"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.
"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
"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
"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"
"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
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
- Abraham Lincoln, American president (1809-1865).
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism." - Albert Einstein
"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for a reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." - Albert Einstein
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life, I absenteed myself from Christian assemblies." &
"Lighthouses are more helpful then churches."
-Benjamin Franklin, American Founding Father, author, and inventor
"The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation."
"The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man's bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire...Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up."
She wrote of the Bible, "I found nothing grand in the history of the Jews nor in the morals inculcated in the Pentateuch. Surely the writers had a very low idea of the nature of their god. They made him not only anthropomorphic, but of the very lowest type, jealous and revengeful, loving violence rather than mercy. I know of no other books that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of women." [Women Without Superstition]
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton, American suffragist (1815-1902).
"What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy."
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
"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." &
"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it."
- John Adams
"I was born a heretic. I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows."
- Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist (1820-1906).
"Religion is all bunk."
"I cannot believe in the immortality of the soul.... No, all this talk of an existence for us, as individuals, beyond the grave is wrong. It is born of our tenacity of life – our desire to go on living … our dread of coming to an end."
- Thomas Edison, American inventor (1847-1931).
"Revelation is a communication of something which the person to whom the thing id revealed did not know before. For if I have done, a thing, or seen it done, it needs no Revelation to tell me, I have done or seen it done nor enable me to tell it or write it. Revelation therefore cannot be applied to anything done upon earth, of which man is himself actor or witness and consequently all the historical part of the Bible which is almost the whole of it, is not within the meaning and compass of the word Revelation and therefore is not the Word of God."-- Thomas Paine The Age of Reason
"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half 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." From - The Age of Reason, Paine
"All national 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
"I do not believe in the divinity of Christ and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe." - President William Howard Taft