2199Thomas Paine Day vote fails in Arkansas
- Feb 11, 2007http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070211/ap_on_re_us/thomas_paine;_ylt=Ak2.fuoo2D5qX.dY.WcDRRZH2ocA
Thomas Paine Day vote fails in Arkansas
By ANDREW DeMILLO, Associated Press Writer Sun Feb 11,
4:27 AM ET
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Thomas Paine may have helped
inspire the American Revolution, but inspiring
Arkansas lawmakers to commemorate a day in his honor
is another matter.
The proposal by Rep. Lindsley Smith, D-Fayetteville,
to commemorate Jan. 29 as "Thomas Paine Day" failed in
the state House of Representatives after a legislator
questioned Paine's writings criticizing the Bible and
The vote Thursday was 46-20 in favor of the measure,
but 51 votes were needed to pass.
Smith said before the vote that Arkansas would join
nine other states that have established Thomas Paine
Day. She said the day would not be considered a state
holiday and would not require any additional costs.
"I think if Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were
standing here today, they would give you the same
presentation about Thomas Paine," Smith said. "He
needs to be remembered and he's not remembered."
But Rep. Sid Rosenbaum, R-Little Rock, quizzed Smith
about Paine and quoted passages from Paine's book,
"The Age of Reason," which Rosenbaum criticized as
"He did some good things for the nation, but the book
that he wrote was anti-Christian and anti-Jewish,"
Rosenbaum said. "I don't think we should be passing
things out like this without at least debating it and
letting people in the House know what we're voting
Rep. Chris Thyer, D-Jonesboro, said he will ask the
House to reconsider its vote. Smith said she was
hopeful the measure would pass later.
"I was surprised," Smith said. "He's seen by those we
respect most as a person who should be respected and honored."
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