Bush Edits Jefferson on Religion
President leaves out phrase condemning 'monkish ignorance'
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 5, 2008 11:00 AM CDT
A protestor is confronted by a Secret Service agent as President Bush speaks at the Independence Day celebration and naturalization ceremony on Friday, July 4, 2008 in Charlottesville, Va.    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Thomas Jefferson may be a founding father, but that doesn’t stop President Bush’s speechwriters from editing his words as they see fit, Ed Brayton writes on his blog, Dispatches from the Culture Wars. In a July 4 speech, Bush recited a famous Jefferson quote on “the blessings and security of self-government,” but took a crucial “anti-religious statement” out of the sentence.

The phrase, which called on humanity to break free of the chains “under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves,” was only one of Jefferson’s many attacks on religion, Brayton writes. “Clearly they are best edited out by those who advocate nothing if not monkish ignorance and superstition.”