An Iraqi American who wants to see peace and justice in the world.
Bill Maher is an angry, simplistic, name calling, race baiting establishment democrat. Not interesting, not complex, not intellectual. It’s funny when the democrats are in power. It’s like watching all the clowns at the circus pretend to be serious people. They hysterically defend an imperfect ideology as the quintessential point of diverse opinion. Moreover, they slobber in conformity with America’s hegemonic forces, relishing in knee jerk opposition of anything religious and embracing everything government. It is indeed funny, to watch the clowns pretend. Deficits, corporatism, control. It is sad to see Americas left sink so low.
Thomas Paine "became notorious because of The Age of Reason (1793–94), his book advocating deism, promoting reason and freethinking, and arguing against institutionalized religion and Christian doctrines. He also wrote the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1795), discussing the origins of property, and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income."So funny that Glenn Beck dresses up as Thomas Paine. Good stuff by Bill Maher. Excellent.
"Several of the Founding Fathers of the United States were deists and were heavily influenced by Enlightenment philosophies.Many ideas of modern secularism were developed by deists. Two main forms of deism currently exist: classical deism and modern deism."
"All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit."--Thomas Paine, a Founding Father
There are occasions when Bill Maher can be funny, but the man is pro-Hugo Chavez. That's says enough for me.
Thomas Paine died alone, only six mourners came to his funeral
I'll never understand how Paine got lumped in with the founding fathers. He came to America right before independence in order to work up opposition to the British Crown. Then, after moving back to England for a bit, he went to France to do the same thing. He even encouraged Napaleon to invade England. Here's what Adams had to say of Christianity and Thomas Paine...... "The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity, let the Blackguard Paine say what he will."
American historian Richard B. Morris, in his 1973 book Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries, identified the following seven figures as the key Founding Fathers: Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton.Of the thousands who could be considered founding fathers, Thomas Paine would be ranked at the bottom imo.
How sad and ironic that a Founding Father of America, maybe the most important one, was shunned and abandoned by Americans for his religious views. And perhaps even more ironic that the conservative Christian Glenn Beck and the Tea Party Patriots emulate the Founding Fathers today.
John Adams?'Perhaps more than any other single man, Thomas Paine is responsible for the formation of the United States, for as fellow revolutionary and American president John Adams stated: "Without the pen of Paine the sword of Washington would have been wielded in vain." '
'Abraham Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon, reports that Lincoln wrote a defense of Paine's deism in 1835, and friend Samuel Hill burned it to save Lincoln's political career. Historian Roy Basler, the editor of Lincoln's papers, said Paine had a strong influence on Lincoln's style:"No other writer of the eighteenth century, with the exception of Jefferson, parallels more closely the temper or gist of Lincoln's later thought. In style, Paine above all others affords the variety of eloquence which, chastened and adapted to Lincoln's own mood, is revealed in Lincoln's formal writings." '
'The inventor Thomas Edison said:"I have always regarded Paine as one of the greatest of all Americans. Never have we had a sounder intelligence in this republic ... It was my good fortune to encounter Thomas Paine's works in my boyhood ... it was, indeed, a revelation to me to read that great thinker's views on political and theological subjects. Paine educated me, then, about many matters of which I had never before thought. I remember, very vividly, the flash of enlightenment that shone from Paine's writings, and I recall thinking, at that time, 'What a pity these works are not today the schoolbooks for all children!' My interest in Paine was not satisfied by my first reading of his works. I went back to them time and again, just as I have done since my boyhood days. " '
Paine published a pamplet. It didn't contain any new ideas. It simply put prevailing opinions into mass production. Paine didn't contribute to the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution. When he did write his own opinions, those views were soundly rejected by just about everyone, including the founding fathers. While Edison and Lincoln later paid homage, they weren't around at the time. Had they been, they would have pissed on his grave like everyone else. Well, not literally, because nobody actually wanted Paines remains on their property. His bones never were laid to rest.
"When the United States of America was founded, it represented the most progressive political movement in Western Civilization since the days of the Greek democracies over 2,000 years ago. The movement for revolution, as most of us should know, was sparked by Thomas Paine, who roused colonists' desire for freedom with his best selling book Common Sense and then participated in the Revolution both as an enlisted man and by writing the inspirational series Crisis. Paine was the first to suggest the unification of the separate states, and the first to use to term United States of America. Paine turned over all the money he received from the sale of his works to the Continental Army to support the cause of the Revolution. After the American Revolution was over Paine went on to France where he then participated in the French Revolution in his lifelong effort to fight for freedom from tyranny."
'Thomas Jefferson, in fact, was fiercely anti-cleric. In a letter to Horatio Spafford in 1814, Jefferson said, "In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. It is easier to acquire wealth and power by this combination than by deserving them, and to effect this, they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer for their purposes" (George Seldes, The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey Citadel Press, 1983, p. 371). In a letter to Mrs. Harrison Smith, he wrote, "It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read. By the same test the world must judge me. But this does not satisfy the priesthood. They must have a positive, a declared assent to all their interested absurdities. My opinion is that there would never have been an infidel, if there had never been a priest" (August 6, 1816).
