Posts Tagged ‘ freedom ’

Noble French Ancestry of Johnny Depp and millions

Jan 19th, 2013 | By T.L. Lewis | Category: Blog, Rebirth historical notes

1075620_573164942729939_1931270261_nThrough a dim mirror we sometimes catch a glimpse into a distant past, and wonder if we will be remembered at all, or if the way we live our lives will really make any difference at all. This may be why we repeat the mistakes of our forefathers and hand down our own legacy in blind faith with low expectations.

Likewise, some will say that little remains of the stories left to time, that they morph into shadowy, subjective illusions void of sharp detail. Of course, in any century, including the present, it is also debatable whether the ideals that spring forth are lasting or fleeting, if determined by fate, providence or coincidence, whether they change hearts, minds, or even politics.

“Rebirth” is not intended to be a political statement nor even an historical narrative, yet the true to to life characters bring into sharper focus the harder edge that once appeared more like a distant mirage. Nevertheless, the heritage of honor inherent within the pages of “Rebirth” cries out to our humanity, as it belongs to us all.


The True Story: A fight for civil liberty that altered the fate of nations.

When one law, one faith, one king is the rule of the day, those who dare to think otherwise risk being the targets of terror and intolerance. Only a few are brave enough to speak their conscience, but not without the risk of death or dungeon. Soon, the name Huguenot (pronounced hoo-guh-no) is applied to these reformers and dissenters, and many Huguenots and Humanists alike stand together in civil disobedience against the combined corruption and and cruelty of church and state.

The persecution begins with the bravest and best educated nobles and soon includes massacres of innocent women and children, simply for their stand on the ideals on freedom, the right to speak their conscience and the right to assemble without fear of persecution.

This courage and sacrifice began a world-wide philosophical debate on basic civil liberties and directly led to the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution.


“Rebirth’s” history includes the heritage of Johnny Depp, Robert Duval, Warren Buffet, Steve Forbes, Kenneth Branagh, Winston Churchill, over a dozen American Presidents, millions of U.S.and world citizens ( as well as over 75 percent of England’s indigenous population — many of which– unknowingly, share this legacy of honor.)

ALL those living in freedom and those longing for freedom will be outraged and ultimately inspired by this provocative true story.

“Rebirth” Award Winning with International Appeal, inspired by a true story: Four First Place Wins, excellent coverage, reviews and recommends with Awards from the U.S., UK, Canada, Denmark and France.

REBIRTH is a passionate love story and the provocative true story that sparks the American and French Revolutions, as these hard fought ideals will change political thought thereafter and alter the fate of generations.

“Rebirth” was written not only for those who love action, history or philosophy, but for those who understand that the past is our present, because it lives in cellular memories and in our collective consciousness. May this story give all the courage to change circumstances, even to those who feel love and liberty to be illusive and fleeting. This heritage of love, honor and freedom is our birthright and belongs to us all.

These two reviewers are so brilliant– They both actually read the script!


REBIRTH is a wonderfully written, historically accurate, and vividly imaginative script. The atmosphere is pulsing with energy; the setting is described with lifelike detail. The characters are rich with insight and dripping with humanity.

The storyline runs fluently, and is engaging, offering elaborate detail, allowing the audience the chance to visualize this historical event from a fresh, unobstructed perspective. The sequence of dramatic scenes, all highly kinetic, visual, and expertly crafted, lend to the validity of the striking images described, as well as to reveal the depth of the characters that live within its creative boundaries.

The characters are skillfully constructed, portrayed as highly individuated, and idiosyncratic. Each serves ideals larger than themselves, and possesses characteristics, which are consistent with historical accounts. These deeply rich, well-developed characters, drive the story forward, toward its captivating climax, all while helping to create a compelling and redeeming quality, which is sometimes lacking in scripts of this ilk.

Rebirth catapults its audience on a captivating journey wrought with peril and intrigue. Danger, romance, passion, and betrayal are used to weave the story together to form a historical tapestry of epic proportions. This rousing, sometimes romantic, and often chaotic adventure is laced with sorrow, success, fortitude and failure.

The story’s furious energy, and surprising gravity, provides a rare example of insightful, impassioned, perspective. It is an extraordinary achievement, being both a detailed account of world-shaping events, and an exciting script, with flashes of levity and romanticism.


Rebirth is a lucid and lively work that will engage both lovers of romance and intrigue, while appeasing those who are more engaged by sequences of action. It manages to make the period come alive, and whets the appetite for more, by delivering on the promise of emotions like love, patriotism and treachery, all while avoiding the impetuous style of so many historical period-pieces that are available today.

Rebirth captures the grandeur and the scope of the conflict it examines, by offering emotional intensity, and the deep understanding of the social and political factors that were at the heart of the struggle. This unique insight lends to the scripts staying power.

The dialogue is tight, the characters are brilliantly crafted and the chemistry between them boundless. The theme is compelling, and the storyline intriguing. In my opinion this script has all the classic markings of a Hollywood success.

In the end, Rebirth is an endearing, well-written script. It possesses the quintessential elements needed to piece together a successful epic, drawing the audience in and delivering on a number of levels. The story is well crafted and the plot is rich with historical accuracy, which provides more than enough substance to keep any audience interested.

The script is structurally sound, as well as stylistic, and easy to read. The growth within each of the essential characters is endearing, and their relationships are well established. Once again, this is a wonderfully spellbinding tale that would make for an exceptional viewing experience.

Recommend! Grand Prize Winner.


Author: T. L. Lewis
Form: Screenplay
Page Length: 118
Genre(s): Historical Drama/ Action/ Romance
First Place.

Logline: A womanizing artist uncovers more than the nudes he captures on canvas when he discovers the courage to face his fears and finds love that changes his life.

Excellent (ALL)
Concept\Originality X
Plot\Storyline X
Characters X
Dialogue X
Structure X
Cinematic Value X

Writer X
Script X

REBIRTH breathes life into history in a way that captures the reader’s attention and draws them in from the opening to the epilogue. The concept and delivery of this script are original in their eloquence.

T.L. has created a beautiful world for us and delivered a masterful script. The scenes are dressed with a rich tapestry of contrast – violence and beauty, darkness and light. The writer has captured the essence of a tumultuous time in world history and delivered it to the page like a newborn ‐ naked, screaming, and with tenderness.

