Recently, Gilbert Watch received an email from a reader criticizing one of our Contributing Editors, Silence Dogood, for quoting Thomas Paine. His concern was that, based on his reading a book written by Thomas Paine, it seemed odd that Silence Dogood, who works tirelessly "to ensure that our Country and its Divine principles are left intact for future generations," would quote a man who stated that there was "no religion…more derogatory to the Almighty…than..Christianity." His criticism that Silence might not be informed about the Founders writings implicitly included Gilbert Watch as well.
Both Gilbert Watch and Silence Dogood thought readers of Gila Watch might be interested in reading this gentleman’s email. (Silence Dogood also contributes to Gila Watch.) His personal information has been removed, but not a single word of his relevant statements have been edited or removed. Following the reader’s email, you will see the responses from both Gilbert Watch and Silence Dogood.
According to your website, “Silence is a native Arizonan whose love of investigative research and drive for knowledge was ingrained early in life… Silence’s children are the prime motivation behind tireless work that ensures that our Country and its Divine principles are left intact for their generation and future generations to come.” Thomas Paine is then quoted: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” I found Thomas Paine to be an interesting choice. I read the articles titled “Will God Survive in Amerika? We have a Choice” and “The Role of Religion in The Founding Fathers’ Constitutional Formula.” In these articles, the writer refers to the anti-Christian “Amerikans” and the “secular left.”
"Based on what I have read, many of the more well-known Founding Fathers were secularists meaning they were not exclusively allied or against any particular religion. However, some of them, especially Thomas Paine, had particular complaints against Christianity. In fact, he wrote an entire book on it. It is called “Age of Reason.”
"Has Silence, or any of the other contributors read it? I ask because I cannot imagine having read it and still quoting Thomas Paine on this website. For your reference, below is an excerpt from “Age of Reason.”
”Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid or produces only atheists or fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism, and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests, but so far as respects the good of man in general it leads to nothing here or hereafter.”
"By no means am I advocating Thomas Paine’s viewpoint. I just think it is important for people who use the Founding Fathers to support their position to be well-informed."
Gilbert Watch Response