“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away {with} all this artificial scaffolding…” ( Thomas Jefferson, 11 April, 1823, Adams-Jefferson Letters, ed. Lester J. Cappon, II, 594).

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