Jefferson: Koran Immoral, Akin To Paganism?
Many may recall a link to a paid article I provided in The Myth of Jefferson’s Koran, a post on Jefferson’s having owned a Koran, the one newly elected Congressman Keith Ellison used at his private swearing in ceremony.
Somehow I doubt Congressman Elect Ellison read the full article. I’ve heard from a fellow blogger who has.
Revising the laws of Virginia some years later, Jefferson revealed that he had thought long and hard about the suitability of punishment to crime. As he explained the ideas underlying his well-known “Bill for Proportioning Crimes and Punishments” to his friend and mentor George Wythe when he sent him a copy of it, “An eye for an eye, and a hand for a hand will exhibit spectacles in execution whose moral effect would be questionable” (Papers 2: 230).
It also appears that Jefferson kept his religious books, he owned many, organized in a manner which suggested an evolution from the pagan to the moral. The author, who was no enemy to Islam, concluded that Jefferson likely saw the Koran as an improvement over sheer paganism, but also viewed it as inferior to Christian belief systems underlying Western law.
The idea of progress underlies Jefferson’s organization of his religious books, and the list suggests a general progression from pagan to Christian.
The organization of the library catalogue implies that the Islamic belief system was an improvement over the pagan religions yet fell short of the belief system Christianity represented.
Click here to read it all.