The "laws of nature" and of "natures God" were terms that were used by early European Christian writers, and the American clergy at the time of our founding believed the "laws of nature" were elucidated in the Bible.
It is important to understand the terms and usage in the context of the times, and not read back into the colonial period the thinking of modern secularism, and apply it to the philosophy of the Declaration of Independence. The founders were familiar with the works of John Calvin, as well as Locke. Calvin believed in the "natural rights" articulated in our Declaration and believed that those rights had their roots in the Bible.
To attempt to separate the influence of Christianity from the thinking of the colonial period is intellectually dishonest.
Suggested reading: "An American Dream" by John W. Whitehead
Very good book.
The fact that this was actually "authored" (*) by Thomas Jefferson himself is simply more evidence of the fact that in this Age of Enlightenment that Jefferson was a Deist.
(*) He rejected the superstitions and mysticism of Christianity and even went so far as to edit the gospels, removing the miracles and mysticism of Jesus leaving only what he deemed the correct moral philosophy of Jesus.
Although Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence wrote of the "Laws of Nature" and of "Nature's God" (both terms, along with "The Creator", etcetera, that are consistent Deism terms), there exists nothing in the Declaration of Independence (nor the Constitution for that matter) about Christianity.
Of the numerous quotes accurately attributed to Jefferson on the issue of religion, this is but one:
"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814
(I have since bought my own copy)
IF I actually wanted to be a Christian I would opt for this bible.
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