“There is something exceedingly ridiculous in the composition of monarchy; it first excludes a man from the means of information, yet empowers him to act in cases where the highest judgment is required.” Paine continues, “Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, which needs checking, be from God.”

Okay. So unilateral power is not a phenomenon derived from nature. How does it happen? Paine clearly thought that this was a very important question to ask. He says that as humans, we are made male and female by nature, we determine right and wrong by the laws of God, but how men come to control other men as if they are a new species requires some exploration.

To begin this exploration, Paine asserts that according to the chronology of scripture, there were no kings in early ages of the world. As a consequence, there were no wars. He claims that the pride of kings is what throws the masses into confusion. He states that government by kings was first introduced into the world by heathens.

Exalting one man above other men cannot be justified by nature. It can’t be defended by scripture either. So much for the divine right of kings. Paine writes that the part of scripture that reveals God’s disapproval for monarchy is swiftly glossed over in monarchies. One of the chief examples of where a kingship derives this imaginary right is when Jesus was quoted as saying, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s.” Paine states that this is not a justification for kingship, as the Jews did not have a king at that point in time, and were enslaved by the Romans.

Israel enjoyed a civilization devoid of a kingship for nearly three thousand years. Before they clamored for a king under mass delusion, they were governed by judges and elders of their tribes. It was, in fact, a sin to acknowledge any mortal being as a king. This title was reserved only for God. Paine asserts that God is a jealous God, and it is no wonder why ruin awaits a civilization which idolizes men at the disregard of Heaven. When Israel was being oppressed by the Midianites, and Gideon rescued them, the Jews wanted to make Gideon a king; and wanted hereditary kingship to boot! Gideon responded, “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. The Lord shall rule over you.”

Sounds like explicit disapproval of monarchy to me. In a more general sense, I think this can be applied to centralized power in general.

Again, the Jews wanted a king by rule of the prophet Samuel. Samuel piously approached God with their request. God gave the Israelites their way, but commanded Samuel to tell the people of Israel the consequences of their request.

1 Samuel 8:11-18, (NIV) “He said, ‘This is what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots. Some he will assign to be commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and others to plow his ground and reap his harvest, and still others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his attendants. He will take a tenth of your grain and of your vintage and give it to his officials and attendants. Your male and female servants and the best of your cattle and donkeys he will take for his own use. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves. When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.’”

Ouch.

But Israel still insisted. And they reaped the benefits.

Kingship by request is one thing, but even more unnatural is hereditary succession. That is, kingship claimed as a matter of right. How does this absurdity occur? Paine states that in most cases, if one could remove the shrouds of antiquity and trace kingship to its inception, it is probable that the first in line to the crown are nothing more than “principle ruffians” who subtly attained the position of “chief among plunderers”. These kings would provide a measure of safety to the populace which would keep the people satisfied. At this point, no one would even think of hereditary succession as a possibility. Hereditary succession begins not as a right, but as something very casual and convenient. Quite simply, after a few generations of succession, superstitious stories and casual assumption will create the illusion of entitlement. So, after time, what was first instituted out of convenience is then perceived as a right. In other words, the people lose their understanding of history.

Paine forcefully asserts that hereditary succession is straight-up, dag-nasty evil. He concludes this point with practical and historical arguments. Kingship almost never produces good and wise leadership (at least without the direct influence of God Himself). Instead, history shows that kingship – or as I infer, centralized power – breeds foolishness and wickedness, and carries inevitable oppression with it.

Paine’s poignant, final statement on the subject?

“… A king hath little more to do than to make war and give away places; which in plain terms, is to impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears. A pretty business indeed for a man to be allowed eight hundred thousand sterling a year for, and worshipped into the bargain! Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived.”

Amen, Mr. Paine.

Now, I will humbly attempt to draw some comparisons with our current state of affairs and the events in history that Paine wrote about in Common Sense.

I’ll start at the top. President Obama. Seemingly elected for who he was rather than for his virtue. I might also add, his undue award of the Nobel Peace Prize instead of the unknown hero whose life it could have salvaged.

Just as it is shown in history that a people will assume the divine right of kings in a monarchy, I believe the American people have assumed that the federal government has a right to the same power. I find it interesting that in 1 Samuel, the people of Israel were warned of the consequences of kingship; namely, taking ten percent of their grain and vintage, along with the best fruits of their labor. It is interesting to me because we are currently taxed at a rate of well above ten percent, and this money is taken before you even receive it. The Boston Tea Party was a response to a one cent tax on tea, and it was the cause of the American Revolution! It’s very obvious that we, just like those people living under the monarchies of history, have fallen complacent with this evil and accept tyranny willingly. Case in point: income/property/capital gains taxes.

“… make war and give away places.” This example of kingship can also be applied to our current government. War is declared, and battles are fought freely at the whims of the Commander in Chief (originally intended only to be a temporary title for the President in times of war). Though to do this, he simply avoids calling military occupation and engagement as war. In this sense, the formality of declaring war has violated the spirit of the rule altogether.

And as far as giving away places? One of the unique aspects of our country was that, as opposed to all other forms of government before it, our country claimed the invention of ‘limited government’. Most of us take this term for granted. But what does this mean? All other governments operated by method of ‘unlimited government’; whatever is not claimed by an individual belongs to the government. The concept of limited government is that whatever is not claimed by the government belongs to individuals. This is truly a revolutionary concept. Here we sit, over 200 years later in the same country, and the meaning of limited government pervades us. We now live in a country where if you ‘own’ a home – even if you own it outright – you still have to pay property taxes. What does this mean when you boil it all down? You are paying the government to allow you the use of your land and home. How very tyrannical.

Calling all liberals! Am I out of line here? You call yourselves liberals. Are you really?

If  I could assume the underlying theme that Paine was trying to get across, it would be that he was warning against any government to take the place of God. As you are about to see, many in our country are continuing to deny that God and His principles were what made this country so successful. The liberal media is perpetuating this falsehood with grace.

After calling on liberals to challenge me, I am going to conclude by calling out a very prominent liberal. Bill Maher recently concluded one of his shows thusly (my apologies for Mr. Maher’s language):

Lies. Thomas Paine an atheist? Mr. Maher clearly lives in a fact-free environment. My blog hasn’t even claimed to have exhausted the ideas of Common Sense – a pamphlet – and any individual not living in a land of fairies and unicorns can see that every point Mr. Maher makes is an outright deception.

To my conservative friends, this is the truth that most of the nation subscribes to. Those in this country that are politically apathetic take what is shown to them in the media as fact. Bill Maher is not the only liberal elitist spreading these lies, though he might be the most brazen. This has to stop if we want to reclaim our country.

In response to Bill’s lies, I leave you with an episode of Trifecta which is hosted on the independent Internet based news source, PJTV. For as much anger as I felt watching Maher, this segment makes up for it with equal levity. My apologies for not being able to embed the video!

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