Harvey Wasserman : Founding Fathers Would Make Glenn Beck See Red

John Wayne and Thomas Jefferson make surprise appearance at 2009 Waco Tea Party rally. Photo by Jay Janner / Austin American-Statesman / Collective Vision.

Hey Tea/GOP:
Our Founding Fathers were a bunch of

free-loving deistic hemp-growers

By Harvey Wasserman / The Rag Blog / October 2, 2010

This is a Greco-Roman nation, gathered in a Hodenosaunee longhouse.

As they wrap themselves in the Constitution they mean to shred, that is the self-evident Truth the Tea/GOP Party ultimately cannot face.

Our legal godfathers — the ones Glenn Beck loves to conjure — were deistic liberal humanists whose core beliefs he hates.

They dumped that tea because they despised the corporation that owned it and the idea of empire it (and today’s corporate-military right) stood for.

The very first phrase of this nation’s defining document, the Bill of Rights, says:

“Judaeo-Christian? Not a chance.”

The grassroots farmers that made the Revolution were free-thinking hemp growers. Their favorite scribe, Tom Paine, was the son of a Quaker whose Age of Reason assaulted the church with unsurpassed fury. Today’s Tea/GOP would have it burned.

Our greatest genius, Ben Franklin, was a proud and joyous sexual adventurer. His very presence today would induce howls of (envious) outrage from the religious right.

It was Franklin who most loved Native America. He introduced himself to the French as “an American savage.” He stamped the Hodenosaunee (Iroquois) gifts of personal freedom and a democratic confederation into the soul of the new nation.

More formally, our tradition of direct voting, still alive in many New England towns, where the Revolution was born, was conceived in Athens, 508 BC. The Republic (“if you can keep it,” as Franklin warned) came from Rome, 509 BC.

The federal structure adopted in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, was — with Franklin’s mentoring — based on the Iroquois Confederacy. That union was born at latest 1540 AD. It sustained a functioning democracy for at least 250 years, still longer than the U.S. has been in existence.

The matriarchal Hodenosaunee were defined by a love of nature and communal land stewardship. Open dialog was as easily accepted as abortion and homosexuality. Along with so many other lethal diseases, Original Sin was an unwanted import.

It is the humanistic liberalism of America’s Founders that STILL enrages today’s neo-Puritan Tea/GOP. The Jefferson they love to claim fathered at least five children with his slave Sally Hemings, 30 years his junior. Some were conceived while he lived “alone” in the White House.

He and Franklin and Madison and Paine had no time for the Christian faith. It’s by their intelligent design that Jesus appears nowhere in the Constitution. Their liberal Deism said a Creator got the universe going, installed the laws of nature, endowed humans with free will (and inalienable rights), then left.

Franklin’s disdain for church services spices his autobiography. Jefferson clipped all references to a divinity for Jesus out of his personal Bible. Paine’s Age of Reason still enrages the official church. Madison’s First Amendment enshrines disdain for an official religion. Unitarianism in all its liberal diversity was shared by presidents two through six, including two Adamses, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe.

Their system of checks and balances was based on the Socratic proposition that with the freedom to dialog, human reason will prevail. Thus the First Amendment’s very first phrase exalts freedom from Religion, ie separation of church and state, a phrase coined by Jefferson, demanded by the new nation as a whole.

Like virtually all other American farmers, Washington and Jefferson raised serious quantities of hemp, and made good money from it. Franklin owned a paper mill that ran on it. All may well have smoked its psycho-active cousin, now known as marijuana. If you told them the nation they founded would make this versatile herb illegal, they would laugh at you.

They’d be equally horrified to hear the Foxist Tea/GOP claiming them as icons in a sectarian crusade for repression and empire.

Today’s religious right is an unholy fusion of theocratic authoritarianism — which our Founders hated above all — and corporate tyranny, whose tea they pitched in Boston harbor.