'Jefferson was just as suspicious of the traditional belief that the Bible is "the inspired word of God." He rewrote the story of Jesus as told in the New Testament and compiled his own gospel version known as The Jefferson Bible, which eliminated all miracles attributed to Jesus and ended with his burial. The Jeffersonian gospel account contained no resurrection, a twist to the life of Jesus that was considered scandalous to Christians but perfectly sensible to Jefferson's Deistic mind. In a letter to John Adams, he wrote, "To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are immaterial is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot reason otherwise" (August 15, 1820). In saying this, Jefferson was merely expressing the widely held Deistic view of his time, which rejected the mysticism of the Bible and relied on natural law and human reason to explain why the world is as it is. Writing to Adams again, Jefferson said, "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" (April 11, 1823). These were hardly the words of a devout Bible-believer.'
'James Madison, Jefferson's close friend and political ally, was just as vigorously opposed to religious intrusions into civil affairs as Jefferson was. In 1785, when the Commonwealth of Virginia was considering passage of a bill "establishing a provision for Teachers of the Christian Religion," Madison wrote his famous "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments" in which he presented fifteen reasons why government should not be come involved in the support of any religion. This paper, long considered a landmark document in political philosophy, was also cited in the majority opinion in Lee vs. Weisman. The views of Madison and Jefferson prevailed in the Virginia Assembly, and in 1786, the Assembly adopted the statute of religious freedom of which Jefferson and Madison were the principal architects. The preamble to this bill said that "to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical." '
'Clearly, the founders of our nation intended government to maintain a neutral posture in matters of religion. Anyone who would still insist that the intention of the founding fathers was to establish a Christian nation should review a document written during the administration of George Washington. Article 11 of the Treaty with Tripoli declared in part that "the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion..." (Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States, ed. Hunter Miller, Vol. 2, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1931, p. 365). This treaty was negotiated by the American diplomat Joel Barlow during the administration of George Washington. Washington read it and approved it, although it was not ratified by the senate until John Adams had become president. When Adams signed it, he added this statement to his signature "Now, be it known, that I, John Adams, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the said treaty, do, by and within the consent of the Senate, accept, ratify and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof." This document and the approval that it received from our nation's first and second presidents and the U. S. Senate as constituted in 1797 do very little to support the popular notion that the founding fathers established our country as a "Christian nation." '
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved-- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" -From John Adams to Thomas Jefferson
The same can be said about Islam. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!
'James Madison, Jefferson's close friend and political ally, was just as vigorously opposed to religious intrusions into civil affairs as Jefferson was.'That was revolutionary at the time, what with the Church of England and the Catholic church running things so long in Europe. But, being opposed to organized religion having a role in government isn't the same as opposing religion. Most Americans feel the same today as the founding fathers did then. We want religious freedom, and not religious slavery.
"Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"The other direction is even uglier...Mao Zedong, Stalin, Castro, Kim Jong Il, FARC, the Naxalites, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Timothy McVeigh, and the Columbine shooters can all atest to that.
So the other direction is terrorism and communist dictatorship? There are no other directions?
Sure there are other directions. Far left is virtually the same as far right. Hitler and Stalin were at opposite ends of the political spectrum, but the end result was the same. The same goes for religion and government. A religious government is no better or worse than a government that bans religion. They both stink.
Where is the Arab version of Paine?
I was referring to the atheism versus religious fundamentalism debate...both are hiddeous, but I think the atheists have killed more people in the end. At the end of the day, the people who tried to purge religion from society became the world's worst mass murderers.There certainly are moderate directions pertaining to both religion and secularism. America is a place where you can combine both and live the life that you choose.
Good question, Don Cox.
In my comment at 9:16 am I meant to say "perhaps even more ironic that the conservative Christian Glenn Beck and the Tea Party Patriots TRY to emulate the Founding Fathers today."
I found a flaw in Bill Maher's clip: He said that John Adams said "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it." This is misleading because this quote alone does not explain what Adams was saying:'What Adams was saying, in its actual context:"Twenty times in the course of my late reading have I been on the point of breaking out, "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!!!" But in this exclamation I would have been as fanatical as Bryant or Cleverly. Without religion this world would be something not fit to be mentioned in polite company, I mean hell."-- John Adams, quoted from Charles Francis Adams, ed, Works of John Adams (1856), vol. X, p. 254 John Adams is here describing to Thomas Jefferson what he sees as an emotion-based ejaculatory thought that keeps coming to him. This was not his reasoned opinion. Although John Adams often felt an urge to advocate atheism as a popular world view (because of the sheer abuses perpetrated by religious charlatans), he was of the firm and reasoned opinion (basically undisputed in his day) that religion is essential to the goal of keeping the masses in line.Knowing what we know today, to say this is pure slander against atheists. And yet it is still quite popular, especially among the uneducated, the widespread acknowledgement of its falsehood notwithstanding.Thus, Adams was not above presenting such travesties as his National Day of Prayer and Fasting proclamation. These acts reflected his view that the masses needed religion to keep this world from becoming a bedlam. However, Adams, like Washington and Jefferson, did not apply this reasoning to himself -- as we can plainly see from the quotations in the main section: religion was good for the masses but not for John Adams (for the most part), who was above all that and needed no piety in order to maintain his own sense of civility.'
Secular leaders of the Middle East have often been seen persecuting religious people, and sometimes they mass murdered people. That was a big problem in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
In other words, Saddam Hussein is no Thomas Paine. I love it when it rhymes:)
dear Mojo, It's been a LONG time,but I always thought Paine's most important role was as rainmaker for revolutionary clouds.The revolution was approaching the point where the most important factor was how many people showed up at the town sqaure with their muskets.Paine made revolution cool,just when things got hot.btl
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