Monday, June 19, 2006

Thomas Paine: American hero

Thomas Paine, who wrote the leaflet "Common Sense," widely credited with stirring vast support for the American Revolution, is also considered a "Founding Father" of America. And yet, he was an avowed Deist, and wrote terrific writings on the subject. Deism basically is a belief that we should look at the bible as a sort of parable, and take out all references of God, and cull all the moral teachings. Some of the most important Founding Fathers were "Deists," such as Thomas Jefferson, (Paine), and Benjamin Franklin. The "Enlightenment," which was a heavy influence on the Founding Fathers, also was inextricably tied to Deism. In other words...the Founding Fathers of the United States were pro-thought. They were avowed patriots, fighting this never ending war on thought. I think we should take a moment to appreciate the wonderful signficance of how this great nation was founded, and to be thankful beyond words that the United States is a nation with a constitution, which, for all its flaws, at least is rooted in thought. Indeed, America was founded as a pluralistic nation, with most inhabitants of Christian origin. Remember Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, next time someone insists that America is a "Christian nation."

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