Along with George III, there’s nothing they loathed more than the anti-human hypocrisy we hear from the Foxist Legion.

Likewise, Beck, Pailn, Limbaugh, O’Reilly, and their ilk would have shrieked with rage at the actual Franklin and Paine, Jefferson and Madison, not to mention the populist farmers and sailors, workers and women who fought and died for the Revolution we all Revere (yes, him too!).

So next time those Tea/GOP phonies gaze off in the distance to claim kinship with the Founders, remind everyone you know who really did win that Revolution and write that Bill of Rights.

Those hemp-growing, tree-hugging, corporate-hating deistic free loving and free thinking present-at-the-creation Americans believed above all that the Truth would keep us free.

Now more than ever, it’s our patriotic duty to prove them right.

[Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at http://www.solartopia.org/, along with Passions of the Potsmoking Patriots by “Thomas Paine.”]

The Rag Blog

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3 Responses to Harvey Wasserman : Founding Fathers Would Make Glenn Beck See Red

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s my understanding that Washington, Jefferson & Franklin were Masons. While perhaps technically not a “religion” Masonry eschews references to a specific God & is certainly not Christ-centric. But that part of history doesn’t seem to suit certain folks to a “T”

  2. That and there wasn’t any issue on which there was unanimous consent. The Bill of Rights was kept out of the original constitution and the people by simple majority forced the Amendments. No Bill of Rights, no ratification.

    And somehow the battles, sometimes arguments and sometimes violence, over non-property owners not having the Vote, regardless of their service in the military or militia to secure the Basic_Nation-v.1.1.exe (.bin if you use Mac) as an extant independent state.
    That would be the ones, who unlike the “Official” founding fathers, actually bore the brunt and danger of combat.

    The ones who were Owned AS property, no vote for them. I guess the TeaBags don’t feel very proud of announcing that little bit, especially when they speak of dismantling the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, and repealing or amending the 14th Amendment, which contained the “equal protection under the law” clause that forces them to consider Those People to be their legal equals, and formed the basis for taking down segregation. (we still have a way to go on that).

    Or maybe they’re waiting to give that particular nod to their most extremist wing once they regain political control from the 70 MILLION Americans who voted down their hate agenda in the first place.

    We might not have gotten all or most of what we voted FOR but it’s important to remember what we voted AGAINST, and the fact that it’s every bit of it represented by the Tea Party “patriots”.

  3. Jonah, You are on target.

    People need to remember that they voted against economic policies that enriched the few and hurt almost everyone else.

    Now the GOP thinks folks want more of the same and they have come out to promise just that.

    Their agenda has nothing to do with jobs. Indeed, they just blocked renewal of salary subsidies for new employees hired by small business. Even a number of Republicans outside the beltway endorse it.

    Repealing financial reform makes more likely a financial system crash and subsequent bail out.

    If the GOP wins big and plunges us into another deep recession, the voters have no one to blame but themselves.

    It is hard to figure out how the GOP thinks its austerity program will generate jobs. Some partisan businessmen will be relieved to see them in power and will invest. Maybe the manufacturers sittling on $1.8 trillion will put some of it in jobs. I grant that too.

    But the big manufacturers are now making big profits on the derivatives market and will need cash to cover bets. The banks are sitting on $1.2 trillion, but they need that to cover bad assets. Only about 10% of bad assets have been flushed.

    The end of the stimulus and TARP and cuts in social programs will
    bring about a contractions. Contractions are never followd by growth in the long term.

    Maybe the Republicans believe their own propaganda. Now they deny that the stimulus saved any jobs and are actually saying that it raised unemployment by 36% . None of this makes a bit of sense, but the public believes it because they have been told so often.

    For years I have worked in a soup kitchen. Normally, at the beginning of a month, attendance is way down because folks just got their checks. This month it increased.

    Maybe the poor underestand politics better than others. They know that restoration of Republican power means they will be even more badly hosed. Collecting the free means at the beginning of the month is a prudent policy.

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