Words From The Past
ON THOMAS PAINE: He has been called an atheist, but atheist he was not. Paine believed in a supreme intelligence, as representing the idea which other men often express by the name of deity.
His Bible was the open face of nature, the broad skies, the green hills. He disbelieved the ancient myths and miracles taught by established creeds. But the attacks on those creeds — or on persons devoted to them — have served to darken his memory, casting a shadow across the closing years of his life.
When Theodore Roosevelt termed Tom Paine a "dirty little atheist" he surely spoke from lack of understanding. It was a stricture, an inaccurate charge of the sort that has dimmed the greatness of this eminent American. But the true measure of his stature will yet be appreciated. The torch which he handed on will not be extinguished. -- Thomas Alva Edison (from here)
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