Where is to be found Theology more orthodox or Phylosophy more profound than in the Introduction to the Shast[r]a [a Hindu Treatise]? “God is one, creator of all, Universal Sphere, without beginning, without End. God Governs all the Creation by a General Providence, resulting from his eternal designs. — Search not the Essence and the nature of the Eternal, who is one; Your research will be vain and presumptuous. It is enough that, day by day, and night by night, You adore his Power, his Wisdom and his Goodness, in his Works.”
— John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, December 25, 1813.
John Adams, in Heaven right now, is looking down smiling that his religious “phylosophy” is being implemented by the US Senate. Adams squinted hard to find generic monotheism — what he referred to as “orthodox theology” — in many of the exotic pagan world religions.
Here is some irony: Adams, like the other key Founders, was a fervent theological unitarian. 1+1+1 = 3, not 1. Yet, Trinitarian logic neatly fits with the syncretic universalism of the key Founders. Trinitarians say the different “persons” in the Trinity are simply different manifestations of the one true God. Well, as I understand, that’s exactly what the Hindus argue. Except there aren’t just three different manifestations, but thousands or more. And in listening to the Hindu prayer, it’s monotheistic just like Adams’ above reproduced sentiments.
Update: Google books reproduces the entire letter from which the above Adams quotation was taken.