I went through a short Crichton phase in middle school/high school. Andromeda Strain, Sphere, Congo, Jurassic Park were my favorites. Was never a fan of his writing style, but I appreciate his ability to present an idea in a way that jogged your imagination. Kinda the same way I view Harry Turtledove, in that I don’t care for the writing style, but enjoy the ideas presented.
[quote=“tperkins, post:16, topic:43188”]
it’s my opinion that your beliefs can not help to sneak into your writings no matter how hard you try
[/quote]While I don’t disagree with that opinion at all, and while the letter you cited to his nephew does give some hints, he softened his words with this admonition:
In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it
So, he was saying, "Don’t take my word for it . . . figure it out for yourself.
It’s not as if he was saying, “You’re a fool if you don’t arrive at MY conclusion.” (He may have said something like that to his wife . . . but we’ll never know.)
Those “hints” I referred to above are just not enough to break the bonds of speculation, unless you have tons of letters like that.
All that said, I think the “REAL” Jefferson was likely a foolish self-centered Deist that was as far from Christianity as you can get.
His views are similar in some ways to CJ (but not completely). If he were around today, I think he might be a fan of Dookins and those who hold reason above faith.
This Jefferson thing is getting way way off topic, so I’ve started a new thread: http://www.republicanoperative.com/forums/f28/jefferson-worship-44585/#post662554
I’d appreciate your comments tperkins and patricia, and anybody else that wants to jump in.