Monday, November 05, 2007

Evaluating Thomas Paine

Roger Saunders has written a worthy piece on Thomas Paine, which can be found over at Suite101 Colonial America. Saunders makes the case that Paine, despite the controversy of his post-Revolution years, nevertheless played a critical role in the founding of the United States.

The controversies dogging Paine can basically be summed up as follows:

1. Thomas Paine was always better at tearing things apart, than he was at building things up. John Adams was known to have made this comment about Mr. Paine - and he was right.

2. Paine's association with the radical and bloody French Revolution

3. Paine turned against George Washington, and...

4. Paine attacked God (at least in the minds of many) when he blistered the Bible and wrote The Age of Reason

Think about it....Thomas Paine went after God AND George Washington. That takes either guts or stupidity. In Paine's case, it brought him intense notoriety that forever marred his legacy.

No comments: