Today is Thomas Paine Day, also known as Freethinkers Day. It’s the birthday of Paine, the revolutionary pamphleteer, a day to celebrate, well, the stuff Tom Paine said.
Here’s a sampling of some of the famous statements by Paine:
“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.”
“He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.”
“One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.”
“It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.”
“An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.”
“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. “
Now, if you want to be a real freethinker, keep this in mind: The fact that Thomas Paine said these things does not make them more or less valid. Evaluate all quotations on their content, not just according to who said them.