In preparing my candidacy hub I am researching the writings, thoughts and actions of the Founding Fathers. In so doing I wanted to share this quote from Benjamin Franklin. I personally found it quite inspiring and incredibly deep. I would like to invite everyone else's thoughts on the quote. The quote does start with "God" but please keep in mind this is not another religious debate but rather an open forum on the personal meaning of the quote at hand. Focus on the other words in the quote if you do not subscribe to a religious affiliation. Thanks in advance!
"God grant that not only the Love of Liberty but a thorough knowledge of the rights of man may pervade all the nations of the earth, so that a philosopher may set his feet anywhere on it's surface and say, "This is my country."
This, to me, has a great foresight of hope in it's tone. It goes beyond a national understanding of freedom but rather a global understanding. It resounds the one voice or people out of many - e pluribus unum.
I think that HubPages and the internet in general is just a small realization of this greater goal. We have the ability to exchange thoughts and ideas around the globe in seconds as if we were sitting one across from another. This understanding is "key" to tolerance.
wow that is the first time I heard that thought from HIM, it is a very nice take, a deductive way of looking at it, First there is GOD then what follows from that.
I thought he was a Deist and not a Christian (though it's a great quote either way).
a very nice quote, indeed. I like it when intelligence has heart, and wisdom stands above humanity's baser elements.
Even though the Founding Fathers had there baser elements, they worked at rising above them for the greater good...a fine example for us all.
It is heartening to hear of someone else running for an elected office with the Founding Fathers in mind and heart, and I assume you aspire to getting back to the Constitution as well...?
Yes, I have decided to run. My means are very small. No money, no connections and no hidden agenda. I am just a simple guy from the midwest who loves this country and wants to return to the basics in order to reassure our foundation in this country. I am Republican but am fet up with all those in Washington. There is a hidden combination at work there or I am sure there would be more individuals willing to do something right. I am running at the risk of losing my own life because of my ideals which I parallel with the Founders.
But one has to still look at the system they created.
When they spoke of "people" who were they referring to?
Who was able to be afforded "citizenship"?
Women were not, nor any man without economic wealth, which was a sizeable portion of the population and still continues to be.
As broad-minded as he was later in life, Benjamin Franklin's own past doesn't reflect this...his own newspaper enabling the slave trade and slave-code enforcement.
Idealistically the quote is great, but I think a lot of Americans fail to see the contexts within which these things were being said. These were no civil rights periods.
When I look to the foundation of this nation I see direct and indirect support for genocide, I see the establishment of welfare systems through the establishment of the Reservation system and African enslavement pre and post Civil War.
I see government manipulation of populace through the media, whether its war with Mexico, Spain, Vietnam, or Iraq...or whether it is in how it represents policies it enacts.
One of the few differences between the government we have now and that which was constructed by the Founding Fathers was a system to check the discrimination of dominant groups over those who were inferior in terms of numbers, economic base, or political representation. We have the precedent of a Supreme Court willing to make controversial decisions and in many ways a more organized populace.
Many people believe that the past is the past, that racial divides and economic imbalances are mutually exclusive...the post-racial era...
But this is also forgetting that indentured servants were the first cheap labor force....a subject that Mr. Franklin was well versed in...
There are ways to alter government, and to better fit a check and balance between the private and public sectors, but there are characteristics within the Anglo-American sub-concious that do not mix well with others and, in my opinion, work to trump real mutual benefit.
isn't it possible that they were envisioning a better state of freedom than what they could see that they had...?
isn't what their vision spoke to, the answer to the problems they were living...?
the vision of the Founding Fathers was prophetic in that they didn't have the history that we have had to see the evolution that has taken place...they weren't as conscious of the human components that we have seen continue since their time...now most of us are coming to know better...now some just need to get to the point to act better
I agree, SparklingJewel, the outcome of this nation today is testament enough that they were truly inspired individuals. As was stated before, though, they were still human and lived the conditions of the time which they were used to. For this reason many of the lifestyles they exhibited are seen, today, as racist and condescending yet at that time was the norm. We should not dwell or condemn these men for such things. As Sparkling stated their inspired words were geared to ALLOW human progress for the future. That's the magic of it! That's the promise! It's that enlightenment that we, as a nation, need to return to in order to solve the many difficulties of the day.
I'm not sure what the "outcome of the nation today" means.
I'm watching major divestment from public institutions organized to help alleviate societal imbalances (created and perpetuated by the Founding Father elite).
The wealthiest amongst us are gaining status, but most are falling further behind. Our industries are being offshored and outsourced while our money is sent to regimes around the world who don't serve the interests of the common American....
Plutonomy and corresponding plutonomy do not make for democracy or a beneficial economy.
To fully understand Ben, is to know that there was a motive as to why he included "God." Ben was very clever about choosing his words wisely, and did not leave anything "up to God" to fix or figure out. I would look to the historical situation surrounding the event, in which it was written or spoken for, before I'd get my pants caught down around my ankles and looking poorly. As a lover of his, Ben did nothing without a good reason hidden somewhere behind it.
I thoroughly agree! There is more to these men, primarily Benjamin Franklin, than a few Brits who had nothing better to do with their time than write words down which seems to be the common condescending look on our Fathers. They had outlook. They had foresight. Yes, they even had an agenda to bring about a result dependent on the Supreme Power. They were men of integrity.
Great quote! Sounds to me like the concept of an "illegal alien" was foreign to him!
Because they used the word "God" does not necessarily denote Christianity. The Founders did overwhelmingly submit to the idea of a Higher Power. In whatever form is irrelevant.
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