Post by Carolina Reb Post by P-Dub Post by Carolina Reb Post by P-Dub
...Always better than Carolina shithead.
Stick your "holy bible" up yer ass, Christian dodo.
The bible is also better than you.
It's better than me. Just saying.
Say what you want...to anyone who gives a flying fuck.
I certainly do not.
Jeff Jacoby wrote about how the Hebrew Bible molded Revolutionary
Fourth of July
Jews, Judaism, and Antisemitism
'Proclaim Liberty': How the Hebrew Bible molded revolutionary America
by Jeff Jacoby
The Boston Globe
July 7, 2019
THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS in Philadelphia approved the final text of the
Declaration of Independence on the Fourth of July, but it wasn't until July
8, 1776 that the historic document had been printed and could be publicly
read. From the tower at Independence Hall the great bell rang out, summoning
citizens to hear the new nation's proclamation of sovereignty. What we know
today as the Liberty Bell had not yet acquired its iconic crack. But its
noteworthy inscription was plain to see: "Proclaim LIBERTY Throughout All
the Land Unto All the Inhabitants Thereof."
Those words hadn't been drafted by one of the Founding Fathers. They came
from the Hebrew Bible — specifically, Leviticus 25:10, where the ancient
Israelites were commanded that at regular intervals, slaves must be freed
and debts forgiven.
At the time of the Revolution, Jews were a minuscule fragment of the
American population. Perhaps no more than 1,000 of the colonies' 2.5 million
residents were Jews, or "Hebrews," as they were often called. But while the
Hebrew presence in revolutionary America was microscopic, the Hebrew
influence on revolutionary America's ideas — ideas about freedom, monarchy,
and national destiny — was immense. The inscription on the Liberty Bell is
just one of innumerable examples of how language from the Hebrew Bible
stamped the nation's cultural and political vocabulary.
Many of those examples have been gathered in a new book, the title of which
comes from the same biblical verse. Proclaim Liberty throughout the Land:
The Hebrew Bible in the United States is a sourcebook spanning more than two
centuries of American history, from the arrival of the Pilgrims through
Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address. Compiled by Meir Soloveichik,
Matthew Holbreich, Jonathan Silver, and Stuart Halpern, four scholars
affiliated with Yeshiva University and the Tikvah Fund, the book conveys how
profoundly the Hebrew Bible shaped the way non-Hebrew America understood
Woven into the warp and woof of life in the New World were the tales and
teachings of the Old Testament. From William Bradford invoking the 107th
Psalm in his account of the Mayflower's landing, to Southern slaves voicing
their ache for freedom in songs about Moses and Egypt, the American
experience found its expression again and again in biblical terms.
Especially during the Revolution and its aftermath.
"The American Republic was born to the music of the Hebrew Bible," write
Soloveichik et al. It became a common theme during the American founding
that "the Israelites' story was the American story."
Writing to his wife Abigail in August 1776, John Adams remarked that he,
Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson had been named to a committee to
fashion a "great seal" for the new nation. He described to Abigail the
designs Franklin and Jefferson had come up with:
"Dr. F. proposes a device for a seal: Moses lifting up his wand, and
dividing the Red Sea, and Pharaoh in his chariot overwhelmed with the
waters. This motto: 'Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.' Mr.
Jefferson proposed, The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud
by day, and a pillar of fire by night...."
There was no need for Adams to explain that those scenes were taken from the
13th and 14th chapters of Exodus. By then, the identification of America
with ancient Israel — a nation beloved by God, who had liberated it from
bondage — was a familiar trope. It wasn't only clergymen like Samuel
Langdon, Ezra Stiles, and John Witherspoon (the presidents, respectively, of
Harvard, Yale, and Princeton) who discussed revolutionary politics in
biblical terms. As Adams's letter indicates, even two of the least religious
men in the Continental Congress — Franklin and Jefferson — regarded Hebrew
scripture as manifestly relevant to American affairs.
Still more striking is the example of what was arguably the most compelling
revolutionary polemic of them all — Thomas Paine's runaway bestseller,
"Common Sense." Published in January 1776, it was a blistering attack not
only on the king, but on the very idea of kingship.
Much of Paine's pamphlet focuses on two heroes of the Hebrew Bible, the
warrior-judge Gideon and the prophet Samuel. He recalls how Gideon refused
the people's invitation to become their king, telling them they should
revere no majesty but God. Then Paine recounts the ferocious excoriation of
monarchy laid out in the book of Samuel, in which the prophet denounces the
Israelites, who wanted to be given a king, "that we may be like all the
nations." Samuel paints a savage portrait of a royal tyrant, hungry for
power, money, and conquest, who will so brutally oppress the people "that ye
shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen."
Wrote Paine: "These portions of scripture are direct and positive; they
admit of no equivocal construction." If the Bible is true, he claimed, then
the legitimacy of "monarchical government" must be false — and so it was
right to rebel against George III. It proved a supremely persuasive
argument, palpably shifting public sentiment, which in America had long been
enthusiastically royalist. Remarkably, Paine himself was a skeptic who
denied that the Bible was divine. Yet his own beliefs didn't weaken the
effectiveness of his case, which appealed deeply to an audience accustomed
to seeing itself through a biblical lens.
Americans in the 21st century see themselves differently, of course.
Arguments today about geopolitics or the rightful form of government rarely
allude to the Old Testament. And yet, Lincoln's description of America as
"the almost-chosen nation" has not quite lost its resonance. The Hebrew
Bible indelibly molded the American founding, and its influence remains a
part of our national story, muffled but not mute.
(Jeff Jacoby is a columnist for The Boston Globe).
This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.