Monday, January 3, 2011

Treaty of Tripoli

Joel Barlow was an American poet and served as consul-general in Algiers and on January 3, 1797, during the presidency of John Adams he drafted and signed the Treaty of Tripoli that ended the war with the Barbary pirates. Its 11th article states: "The government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion." President Adams signed it without comment, the US Senate approved it unanimously and without comment or discussion. Barlow himself graduated from Yale in 1778 and entered the ministry in 1780. He became a Chaplin in the revolutionary army. In 1784 the Connecticut general assembly made him the official translator of the Book of Psalms. However, in 1792 after four years in London and Paris he published "Advice to the Privileged Orders", which fundamentally offered members of the European aristocracy their lives in exchange for surrender. In it he wrote: "Nations are cruel in proportion as they are religious." He further wrote that Islam "the crescent of the east" is as yet to be determined if it was infused with "the lust of slaughter." He further thought that a religion granted "any preference in the eye of the law" was incompatible with equal rights. He was adamant in his view that granting any class, particularly a clerical class was the "root and branch" of inequality. He wrote: "Abolish all legal privileges for religion and you then begin to tear the bandage from the eyes of mankind, to break the charm of inequality." This very interesting in light of today. The right, conservative republican, maintain the United States is a Christian Nation and is working hard to bury the historic secularism. Also the jury is in on Islam, it is infused with the "lust of slaughter" and reveals itself so in our daily news reports. Something to think about.
Peace Skeptical DoDo

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