Posted by Homeowner, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm
Bob Basso does a disservice to Thomas Paine in this contrived video, all bark and no real content, just a few platitudes to fire up the base.
The real Thomas Paine was much more than all this blather. For instance, from his book The Age of Reason,
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
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."
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 6:02 pm
You can't cherry pick the parts you specifically like and pass it off as the full writing of this great man. I suppose the shame you feel is also why you don't use your real name.
The real Thomas Paine wrote these words directly preceding the words you cherry picked above:
"It has been my intention, for several years past, to publish my thoughts upon religion. I am well aware of the difficulties that attend the subject, and for that consideration, had reserved it to a more advanced period of life.
I believe in God, and no more, and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man, and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.
You are correct, this man had a great mind. Please respect this man and do not distort his work to support your Atheistic and Socialist or Statist agenda.
The video is consistent with the mans view of personal freedom and individual liberty over central command tyranny (aka the new Democrat Socialist agenda).
Posted by Homeowner, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 6:52 pm
Your imagination is creating unintended meanings that you then feel necessary to defend. However, this is just tilting at windmills.
Perhaps something hit too close to home or a sensitive spot, but my points were simply, 1) the video a lot of noise without any meat and 2) Thomas Paine's thoughts and writings were anything but background noise.
He is well known to have been a deist and my "cherry picking" didn't try to shade that. The point is that he saw right to the core of organized religion, saw it for the fraud it was (and still is), and was elegant and incisive in his writings about it.
You do not know me, so to say I have a socialist or atheist agenda, or to imply I don't respect Thomas Paine, would all be silly and make you look foolish. And it did.
I bet we could have a great conversation about Paine, his thoughts, ideas, and writings if you dropped the militant ideology and generalizations. This is the same kind of thinking that had Paine imprisioned in France and nearly executed!
I'm sure we don't agree on everything, but I bet we agree on more than you think. I'm rereading Paine's primary works just this week in fact. Great stuff.
Posted by Love Palin, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 8:52 pm
Don't worry, Republicans are Statists and socialists too. Their specialty is socialism for the wealthy. The confiscate tax dollars (TARP was over $700 Billion) and give it to people who didn't earn it (executives at AIG, Bear Stearns and the like). Sarah Palin supports TARP.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm
I call them as I see them; but, I'm glad to know you and I agree (for the most part). Thanks for the correction.
Regarding religion, your welcome to your opinion; but, Paine would never ridicule, prevent or impose his beliefs others pursuit of organized religion if it brings them happiness. Remember in a Civil Society, the exchange of property (money) between two free/willing parties only takes place if they both benefit from it.
Hi Love Palin,
Sorry, but I disagree:
Democrat = Socialism
Its sad to see how far our country has strayed from its Conservative Founding Principles.
Reject the force-backed structures of a state (regardless of that state's political system)!
I prefer Conservatism but Libertarian ideals are just fine too.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 19, 2009 at 11:04 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Brian wrote: "Republican =Fascism, Democrat = Socialism"
Love Palin wrote: "Republicans are Statists and socialists too"
I wouldn't use the term "statist". I prefer "authoritarian", which both fascism and socialism to some degree require.
What I don't like about ideologies is that they all presume that humans act a certain way. That leads towards oppression and authoritarianism in order to force people into that mold, which Thomas Paine seemed to rail against when it came to organized religion. That was my interpretation from waaaay back when I read the Communist Manifesto and I don't see the Republican social platform as any different.
Maybe that's why Republicans seem to have become more authoritarian than Democrats. If you create a permissive society, which is the necessary foundation for things like "free market", you tend to end up with stuff which the Republicans seem to fight against these days. It seems at odds with the ideas of liberty which this country is founded upon. But a wholly permissive society can also end up breaking down the social cohesion necessary to sustain a national identity, which conservatives would find a tragedy. Maybe that's just the natural and cyclical progression of human societies as witnessed throughout history. Thomas Paine would probably have liked the "naturalness" of it.
The different ideological foundations which back Republicans and Democrats can be useful at times though. It all depends upon the situation. For example, I don't see small government/no taxes so much as a goal in itself (like the Republican party seems to), but as a tool to utilize when big government gets fiscally out of hand. Is that cynical to think that big government will always tend to be fiscally irresponsible? Maybe instead of presuming that humans act a certain way, we can instead observe and study the ways in which they actually act and form a platform based upon that.
Posted by m, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 9:05 am
I gotta tell you. This obsession with Obama as boogieman reminds me of the old Southern mentality when everything was the fault of the Negro. It also smacks of Hiterís blaming the Jews for all the problems in the world. Immigrants are the problem, no its all Obamaís fault. Gesh! When are people going to realize we are in trouble due to our collective values of materialism and greed that have come back to haunt us. How many of you left your children at home or at day cares so both parents could work and have your home appreciate. Good values? I donít think so. How many of you feed your children endless sugar and fast food because you are too busy and they are too fat. Good values? I donít think so. Sure, we can blame it on the Jew, the Mexican, the Blackman, the gay, the left, the right and even a president. But, just remember history is not on the side of those who reduce the complexities of the world to scapegoats.
Posted by m, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:27 am
StevP ... Sorry I don't have a messiah nor do I have a chip on my shoulder. But, I am sure you don't enjoy anyone in your room that doesn't espouse your myopic views on life. Go ahead, keep blaming the boogie man for all the complex faults in the world, but unfortunately you are not in charge of whether I stay in the room or not. (I don't think anyone named you God-of-Permissions ... self imposed righteousness I guess). Again, my point is that history does not bode well for cultures that use scapegoats to rationalize their own inadequacies. It's just an historical fact.