(Mr.) Common Sense

"The strength and power of despotism consists wholly in the fear of resistance."

"I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace."

"Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities."

"It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes."

"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."

"That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not."

"Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst."

"My mind is my own church."

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."

"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice."

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."

"Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must undergo the fatigue of supporting it."

"We have it in our power to begin the world over again."

-Thomas Paine

- - - -

As I went out one morning
To breathe the air around Tom Paine's,
I spied the fairest damsel
That ever did walk in chains.
I offer'd her my hand,
She took me by the arm.
I knew that very instant,
She meant to do me harm.

"Depart from me this moment,"
I told her with my voice.
Said she, "But I don't wish to,"
Said I, "But you have no choice."
"I beg you, sir," she pleaded
From the corners of her mouth,
"I will secretly accept you
And together we'll fly south."

Just then Tom Paine, himself,
Came running from across the field,
Shouting at this lovely girl
And commanding her to yield.
And as she was letting go her grip,
Up Tom Paine did run,
"I'm sorry, sir," he said to me,
"I'm sorry for what she's done."

-Bob Dylan

- - - -

To counter the sanitized story of the American Revolution being promulgated by the governing elite at the "Buy-centennial" of 1976, Jeremy Rifkin and others formed the People's Bicentennial Commission. "Although modern-day Tories will attempt to present themselves and the institutions they control - the corporations, the White House - as the true heirs and defenders of the struggle waged by the first American revolutionaries," the commission declared, "we will be celebrating radical heroes like Thomas Paine."


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