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Inaccuracies and poor vetting of facts

Reader comment on item: Confirmed: Barack Obama Practiced Islam
in response to reader comment: It does matter what a person's background is

Submitted by Adam Nehr (United States), Mar 7, 2008 at 22:49

To Guy Z and those who read his response:

The statement that Thomas Paine was a Christian or that "Common Sense" proposed or supported theocracy is incorrect as are many "Facts" and references that you put forth. True, Paine used some bible quotes but he did so because it was the style of the times. Also, many people responded with understanding to biblical passages which were familiar territory to most regardless of their literacy level which varied greatly at the time.

Paine himself, was a Dieist and in his follow-on book "The age of reason" he made this clear. He was dismissive of Christianity in many writings and was not in any way supportive of a theocracy, christian or otherwise. In fact "Common Sense" is often held as the strongest example of a text in favor of secularism in government.

The first ammendment was constructed with the establishment clause and the free exercise clause to severly limit the power of both religion and government and to prevent one from interfereing with the other. Had the fathers intended a theocracy this would not have been item number one in the framing document.

Please do some more research on these topics and do not take your pastors word for matters of this gravity. The federalist papers were written by only two founders, Hamilton and Madison and were complete before the continental congress met and framed our government. they are a poor reference since the constitution supercedes them. In all, saying it is so doesn't make the statement historically correct. The concept of theocracy should scare us all pious and atheist alike because in the end we would all regret allowing a union of these two forces to gain control. History shows theocracies share the same problem that most churches have; they fracture and subdivide in schisms until only a very narrow interperation and its practitioners have total control. Everyone else suffers. Can any pious person say for sure that his narrow faction is for sure the one that will emerge victorious? Think about it carefully and you will see the genius of the secular Mr.Paine and our founding fathers!


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