View Single Post
Renork's Avatar
Originally Posted by SnakeIRye View Post
What? He said that? Link me up, I want some confirmation on this.

He is misquoting, or so it seems.
"Les Éleuthéromanes", in Poésies Diverses (1875); This derives from the prior statement widely attributed (apparently inaccurately) to Jean Meslier: "I would like — and this would be the last and most ardent of my wishes — I would like the last of the kings to be strangled by the guts of the last priest". (It is often claimed the passage appears in Meslier's Testament (1725) but it only appears in abstracts of the work written by others. See the Wikipedia article Jean Meslier for details.) "Let us strangle the last king with the guts of the last priest." was attributed to Diderot by Jean-François de La Harpe in Cours de Littérature Ancienne et Moderne (1840) and attributions of similar statements to Diderot also occur in various forms (ie: "Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.")
Two final points. The common conviction that bound together most of the Founders was the belief in the complete separation of church and state. As products of the Enlightenment, they shared Diderot’s vision of a heavenly city on earth where the last priest would be strangled with the entrails of the last king. This was a radical doctrine at the time, and even now in Iraq we can see that it is an idea yet to be regarded as, shall we say, self-evident. Let me acknowledge that it was easier to implement in the United States than elsewhere, because the vast majority of the populace were practicing Christians of various denominations that shared core values, and also because there was a century-old tradition of religious toleration generated by the multiplicity of sects. That said, it seems to me that the central legacy of the Founding Fathers was a “hands off” policy towards any specific religious doctrine. No faith was to be favored.

Last edited by Renork; 10-03-2007 at 09:09 PM..
Old 10-03-2007, 09:05 PM Renork is offline  
Reply With Quote