History

Briefly Noted: Tom Paine, Drawn

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Tucked away in a gray-brown room, across a white marble hall from statesmanlike portraits of Ben Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, is "One Life: Thomas Paine—The Radical Founding Father," an exhibition appearing at the National Portrait Gallery from August 7 to November 29. The exhibition, part of a surge of renewed interest in Paine, follows the author of Common Sense as he flees England for America in 1774, joins the French revolutionary cause, and tries unsuccessfully to bring the more radical age of revolution to his native land.

When Paine finally made it back to America, after a near-guillotining in France, the man who wrote this country into revolution found he had been written out of the Founders' pantheon for his anti-church tract The Age of Reason. Museumgoers will learn that today's politics are downright civilized compared with those of Paine's day. Cartoons show the man drunk on brandy and embraced by the devil, tarted up in French revolutionary garb, and crucifying Jesus.

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  1. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

  2. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets..

  3. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane.

  4. ..in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke

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