The HyperTexts

Faith of the Founding Fathers: Freedom from Religion, Disbelief in the Bible, Disdain for the Superstitions of Christianity

This page contains quotes about God, religion, the Bible and Christianity by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, James Madison, James Monroe and Ben Franklin, the best-known of the American founding fathers. There are also quotes by Abraham Lincoln, Susan B. Anthony and other persons of interest.

"The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." — Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, written during the administration of George Washington and signed into law by John Adams

The American founding fathers were highly educated, well-read men. If they had believed in Jesus as the son of God, and in the Bible as the revelation of God, and in Christianity as the only true religion, they would certainly have mentioned God, Jesus, the Bible and Christianity in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But other than a neutral reference to a nonspecific "creator," there is no mention of any of the main tenets of Christianity anywhere in the foundational texts of the United States. This was not an accident, but a deliberate attempt by the founding fathers to protect government from religion, not vice versa, as we will clearly see ...

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." — James Madison in an 1803 letter explaining that the purpose of separation of church and state was not to protect religion from government, but to protect the fledgling U.S. government from the wild, bloody excesses of the Christian religion

"The Christian god is cruel, vindictive, capricious, and unjust." — Thomas Jefferson

"What is it the Bible teaches us? — rapine, cruelty, and murder." — Thomas Paine

Anyone who has actually read the Bible knows that it commands the stoning to death of boys for being stubborn [Deuteronomy 21:18-21} and girls for not proving their virginity by bleeding on their wedding nights [Deuteronomy 22:13-21]. The Bible even says that a father can sell his own daughter as a sex slave, with the option to buy her back if she doesn't please her new master [Exodus 21:7-11]. In passage after barbaric passage, the Bible commands the worst crimes known to humanity: slavery, sex slavery, infanticide, matricide, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Jefferson and Paine were correct, because they had actually read the Bible and understood what it so clearly says.

"It has been fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse [i.e. the book of Revelation], and then I considered it merely the ravings of a maniac." — Thomas Jefferson

The New Testament book of Revelation says that Jesus will murder the children of women who have sex outside marriage (in the letters to the churches, which appear in the second chapter). John of Patmos, the writer of Revelation, also predicted that God, Jesus and the Angels will destroy trillions of animals and billions of human beings in orgies of wanton murder. Whatever happened to "thou shalt not kill" and "love your enemies"? John also predicted that human beings would be tortured with fire and brimstone "in the presence of the Lamb and Holy Angels," as if heaven has a torture chamber. So Jefferson was obviously correct in his assessment of the sanity of the writer of Revelation.

"In no instance have churches been the guardians of the liberties of the people." — James Madison

"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole cartloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity." — John Adams

John Adams was making the point that much of what Christian churches teach today cannot be found in the Gospels. For instance, there is no mention of infant baptism or the age of accountability anywhere in the Bible, in regard to salvation. This is because most of the books of the Bible never mentioned anything about hell, so there was nothing to save children from if they died. But after Christian theologians added hell to a few passages in the New Testament, it became very important to keep babies and children from going to hell. So even though Jesus, his disciples and the first great Christian evangelist Paul never once mentioned anything about the "age of accountability" or infant baptism, they became essential items of Christian dogma, because without them babies and children too young to believe in Jesus would automatically go to hell, due to the bizarre dogma of "original sin."

"The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?" — John Adams

"Have you considered that system of holy lies and pious frauds that has raged and triumphed for 1,500 years?" — John Adams, describing the Christian religion

"What has been Christianity's fruits? Superstition, bigotry, and persecution." — James Madison

"The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession." — Abraham Lincoln, who, like George Washington never professed faith in the divinity of Jesus

"They [preachers] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live." — Thomas Jefferson

If the U.S. was founded on the Christian religion, the Constitution would clearly say so, but of course it doesn't. In fact, the words God, Jesus, Christianity, Bible, etc. are never mentioned even once in the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is religion mentioned, except in exclusionary terms. When the Founders wrote the Constitution, they specified that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." (Article 6, section 3) This provision was radical in its day because it gave equal citizenship to believers, atheists and agnostics. The Founding Fathers clearly wanted to ensure that no religion could make the claim of being the official, national religion. Thus, the United States was clearly not a "Christian nation" in the eyes of its Founders, and the quotes on this page demonstrate this clearly and amply.

