T'sara Vandercross (tsara) wrote,
T'sara Vandercross

Opening up a can of worms I best should have left alone

The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.
~John Adams, Treaty of Tripoli (June 7, 1797). Article 11

Twenty times in the course of my late reading, have I been upon the point of breaking out, this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.
~John Adams, letter to Charles Cushing (October 19, 1756)

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

Where do we find a precept in the Bible for Creeds, Confessions, Doctrines and Oaths, and whole carloads of trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in these days?
~John Adams

The Doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.
~John Adams

...Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, 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

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
~Thomas Jefferson, his interpretation of the first amendment in a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association (January 1, 1802)

...an amendment was proposed by inserting the words, Jesus Christ...the holy author of our religion, which was rejected By a great majority in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindoo and the Infidel of every denomination.
~Thomas Jefferson (from his biography)

Our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions, more than on our opinions in physics and geometry. . . .
~Thomas Jefferson, The Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. . . .
~Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on the State of Virginia (Query 17, 'Religion')"

Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these free inquiry must be indulged; how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse ourselves? But every state, says an inquisitor, has established some religion. No two, say I, have established the same. Is this a proof of the infallibility of establishments?
~Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on the State of Virginia (Query 17, 'Religion')"

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, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.
~Thomas Jefferson

They [the clergy] believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition of their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the alter of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
~Thomas Jefferson

In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
~Thomas Jefferson

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal 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....Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue on the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others which it will procure for you.
~Thomas Jefferson

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise....During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
~James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments"

Religion and government will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together.
~James Madison,

My parents had given me betimes religious impressions, and I received from my infancy a pious education in the principles of Calvinism. But scarcely was I arrived at fifteen years of age, when, after having doubted in turn of different tenets, according as I found them combated in the different books that I read, I began to doubt of Revelation itself.
~Benjamin Franklin (From his autobiography)

...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 quote to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations, in short, I soon became a thorough Deist. (See note on Deism, below)
~Benjamin Franklin (From his autobiography)

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of....Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and of my own part, I disbelieve them all.
~Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"

All natural institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
~Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"

The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion.
~Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"

What is it the Bible teaches us? rapine, cruelty, and murder.
~Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"

Loving of enemies is another dogma of feigned morality, and has beside no meaning....Those who preach the doctrine of loving their enemies are in general the greatest prosecutors, and they act consistently by so doing; for the doctrine is hypocritical, and it is natural that hypocrisy should act the reverse of what it preaches.
~Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"

The Bible was established altogether by the sword, and that in the worst use of it not to terrify but to extirpate.
~Thomas Paine, "The Age of Reason"

It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.
~Thomas Paine

Denominated a Deist, the reality of which I have never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian.
~Ethan Allen, "From Religion of the American Enlightenment"

"Deism: (1) The belief in the existence of a God on purely rational grounds without reliance on revelation or authority; especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. (2) The doctrine that God created the world and its natural laws, but takes no further part in its functioning."
~Websters New World Dictionary, Third College Edition

These were quotes that I found interesting when it came to the idea of Church/State seperation. Anyone have an oppinion?
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