What could have been

In August 1776, a debate for designing a new great seal for the republic took place. A commission was formed, and Benjamin Franklin, a member of the commission, proposed to draw a Moses, with his wand lifted, in the act of dividing the Red Sea, and the pharaoh, in his chariot, overwhelmed with the waters. Franklin also suggested a motto: “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

I think this is very applicable to today as it was back then.


If only we were rebelling. God would be pleased!
We are living and seeing what could have been!
We have no more Ben Franklins and no more Patrick Henry’s!


Franklin also wanted our national bird to be the turkey, but I get your point.


If you read enough of Franklin’s writings, you’ll think he was at least half crazy.
Because he was so hardworking, brilliant, and successful, though, we call it “eccentric.”


my coffee cup


Musk is kind of like that I think at least a modern equivalent that is well known. I believe there are many like Franklin but they are not known widely except in their own local communities.


I get why he wanted that bird. A turkey’s nature is way better than an eagles, but it doesn’t look as cool.

That’s a cool cup. Now I’m going to have to ask my wife to make me something with the Franklin quote on it with her cricut :nerd_face:

It’s also difficult to tell, when you’re reading Franklin, when he’s serious and when he’s amusing himself. He didn’t use emojis. Some of the things he wrote can be taken very differently if you imagine him laughing while he says it.

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Very true. Sometimes sarcasm is misunderstood.


You should read your Constitution again. It says there is a separation between church and state. Therefore the motto would not have been appropriate.

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No particular church owns Exodus or has rights to it. The story of Moses is about escaping slavery and being free. I disagree with your assessment.

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The Bill of Rights was not ratified until the end of 1791.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin died in 1790. The U.S. Constitution as he knew it did not have a 1st Amendment. The closest thing it had to religious protections was the prohibition against religious tests for the U.S. Presidency (something Americans have long since forgotten).

Furthermore, the quote in question was published by Dr. Franklin in 1775, and later by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. The two of them collaborated on a draft U.S. seal that would have used this same phrase. This was long before the U.S. Constitution was written, so it’s anachronistic to say that it somehow violated the Constitution.

Furtherfurthermoremore, the official motto of the United States is “In God We Trust.” It’s hard to argue that our official motto is somehow breaches the separation of church and state less than “Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”