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that the power of the government is derived from the consent of the governed, not God, and thus he denied the "divine right of kings." But the Bible clearly teaches that God establishes kings and other earthly authorities, and that Christianity's Lord demands that Christians always obey their God-appointed rulers. So if the founding fathers had believed the Bible, they could not have rebelled against King George!

"For the Lord's sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right." (1 Peter 2:13)
"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resist authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment." (Romans 13:1)

"For rebellion as is the sin of witchcraft." (1 Samuel, 15:23) And witchcraft was a sin punishable by death. So according to the Bible, anyone who rebelled against King George should have been executed on the spot.

According to the Bible, the founding fathers were rebelling against God when they rebelled against King George, who according to the Bible, was appointed by God himself. But no thinking person can believe that evil rulers are appointed by a loving, wise, just God. So Bible verses that demand blind obedience to earthly rulers are nonsensical.

Up until that time, it was claimed that kings ruled nations by the authority of God. The Declaration was a radical departure from the idea that the power to rule over other people comes from god. It was a letter from the Colonies to the English King, stating their intentions to seperate themselves. The Declaration is not a governing document. It mentions "Nature's God" and "Divine Providence"— but as you will soon see, that's the language of Deism, not Christianity.

"Ecclesiastical establishments [i.e., churches] tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects." — James Madison

"The hocus-pocus phantasm of a God like another Cerberus, with one body and three heads, had its birth and growth in the blood of thousands and thousands of martyrs." — Thomas Jefferson denying the Trinity in a letter to James Smith, December 8, 1822

"It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests." — Thomas Jefferson ridiculing the Christian dogma of the Trinity in a letter to John Adams, August 22, 1813

John Adams' reply to this letter shows that he did not believe in the Trinity either: "The human understanding is a revelation from its maker, which can never be disputed or doubted. There can be no scepticism, Pyrrhonism, or incredulity or infidelity here. No prophecies, no miracles are necessary to prove this celestical communication. This revelation has made it certain that two and one make three, and that one is not three nor can three be one. We can never be so certain of any prophecy, or the fulfilment of any prophecy, or of any miracle, or the design of any miracle, as we are from the revelation of nature, that is, nature's God, that two and two are equal to four." — John Adam's Letter to Thomas Jefferson, September 14, 1813

"No one sees with greater pleasure than myself the progress of reason in its advances towards rational Christianity. When we shall have done away the incomprehensible jargon of the Trinitarian arithmetic, that three are one, and one is three; when we shall have knocked down the artificial scaffolding, raised to mask from view the simple structure of Jesus; when, in short, we shall have unlearned everything which has been taught since His day, and get back to the pure and simple doctrines He inculcated, we shall then be truly and worthily His disciples; and my opinion is that if nothing had ever been added to what flowed purely from His lips, the whole world would at this day have been Christian. I know that the case you cite, of Dr. Drake, has been a common one. The religion-builders have so distorted and deformed the doctrines of Jesus, so muffled them in mysticisms, fancies and falsehoods, have caricatured them into forms so monstrous and inconceivable, as to shock reasonable thinkers, to revolt them against the whole, and drive them rashly to pronounce its Founder an imposter. Had there never been a commentator, there never would have been an infidel." — Thomas Jefferson's Letter to Timothy Pickering, February 21, 1821

Jefferson was a rationalist. He believed that Jesus was a pure and ethical teacher of morals, not a divine being. To that end, Jefferson took a razor blade to the New Testament and removed all the passages he thought to have been inserted by the authors of the gospels (whom he called the "commentators" and "biographers"). With his razor blade, he removed every verse dealing with the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, claims of Jesus' divinity and other puerile superstitions, thus leaving us with a very much shorter book. In 1904, the Jefferson Bible was printed by order of Congress, and for many years thereafter it was presented to all newly elected members of that body.

