Our third president tolerated Islam. Why can’t you?

Between Dr. Ben Carson’s insane insistence that the U.S. should not elect a Muslim president and basically everything out of Trump’s mouth, there has been a veritable buffet of fearmongering toward Islam. I mean, did you listen to the Birther Movement call Obama a “muslim” like it was a dirty word?

Of course, the Grand Old Party will always invoke the names of the Founding Fathers when they fling this underhanded mud, but if they ever opened a history book, they might soil their silk suits to find out… THOMAS JEFFERSON EMBRACED THE MUSLIM PEOPLE! Dun dun duhhhhhh!

If you need a refresher, T.J. -- to his closest pals -- was the third president of this country, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and furthermore, Muslims were totally chill in his book. He even purchased the Qur’an AND READ IT. Why he didn’t immediately move to the Middle East to start planning the total destruction of America right after finishing the Islamic holy book is completely beyond comprehension. Or, because religion isn’t the problem. Extremism is. And that goes for Christian extremism too.

[He] sais “neither Pagan nor Mahamedan [Muslim] nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.”
 — Thomas Jefferson, quoting John Locke, 1776

Jefferson saw a nation that included all men (unfortunately, he still lived in the 18th century and wasn’t completely enlightened on a woman’s place in the world), regardless of religious views. In his 1786 Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Jefferson declared “that all men shall be free to profess… their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”

He also wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptists in January 1802 that read:

...I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.

Translation: Leave your church talk at church. So, let’s all follow TJ’s lead: Keep religious debate out of politics, tolerate all religions (even the ones that terrify our tiny brains), and smoke pounds of that sweet Virginia kush.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC its affiliates, or its employees.

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