Letters to the editor - Tuesday (8-27-2013)
Article takes too liberal a view of Thomas Paine
The Aug. 18 oped “Un-American ideas from one of the Founders?” by Tom Arcaro (a professor at Elon University) disgusted me. It opened with a quote from Thomas Paine “…my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
“Consider me relieved,” wrote Arcaro, “that the flag waving and fireworks of the Fourth of July are behind us. As a scholar who appreciates irony, I can’t help but notice … the fact that leading voices in our fight for independence cautioned us against this very same patriotic myopia.”
Really? Although Arcaro mentioned Paine’s contribution to the American Revolution, he claimed that today Paine would be criticizing our “nationalistic rhetoric” (celebrating July 4th, saying “God Bless America,” etc). Arcaro says that to be good citizens, we should all be more anti-nationalist and more atheist.
Yet Arcaro quoted from Paine’s 1792 book “The Rights of Man,” which dealt with France’s Revolution, not America’s. Paine was criticizing both governments (France’s and England’s) for taxing the poor and rewarding the aristocrats when he wrote “my country is the world.”
He was simply explaining his unbiased approach, his “open and disinterested language, dictated by no passion but that of humanity.”
You see, 12 years earlier Paine published what became the rallying cry for Americans to charter a great new country based on the (not yet written) Declaration of Independence. Here’s a passage from Paine’s 1776 “Common Sense:”
“Yet that we may not appear to be defective even in earthly honours, let a day be solemnly set apart for proclaiming the Charter; let it be brought forth placed on the Divine Law, the Word of God; let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarchy, that in America the law is king.”
Today, our Founders (including Thomas Paine) would recognize liberalism and her scholars as the cancer that’s killing public education. God bless America, the Founders and July Fourth.
— Steve Pender
Why no outrage?
We’ve all been seeing all the protests and outrage over the pending law that says we all must show a photo ID to vote. They argue that this law disenfranchises the minorities, the poor, yada, yada, yada. This law applies to all, equally, and does nothing more than ensure that the person listed on the books is the same individual casting a vote. Adding to all this are the thousands of protesters marching, carrying placards, yelling, screaming and raising a ruckus.
Flash forward to an article in Friday’s Salisbury Post that told of free food giveaways sponsored by the “Y” and various other organizations in Rowan County. All you have to do is show up and get it ... but, wait, oh yes, you must show a photo ID to receive this free food. Now, I ask you, where is the outrage, the loud protestations, the yelling and screaming? Nobody’s marching, nobody’s singing protest songs, nobody’s carrying placards. In fact, I don’t hear a thing!
— Jan McCanless