Jefferson was called an ATHEIST and an INFIDEL by Christian ministers of his day, who tried to block his presidency! How can Christians claim him as one of their own, now that he's dead?!

"As to the calumny of Atheism, I am so broken to calumnies of every kind, from every department of government, Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary, and from every minion of theirs holding office or seeking it, that I entirely disregard it, and from Chace it will have less effect than from any other man in the United States. It has been so impossible to contradict all their lies, that I have determined to contradict none; for while I should be engaged with one, they would publish twenty new ones." — Thomas Jefferson's Letter to James Monroe, May 26, 1800

The most famous ‘out of context’ religious quote of Thomas Jefferson is to be found in the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. Around the rotunda of the Jefferson Memorial, in large gold letters, is the quote: “I HAVE SWORN UPON THE ALTAR OF GOD, ETERNAL HOSTILITY AGAINST EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN.” The quote was taken from a letter that Jefferson wrote to Dr. Benjamin Rush on September 23, 1800. The quote in its original context is clearly anti-Christianity. In his letter to Dr. Rush, Jefferson is talking about the Christian clergy who were working against his being elected President by saying Jefferson was an infidel. The complete quote says: “The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their (the Christian clergy's) hopes, and they believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” So in his letter Jefferson is clearly saying that the “tyranny” that he opposes is the tyranny of the Christian clergy, and the god he is referring to is the god of Deism, not the god of the Christians.

Jefferson clearly did not believe in the divinity of Jesus, and he said so: "That Jesus did not mean to impose Himself on mankind as the Son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in the lore." — Thomas Jefferson's letter to William Short, August 4, 1820

Jefferson did not agree with Saint Paul that grace and forgiveness superseded the need for good works: "But while this syllabus is meant to place the character of Jesus in its true light, as no imposter himself, but a great reformer of the Hebrew code of religion, it is not to be understood that I am with him in all his doctrines. I am a materialist; he takes the side of spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentance towards forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it." — letter to William Short, April 13, 1820

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." — Susan B. Anthony

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind. — Thomas Paine

"It is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene." — Thomas Paine

"There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites." — Thomas Jefferson

The most highly regarded Founding Fathers were Deists: they believed the universe had a Creator, but that he does not concern himself with the daily lives of humans, and does not directly communicate with men, either by revelation or sacred books. When they spoke of God it was of this detached, unknowable entity, not the God of the bible. They did not deny that there was a person called Jesus, and praised him for his benevolent teachings, but they flatly denied his divinity and miracles. And by reading what they wrote themselves, it's clear that most of them were opposed to large parts of the bible, and to the primary teachings of Christianity.

Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, the two primary authors of the Declaration of Independence, did not mention God or a Creator in their original draft. The original wording was: "All men are created equal and independent. From that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable." Congress changed that phrase, increasing its religious overtones, to: "All men are created equal. They are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights." But still they did not mention God or Jesus or the Bible or Christianity.

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise." — James Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774

"... Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery [i.e., not based on Christianity], and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind." — John Adams

Religions are all alike: founded upon fables and mythologies. — Thomas Jefferson

"Lighthouses are more useful than churches." — Benjamin Franklin

"This could be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it." — John Adams

"I disbelieve all holy men and holy books." — Thomas Paine

"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." — Thomas Jefferson, to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

"Some books against Deism fell into my hands ... It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist." — Benjamin Franklin

"Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." — Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787
"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion [i.e., Jesus], before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State." — Thomas Jefferson to S. Kercheval, 1810

"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?" — John Adams, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816
"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved—the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!" — John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson

John Adams

"What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius? Where are the forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because suspected of heresy? Remember the 'index expurgatorius', the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the guillotine." — John Adams, letter to John Taylor
"The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes." — John Adams, letter to John Taylor
Thomas Jefferson
"The clergy...believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion." — Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1800.
"In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot ... they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purpose." — Thomas Jefferson, to Horatio Spafford, March 17, 1814
"Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." — Thomas Jefferson, from "Notes on Virginia"
"History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." — Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813
"On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind." — Thomas Jefferson to Carey, 1816
"But the greatest of all reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers [i.e., the writers of the New Testament], and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man. The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent morality, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, invented by ultra-Christian sects (The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of the Hierarchy, etc.) is a most desirable object." — Thomas Jefferson to W. Short, Oct. 31, 1819
"It is not to be understood that I am with him (Jesus Christ) in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of Spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentence toward forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him by his biographers [i.e., the writers of the New Testament], I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore him to the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, the roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and imposters, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and the first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus." — Thomas Jefferson to W. Short, 1820 — See Jefferson's Bible
"The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation, is ever more dangerous. Jesus had to work on the perilous confines of reason and religion; and a step to the right or left might place him within the grasp of the priests of the superstition, a bloodthirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel. That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore." — Thomas Jefferson to Story, Aug. 4, 1820
"The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin. (1) That there are three Gods. (2) That good works, or the love of our neighbor, is nothing. (3) That faith is everything, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit the faith. (4) That reason in religion is of unlawful use. (5) That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save." — Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822
Creeds have been the bane of the Christian church ... made of Christendom a slaughter-house." — Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822
"The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy, absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." — Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, Apr. 11, 1823
"The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and of Calvin [i.e., the basis of orthodox Christianity], are, to my understanding, mere lapses into polytheism, differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible." — Thomas Jefferson to Jared Sparks, 1820
James Madison

"What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not." — James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785
"Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." — James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785