T.L. has crafted a wonderful love story full of pain and intrigue. You are quickly wound up in Edmunds struggle, his love for Genevieve, and a world in turmoil.


The characters in REBIRTH are full of life. It’s a tricky thing to do to develop characters that have unique voices and Rebirth does. We often have our readers read the script aloud to each other without reading the character names in an effort to distinguish one character from another based solely on the manner in which their dialogue is written.

You really do get a feel for who the characters are and the effect the world they live in is having on them. We see Edmund as a bit of a reluctant hero who is forced by circumstance to re‐evaluate his life, his beliefs, and reinvent himself.

There is a wonderful eloquence about the words spoken in this script. It’s tough to find fault in dialogue like “Your Mother is the reason the greatest story I ever told is the one I’ve lived.” Each speech seems carefully crafted bringing the emotion of the time and place to life.

The scenes are well crafted, in and out with very little room for critique. The writing is superb. Whether you’re a veteran or novice writer something that is difficult to do is write action blocks that are both concise and have some literary value to them. T.L. has found a good balance here, keeping them short and to the point, but written in a way that adds value to the scene. Word choice, delivery and descriptions are expertly used in every scene to develop a flow that is consistent throughout the piece.



T.L. COMPUTER  glance

Make time to praise. Look for and recognize the good things in life and the best in others.

The Huguenot fight for freedom of speech and liberty of conscience had sparked a debate for civil disobedience against religious terrorism and political tyranny. This controversy would influence political thought of the 17th century, and later inspire the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution.

The forced migration had carried their love of liberty across borders and oceans. France, on the other hand, lost many of her bravest and brightest.

It was not until the American Revolution that France’s loss truly became America’s gain. It was then that the French Catholic Lafayette discovered that his good friend George Washington and many other American patriots, scholars and entrepreneurs–were descendants of the French Huguenots.

REBIRTH was written as a lasting dedication to ALL free and oppressed who share the ideals that “enlightened ones will not subject themselves to tyranny–but will rule themselves with tolerance and justice for all.”

This tolerance and compassion was handed down for centuries, when during Nazi occupied France, an entire community of Huguenot descendants protected Jews, at risk of their own lives, told in the modern and powerful documentary, “Weapons of the Spirit”, by Pierre Savage.


Do you ever wonder why YOU have a passion for justice, for tolerance, for freedom, for civil liberty?

YOU may carry these memories in your DNA, of a passionate true story that has altered the fate and freedom of generations. What a legacy!

Their honor was soon coined with the phrase “As Honest as a Huguenot”. The wide spread influence of the early French refugees in and outside of France is quickly notable. However, they were tolerant having learned from their own bloody persecution and did not strive to isolate themselves or perpetuate race purity or predjudice, instead they assimilated to become productive U.S. and world citizens.

Because of their humility, they sometimes lost immediate recognition, but undoubtedly have left a legacy of liberty that has been handed down for generations.

Until five years ago, I have to admit that I did not even know the meaning of “Huguenot” but I’ve always had a natural instinct for integrity, a passion for civil liberty and for protecting those unable to defend themselves. I was quickly captivated, outraged, and ultimately inspired by the provocative contribution of these brave nobles, so much so that I was driven to write of their heart wrenching and heartwarming TRUE story.

This is a true story that sparked a world-wide debate on FREEDOM, of separation of church and state, of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to assemble and protest (including over-taxation) all of our basic liberties, that sparked revolutions and gave us the basic ideals of the U.S. Constitution.

Or, simply for more information on Huguenot genealogy feel free to email me: tllewiswriter@gmail.


Every morning when you awaken, and every night before you go to sleep, recite aloud at least ten things for which you are grateful.


Eventually we will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is.– Gary Zukav



‘The Science of Seduction’

A TRUE LOVE STORY. Perfect roles for Johnny Depp & Vanessa Paradis


Based on the life and love of Emilie Du Chatelet, and the famous, witty writer/philosopher, Voltaire. A humorous, and timeless glimpse at the polarity and passions of men and women. A tribute to all who know the ups and downs of true love and for those who do not quite fit into the norms of society. A true love story with a balance of passion and philosophy, science and the ‘science of seduction’.


Emilie was known for her “amorous nature” and her brilliant mind and best remembered as the woman who conquered the heart of Voltaire. Voltaire himself knew she was more, and celebrated her as a “great and powerful genius,” his equal. Emilie’s most significant work came from this slice of her life – a prolific period that she and Voltaire spent, often alone together, at her country chateau in the times when the best minds of the time, came to visit.


Voltaire received his education at a Jesuit college in Paris where he said he learned nothing but “Latin and the Stupidities.” His humorous verses made him a favorite in society circles and his sharp wit often got him into trouble with the authorities. “Every man is guilty of the good he did not do.”

Sneak Peek

You may read a scene from the screenplay “Beyond Reason” on the Sneak Peek page.

WildSound Excerpts

You may view a video of an excerpt from the screenplay reading: “Beyond Reason” (Scroll down on link page)


First Place Winner WILDSound Short Screenplay Festival

Finalist: Gimmie Credit
Semi-Finalist: British Short Screenplay Contest

Winner of the Women’s Theater, Palm Coast


Jul 12th, 2012 | By T.L. Lewis | Category: LOGLINES

R E B I R T H JPG copy.001In a world torn between renaissance and genocide, a womanizing artist uncovers more than the nudes he captures on canvas, when he finds love that changes his life and risks it all in a fight for civil liberty. Inspired by a provocative true story, set in a time when a thirst for knowledge and speaking your mind can literally lead to the loss of your head.

Although action packed, “Rebirth” also touches the heart of humanity as it reminds us of the perils of unbridled power and inspires us to never lose sight of the timeless power of love and honor.

Apology to Huguenots by French President Mitterand

May 19th, 2011 | By T.L. Lewis | Category: Blog, Rebirth historical notes

In 1985 French President Mitterrand would issue an official apology to the Huguenots, on behalf of the French government and the French people, for Louis XIV’s diktat revoking the Edict of Nantes, and a commemorative postage stamp would be issued characterizing this our modern era as under the suasion of “Tolerance, Pluralism, Brotherhood.”]

