Arkansas Legislature Snubs Thomas Paine


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February 21, 2007

Politicians enjoy misleading the sheeple by pretending they believe in freedom. The Arkansas legislature recently made it crystal clear that this is just a song and dance routine intended to be limited to only election and reelection speeches when they voted against honoring Thomas Paine by making January 29th Thomas Paine Day.

A bill was presented to the Arkansas legislature that would have made January 29th Thomas Paine Day (Paine was born on January 29, 1737). Thomas Paine was somewhat of an important personality in the founding of the United States. When people weren't sure if it was time yet to actually take up arms against the legally established government, Tom Paine wrote "Common Sense." "Common Sense" made the point that it WAS time to attack the government and all its representatives and send them scurrying! His pamphlet was very successful! The American Revolution was launched!

Less than a year after independence was declared, George Washington and his ragtag army were getting their butts kicked by the government forces. After all, the British military machine was the most powerful military force on earth at that time. Paine had been fighting as a soldier, but George Washington knew he would be more valuable writing pamphlets to embolden his troops and the American people. Tom Paine then wrote the first of a very important series of pamphlets called "The Crisis." In them, he pointed out that great unity and great sacrifices were required by Providence in order to demonstrate that the American people deserved freedom and liberty. Like "Common Sense," "The Crisis" was hugely successful. Washington had it read to his troops to encourage them to persevere against great odds.

Paine's writings were so important and key to the success of the American Revolution that John Adams wrote that without the pen of Paine, the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain!

After the successful completion of the American Revolution, Thomas Paine went to Europe. While in England, he wrote The Rights of Man, which won him the death penalty if caught from the English government.

After escaping from England, he went to France. While in France, he took part in the French Revolution. He got in trouble when he said the king and queen should not have their heads cut off, that only the position of king and queen should be destroyed. Knowing that the Reign of Terror was in full swing, he realized it was very likely he would be arrested and have his own head cut off. He had always wanted to write his beliefs about God and religion, but wanted to wait until he was near death so he would write more honestly. Well, he was near death, though not a natural one! He then wrote the first part of The Age of Reason and finished it just hours before he was arrested on December 29, 1793 at about four in the morning.

This beautiful outstanding book, The Age of Reason, peels off the BS (as in Bible Study) the 'revealed' religions have used to cover our eyes so we would accept man-made religions and reject our God-given reason. It completely and utterly demolishes Christianity, Judaism and the Bible! It's beautiful! Instead of pretending certain men were prophets with a special line of communications with God, it points the reader to reason and Nature as the only way to really learn about God, Nature being the only true Word of God. Paine encourages people to be Deists based on their own God-given reason as applied to the laws/designs of Nature. Paine believed, as Deists always have and still do, that the laws/designs in Nature presuppose, as it reads in the Declaration of Independence, a Designer or Nature's God.

The politicians in Arkansas apparently don't appreciate honest debate, freedom of thought and speech and all that Thomas Paine has done for freedom and the ideals of the original America that are now, sadly, long gone. Perhaps it is because they know they are the King Georges of our day. And if people really catch the American spirit that brought about the American Revolution, waving flags on the Fourth of July just won't be enough! If we catch the spirit of the rebels, they would end up on the outside, if they're lucky.

Thomas Paine doesn't need the approval of contemporary politicians. However, voting down this bill because of Paine's religion and ideas clearly demonstrates the contempt the politicians hold free thought and free expression in. Representative Sid Rosenbaum said, "He (Paine) did some good things for the nation, but the book that he wrote (The Age of Reason) was anti-Christian and anti-Jewish." That seems to be the one-two punch used against freedom and progress down through the ages, "revealed" religion and government!

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Robert L. Johnson's picture
Columns on STR: 94

Robert Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web site devoted to Deism,  He is listed in Who's Who in Hell and is the author of Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity.  He wrote the introduction to The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and also writes for