The Pain of Thomas Paine-Special from the New Media Alliance

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January 29th marks the birthday of famous American thinker and essayist Thomas Paine. He is often thought of as a Founding Father, though he was not on the drafting committee of either The Declaration of Independence or The Constitution of the United States. It is certainly no exaggeration though, to say that Paine was highly influential in providing the philosophical support for the American Revolution. His work “Common Sense,” provided a polemic that harnessed the willingness and zeal in the
fight for independence from Britain.

In analyzing the life of Thomas Paine, we are treated to a mixed bag of the deplorable and the commendable. It is thus difficult to decide whether recalling his contributions are cause to celebrate or to experience disdain.


Paine was born to a Quaker family in England, but at an early age became skeptical about Christianity, because he couldn’t reconcile the belief in a loving God with the doctrine of eternal punishment.

He met Benjamin Franklin during one of Franklin