Written by an American“The Haunting of Ol’ Thom Paine”

On these dark autumn nights,

when the Oktober sky breathes cool,

trees loose leaves like ladies let down their hair,

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I was reading an article where Gary Berton makes a defensive argument, being also a critique of Maier’s American Scripture, that Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ gave birth to the Declaration of Independence.  I find this humourous as I believe that not only did Paine give birth through writing ‘Common Sense” but by the more direct route of actually writing the original Declaration of Independence document itself before I suspect he handed it over to his close friend Thomas Jefferson to rewrite.

“But you don’t have to take my word for it,” (more…)

Colourful 2014 in fiery sparklers
Written by Roger Malcolm

I have never taken the New Year resolution very serious.  I suppose I always allowed the view of others’ failures to cheapen the overall idea.  It wasn’t until 2013 when I realized I should set a New Year’s resolution for myself.  I thought about what it was that I wanted to do and it wasn’t long before I realized my goal.

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By Thomas Paine

July, 1775, Pennsylvania Magazine

Could the peaceable principle of the Quakers be universally established, arms and the art of war would be wholly extirpated: But we live not in a world of angels. The reign of Satan is not ended; neither are we to expect to be defended by miracles. The pillar of the cloud existed only in the wilderness. In the nonage of the Israelites. It protected them in their retreat from Pharaoh, while they were destitute of the natural means of defense, for they brought no arms from Egypt; but it neither fought their battles nor shielded them from dangers afterwards.
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By Thomas Paine

TO MY FELLOW-CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

I PUT the following work under your protection. It contains my opinions upon Religion. You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the Right of every Man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.

The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.

Your affectionate friend and fellow-citizen,

THOMAS PAINE

Luxembourg, 8th Pluviose, Second Year of the French Republic, one and indivisible.

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By Thomas Paine

An introductory letter to President Washington

George Washington

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SIR,

I present you a small treatise in defence of those principles of freedom which your exemplary virtue hath so eminently contributed to establish. That the Rights of Man may become as universal as your benevolence can wish, and that you may enjoy the happiness of seeing the New World regenerate the Old, is the prayer of

    SIR,
    Your much obliged, and
    Obedient humble Servant,

THOMAS PAINE
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By Thomas Paine

December 23, 1776

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

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By Thomas A. Edison

June 7, 1925

Tom Paine has almost no influence on present-day thinking in the United States because he is unknown to the average citizen. Perhaps I might say right here that this is a national loss and a deplorable lack of understanding concerning the man who first proposed and first wrote those impressive words, ‘the United States of America.’ But it is hardly strange. Paine’s teachings have been debarred from schools everywhere and his views of life misrepresented until his memory is hidden in shadows, or he is looked upon as of unsound mind.
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By Thomas Paine

On the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise Remarks on the English Constitution

Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.
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