George Washington
The first president of the United States was without a trace of "Christianism". He was so completely indifferent to its pious irrationalities that he never appears to have made any comment on them. Indeed, he seemed, according to the evidence, to have had no instinct or feeling for religion, although he attended church twelve or fifteen times a year. Thousands of his letters have been preserved, and there is not a single mention of Jesus Christ in any of them, not even when he was discussing ethics with his children. In his Farewell Address, which reflects his mature opinions, the name of God does not appear.
Bishop White, who knew him well for many years, wrote after Washington's death that he had never heard him express an opinion on any religious subject. He added that although Washington was "serious and attentive" in church, he never saw him kneel in prayer.
Since he never discussed religion at all, and went to church only occasionally, he was considered by most people to be a quietly religious man. It was somewhat of a shock, therefore, to the people of Philadelphia, when the reverend Dr. Abercrombie, Washington's pastor, criticised him from the pulpit. He told him that as President, he should not belong to a church unless he could set a good example to others. He reminded Washington that he never took communion, and in short, that his example was bad. Washington listened to these reproaches in silence, and never went to that church again. His only comment was that he did not wish to annoy Dr. Abercrombie by his presence.
Benjamin Franklin
"I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it." — Benjamin Franklin, from "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion", Nov. 20, 1728
"I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity." — Benjamin Franklin, Works, Vol. VII, p. 75
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both there (England) and in New England." — Benjamin Franklin
Thomas Paine
But when the divine gift of reason begins to expand itself in the mind and calls man to reflection, he then reads and contemplates God and His works, and not in the books pretending to be revelation. The creation [i.e., nature] is the Bible of the true believer in God. Everything in this vast volume inspires him with sublime ideas of the Creator. The little and paltry, and often obscene, tales of the Bible sink into wretchedness when put in comparison with this mighty work.
The Deist needs none of those tricks and shows called miracles to confirm his faith, for what can be a greater miracle than the creation itself, and his own existence?
There is a happiness in Deism, when rightly understood, that is not to be found in any other system of religion. All other systems have something in them that either shock our reason, or are repugnant to it, and man, if he thinks at all, must stifle his reason in order to force himself to believe them.
It is by forgetting God in His works, and running after the books of pretended revelation, that man has wandered from the straight path of duty and happiness, and become by turns the victim of doubt and the dupe of delusion.
Except in the first article in the Christian creed, that of believing in God, there is not an article in it but fills the mind with doubt as to the truth of it, the instant man begins to think.
The truth of the first article is proved by God Himself, and is universal; for the creation is of itself demonstration of the existence of a Creator. But the second article, that of God's begetting a son, is not proved in like manner, and stands on no other authority than that of a tale.
The second article of the Christian creed ... goes on to account for his being begotten, which was, that when he grew a man he should be put to death, to expiate, they say, the sin that Adam brought into the world by eating an apple or some kind of forbidden fruit. But though this is the creed of the Church of Rome, from whence the Protestants borrowed it, it is a creed which that Church has manufactured of itself, for it is not contained in nor derived from, the book called the New Testament. The four books called the Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, which give, or pretend to give, the birth, sayings, life, preaching, and death of Jesus Christ, make no mention of what is called the fall of man; nor is the name of Adam to be found in any of those books, which it certainly would be if the writers of them believed that Jesus was begotten, born, and died for the purpose of redeeming mankind from the sin which Adam had brought into the world. Jesus never speaks of Adam himself, of the garden of Eden, nor of what is called the fall of man.
But the Church of Rome having set up its new religion, which it called Christianity [but which in truth is Athanasianism/Constantinism], and invented the creed which it named the Apostles's Creed, in which it calls Jesus the only son of God, conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary; things of which it is impossible that man or woman can have any idea, and consequently no belief but in words; and for which there is no authority but the idle story of Joseph's dream in the first chapter of Matthew, which any designing imposter or foolish fanatic might make.
It then manufactured the allegories in the book of Genesis into fact, and the allegorical tree of life and the tree of knowledge into real trees, contrary to the belief of the first Christians, and for which there is not the least authority in any of the books of the New Testament; for in none of them is there any mention made of such place as the Garden of Eden, nor of anything that is said to have happened there.
But the Church of Rome could not erect the person called Jesus into a Savior of the world without making the allegories in the book of Genesis into fact, though the New Testament, as before observed, gives no authority for it. All at once the allegorical tree of knowledge became, according to the Church, a real tree, the fruit of it real fruit, and the eating of it sinful.
As priestcraft was always the enemy of knowledge, because priestcraft supports itself by keeping people in delusion and ignorance, it was consistent with its policy to make the acquisition of knowledge a real sin.
