Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Selective Quotations 101


It is always interesting (read: upsetting) to me how certain citizens are accused of historical revisionism with regard to their admittedly unpopular stances on the words of our founders. It is plain to me as it is to many today that our fore fathers, many of whom being very religious, saw the dangers of entangling the objective realm of government with the subjective realm of the spirit and pulpit.

On July 4th 1776, the Continental Congress, adopted a document outlining the States grievances with the British Crown and their intention to sever the bonds between themselves and said crown. This brilliant document was a refutation of an ideology or a dogma that had been sacrosanct in Christian Europe for nearly 2000 years: the divine right of kings. With the Declaration of Independence came the radical idea that governments are not sovereign, the PEOPLE are sovereign. To this day the idea of a monarch is anathema to Americans.

The writer of this seminal document, Thomas Jefferson, knew full well his intentions and what he meant.

Clearly our Glorious and Benevolent Leader, and current occupant of the White House AND his writers want to subvert or suppress Mr. Jefferson's words. Submitted for your consideration:

As is tradition, most sitting presidents on July 4th will administer the oath of citizenship to those who have completed the requirements of American citizenship. This 4th of July just past, Mr. Bush did so at Monticello, Virginia, the home of Thomas Jefferson. In a speech prepared for the occasion, Mr. Bush quoted from a letter Mr. Jefferson wrote to Roger C. Weightman on June 24, 1826, just ten days before his (Mr Jefferson's) death. He spoke of the rights of man. This is the relevant excerpt from Mr. Bush's speech:

Thomas Jefferson understood that these rights do not belong to Americans alone. They belong to all mankind. And he looked to the day when all people could secure them. On the 50th anniversary of America's independence, Thomas Jefferson passed away. But before leaving this world, he explained that the principles of the Declaration of Independence were universal. In one of the final letters of his life, he wrote, "May it be to the world, what I believe it will be -- to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all -- the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government."


Sounds beautiful doesn't it? Yes good ole' Thomas prescient and relevant even today. Or is he? I wonder why Mr. Bush's speech writers* chose to redact a very important part of the original quote. The following is the FULL Quote with the curiously ommited part in bold:

"may it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings & security of self-government. that form which we have substituted, restores the free right to the unbounded exercise of reason and freedom of opinion."


See the full text of Mr. Jefferson's original letter for yourself here.

Isn't just like a self-serving and pandering politician? Use that which supports your case and ignore that which doesn't.

Sorry Mr. Bush I know the truth. And it isn't what you and your political advisors say it is.

R.

*Not for one second do I believe the Mr. Bush even knew about the letter he quoted from let alone write this speech! Mr. Bush couldn't string together a coherent thought that wasn't written for him if his life depended upon it.

3 comments:

hoverfrog said...

Oh "monkish ignorance" is such a good phrase too.

Christian Beyer said...

You are right, that little snip of the scissors was inexcusable. But to his defense, Bush probably didn't even know it (not that he would've objected). But to call him a self-serving and pandering politician? It's not like you to be so redundant. The same qualities can readily be found in our two presidential contenders.

One other point; the greatest daily offenders are the Bible proof texters (of which I admit I am one of). When looking for validation one tends to overlook that which doesn't jive. Even scientist do it. ;)

SirRobert said...

@hov

Mr. J. was very good at conjuring the best verbal imagery!

@christian

"Bush probably didn't even know it..."

Which is why I put in my footnote; ;)

"When looking for validation one tends to overlook that which doesn't jive. Even scientist do it."

And if they do they are NOT true scientists! A true scientists follows where the evidence leads and does NOT suppress evidence that doesn't support a preconceived conclusion.

R.