THOMAS PAINE TODAY

For you newcomers coming in, especially my new humanist friends, I ask for your indulgence.  it occurred to me to wonder, first of all, why we are so hated by those who believe? Okay, I know I’ve been, here on Kauai, on the pages of our local newspaper, a bit hard-handed with my statements but it did get your attention. So much so, that even though everyone will deny it, a very powerful group of religious right and militant  contributors to the discussion group had me censored. The Editors of the Garden Island and I negotiated a truce in which I was forbidden to mention my column in the discussion group, but I purchased an ad on a page directly across from the Forum that states, simply,

BETTEJO

Visit me at https://bettejo.wordpress.com/

For just a moment let’s go back in time to the 1700s and Thomas Paine, the fiery voice of the American Revolution, who was called a ‘filthy little atheist.”

Paine was an outspoken champion for democracy. He proposed public education, opportunity for the poor, pensions for the aged, public works for the jobless. Sound familiar?  In England he was charged with incitement to ‘bloody revolution’, treason, and all his writing were seized.  He escaped to France where he was imprisoned  for opposing the guillotining of aristocrats. There he wrote his Age of Reason which criticized  Christianity and the Bible.

After being released from prison in France he wished to return to America and  his friend, President Thomas Jefferson, offered to send a warship to bring him home. But Paine, knowing Jefferson was also being denounced as an infidel…now there’s a good American word..declined. Home at last in his beloved America he was widely hated and lived in poverty. He died in 1809.

The reason I’m rehashing this well-known historical fact is to show many new readers from the Garden Islands, Kauai, how little we’ve changed. We constantly seem to go over the same ground. Fight the same battle.  I  hope you recognize the pattern.

Why is this?

What in the world does the religious right find so objectionable about public education, opportunities for the poor, jobs for the jobless, pensions for the aged?These sound to me like very Christian goals and pursuits. How do they sound to you?

…and so we’re in it again today. This very day. Up to our ears in it. Today’s big to do  concerns taxes. How do we pay for public-accent on public- education?  Taxes. We pay taxes. Oh my goodness gracious sakes alive do Christians hate to pay taxes. They tithe to their God, their church, and make Him and them very rich but the poor don’t seem to benefit. Except to learn that that’s their lots in life as poor Christians. They also do not seem to mind spending zillions on weapons of mass destruction. Our weapons of mass destruction. So how did Christ, that poor barefoot peace-loving Jewish rabbi, who helped the poor, whose sect was composed of extraordinarily poor people, became today’s god of war?

Is there a reader at this site who can respond?

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