Thomas Paine in Today’s World

A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support.
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

It is the government with something to hide, or thinks itself justified in so doing, that we must fear most.

“…the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think.” 
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Fear is the enemy of reason. Fear invites suspicion, prejudice, division. 

Overcoming fear is the path to freedom.

“Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man”
-Thomas Paine

We can have a loving God, or a cruel one. The true values of God are reflected in the actions of those whom profess belief.

Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.
-Thomas Paine

And so it appears that the Illinois governor is one ruffian that is now proving his true worth

“‘Tis surprising to see how rapidly a panic will sometimes run through a country. All nations and ages have been subject to them.”
-Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

No age or epoch of humanity has not eventually found itself the victim of its own base instincts.

Fear, greed, and panic spread through the body politic like a virus, with apparently little to stop them once again running their course.

This followed by talk of lessons learned – until the next time.

 

 

“There are two distinct species of popularity; the one excited by merit, the other by resentment.”
-Thomas Paine

Too often it seems as if our political leaders and those seeking power pander toward the worst in people – intolerance and resentment, fear and prejudice. Achieving popularity by inciting the darker passions in people may win elections, but it does not constitute merit.

“It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.”
-Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

To forego the use of reason is to reject that which God made Man in his own image. It is only through reason that can justify a divine life.

 

 

“Every lie is welcome that suits its purpose.”
-Thomas Paine

Nobody wishes to be called a liar, but many will believe in lies to reinforce a delusion.

To every lie, its purpose.

 

 

“An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.”
-Thomas Paine

The justification to use what has heretofore been known as torture, in the name of the very same principles that prohibit such action as immoral, illegal, and inhumane, is to justify the nullification of those very same principles.

It cannot be explained away as a necessary evil. It is merely evil creeping into soul of a nation.

“Ignorance is of a peculiar nature; once dispelled, it is impossible to re-establish it. It is not originally a thing of itself, but is only the absence of knowledge; and though man may be kept ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant.”
-Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

To be ignorant is not bliss, to remain ignorant is not virtue. To be kept ignorant is cruel.