Christianity

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I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone (Isaiah 44:12) versus In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1–2)

Early Middle Ages


  • Jesus reveals the law to us when he reveals to us the secrets of the law. For we who are of the catholic Church, we do not spurn the law of Moses but accept it, so long as it is Jesus who reads it to us. Indeed, we can only possess a correct understanding of the Law when he reads it to us, and we are able to receive his sense and understanding.
    • Origen (c. 185–c. 254), in R. B. Tollington, trans., Selections from the Commentaries and Homilies of Origen, London, 1929, p. 54.
  • ‘If,’ said he, ‘the Father begat the Son, he that was begotten had a beginning of existence: and from this it is evident, that there was a time when the Son was not. It therefore necessarily follows, that he had his substance from nothing.’
  • Every prophet, every ancient writer, every revolution of the state, every law, every ceremony of the old covenant points only to Christ, announces only him, represents only him.
    • Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263–339?), Demonstratio Evangelium, 4: 15 in J. P. Migne, ed., Patrologia Graeca, Paris, 1857–66, vol. 22, p. 296.
  • We know that salvation belongs to the Church alone, and that no one can partake of Christ nor be saved outside the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith.
  • Whoever is separated from this Catholic Church, by this single sin of being separated from the unity of Christ, no matter how estimable a life he may imagine he is living, shall not have life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.
  • Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. … Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1:7]
    • Augustine of Hippo, De genesi ad litteram libri duodecim (The Literal Meaning of Genesis) (415), from J. H. Taylor, transl., Ancient Christian Writers, Newman Press, 1982, volume 41.
  • As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. … This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. … And as for heretics, I have never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every possible way that the Church's enemies are also my enemies.
    • Jerome, (405–420), Manual of Patrology and History of Theology
  • It is no fault of Christianity that a hypocrite falls into sin[.]
    • Jerome, letter 125, to Rusticus (405–420), W.H. Fremantle, transl. [2]
  • Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

High Middle Ages

  • Jesus Christ, whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the forms of bread and wine; the bread being changed (transsubstantiatio) by divine power into the body, and the wine into the blood, so that to realize the mystery of unity we may receive of Him what He has received of us. And this sacrament no one can effect except the priest who has been duly ordained in accordance with the keys of the Church, which Jesus Christ Himself gave to the Apostles and their successors.
  • Jews and Saracens [Muslims] of both sexes in every Christian province must be distinguished from the Christian by a difference of dress. On Passion Sunday and the last three days of Holy Week they may not appear in public.
  • There is no entering into salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge there was none outside the ark, which denotes the Church.
  • Pange, lingua, gloriosi
    Corporis mysterium
    Sanguinisque pretiosi,
    Quem in mundi pretium
    Fructus ventris generosi
    Rex effudit gentium.
    • Translation: Sing, my tongue, the Savior's glory,
      Of His Flesh the mystery sing;
      Of the Blood, all price exceeding,
      Shed by our immortal King.
    • Thomas Aquinas, Pange, Lingua (hymn for Vespers on the Feast of Copus Christi), stanza 1

Late Middle Ages

  • When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality. With unity is the end, the use of every means is sanctified, even cunning, treachery, violence, usury, prison, and death. Because order serves the good of the community, the individual must be sacrificed for the common good.
  • It appears utterly absurd and impermissible that the Jews, whom God has condemned to eternal slavery for their guilt, should enjoy our Christian love.

The Reformation and Counter-Reformation

  • Whoever shall maintain that wrong is done to heretics and blasphemers in punishing them makes himself an accomplice in their crime and guilty as they are. There is no question here of man's authority; it is God who speaks, and clear it is what law he will have kept in the church, even to the end of the world. Wherefore does he demand of us a so extreme severity, if not to show us that due honor is not paid him, so long as we set not his service above every human consideration, so that we spare not kin, nor blood of any, and forget all humanity when the matter is to combat for His glory.
    • John Calvin's justification of torture and execution for heretics. John Marshall, John Locke, Toleration and Early Enlightenment Culture (Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History), Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-65114-X p. 325.


  • When we pay attention to reason, God seems to propose impossible matters in the Christian Creed. To reason it seems absurd that Christ should offer His body and blood in the Lord's Supper; that Baptism should be the washing of regeneration; that the dead shall rise; that Christ the Son of God was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary, etc. Reason shouts that all this is preposterous. Are you surprised that reason thinks little of faith? Reason thinks it ludicrous that faith should be the foremost service any person can render unto God. Let your faith supplant reason.
    • Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians (1535), Theodore Graebner, transl., (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1949) Chapter 2, pp. 86–106. [3]
  • Be a sinner and sin strongly, but more strongly have faith and rejoice in Christ.
  • Prayer is a strong wall and fortress of the church; it is a goodly Christian weapon.
  • Is it faith to understand nothing, and merely submit your convictions implicitly to the Church?
  • God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.

The Age of Reason (Seventeenth Century)

  • I have often wondered, that persons who make a boast of professing the Christian religion, namely, love, joy, peace, temperance, and charity to all men, should quarrel with such rancorous animosity, and display daily towards one another such bitter hatred, that this, rather than the virtues they claim, is the readiest criterion of their faith. Matters have long since come to such a pass, that one can only pronounce a man Christian, Turk, Jew, or Heathen, by his general appearance and attire, by his frequenting this or that place of worship, or employing the phraseology of a particular sect—as for manner of life, it is in all cases the same.
  • I must at this juncture declare that those doctrines which certain churches put forward concerning Christ, I neither affirm nor deny, for I freely confess that I do not grasp them.
  • Had it been published by a voice from heaven, that twelve poor men, taken out of boats and creeks, without any help of learning, should conquer the world to the cross, it might have been thought an illusion against all reason of men; yet we know it was undertaken and accomplished by them.
    • Stephen Charnock, Discourses Upon the Existence and Attributes of God (1682) On the Existence of God

