Often I’ve been told America is and was founded as a “Christian nation”. As a devoted human being to all the people and roles in my life I attend to, I don’t have the time to research everything I want or should know. Good this post in the Huffington Post came up to remind me of some facts about American history and prompted my memory bank to dig up these beautiful words by Carl Sagan as written in “A Demon Haunted World” (pg. 428):
“When we consider the founders of our nation – Jefferson, Washington, Samuel and John Adams, Madison and Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Tom Paine and many others – we have before us a list of at least ten and maybe even dozens of great political leaders. They were well educated. Products of the European Enlightenment, they were students of history. They knew human fallibility and weakness and incorruptibility. They were fluent in the English language. They wrote their own speeches. They were realistic and practical, and at the same time motivated by high principles. They were not checking the pollsters on what to think this week. They knew what to think. They were comfortable with long-term thinking, planning even further ahead than the next election. They were self-sufficient, not requiring careers as politicians or lobbyists to make a living. They were able to bring out the best in us. They were interested in and, at least two of them, fluent in science. They attempted to set a course for the United States into the far future – not so much by establishing laws as by setting limits on what kinds of laws could be passed.
At that time there were only about two and a half million citizens of the United States. Today there are about a hundred times more. So if there were ten people of the caliber of Thomas Jefferson then, there ought to be 10 x 100 = 1,000 Thomas Jeffersons today.
Where are they?”