Sunday, July 06, 2008

Monkish Ignorance and Superstition

The folks at the Language Log, in addition to some fairly technical discussion of innate linguistic tendencies, often highlight people who just get get it completely wrong about the "rules of grammar". So they usually identify fools. But yesterday they identified liars.

It is similar to the case I mentioned on 7th March where a sly salesman changed my quote. It was not just correction of spelling or grammar; although I hope you find no fault here, I actually care little for those. What piqued me was a change in implied meaning.

Yesterday was the same idea, but a far more serious example. Thomas Jefferson is a hero, the Declaration of Independence was just an expression of Common Sense. His entire life's work was an attempt to elevate science and reason over outdated ideas of hereditary privilege and superstition.

So George Bush quoted Thomas Jefferson in his Independence Day speech. Directly from the transcript on the White House website: "May it be to the world, what I believe it will be — to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all — the Signal of arousing men to burst the chains, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government."

An egregious lie. Completely missing from the middle of the quote above, after "to burst the chains" and before the comma were the crucial words: "under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves"

That's all that was omitted. You can see why George's speechwriter chose that omission.

From everything I have ever read of him, Thomas Jefferson wanted to build a new world free of organised religion, a state without church. Not only does George Bush seem to want to reverse that decision, he seems to want to rewrite history to do so.

4 comments:

bernard n. shull said...
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bernard n. shull said...
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Faisal said...

Bush is a twat. America is led by a twat. everything flows from that.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Jefferson was a hypocrite. He was only a champion of freedoms for property-owning, white males. He whipped his slaves personally. He got kicked out out of a congregation because he was annoying and made it his personal mission to make everyone not go to church to. Jefferson was selfish and godless.