Allocution de M. François Mitterrand, Président de la République, aux cérémonies du tricentenaire de la Révocation de l’Edit de Nantes, sur la tolérance en matière politique et religieuse et l’histoire du protestantisme en France, Paris, Palais de l’UNESCO, vendredi 11 octobre 1985.

The English word “refugee” would come about due to Huguenots exile and escape from France which amounted to some 1/4th million out of France’s 20 million citizens, and during the years 1572-1690, most of which were concentrated in the West and in the South.

After over 50,000 had fled to England, they made up 5% of London town at a time when the London population was 10% of England. Genetically, the statistical probability that the next English person you meet in England will have at least some Huguenot ancestry is 75%.

From: Bernard Cottret’s The Huguenot in England and to Peter Steven Gannon’s volume on Refugees in the Settling of Colonial America.

[NOTE: This movement of refugees is said to have been the “largest forced migration of Europeans in the early modern period.” Refer to Jon Butler’s The Huguenot in America: A Refugee People in New World Society. Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1983.

Huguenot descendant short list:
Robert Duvall, Warren Buffet, Johnny Depp, Steve Forbes, Lawrence Olivier, Charlize Theron, Winston Churchill,Tyrone Power, Megan Fox, John Rockefeller, George Patton, George Will, Henry David Thoreau, Charles Tiffany, A.I. Dupont, Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Jay, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Francis Marion, Davy Crockett, John Sevier, Peter Mark Roget, James Bayard, Jean Belmain–French scholar,French-language tutor to King Edward VI and Queen Elizabeth I.  George Washington and over a dozen American Presidents also have documented Huguenot ancestry.  Many more world citizens,knowingly and unknowingly, share this legacy of honor.

Allocution de M. François Mitterrand, Président de la République, aux cérémonies du tricentenaire de la Révocation de l’Edit de Nantes, sur la tolérance en matière politique et religieuse et l’histoire du protestantisme en France, Paris, Palais de l’UNESCO, vendredi 11 octobre 1985.

Mesdames et messieurs,
– Il y a trois cents ans – on l’a dit et c’est la raison de votre présence – le Roi Louis XIV révoquait l’Edit de Nantes, signé par Henri IV, son aïeul. Un acte de gouvernement pour les contemporains, un acte parmi tant d’autres, ni plus, ni moins significatif, sans doute, que d’autres décisions prises au cours de ce long règne.- D’où vient que ce souvenir nous rassemble aujourd’hui ? D’où vient que cette date nous parle avec tant d’exigence, au point de justifier une commémoration ?

– La Révocation en tant qu’événement, le fait historique lui-même pourrait nous paraître étrangère, lointaine. L’interdiction faite aux protestants de pratiquer leur religion en France, il suffirait de dire qu’elle appartient à une époque révolue. A quoi bon, après tout, pour reprendre la belle expression de Marc Bloch, parlant de son métier d’historien “par macabre dilection, démailloter les dieux morts”. C’est que la Révocation est un de ces grands moments où le destin bascule.

– La persécution d’une minorité devenue, d’un trait de plume, hors-la-loi dans son propre pays. Voilà qui nous renvoit à des réalités proches de nous. Cette gangrène dure encore. Nous en avons connu l’horreur ; l’humanité n’en est jamais guérie. Commémorer la Révocation est donc un geste grave. D’autres que moi mettront le passé au banc des accusés, au risque de porter un regard moralisateur, empli d’anachronismes sur la société du 17ème siècle.

Mais la Révocation, c’est d’abord son envers, son contraire, cet Edit de Nantes promulgué en 1598, pour mettre fin à 30 ans de guerre civile et éteindre un brasier inlassablement ravivé, qui, après avoir dévasté la France, menaçait son existence même, en tant qu’Etat. Trouver les moyens d’une coexistence entre la majorité catholique et la minorité huguenote, c’était d’abord exclure la perspective de la victoire de l’un sur l’autre, c’était refuser la solution qu’avait adoptée chacun pour sa part, l’Espagne et l’Angleterre, l’unité de religion imposée par la Terreur. Il fallait pour cela contraindre les factions en lutte à accepter une autre logique qui leur était supérieure. La raison de l’Etat, dépositaire et garant de l’intérêt national, de ce qu’en France, depuis le Haut-Moyen Age on appelle : le bien commun.

– Il appartenait à l’Etat de faire triompher ce qui n’était pas de l’ordre de la religion, de la foi, de la conscience individuelle, où l’Etat n’a que faire. Mais de l’ordre de la politique, dès lors que ce qui était en danger c’était la nation. Et ce tiers parti, dont les efforts conduisent, après tant de tentatives avortées, à l’Edit de Nantes, on lui avait donné, rappelez-vous, ce beau nom – permettez-moi d’y être sensible – “les politiques”. Les uns appartenant à la Réforme, les autres étant fidèles à Rome. Ils auraient pu, eux aussi, lutter éternellement pour venger Coligny ou bien le Duc de Guise.

Mais, venant des deux religions, ils pensaient d’abord à la France, à la France épuisée, déchirée, qui n’en pouvait plus, soutenant les uns, les autres, à la France dont la vie même était en cause. L’Edit de Nantes est l’oeuvre de cela ; tant il est vrai qu’au cours de l’histoire, ce n’est jamais qu’autour de la France qu’on a pu rassembler les Français |

– Ainsi, dans ces particularités, comme dans les insuffisances que l’esprit moderne, habitué à la liberté religieuse, peut lui trouver, l’Edit de Nantes comporte un enseignement : il établit d’une façon propre à l’époque en question, un équilibre précaire, difficile mais réel entre le poids social de la majorité, les droits spécifiques d’une minorité et l’intérêt commun incarné par l’Etat. L’Edit est un compromis, au meilleur sens de ce terme. Un compromis dont le pouvoir politique se porte garant. Il demande à chaque communauté, sans renoncer à ses convictions, d’accepter une limite : la place de l’autre.

– Les catholiques rêvaient de rétablir en France une religion unique ; les politiques leur indiquent clairement qu’ils n’ont le droit d’utiliser, pour parvenir à ce droit, que des armes spirituelles. La réforme interne, le renouveau de la spiritualité, la controverse, la mission… Les protestants avaient constitué une force militaire, politique et religieuse pour croire, prier à leur façon. Mais l’Etat, tout en leur donnant des garanties, leur imposait certaines contraintes. Pour préserver l’unité politique de la Nation, il n’y aura pas d’Etat dans l’Etat.

