Saturday, July 07, 2012

The Bald Eagle Has Bad Character: A Perfect Emblem

My friend and fellow historian, David Christy, is news editor for the Enid News and Eagle. Today he has written a fascinating column entitled Out of Many, One. Franklin gives the history of the bald eagle being chosen as the national emblem of America. Two very influential early Americans, Benjamin Franklin and James Audobon,  publicly and adamantly opposed the bald eagle as America's national bird. Benjamin Franklin wrote, "He is a bird of bad moral character; he does not get his living honestly. You may see him perched on some dead tree, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the labor of the fishing-hawk, and when that diligent bird has at length taken a fish, and is bearing it to its nest for the support of his mate and young ones, the bald eagle pursues him and takes it from him."

I respectfully disagree with Mr. Franklin. With our burgeoning federal welfare rolls, our grotesque increases in disability payments, and a veritable buffet of government handouts where the majority of Americans are now given what they did not themselves earn--I think the bald eagle is a perfect emblem for our country. Benjamin Franklin desired the turkey as our national bird because what he called "the wonderful moral qualities of the turkey." One wonders if Franklin were alive today to see what America has become if he would change his mind about the bald eagle being America's emblem.


n5galsooner said...


While I have admired you in many ways, perhaps you would not made such a hateful attack on the disabled if you had experience with mentally ill relatives as I have who have or are receiving disability (Grandmother, wife, mother--not to mention a father who had an infectious disease which almost killed him at 23 and left him in in constant pain and our family in poverty, grandfather who lost his leg at 33 in 1930 with no hope for any help from anyone, other grandfather who died at 43 from complications related to diabetes)

Of course you consider them all a bunch of freeloaders.

Thanks for the compassion. Scratch the skin of a open minded Southern Baptist and you get one more narrow minded bigot more concerned with the rich than poor -- unlike the Christ you claim to serve.

Ramesh said...

NYT > Krugman > Helping the Poor, the British Way

NYT > Krugman > Poverty Is Poison

NYT > Poor Jane’s Almanac

Wade Burleson said...


One of the difficult things about writing on the Internet is the inability to have people ask questions, clarify positions, and allow others to hear tone.

Please forgive me for miscommunicating my position. I have a very dear niece who has been disabled her entire life with a severe case of spina bifida. My sister has received government help when her daughter was young, and my niece now receives disability today.

I am not speaking of people like your family member or my niece--people who deserve help from the government.

I was referring to people who run out of employment and fake injury in order to get SS disability payments. The numbers of people in this category continue to grow.

The deserving are not the object of this post and I apologize for not being clearer.

Bruce Miller said...

I see that your link to the bizarre claim that "the majority of Americans are now given what they did not themselves earn" is to The New American, the publication of the John Birch Society, the Mother Ship of kooky rightwing conspiracy theories. Just curious: did you check that claim anywhere else than in the Bircher loony bin?

Wade Burleson said...



I am a grace-oriented, liberal Christian who accepts everyone.
My politics are probably more right than yours, and your comment is well-taken. That's one of the reasons I usually stick with writing about theology and not politics, and never talk about politics in church. :)

Wade Burleson said...


I actually heard on FOX News and the Drudge Report that last month the disability rolls increased by 85,000 while the employment rolls increased by 80,000.

Some would say FOX and Drudge are not as loony as John Birch.