Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Thomas Paine!

From my friend and fellow traveler Bob to all,

Thomas Paine
Happy Birthday Thomas Paine!
Today, January 29th, is Thomas Paine's birthday. On this day in 1737 Thomas Paine was born to a Quaker father and his mother was a member of the Church of England. Thankfully, Thomas Paine was a freethinker and evolved into a Deist!
Thomas Paine has done more than any other person in history to see to it that everyone gets a chance to learn about Deism. Even his efforts to get the American Revolution started by writing Common Sense and to sustain it after things went bad by writing The Crisis have promoted the growth of Deism, for if the revolution never started or had died an early death Deism would still be outlawed because separation of church and state never would have taken place.
For his promotion of Deism Paine had to pay a high price. After he wrote the first part of The Age of Reason during the French Revolution he was arrested and put in prison. His arrest had nothing to do with his Deist book, but was due to his calls to stop the reign of terror and in particular to spare the lives of the king and queen. When James Monroe secured his release from prison, Paine became aware of all the attacks from the clergy against his book and against him personally. To the horror of the clergy and the "revealed" religionists their attacks did not scare Thomas Paine. Instead, he wrote part two to The Age of Reason! Thomas Paine continued to promote Deism for the remainder of his life despite the personal attacks against him.
One attack on Paine that shows how "revealed" religionists have no God-given reason behind their beliefs is when Thomas Paine was refused the right to vote. If it wasn't for Thomas Paine there would probably not have been a successful revolution. As John Adams wrote, "Without the pen of Paine the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain." So instead of openly and honestly debating Paine, the Christians only called him names, made up lies about him and refused him his rights when they were able to. Rights which he made possible for everyone.
As Deists in the twenty-first century we should not only never forget the debt we owe Thomas Paine, but we should strive to our utmost to see to it that Paine's dream of bringing Deism to the world is achieved!
Progress! Bob Johnson