Voltaire – Every Man is Equal

I spend my days in the darkness, my arms pinned to my sides and unable to breathe as the soil fills my throat. If I had known it would be like this, I would have been cremated.

Don’t ask me how, but despite my death I have heard of the King’s arrest. Finally! It appears the people of France have finally gotten the courage to own their own nation.

I know of much public outcry for the death of the king, without trial. I would like the death of the King as much as anybody, but if Robespierre wants a country where every man is equal, then the King deserves his trial too. With the recent surfacing of his box of correspondence with Austria, any trial that he is granted is unlikely to go well.

I think now that the monarch has been ousted, what should happen is obvious. The republic that Robespierre has been fighting for all this time can now exist. The prices of bread can go down to what they once were, and the people of France can live employed and fed and we can finally move forward with our lives.

However, I feel this Robespierre is up to something. While everything is in place for a progressive France, the pieces are all also ready to fall together in Robespierre’s favour. The potential here for total reign over France is enormous, and I am worried. These words are not what the newly ‘liberated’ people of France want to hear, and frankly, it is not what I want to hear either. But I believe the people who truly wish for a republic of France must hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Voltaire out.

Voltaire – I’m Too Old For This Crap

Bonjour

I am 75, and while most of my life has been spent insulting officials and then subsequently calling a cell in the Bastille my home for a few months, I have never regretted speaking my mind.

I believe there is change sparking in France, and all I can say is, “It took you long enough!”.  I’ve been provoking these pigs in their castles my entire life, and they wait until I can’t even go to la toilette on my own to start stirring things up?

At any rate, France and especially Paris is on the cusp of revolution, I can feel it in my decrepit bones! I wish I could be in Paris at this important time in history, but that jerk of a king Louis XV has exiled me again, a sentence repeated almost as much as his name. I guess imagination runs thin in the family. I write from Geneva, which is likely for the better as I feel I can cut deeper through my writing than through any sword I can still lift in my old age.

I have been corresponding with colleagues of mine who remain in Paris, and they describe a level of tension in the city. Every day the hungry men and women look angrier with the royalty stepping on them, and they agree with me that revolution is near. I only hope that I will live to see the day that the fragile tower of royalty is toppled.

I am confident that France will be a constitutional monarchy soon, like England, a political system I have always admired. France will be free one day, but it must happen soon, for France’s sake.

After drinking my average 60 cups of coffee today, I felt an aching of my chest. I worry again that my life is coming to a close and that I will not live to see a free France. This picture should show how weathered I have become in my old age.

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Is this the face of a freedom fighter, one may ask? Most would say no, this is the face of a grandparent or an old farmer. I may never raise a blade for France, but as long as I have hands my ink will touch paper to invigorate Parisian citizens to rise up!

Now, Voltaire is getting tired, and his hip aches. Talk again soon!

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Document of Learning – The Puritans, History, and The Holy Bible

 

The thought came to me while Mr. Jackson was talking about the criteria for the project. Not the holiest of ideas but I’m probably damned anyway – so I figured I’d go for it. With total certainty now, I decided I was going to chop up a bible.

I went home and found a bible in my basement. Don’t worry, it wasn’t nice and I don’t think (?) there was a curse inscribed in it. I brought it upstairs, then looked online. The search ‘controversial bible verses’ yielded some good results. I found an article describing the chapters where I could find words on genocide, rape, and even slavery, which was perfect. Something I never thought I would say about those things.

So I looked them up in the bible, and without further ado, I put them under the knife, cutting out the right verses. The next step, after I had them all out, was to mount them on something. A cue card nearby was conveniently placed, but also the right size. I pasted the verses together, making them say what I needed them to. After mounting, I finished off my project but taking a sharpie to some parts of it – effectively redacting the parts of the verses that weren’t in the message I was going for.

I snapped a picture, photoshopped it excessively, and here is the result:

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Sorry, that may be a little hard to read. But essentially, it is every section of a bible that mentioned controversial things that I could find.

My question was “How is the selection of bible verses by the Puritans to justify genocide, slavery etc. different from that of modern religious extremists?”

What I believe this represents is the justification of the Puritans in the 15 and 16 hundreds. They selected verses of the bibles that best fit their actions against the natives to justify actions against the natives, enslaving hundreds and killing thousands in the name of God. My question asks if this is somehow different than the cherry-picking of biblical lines by groups such as the Westboro Baptist Church to justify opposition to things such as homosexuality or foreign people in America.

The cutting and pasting of the verses for me indicates the picking and choosing that went on and still goes on throughout history, as well as the sharpie lines that effectively redact and eliminate words or phrases that do not fit with the actions. Additionally, I have cut out some independent words and pasted them together to form messages, such as in ‘striking eachother with their swords‘ I think this represents the use of two verses, likely from different chapters or possibly even from different testaments, put together as one to justify actions. An example of this is by the Westboro Baptist Church using both verses from the Titus chapter, and from the Matthew chapter to justify their picketing of the hilarious comedian Jeff Dunham. I’d link the post, but a) the URL (godhatesfags.com) is not something I want to blacken my blog with, and b) I’d hate for them to get the page views of you checking it out.

At any rate, I find many parallels between the Puritans and modern religious extremists, most of all their picking and choosing of bible verses to act as a shield of holiness. I believe the bible is not a get out of jail free card for anything, and that simply stating that you do it for religion is not protection for actions from genocide, to slavery, to being extremely homophobic.