Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Tongue



Thomas Paine's pamphlet of 1775, titled "Common Sense" has been universally accepted as one of the most seminal works in leading the United States of America towards adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

Proponents included Washington, Adams, Franklin and Jefferson.

Paine's comments then are of import now as they were then.

To whit: "Even brutes do not devour their young, nor savages make war upon their own families ... It is the custom of nations, when any two are at war, for some other powers, not engaged in the quarrel, to step in as mediators, and bring about the preliminaries of a peace ... silence, from whatever motive they may arise, have a hurtful tendency ... It is the violence which is done and threatened to our persons; the destruction of our property by an armed force; the invasion of our country by fire and sword, which conscientiously qualifies the use of arms ...wherefore, instead of gazing at each other with suspicious or doubtful curiosity, let each of us, hold out to his neighbor the hearty hand of friendship, and unite in drawing a line, which like an act of oblivion, shall bury in forgetfulness every former dissension ... the rights of mankind."

Let your conscience be your guide. Speak or forever hold your tongue.

John G. Wakelin, Payson

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