Bref, l’Edit de Nantes, après tous ces déchirements, rappelle que tous sont d’abord des Français. Et ce serait certes un anachronisme, que de lire à l’avance dans l’Edit de Nantes la déclaration des Droits de l’Homme – vous l’avez dit, monsieur le président – ou la laïcité de l’Etat. Mais, quand on considère l’Histoire de France, dans une perspective de longue durée, on peut percevoir comme une étape – et une étape importante – dans la conquête progressive et lente de ces deux fondements de notre République.


Address by Mr. François Mitterrand, President of the Republic, in the ceremonies of the tercentenary of the Revocation of the edict of Nantes, on political and religious tolerance and the history of Protestantism in France, Paris, UNESCO Palace, Friday, October 11, 1985.

Ladies and gentlemen,
-Three hundred years ago – has been said and this is the reason for your presence – King Louis XIV revoked the edict of Nantes, signed by Henri IV, his grandfather. An act of Government for contemporaries, an Act among others, neither more, nor less significant, probably, than other decisions taken during this long reign.
-Where does this memory brings together us today? Whence this date tells us with such requirement, so as to justify a commemoration?
-The Revocation as an event, the historical fact itself may seem foreign, distant. The prohibition on the HUGUENOTS to practice their religion in France, it would suffice to say that it belongs to a bygone era. What good, after all, to resume the beautiful expression of Marc Bloch, speaking of his profession of historian ‘by macabre preferred, démailloter the dead gods’. Is that the Revocation is one of those great moments where fate switches.

-The persecution of a minority became a stroke of pen, outlaw in his own country. This is what we refers to close realities of us. This gangrene lasts. We have experienced the horror; humanity is never cured. Commemorate the Revocation is therefore a serious gesture. Others that I will put the past in the dock, at the risk of a moralistic eye, filled with anachronisms on the 17th century society.

The Revocation, but first its upside down, its opposite, this edict of Nantes issued in 1598, to put an end to 30 years of civil war and turn off a tirelessly revived blaze, which, after devastated France, threatened its very existence as a State. Find ways of coexistence between the Catholic majority and the Huguenot minority, it was first exclude the prospect of victory of one over the other, it was denied the solution adopted each for its part, the Spain and England, the unity of religion imposed by terror. Need for this force the warring factions to accept a different approach which was superior to them. The reason for the State, depositary and guarantor of national interest, in France, from the upper-middle ages so-called: the common good.

-It belonged to the State of upholding what was not the order of religion, the faith of the individual conscience, where the State has no use. But the policy agenda, as what was in danger was the nation. And this third party, whose efforts lead, after so many failed attempts, in the edict of Nantes, had given him, mind you, this beautiful name – let me be sensitive – “policies”. Each belonging to the reform, the other being loyal to Rome. They could have, too, fight eternally to avenge Coligny or the Duke of Guise.

But, coming from the two religions, they thought first to France, to the France exhausted, torn, which could longer, supporting each other, to the France whose life itself was at issue. The edict of Nantes is the work of this; as it is true that in the story, is never around the France that could gather the French |

-Thus, in these characteristics, as in the shortcomings that the modern mind, accustomed to religious freedom, can find him, the edict of Nantes includes teaching: it provides in a manner at the time in question, a precarious, difficult but real balance between the social weight of the majority, the specific rights of a minority and the common interest embodied by the State. The edict was a compromise, in the best sense of that term. A compromise whose political power vouch. He asked each community, without renouncing its convictions, to accept a limit: the place of the other.

-Catholics dreamed of restoring in France a single religion; policies clearly tell them that they have the right to use, to achieve this right, that of spiritual weapons. The internal reform, the revival of spirituality, the controversy, the mission… The protestants had established military, political and religious force to believe, pray in their own way. But the State, while giving them guarantees, imposed certain constraints. To preserve the political unity of the Nation, there is no State in the State.

In short, the edict of Nantes, after all these rifts, recalls that all are primarily of French. And it would certainly be an anachronism, that read in advance in the edict of Nantes declaration of human rights – you said, Mr president – or secularism…

– Fait exceptionnel, dans l’Europe d’alors, à partir de 1598, des membres d’une minorité religieuse pourront professer leur croyance – celle de la religion réformée – sans encourrir de sanctions dans leur carrière et même, plus simplement, dans leur vie quotidienne.

– Mesure plus étonnante encore – dans l’esprit de ce temps – il devient possible, sans cesser d’être un Français reconnu comme tel, de changer de religion. Il ne s’agit plus simplement de transformer un conflit ouvert en coexistence, sur la base d’un statu quo, mais bien de l’acte de naissance de la liberté de conscience, origine de toutes les libertés.

– Dans la société très hiérarchisée d’alors, où l’analphabétisme était le lot du plus grand nombre, le pouvoir politique osait établir le droit de la fragile, de l’obscure conscience individuelle. Il osait remettre à chacun cette décision capitale : le choix de sa foi, de sa religion. Alors qu’une telle décision dépendait – croyait-on – du salut éternel ou bien les peines d’un enfer qui n’en finirait pas.
– Soixante ans plus tard, voilà que soixante ans plus tard recommença le temps de la tourmente. Pendant un quart de siècle, l’Edit de Nantes allait être peu à peu démantelé, avant de se trouver révoqué.

– Pour rendre justice à la vérité historique, il ne faut pas confondre la persécution brutale qui finit par prévaloir avec la volonté de rétablir l’unité religieuse du royaume, que l’on crut pouvoir réaliser par des moyens moins violents. Mais c’est précisément cet engrenage inexorable qui aboutira aux galères, aux gibets, aux bûchers.

