Happy Birthday, Thomas Paine

“I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”
― Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Today marks the 279th birthday of the America’s Revolutionary War era political philosopher, and author of the well-known revolutionary war essays Common Sense. He is also well known for the Age of Reason, although at the time the views he expressed in opposition to organized religions, Christianity in particular, really diminished his popularity.

Paine was born in 1736 in England, but to be fair, that year is really 1737 in the modern calendar (& his birthdate would also move to March, but I expect he didn’t pay much attention to the calendar change, so I’ve chosen to use the new year, old day) and emigrated to the colonies in 1774 – not coincidently, just in time for the coming revolution.

“That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord and cultivate predjudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.”
― Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

Image from http://www.biography.com/people/thomas-paine-9431951

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