk?’

    I wonder if Jefferson purposely chose something about legs to demonstrate physical harm.

    Liked by 1 person

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