Thomas Jefferson on Mocking Religion

Thomas Jefferson

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.
- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp, 1816

It seems to me that much of Christianity, or at least much of Christian dogma, falls into the category of things we could appropriately call unintelligible. The virgin birth fetish, the trinity, the fixation on cannibalism, the doctrine of original sin, and so many other aspects of what they expect us to believe are thoroughly unintelligble. Even the concept of their god itself makes little sense!

I am not about to claim that I have any idea what Thomas Jefferson would think of our contemporary social media. He might be apalled at what passes for discourse these days. But you know what? I doubt he would have objected to seeing atheists and skeptics ocassionally use it to criticize religious beliefs and other nonsensical propositions. Who knows, he might have even applauded our efforts. After all, he seemed to recognize that ridicule sometimes has a valuable role to play.