e interrupt our regularly scheduled continuation of my series of Wizard of Oz columns to bring you this special July 4th Pretzel Logic look at our Founding Fathers, with a special emphasis on how very much the USA was meant to be a Christian nation.
He Saw The Light
Benjamin Franklin once said 'Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.'
Lighthouses Might Be OK, But Be Sure To Stay Out Of Burning Windmills
According to one Web site I found, 'Mary Shelley explained that she based the name of Frankenstein on the American statesman Benjamin Franklin who conducted experiments with electricity when it was first discovered.'
Laying Down The Law
'Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.' -Thomas Jefferson, letter ( dated February 10, 1814 ) to Dr. Thomas Cooper
We Haven't Come A Long Way, Baby
'Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.' -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
Actually, There Are Plenty Of TV Evangelists Who'd Be More Than Happy To Do Both
'But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.' -Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
Was Tom Writing About IML?
'All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.' -Thomas Jefferson, in a letter ( the last eh ever wrote ) to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826
Mmmmm, Musclemen. Goooood!
In Article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli, written by the US government in 1796, the US government stated: 'As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.'
Sounds Like He Found Organized Religions To Be A Paine In The Ass
'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.' -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, Part I, 1794
And It Seems Tom Was Not Crazy About Religion, Either
'It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [ the Apocalypse ] , and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams.' -Thomas Jefferson, letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825
Sounds Sorta Like The Bush Administration
'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, The Age of Reason, Part I
I Can See Clearly Now
A man named Richard Price had written to Thomas Jefferson on October 26, 1788, about all the damage caused by religion, and in his letter he asked 'Would not Society be better without Such religions? Is Atheism less pernicious than Demonism?' In his response dated January 8, 1789, Tom replied 'I concur with you strictly in your opinion of the comparative merits of atheism and demonism, and really see nothing but the latter in the being worshipped by many who think themselves Christians.'
If you're a muscleman with a saddle on his back waiting for someone booted and spurred to ride… no, wait, too graphic. Instead, if you think that Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin would be disgusted by the Republican party's fawning over the Religious Wrong, you can e-mail me at PretzelLogicDave@aol.com