Kenneth was born on July 21, in the year of Our Lord 1962. That was the same year in which, on Nov. 9, I commenced 13 years of living as a kind of wandering hermit. My hope was to have as much spare time as possible to spend talking to God and studying the great writings of the Catholic Church. That rapturous, 13 year search ended in Aug., 1975, when my father lost his mind, and I had to care for him and my mother for the remainder of their lives.
Kenneth came into my life, on Aug. 12, 1982. That was less than a month past his 20th birthday and almost a year to the day from my father’s death on Aug. 27, 1981. After 11 years of such things as father’s day cards, hearing him refer to me as his dad, and having him come to me for advice more times than I can count, I formally adopted him in December of 1993, as is duly recorded in the official court records of the Parish of St. Tammany, State of Louisiana, as Instrument #889499.
In the course of one of his many attempts to tap my mind for whatever information he could extract from it, Kenneth asked me if I knew anything about Unitarianism. If I remember correctly, his knowledge of it was limited to a dictionary entry which made a connection between Unitarianism and Jefferson--a connection with which I was somewhat familiar, because I had read some of Jefferson’s writings, and his opinions on theological topics were among the many notes I extracted from his writings in the course of reading them. When Kenneth presented me with what his dictionary said, I took issue with it. That promptly precipitated from Kenneth a request that I explain the reasons behind my refusal to go along with his dictionary. Since, at the time, I was visiting with him in Spartanburg, SC, I could not access my notes and, consequently, promised I would, as soon as I returned home, send him a letter containing the requested information. The promised letter--here reproduced in the pages to follow--was commenced on Jan. 3, 1994, and not completed until Feb. 19, 1995.
What caused this letter to turn into something that lengthy? As one might expect, Jefferson’s praise of Unitarianism (i.e.: belief in a "god" who is one person) was accompanied by an attempt to sling a hefty amount of mud upon Trinitarianism (i.e.: belief in The God Who is Three Persons) and its most famous defender in antiquity--namely: St. Athanasius. The mud consisted mainly of the hackneyed nonsense of accusing all Trinitarianism’s supporters of being bloody butchers who slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands all who dared merely to think differently from themselves. In the process of hurling his charges, Jefferson distorted well-known historical facts in a manner so outrageous, I decided I should present my son with a fully detailed exposure of that distortion’s outrageousness. At the same time, I judged it necessary to go into an analysis of the psychological factors which could propel either Jefferson or any one else into the arms of intellectual perversity as pronounced as Jefferson exhibited. That, of course, meant presenting my own personal view of how human motivation works at its most fundamental levels. At the same time, I knew that--in presenting that unpleasant view--I had to make it quite clear that I was not thereby attributing to myself a fundamental motivation truly superior to that of Jefferson and company.
That, then, is how this letter started out to describe (1) Unitarianism and (2) Jefferson’s thoughts on it and other religious themes, but quickly moved on to (3) evidences of early Christian belief in The Blessed Trinity, (4) the true history of St. Athanasius, (5) the issue which was actually central to Christian violence, (6) American disregard for the denunciation hurled by the Declaration Of Independence at "that rule of warfare which is the undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions", (7) Jefferson’s way of twisting history compared to Edward Gibbon’s way, (8) Jefferson’s duplicity on the issue of slavery and the implication of that duplicity, (9) my versus Jefferson’s personal merit, and (10) genuine morality and its connection with salvation. That, of course, is by no means an exhaustive list of the topics covered; but, it will give you some idea of how wide is the net cast by this letter. May God grant the net is not so wide and heavy as to drown you before the journey’s end.