Monday, July 5

E Pleb Neesta

I Wanted to get this post off before the end of the fourth but unfortunately a series of rolling thunderstorms came through last night and lets just say that I have at least a couple of belly up modems, sacrificed to the goddess of ozone production.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

I have always found the fundimentalist justification to shove their version of god down my throat unsettling at best. One can interpret the Bible in many ways and I don't think that Jesus would appreciate the use of his words (or more accurately those remembered by the second parties that collected them for posterity) as a baseball bat used by xenophobic hypocracy to batter this country into a theocratic union. I am also certain that Jefferson would not be pleased.

Jefferson's Credo

I have sworn upon the alter of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. -- Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800

Platonic mysticism

----- To John Adams, 1813

It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one . . . But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests. Sweep away their gossamer fabrics of factitious religion, and they would catch no more flies. We should all then, like the Quakers, live without an order of priests, moralize for ourselves, follow the oracle of conscience, and say nothing about what no man can understand, nor therefore believe.

----- To Dr. Waterhouse, 1815

The priests have so disfigured the simple religion of Jesus that no one who reads the sophistications they have engrafted on it, from the jargon of Plato, of Aristotle and other mystics, would conceive these could have been fathered on the sublime preacher of the Sermon on the Mount. Yet, knowing the importance of names, they have assumed that of Christians, while they are mere Platonists, or anything rather than disciples of Jesus.

Unintelligible dogmas

----- To Carey, 1816: N. Y. Pub Lib., MS, IV, 409

I have always wanted to build a time machine (among many other things), and dream of the opportunity to bring some of the framers back to the present. And after we toured the country, watched some television, played some baseball (I'd tell them to keep the bats) we would head off to Washington DC. The sight of Jefferson,Washington, Madison, Hamilton et al, strolling up the mall, Louisville sluggers in hand.....