Atheists' Billboard Falsely Attributes Quote To Thomas Jefferson

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 29 13:52:40 UTC 2011

 Victor Steinbok wrote:
>> A billboard in Costa Mesa, Calif., is getting some attention, but it's
>> certainly not the kind its sponsors were hoping for.
>> The sign, paid for by atheist group Backyard Skeptics, includes a
>> quote about Christianity attributed to Thomas Jefferson.

Thanks for pointing to this story Victor. Barry Popik, always au
courant, has a webpage about this topic. When he told me about the
story a couple days ago I looked in Google and found the 1906 citation
below (but Barry had already located it.)

Link to Barry's webpage:

Title: Views of religion, Part 1
Compiled by: Rufus King Noyes

[Begin excerpt]

I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the
world, and I do not find in our particular superstition, Christianity,
one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded upon fables and
[End excerpt]

The 1906 collection has many quotes ascribed to Jefferson (and others)
that are critical of religion.

The world of quotations is similar to many industries that experience
heavy demands. New items must be manufactured and old items must be
improved all the time.

Continuing Victor's message:
>> But further
>> research reveals there's no solid evidence that Jefferson ever uttered
>> or wrote the words, the Orange County Register first reported.
>> The billboard includes a picture of Jefferson with the quote: "I do
>> not find in Christianity one redeeming feature. It is founded on
>> fables and mythology."
> I would not call the debate heated. But it is yet another high-stakes
> mystery quote.
> More here
>     VS-)
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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