Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jefferson Speaks

In 1962, John F. Kennedy invited 49 Nobel Laureates to the White House and observed: "I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent and of human knowledge that has ever been gathered together at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone." He was absolutely right. The third president of the United States, its second vice president, and first Secretary of State also excelled in several other fields of enterprise and scholarship. His greatest triumph, in my opinion, was his contribution to authorship of our beloved Constitution.

A sure measurement of classic thought has to be its timeliness in current condition and not application just at the time it was formed. To illustrate the point, I submit the following quotes on a variety of subjects which are much on the minds of US citizens today.

“When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe,we shall become as corrupt as Europe.” Thomas Jefferson

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from thosewho are willing to work and give to those who would not.” Thomas Jefferson

"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.” Thomas Jefferson

”I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent thegovernment from wasting the labors of the people under the pretenseof taking care of them.” Thomas Jefferson

”My reading of history convinces me that most bad government resultsfrom too much government.” Thomas Jefferson

”No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.” Thomas Jefferson

”The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.” Thomas Jefferson

”The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood ofpatriots and tyrants.” Thomas Jefferson

”To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Thomas Jefferson

In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what Thomas Jefferson said in 1802: ”I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” Thomas Jefferson

I would not presume to comment further on President Jefferson’s observations other than to say “Amen!"

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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