Common Sense

I just finished reading Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the pamphlet that inspired American independence.  There is so much in it still relevant today.  The last paragraph of the work:

“And here without anger or resentment I bid you farewell, sincerely wishing, that as men and christians, ye may always fully and uninterruptedly enjoy every civil and religious right; and be, in your turn, the means of securing it to others; but that the example which ye have unwisely set, of mingling religion with politics, may be disavowed and reprobated by every individual inhabitant of America.”

Paine’s finale for revolutionary thought on this continent is the separation of church and state.  The “mingling religion with politics” was his greatest inspiration, faith in the individual, that no man should be held above another for superficial, superstitious, or imaginary reasons.  Many state constitutions banned church leaders from running for public office.  The founders knew the via ad Roma, and didn’t wish to take it. 


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for “blogrolling” me. I have you on mine now.


  2. Good one, Rider. Bush’s “Faith-Based Initiatives” and Orwellian “Compassionate Conservatism” are a 180° inversion of what the Founding Fathers intended. The US government is doing for Christians and Americans what Israel’s Zionist policies have been doing for world Jewry and Israelis: putting them in danger by fraudulently mixing religion with state policies of aggressive war and domestic tyranny against Arabs and Muslims. But this is exactly what US and Israeli leaders want. It is what creates new anti-Semites and anti-American religious extremists whose words and deeds are then used to justify even more state tyranny and aggression against Arabs, Muslims, and any Jews or Christians whose resistance is considered “damaging to coalition efforts in the war on tarror.”

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