Appointments in Richmond and Charlottesville, Va., gave the opportunity to visit Thomas Jefferson’s beautiful home place, Monticello, yesterday morning. The crisp air, changing leaves and sense of historical importance made it enjoyable.

The third president’s impact on the foundations of this country is immeasurable. At the top of the list, of course, is his role as author of the Declaration of Independence.

Upon entering the stately plantation home, the guide noted that defining American document that affirms “All men are created equal” and therefore have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Then she somberly confessed: “Yet he died a slaveholder.”

In retrospect we see so clearly. In real time, we live so inconsistently.

We are conflicted — or, in spiritual terms, so prone to sin.

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