The Church of Rome having done this, it then brings forward Jesus the son of Mary as suffering death to redeem mankind from sin, which Adam, it says, had brought into the world by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. But as it is impossible for reason to believe such a story, because it can see no reason for it, nor have any evidence of it, the Church then tells us we must not regard our reason, but must believe, as it were, and that through thick and thin, as if God had given man reason like a plaything, or a rattle, on purpose to make fun of him.
Reason is the forbidden tree of priestcraft, and may serve to explain the allegory of the forbidden tree of knowledge, for we may reasonably suppose the allegory had some meaning and application at the time it was invented. It was the practice of the Eastern nations to convey their meaning by allegory, and relate it in the manner of fact. Jesus followed the same method, yet nobody ever supposed the allegory or parable of the rich man and Lazarus, the Prodigal Son, the ten Virgins, etc., were facts.
Why then should the tree of knowledge, which is far more romantic in idea than the parables in the New Testament are, be supposed to be a real tree? The answer to this is, because the Church could not make its new-fangled system, which it called Christianity, hold together without it. To have made Christ to die on account of an allegorical tree would have been too barefaced a fable.
But the account, as it is given of Jesus in the New Testament, even visionary as it is, does not support the creed of the Church that he died for the redemption of the world. According to that account he was crucified and buried on the Friday, and rose again in good health on the Sunday morning, for we do not hear that he was sick. This cannot be called dying, and is rather making fun of death than suffering it.
There are thousands of men and women also, who if they could know they should come back again in good health in about thirty-six hours, would prefer such kind of death for the sake of the experiment, and to know what the other side of the grave was. Why then should that which would be only a voyage of curious amusement to us, be magnified into merit and suffering in him? If a God, he could not suffer death, for immortality cannot die, and as a man his death could be no more than the death of any other person.
The belief of the redemption of Jesus Christ is altogether an invention of the Church of Rome, not the doctrine of the New Testament. What the writers of the New Testament attempted to prove by the story of Jesus is the resurrection of the same body from the grave, which was the belief of the Pharisees, in opposition to the Sadducees (a sect of Jews) who denied it.
Paul, who was brought up a Pharisee, labors hard at this for it was the creed of his own Pharisaical Church: I Corinthians xv is full of supposed cases and assertions about the resurrection of the same body, but there is not a word in it about redemption. This chapter makes part of the funeral service of the Episcopal Church. The dogma of the redemption is the fable of priestcraft invented since the time the New Testament was compiled, and the agreeable delusion of it suited with the depravity of immoral livers. When men are taught to ascribe all their crimes and vices to the temptations of the devil, and to believe that Jesus, by his death, rubs all off, and pays their passage to heaven gratis, they become as careless in morals as a spendthrift would be of money, were he told that his father had engaged to pay off all his scores.
It is a doctrine not only dangerous to morals in this world, but to our happiness in the next world, because it holds out such a cheap, easy, and lazy way of getting to heaven, as has a tendency to induce men to hug the delusion of it to their own injury.
But there are times when men have serious thoughts, and it is at such times, when they begin to think, that they begin to doubt the truth of the Christian religion; and well they may, for it is too fanciful and too full of conjecture, inconsistency, improbability and irrationality, to afford consolation to the thoughtful man. His reason revolts against his creed. He sees that none of its articles are proved, or can be proved.
He may believe that such a person as is called Jesus (for Christ was not his name) was born and grew to be a man, because it is no more than a natural and probable case. But who is to prove he is the son of God, that he was begotten by the Holy Ghost? Of these things there can be no proof; and that which admits not of proof, and is against the laws of probability and the order of nature, which God Himself has established, is not an object for belief. God has not given man reason to embarrass him, but to prevent his being imposed upon.
He may believe that Jesus was crucified, because many others were crucified, but who is to prove he was crucified for the sins of the world? This article has no evidence, not even in the New Testament; and if it had, where is the proof that the New Testament, in relating things neither probable nor provable, is to be believed as true?
When an article in a creed does not admit of proof nor of probability, the salvo is to call it revelation; but this is only putting one difficulty in the place of another, for it is as impossible to prove a thing to be revelation as it is to prove that Mary was gotten with child by the Holy Ghost.
Here it is that the religion of Deism is superior to the Christian Religion. It is free from all those invented and torturing articles that shock our reason or injure our humanity, and with which the Christian religion abounds. Its creed is pure, and sublimely simple. It believes in God, and there it rests.
It honors reason as the choicest gift of God to man, and the faculty by which he is enabled to contemplate the power, wisdom and goodness of the Creator displayed in the creation; and reposing itself on His protection, both here and hereafter, it avoids all presumptuous beliefs, and rejects, as the fabulous inventions of men, all books pretending to revelation.

Adolf Hitler

"The national government will maintain and defend the foundations on which the power of our nation rests. It will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality. Today Christians stand at the head of our country. We want to fill our culture again with the Christian spirit. We want to burn out all the recent immoral developments in literature, in the theatre, and in the press. In short, we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of LIBERAL excess during the past years." — Adolf Hitler; taken from The Speeches of Adolf Hitler, 1922-1939, Vol. 1, Michael Hakeem, Ph.D. (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871-872.

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