– L’échec de chaque mesure menait à en prendre une nouvelle – on connaît le processus – plus rude, qui se juxtaposait à la précédente, sans forcément l’abolir. Il y eut la guerre froide juridique qui commença par l’interprétation de l’Edit à la rigueur. On ergotait sur la lettre ; on finit par fabriquer, sur mesure, de nouvelles lois qui allaient à l’encontre d’articles précis de l’Edit. Il y a eu la caisse de conversion, fondée sur l’idée que l’appât du gain, chassait ce que l’on appellait les “mauvais sentiments” et que la corruption permettait d’éviter la violence.
– Et puis, devant son insuccès, on en arriva aux enlèvements d’enfants, aux dragonnades – c’est une histoire que vous connaissez – à la terreur aveugle, à la torture morale, où il suffisait d’un mot, d’un seul, un seul mot – j’abjure – pour que cessât le cauchemar.
– En proclamant la liberté de conscience sans abolir la religion d’Etat, l’Edit de Nantes avait ouvert, à demi, une porte. Mais loin de s’agrandir, l’ouverture se referma comme un tombeau.
Double leçon : face aux violences, aux fanatismes, à l’enchaînement des agressions et des représailles, c’est l’Etat qui rétablit la paix ; c’est le primat du politique qui fonde, en limitant les ambitions des libertés, des religions, et d’abord des consciences. Mais par là même, il accepte de se fixer à lui-même des bornes, de ne pas dépasser la limite qu’il s’est à lui-même imposée. Il s’arrête là où commence la liberté irréductible de chaque être humain, liberté qui n’existerait pas s’il n’était pas là pour la protéger et pour la garantir. Et tout cela en étant fidèle : fidèle à sa mission qui est de veiller jalousement aux intérêts de la patrie. Mais que l’Etat passe ces bornes, qu’il veuille régir les consciences et les coeurs, il oublie où se trouve son véritable rôle, plus simplement il renonce et il assiste impuissant au déchaînement des passions et il n’y a plus, en fin de compte et pour personne, ni ordre, ni liberté.
– L’Edit de Nantes, il faut le savoir, fut très impopulaire et au fond, il ne donna satisfaction à personne. Tandis que la Révocation, elle, fut approuvée avec enthousiasme par une très large majorité. Et seules, en-dehors de la communauté protestante – cela va de soi – quelques voix isolées s’y opposaient. Discerner à long terme l’intérêt d’un pays, sans se laisser détourner de son devoir, de ses principes, de ses objectifs, par les soubresauts et les foucades de l’opinion, ce n’est pas le chemin le plus facile. Mais c’est celui où l’on compte le moins de fautes.
A l’époque de la Révocation, le pouvoir comptait sur le loyalisme des Huguenots – Mademoiselle du Corbier l’a fort bien précisé – et comme l’avait déclaré Mazarin “le petit troupeau broute de mauvaises herbes mais ne s’écarte pas”. Il n’avait pas prêté une oreille attentive à certains avertissements comme celui des deux pasteurs du Languedoc affirmant avoir – je les cite – “dessein de porter leur obéissance aux ordres de Sa Majesté aussi loin que leur permettait leur conscience”. Il pensait qu’il suffirait d’ajouter aux violences des dragons cette parole décisive : “le Roi le veut”… Seulement voilà, le premier instant de stupeur passé, le loyalisme changea de nom : il devint la résistance.

En dépit d’une interdiction formelle – songez-y – d’une surveillance très inhabituelle à cette époque, 250000 protestants français partirent pour des pays de refuge. Je vous le dis, ce n’est pas sans émoi, que même 300 ans plus tard, le Président de la République française évoque cette émigration et la présence ici-même de descendants de ces Huguenots ajoute à ma peine. Mieux que quiconque Michelet a su rendre l’intensité d’un tel exil. Il écrivit : “l’émigration était très difficile. Son plus grand obstacle était dans l’âme même de ceux qui avaient à franchir ce pas. Il leur semblait trop fort de se déraciner d’ici, de rompre avec tant de fibres vivantes, de quitter amis et parents, toutes leurs vieilles habitudes, leur toit d’enfance, leur foyer de famille, les cimetières où reposaient les leurs. Cette France cruelle, on ne peut cependant s’en séparer sans grand effort et sans mortel regret”.
– -Exceptional in Europe, from 1598 fact, members of a religious minority can profess their belief – that of religion reformed – without incurring penalties in their careers and even more simply, in their daily lives.

-Most amazing measurement – in the spirit of this time – it becomes possible, without ceasing to be a French recognized as such, to change religion. This is most simply transform a conflict opened in coexistence, on the basis of the status quo, but rather the Act of birth of the freedom of conscience, origin of all freedoms.

In the very hierarchical so, where society illiteracy was the lot of the greatest number, political power dared to establish the right of the fragile, of the obscure individual conscience. He dared return to each this momentous decision: the choice of faith, of religion. While such a decision depended on – thought – of salvation eternal or even sentences of a hell that did would not.
-Sixty years later, this is sixty years later began the time of turmoil. For a quarter century, the edict of Nantes would be gradually dismantled, before to get revoked.

-To do justice to the historical truth, do not confuse the brutal persecution which eventually prevail with the willingness to restore religious unity of the Kingdom, that is believed to be able to perform by less violent means. But it is precisely this inexorable spiral that will lead to the galleys in the Gibbets in the pyres.

-The failure of each measure led to a new – we know the process – more rude, who strung to the previous, without necessarily abolish it. There’s the legal cold war which began with the interpretation of the edict in a pinch. They quibbled on the letter; We end up making, custom, new laws that were contrary to specific sections of the Edit. There were the caisse de conversion, based on the idea that the lure of gain, hunted what one called the “bad feelings” and that corruption was to avoid violence.

And then, to his failures, it came to the abduction of children, to the “dragonnades” – this is a story you know – the blind terror, moral torture, where it was enough of a Word, from a single, one word – I had – for that original nightmare.
-By proclaiming freedom of conscience without abolishing the State religion, the edict of Nantes had opened, half, a door. But far from growing, opening closed as a tomb.

Double lesson: to violence, fanaticism, to the chain of attacks and reprisals, it is the State that restores peace; It is the primacy of the political underpinning, by limiting the ambitions of freedoms, of religions, and first of consciences. But there, he accepts to set itself terminals, do not exceed the limit that it has itself imposed. It stops there where begins the irreducible freedom of every human being, freedom which would not exist if he was not there to protect and to guarantee. And all this being true: faithful to its mission which is to jealously protect the interests of the homeland. But the State passes these terminals, that he wants to govern the consciences and hearts, he forgets where his true role, more simply it renounces and he assisted helplessly to the unleashing of passions and, ultimately, and for anyone, neither order nor freedom.
-The edict of Nantes, he must know, was very unpopular, and basically, he gave satisfaction to anyone. While the Revocation, it was approved with enthusiasm by a very large majority. And alone, outside the Protestant community – that goes without saying – a few isolated voices opposed. Discern long-term interest of a country, without getting away from its duty to its principles, its objectives, through the ups and downs and the vagaries of opinion is not the easiest path. But this is the one where there is the least amount of mistakes.
At the time of the Revocation, the power relied on the loyalty of the Huguenots – le Corbier Mademoiselle has well said – and as stated by Mazarin “the little flock grazing weeds but does not deviate”. He had not lent an ear to some warnings like the one of the two pastors of the Languedoc claiming to have – I quote them – “design to wear their obedience to the orders of his Majesty as far as allowed them their conscience”. He thought that it would suffice to add to the violence of the dragons this decisive word: “The King wants to”… Only here, the first moment of surprise passed, loyalism name was changed: it became the resistance.

Despite a formal ban – think – monitored very unusual at that time, 250,000 French protestants went to countries of refuge.

Pour les membres de la bourgeoisie industrieuse, artisans créateurs de techniques nouvelles – vous l’avez rappelé, mademoiselle, monsieur le président, mais cela on ne le savait pas beaucoup au XIXème siècle – l’élite paysanne – il faut avoir parcouru les Cévennes ou mes Charentes natales pour le savoir – les réfugiés firent don de leurs qualités à leurs pays d’accueil. Et, puisqu’à cette tribune, une Huguenote hollandaise symbolise l’exode subi et l’hospitalité reçue, rappelons que les fugitifs apportèrent et développèrent aux Pays-Bas bien des techniques qui avaient leur valeur et qui justifiaient votre remarque sur le fait qu’on les a reçus de grand coeur, mais aussi au fait que l’on comptait un peu sur eux pour lancer l’économie fatiguée du moment : chapellerie, soieries, draps avec lesquels on habillait si souvent les milices, les serges, les crépons, les broderies en or et en argent. Mais surtout, vous l’avez rappelé pour l’imprimerie et la librairie : la liberté d’opinion s’épanouit dans ce pays déjà plus tolérant que la plupart des nations d’Europe et beaucoup à cause de cela.
– On y vit s’y développer une sorte d’oecuménisme, déjà, celui de l’entraide : les catholiques et les juifs hollandais participant aux collectes effectuées en faveur des exilés. Et il faut ajouter, pour l’honneur de notre pays, qu’en Allemagne, sur les registres de la ville-carrefour de Francfort-sur-le-Main, plaque tournante du voyage vers le refuge, nous retrouvons, oui, on retrouve la trace, non seulement de nombreux Huguenots, bien entendu, mais aussi de catholiques français bannis du royaume pour avoir aidé des protestants. Toute solidarité n’a donc pas été absente de notre peuple en ce moment décisif.
C’est dans les Misérables que Victor Hugo met en scène une “pauvre femme huguenote – c’est lui qui parle – sous Louis-le-Grand, qui se voit prendre son nouveau-né juste avant de l’allaiter et le bourreau disait à la femme, mère et nourrice : “Abjure” lui donnant à choisir entre la mort de son enfant et la mort de sa conscience”. Je voudrais noter à cet égard que la résistance des femmes force l’admiration. Celle de ces mères-Pénélope qui transmettaient chaque nuit, l’éducation protestante interdite. Celle des prisonnières de la Tour de Constance – vous avez évoqué ce très beau film qui rappelait cette tragique histoire – dans cette forteresse où elles priaient, où elles chantaient des psaumes, où elles célébraient le culte, montrant de la façon la plus exemplaire la situation paradoxale que vivent les prisonniers d’opinion dans les pays privés de liberté : être enfin libres, précisément parce qu’en prison, acquérir la liberté de l’esprit, précisément au -prix du sacrifice et de la liberté des corps | Ce que je dis là ; quelle est celle ou celui d’entre vous, quelle que soit sa confession de la religion dont il se réclame, qui ne l’a pas vécu ou qui n’a pas connu par ses ancêtres, ou qui ne le connaît pas par ceux de sa confession, qui est digne dans d’autres pays où la persécution existe, qui donc a échappé à cette misère, à cette protestation, à cette affirmation, et finalement à ce courage victorieux ? Mais à quel prix… la souffrance, le sang, la mort, parfois l’oubli.

Les historiens, de nos jours, ont nuancé l’apologie romantique de la Réforme, mère de la Révolution. Je crois qu’ils ont raison. 1789 appartient à l’ensemble du peuple français. Mais il n’est pas indifférent que les éléments qui ont structuré le protestantisme français, dès les XVIème et XVIIème siècles, aient contribué à le rendre insupportable aux tenants de l’absolutisme. Je nommerai Rabeau St-Etienne, qui devait être victime lui-même de la Révolution après une vie si chargée d’orages, d’exils, de proscriptions. C’était un pasteur. Mais il put prononcer à la tribune de la Constituante, au cours de l’élaboration de la déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen, la formule restée célèbre, pardonnez-moi de la citer mais elle est belle : “ce n’est même pas la tolérance que je réclame ; c’est la liberté”. J’ai moi-même employé plusieurs fois, déjà, le mot tolérance. Et ceux qui m’ont précédé ont fait comme moi. Et pourtant c’est bien de cela qu’il s’agit : c’est le vrai débat de la Révocation. On se trompe lorsque l’on croit que le choix est entre la tolérance et l’intolérance. L’intolérance est un -état d’esprit – toujours dangereux – ; la tolérance, cela se révoque. Ce qu’il fallait établir et défendre, c’était la liberté ; mais la liberté implique autant de devoirs que de droits. Elle ne peut pas signifier le repli sur soi, le simple droit pour les individus d’échapper aux contraintes de la vie en commun. la liberté chez nous, ou du moins ce que je connais, c’est aussi la maîtrise de l’Etat par tous les citoyens, grâce aux mécanismes de la démocratie et je me suis attaché à ce que ces mécanismes élargissent leur emprise, pour que le citoyen puisse exister face à l’Etat, pour que l’Etat soit l’expression des citoyens. C’est une recherche ; on n’y parvient jamais assez. Mais l’-entreprise a commencé. Tout ce que je viens de vous dire, nul ne l’a mieux compris que les héritiers du désert.
Au XIXème siècle, la vitalité protestante a compté parmi les forces qui ont fait mûrir l’idée démocratique et fait triompher les valeurs, la Révolution. Elle montre, apparent paradoxe et cohérence profonde, une ferveur retrouvée. Et dans l’ordre du politique, une action résolue qu’on a appelée la laïcité de l’Etat, une sorte de dissociation du temporel et du spirituel, sans nier ni l’un, ni l’autre, complémentaires pour la vie de chacun et cependant différents dans la gestion de l’Etat, constituant le meilleur garant d’une pleine et entière liberté religieuse. A condition, bien entendu, de ne pas vouloir cette liberté que pour soi-même. “L’honneur d’une religion est que l’on puisse ne pas la pratiquer” – s’exclamait le pasteur de Pressence à la tribune de la Chambre lors de l’ordre moral, et en contradiction avec l’ordre moral. Et le même Pressence, au moment solennel de la commémoration – la même – du bicentenaire de la Révocation, ajoutait que le protestantisme serait prêt, le cas échéant, à défendre la liberté du catholicisme si jamais l’anticléricalisme venait à y porter atteinte. Ce langage croise ce dialogue à travers le temps et à travers l’espace, – celles et ceux qui sont ici, je le vois bien, c’est le langage qu’ils souhaitent, ressentant sans doute profondément que ce sont les mêmes menaces qui, aujourd’hui, sont devant eux, établissant par le dialogue oecuménique de nouvelles relations avec le catholicisme, le protestantisme, je le pense, n’a pas oublié, ne peut pas oublier son histoire tourmentée de minorités. Les éléments de la dernière partie de l’exposé de M. le président, le Pasteur Maury, le montrait bien : les minorités.
– On se souvient de l’action du Pasteur Boegner, particulièrement – il y a en a bien d’autres, bien entendu, et de toutes confessions – contre les lois anti-juives pendant l’Occupation, et celle, plus récente de la Cimade en faveur des travailleurs immigrés.
– La République sait ce que peut apporter à la communauté nationale la réflexion des religions présentes en France sur les problèmes de société.
Mesdames et messieurs, si la République vous garantit la liberté, votre rayonnement spirituel, c’est votre affaire. Personne ne peut le prendre en charge à votre place. Votre apport à l’histoire de France – que symbolisera demain la représentation de la première tragédie écrite en français et due au réformateur Théodore de Bèze, que j’ai rencontré souvent dans mes itinéraires autour de Vézelay – il vous appartient de continuer à l’enrichir en demeurant l’une des familles de pensées vivantes de ce pays.
– La République garantit à tous la liberté de croire ou bien de ne pas croire. Elle se refuse à choisir entre les Français en raison de leur religion – dont je répète qu’elle n’a pas à connaître – et si elle magnifie et n’inscrit dans ses lois aucun culte, ce n’est pas par indifférence, c’est que sa tâche est d’unir les Français par d’autres moyens – car la recherche religieuse c’est aussi la recherche de l’unité – qui sont ceux d’un autre ordre. Défendre ce qui est commun, faire prévaloir l’essentiel.

IN ENGLISH:We have just mentioned well values about the Revocation; It is probably because we feel that these values remain current. Should one who chose the same route, he who comes, we therefore reject it. Wanting the France to be welcoming to those who chose to live there, and at the same time – which they reproached – want to stay themselves. Do accept and even love by all, and better than the peculiarities, differences to which each is attached: the France as it is and the Republic which the serves. Old story, the dragonnades, galleys, the camisards? No, history of today around the world. Vertigo of exclusion, rejection of minorities, temptation to push towards exile – and what refuge – a part of those who live with us or with us. It exists, it travels in some minds.

-That is why, ladies and gentlemen, the memory of the Revocation must help us to uphold the spirit in which is commemorated the 300th anniversary – painful anniversary, one of the most painful among the painful of a long history of France – with the hope to see the collected France, for the most part, naturally. It is common tasks; It shall refuse anyone. Making sure to always preserve the freedom of conscience, equality of rights and by requesting in Exchange that a best practice of the brotherhood, as a more constant search of necessary equalities.
-That is why I say in conclusion: therefore find new reasons to believe in this freedom. In the memory of persecution among others, but one of the bloodiest in history of France, I repeat again, we will be able to draw lessons of loyalty and courage. In remembrance of the divisions, tears or rifts, found the strength to work for the unity of the motherland. Because it is a generation, mine, that of many others, here in this House, a generation that has lived in his youth another drama of exclusion: the choice of death against the conscience, or death with his conscience. And what is lived, how could we forget it? There are more than a duty: to teach it to those who will follow us.
– Qu’est-ce qui fait de la France, au-delà des particularismes, ce qu’elle est ? Une présence dans le monde, une continuité dans l’histoire ; cela hante chaque jour mon esprit.

-It lives there develop a sort of ecumenism, already, that of mutual assistance: Catholics and the Dutch Jews attending fundraising carried out in favour of exiles. And it should be added, for the honor of our country, in Germany, on the records of the crossroads city of Frankfurt am Main, hub of the journey to the refuge, we find, Yes, we find the trace, not only of many Huguenots, of course, but also banished from the Kingdom for having helped Protestant French Catholics. Solidarity was thus not absent from our people in this crucial time.
It is in les Misérables Victor Hugo staged a “poor woman Huguenot – it is he who speaks – under Louis-le-Grand, who has been taking her newborn just before breastfeed and the executioner said to the woman, mother and nanny:” forswears “giving it to choose between the death of her child and the death of his conscience”. I would like to note in this regard that the resistance of the women commands admiration. One of these mothers-Penelope who passed every night the banned Protestant education. The prisoners of the Tower of Constance – you mentioned this beautiful film which reminded of this tragic story – in this fortress where they prayed, where they sang psalms, where they celebrated the cult, showing the more exemplary way the paradoxical situation that live prisoners of conscience in the country deprived of their liberty: finally free being, precisely because in prison, acquire the freedom of mind, precisely – price of the sacrifice and the freedom of the body. What I say What is one or one of you, regardless of his confession of the religion which he professes, who does not lived it who has not known by his ancestors, or that is not known by those of his confession, which is worthy in other countries where persecution exists, which therefore has escaped this misery to this protest, to this statement, and finally to this victorious courage? But at what cost… suffering, blood, death, sometimes forgotten.
– Nous venons d’évoquer bien des valeurs à propos de la Révocation ; c’est sans doute parce que nous sentons que ces valeurs restent actuelles. Celui qui n’a pas choisi la même route, celui qui vient d’ailleurs, faut-il donc l’écarter. Vouloir que la France soit accueillante à ceux qui ont choisi d’y vivre, et qui en même temps – qui le leur reprochera – veulent rester eux-mêmes. Savoir faire accepter et même aimer par tous, plus et mieux que les particularités, les différences auxquelles chacun est attaché : la France telle qu’elle est et la République qui la sert. Vieille histoire, les dragonnades, les galères, les camisards ? Non, histoire d’aujourd’hui à travers le monde entier. Vertige de l’exclusion, rejet des minorités, tentation de pousser vers l’exil – et vers quel refuge – une partie de ceux qui vivent chez nous ou avec nous. Cela existe, cela chemine dans certains esprits.

– Voilà pourquoi, mesdames et messieurs, le souvenir de la Révocation doit nous aider à faire prévaloir l’esprit dans lequel est commémoré ce tricentenaire – anniversaire douloureux, l’un des plus douloureux parmi les douloureux d’une longue histoire de France – avec l’espérance de voir la France rassemblée, pour l’essentiel, naturellement. Il est des tâches communes ; on ne refusera personne. En veillant à préserver toujours la liberté de conscience, l’égalité des droits et en ne demandant en échange qu’une meilleure pratique de la fraternité, qu’une recherche plus constante des égalités nécessaires.
– Voilà pourquoi je vous dirai pour conclure : trouvons donc de nouvelles raisons de croire à cette liberté. Dans le souvenir d’une persécution parmi d’autres, mais l’une des plus sanglantes de notre histoire de France, je le répète encore, nous pourrons puiser des leçons de fidélité et de courage. Dans le souvenir des divisions, des déchirures ou des déchirements, on trouvera la force de travailler à l’unité de la patrie. Car, il est une génération, la mienne, celle de beaucoup d’autres, ici, dans cette assemblée, une génération qui a vécu dans sa jeunesse un autre drame de l’exclusion : le choix de la mort contre la conscience, ou de la mort avec sa conscience. Et ce que l’on a vécu, comment pourrait-on l’oublier ? Il ne reste plus qu’un devoir : celui de l’enseigner à ceux qui nous suivront.


It lives there developed a sort of ecumenism, already, that of mutual assistance: Catholics and the Dutch Jews attending fundraising carried out in favour of exiles. And it should be added, for the honor of our country, in Germany, on the records of the crossroads city of Frankfurt am Main, the hub of the journey to the refuge, we find, Yes, we find the trace, not only of many Huguenots, of course, but also banished from the Kingdom for having helped Protestant French Catholics. Solidarity was thus not absent from our people in this crucial time.

It is in Les Misérables Victor Hugo staged a “poor woman Huguenot – it is he who speaks – under Louis-le-Grand, who has been taking her newborn just before breastfeeding and the executioner said to the woman, mother and nanny:” forswears “giving it to choose between the death of her child and the death of his conscience”. I would like to note in this regard that the resistance of the women commands admiration. One of these mothers-Penelope who passed every night the banned Protestant education.

The prisoners of the Tower of Constance – you mentioned this beautiful film which reminded of this tragic story – in this fortress where they prayed, where they sang psalms, where they celebrated the cult, showing the more exemplary way the paradoxical situation that live prisoners of conscience in the country deprived of their liberty: finally free being, precisely because in prison, acquire the freedom of mind, precisely – price of the sacrifice and the freedom of the body. What I say What is one or one of you, regardless of his confession of the religion which he professes, who does not lived it who has not known by his ancestors, or that is not known by those of his confession, which is worthy in other countries where persecution exists, which therefore has escaped this misery to this protest, to this statement, and finally to this victorious courage? But at what cost… suffering, blood, death, and to be forgotten?


Your sunny shores,
Your rugged peaks,
Your vineyards, fields, and forests,
Your flowery gardens in bloom,
With red, yellow, lavender, pink, and blue,
Your meandering rivers,
Your flowing streams,
Your roads that lead everywhere,
Your humble hamlets,
Your teeming towns,
Your courtly cities ablaze,
Your toiling farmers,
Your masterful merchants,
Your artful artisans and would-be scholars,
Your poor, pious, pampered, and princely,
Men and women of all nuances and shades,
Your lives so colorful,
Vivaciously vibrant,
But oppressive,
Struggling to be free,
To break the shackles of an ancient age,
Blood of my fathers,
Tears of my mothers,
Roots of my branches,
All intertwined in your soil so deep,
My mother earth,
My father land,
How my heart weeps for you,
From whom I was so cruelly exiled,
In leaking boats,
Over frightful borders,
Hurried journeys in the darkened nights,
Leaving behind so much of me,
Embittered, impoverished, but free,
Angered by the fearful tyrant,
The betraying countrymen,
The yoke of intolerance,

Saddened by the theft of freedom,
The rupture of dreams,
The hopeful hope of a speedy return,
A new beginning,
In a strange new land,
Different, engulfing, demanding,
But flexible, sensitive, and free,
This land that welcomed me,
Exhausted, lonely, afraid,
Sadder, but wiser,
Stronger and prouder,
Reaffirmed in honor,
From a life torn asunder,
This exile that became me,
Days turned into years,
And years into decades,

And generations multiply and divide,
A new language,
A new name,
A new home,
New loves to love,
In this no longer strange new land,
But, your sunny shores,
Your rugged peaks,
Your vineyards, fields, and forests,
Your flowery gardens in bloom,
With red, yellow, lavender, pink, and blue,
My colorfully vibrant memories,
That my mind cannot repress,
My meandering gazes ablaze,
That go with me everywhere,
My mother earth,
My father land,
How my soul dreams of you,
I am a part of you,
And you are a part of me,
The dreams,
The hope,
The faith,
That neither tyranny,
Nor time,
Can ever erase.

Abraham D. Lavender