I must say, that I was surprised to see that a retired educator would so drastically misuse quotes from the Founding Fathers – Jefferson, Madison, and Adams. So if I may, I would like to clear the air.
Thomas Jefferson was widely known to be an atheist. Jefferson would often use “God” in writings to accomplish political agendas. In fact, the quote used by Mr. Hofmann, actually includes two examples of just that. The first section of the quote, “God who gave us life also gave us liberty,” was used in an agenda for the American Revolution. In the second section, Jefferson used the fear of God in an attempt to change the perception of slaveholders in Virginia.
To go on, the quote used from James Madison is actually a quote of much-heated debate. The quote has never been proven to exist in any of Madison’s notes. Furthermore, the quote used from John Adams is another attempt of clever word-play by Mr. Hofmann. The quote is two separate quotes used to convey a single point. If we examine a section of the quote where it states, “moral and religious people,” you may find a different meaning if we emphasis the “and,” for the two are not always the same. A moral person is not always a religious person and vise-versa.
If we look closely at the quotes used by Mr. Hofmann, then can we truly take the quotes at face value, of a secular government, when the same men he quoted were the very men to push for a separation of church and state? It is one thing to have an opinion, but don’t make false statements to justify falsehoods.