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Thomas Jefferson: “We are all endowed by our CREATOR with certain unalienable rights”, etc.

December 11, 2011

Who is this CREATOR that Jefferson, Franklin, Washington, and our other founding Fathers espoused in the Declaration of Independence?

Let’s give some thought to the concept of our Creator and see if we can discern who this person is…and what attributes this divine person maintains. Is our Creator a real source of power, intelligence, awareness, consciousness, and meaning…or is this concept just a meaningless idea of some delusional American founders? Let’s focus first on who our founders viewed as our Creator…as well as who they did not view as Creator. First of all, Thomas Jefferson wrote the main body of our Declaration of Independence and his thoughts and perceptions should be understood. What did he mean when he said: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

After reading much of Thomas Jefferson’s philosophy and theology I can discern some of his thinking with reference to this concept that we call Creator. First of all let’s review the various perspectives of the major historical philosophies about God or the concept of Creator. Going back into history there are many and various Gods that people have viewed as important. The God of Israel goes all the way back to Creation (some 6000 years of history). This God is viewed as our Creator by most Jews, Moslems, and non-Evangelical Christians. Many from India view Vishnu as the ultimate God/Creator. Many native Americans and similar groups view The Great Spirit as Creator of all. Many Chinese view Pangu as the Creator. Plato and some Greek philosophers view the Demiurge as the ultimate Creator. What are some common ‘names’ for this Creator?

When it comes to ‘names’ for the Creator we generally think of these when we think in English:  Jehovah or the God of Israel, Allah (the Arabic name for the God of Abraham…used by most Moslems), Jesus or Christ (used by many Evangelical Christians who declared Yeshua equal with the God of Israel), or Yahweh (the unpronounceable name which really has no vowels…YHWH), and Father God (for many non-Evangelical Christians who prefer this name for the God of Israel). The prophet, Moses, who actually experienced the voice and character of God while on Mount Sinai also was given the name I AM WHO I AM…as the name of this God that we call Creator.

So who did our founding Fathers view as our Creator when they wrote the Declaration of Independence? Basically, all the names above could be relevant with the exception of the name Jesus (in English), Yeshua (in Aramaic), or Ihous (in Greek). Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and many other founding Fathers viewed Jesus as a historical Jew, teacher, and prophet…but not God or our Creator. Our founding Fathers thought of our Creator as a divine spiritual person who was similar to the God of Israel or the God of Moses. Most of our founding Fathers did not ascribe Godhead or Creator status to any historical human being (such as Yeshua) who lived as a human being on this planet. This ruled out a fully human person such as Jesus (Yeshua), a historical Jewish rabbi, as Creator of our Universe. The Creator was an invisible spirit, a divine intelligence, a non-image personage, and the supreme intelligence behind all of that which is created. Names like God Almighty, Creator, El, Elohim, Yahweh, Allah, Father, Holy One, Divine Source, are typical names that our founding Fathers would likely accept as substitute names for our Creator (as described in the Declaration of Independence). Why not Jesus or Yeshua?

The simple answer is that Jesus was a historical human being (therefore a created being). He certainly could be viewed as a Christ or Messiah or Savior or Chosen person or Example or Messenger or Anointed One…but certainly not our Creator, Source of Words (Logos), or Giver of our unalienable Rights…as defined and enunciated in our Declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson, if here today, would certainly deny any assertions that Jesus was our Creator and/or giver of our Rights, etc. You can discern the philosophy of Thomas Jefferson by visiting this website:   http://nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm. Jefferson was the most knowledgable American on the issue of the Declaration of Independence and the concept of Creator.

In conclusion, we are definitely endowed by our Creator with all our unalienable rights… including our personhood, potential, and eventual destiny. The Kingdom of God or the Kingdom of our Creator is what we all need to seek. Our Creator should be the Ruler, King, and Governor over our planet. Submission to our Creator is essential for peace, prosperity, happiness, and meaning. Kingdom Economics is based on the premise that God our Creator is active in human affairs and instrumental in leading our world to a future that is permanent and sustainable. Our Creator is also the Source of all our ideas, concepts, words, and our awareness (consciousness). Our Creator is Sovereign, in Control, All knowing, All powerful, Omnipresent, and Active in our human destiny. Judgment Day may be coming for the persons on this planet. This Day should be desired if we want a Solution to our present day problems. Give some thought to the concept of Creator as presented and described in our founding document called the Declaration of Independence. View the Declaration at:  www.ushistory.org/declaration.

For continuing updates on our global economy, political events, and the coming Judgment Day see: http://kingdomecon.wordpress.com. For a great site to learn about the God of Israel see:  www.hebrew4christians.com. These words are relevant today:  Studying biblical Hebrew and Jewish heritage will give you the correct context for reading the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) by equipping you to comprehend the implications of the Torah, Nevi’im, and Ketuvim (the Tanakh or Old Testament). You will begin to better understand the Hebraic mindset that informs the New Testament and to avoid exegetical errors that distort the original intent of the authors of the Holy Scriptures.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jamison Heatley permalink
    August 14, 2013 2:16 pm

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”

    The founding fathers DID NOT VIEW God as one to intervene in the affairs of humans or earth. But one who simply created the universe and then withdrew. Religous beliefs are an individual preference. Not yours.

    “Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”

    – Thomas Jefferson

  2. Dan permalink
    October 9, 2014 8:08 pm

    The notion that all the founding fathers believed the same thing is wrong. They were Deists, Quakers, Puritans, Calvinists, Jewish, Catholics and probably atheists. Most were, if not products of, then heavily influenced by, the Enlightenment. I believe that one of the chief influences on the Declaration and the Constitution was the founders recognition they did not all believe the same thing, and for a revolution to succeed, or a union to survive, their principles needed to accommodate, not aggravate, their different beliefs. I think the true brilliance of Jefferson’s introduction to the Declaration is almost always overlooked, and often in fact, misquoted, as the title of this article does: “they are endowed by ‘their’ Creator'” First, he didn’t use the word God, which if everyone agreed it was God, would have been the obvious word to use. If you’re a Deist for example, “Creator” may mean nature. Second, by using the word “their”, he’s applying it to “men.” Men are endowed by their Creator. Whatever a particular man believes their Creator is, that’s who created them. If Jefferson had used the term “the” Creator, or “our” Creator, it would have implied everyone had the same Creator. By using “their” Jefferson acknowledges people have different beliefs as to who or what their Creator is, and the Declaration is immensely more accommodating.

    • November 30, 2014 6:37 pm

      I would agree that our founding fathers had different perspectives and views on many issues. Personally, I like Jefferson as his thinking is much the same as mine on the Big issues. Jefferson did believe in the metaphysical realm and his concept of Creator was similar to a Unitarian or a Deist (he may have viewed the Jewish God, YHWH, as equivalent to the word, Creator). These people generally believe in the Spiritual realm and do not associate the word Creator exclusively with Nature. Jefferson was a materialist in his economic philosophy but he viewed the word Creator as the Almighty God of our Universe (not a part of our material universe). Yes, some philosophers and founding fathers may have viewed this word, Creator, differently from Jefferson. Jefferson did much research and thinking on spiritual issues and he was certainly not an Atheist or similar. Others who were not materialist’s on issues of the word, Creator, were Washington, Adams, and Madison. If you have any contrarian evidence please comment. D

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