Say Nothing

Thomas Jefferson January/February 2012

The result of your fifty or sixty years of religious reading in the four words "Be just and good" is that in which all our inquiries must end. . . . My answer was "Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life; if that has been honest and dutiful to society, the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one."

Affectionately adieu.
Thomas Jefferson,

From a letter to John Adams, January 11, 1817. The two men, once political enemies, carried a correspondence until their deaths on the same day: July 4, 1827. Quoted in "Ye Will Say I Am No Christian," edited by Bruce Braden (Prometheus Books, 2006), p. 190.

Article Author: Thomas Jefferson