The Age of Enlightenment (Eighteenth Century)

  • A few persons of an odious and despised country could not have filled the world with believers, had they not shown undoubted credentials from the divine person who sent them on such a message.
  • I think it better to keep a profound silence with regard to the Christian fables, which are canonized by their antiquity and the credulity of absurd and insipid people.
  • Of all religions, Christianity ought doubtless to inspire the most toleration, although hitherto the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.
    • Voltaire, "Toleration," Dictionnaire philosophique portatif (1764)
  • [Christianity] is assuredly the most ridiculous, the most absurd and the most bloody religion which has ever infected this world. Your Majesty will do the human race an eternal service by extirpating this infamous superstition, I do not say among the rabble, who are not worthy of being enlightened and who are apt for every yoke; I say among honest people, among men who think, among those who wish to think. … My one regret in dying is that I cannot aid you in this noble enterprise, the finest and most respectable which the human mind can point out.
  • Where is the prince sufficiently educated to know that for seventeen hundred years the Christian sect has done nothing but harm?
  • [N]either antiquity nor any other nation has imagined a more atrocious and blasphemous absurdity than that of eating God. This is how Christians treat the autocrat of the universe.
  • In the middle ages of Christianity opposition to the State opinions was hushed. The consequence was, Christianity became loaded with all the Romish follies. Nothing but free argument, raillery & even ridicule will preserve the purity of religion.
  • Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned: yet we have not advanced one 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. Let us reflect that it is inhabited by a thousand millions of people. That these profess probably a thousand different systems of religion. That ours is but one of that thousand. That if there be but one right, and ours that one, we should wish to see the 999 wandering sects gathered into the fold of truth. But against such a majority we cannot effect this by force. Reason and persuasion are the only practicable instruments. To make way for these, free inquiry must be indulged; and how can we wish others to indulge it while we refuse it 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? Our sister states of Pennsylvania and New York, however, have long subsisted without any establishment at all.
  • 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 the laity, in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution.
  • What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty, may have found an established Clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just Government instituted to secure & perpetuate it needs them not.
  • Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object [religion]. In the first place divest yourself of all bias in favour of novelty & singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. It is too important, & the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other hand shake off all the fears & servile prejudices under which weak minds are servilely crouched. 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. You will naturally examine first the religion of your own country. Read the bible then, as you would read Livy or Tacitus. … But those facts in the bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. … Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, etc. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the new testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions I. of those who say he was begotten by god, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven: and 2. of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, & was Punished capitally for sedition by being gibbeted according to the Roman law which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile or death in furcâ. … Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of it's consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort & pleasantness you feel in it's exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a god, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a god, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love. In fine, I repeat that you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, & neither believe nor reject anything because any other persons, or description of persons have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness but uprightness of the decision. I forgot to observe when speaking of the new testament that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, & not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost. There are some however still extant, collected by Fabricius which I will endeavor to get & send you.
  • The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labour and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection. So pleasing was this hope to the mind of believers, that the new Jerusalem, the seat of this blissful kingdom, was quickly adorned with all the gayest colours of the imagination. … Though it might not be universally received, it appears to have been the reigning sentiment of the orthodox believers; and it seems so well adapted to the desires and apprehensions of mankind, that it must have contributed in a very considerable degree to the progress of the Christian faith. But when the edifice of the church was almost completed, the temporary support was laid aside. The doctrine of Christ's reign upon earth was at first treated as a profound allegory, was considered by degrees as a doubtful and useless opinion, and was at length rejected as the absurd invention of heresy and fanaticism. A mysterious prophecy, which still forms a part of the sacred canon, but which was thought to favour the exploded sentiment, has very narrowly escaped the proscription of the church.
  • Whilst the happiness and glory of a temporal reign were promised to the disciples of Christ, the most dreadful calamities were denounced against an unbelieving world. … A regular series was prepared of all the moral and physical evils which can afflict a flourishing nation; intestine discord, and the invasion of the fiercest barbarians from the unknown regions of the North; pestilence and famine, comets and eclipses, earthquakes and inundations. The calmest and most intrepid sceptic could not refuse to acknowledge that the destruction of the present system of the world by fire was in itself extremely probable. The Christian, who founded his belief much less on the fallacious arguments of reason than on the authority of tradition and the interpretation of Scripture, expected it with terror and confidence as a certain and approaching event; and as his mind was perpetually filled with the solemn idea, he considered every disaster that happened to the empire as an infallible symptom of an expiring world.
  • The condemnation of the wisest and most virtuous of the Pagans, on account of their ignorance or disbelief of the divine truth, seems to offend the reason and the humanity of the present age. But the primitive church, whose faith was of a much firmer consistence, delivered over, without hesitation, to eternal torture the far greater part of the human species.
  • The chaste severity of the fathers in whatever related to the commerce of the two sexes flowed from the same principle—their abhorrence of every enjoyment which might gratify the sensual and degrade the spiritual nature of man. It was their favourite opinion, that if Adam had preserved his obedience to the Creator, he would have lived for ever in a state of virgin purity, and that some harmless mode of vegetation might have peopled paradise with a race of innocent and immortal beings. The use of marriage was permitted only to his fallen posterity, as a necessary expedient to continue the human species, and as a restraint, however imperfect, on the natural licentiousness of desire. The enumeration of the very whimsical laws which they most circumstantially imposed on the marriage-bed would force a smile from the young and a blush from the fair. It was their unanimous sentiment that a first marriage was adequate to all the purposes of nature and of society. The sensual connection was refined into a resemblance of the mystic union of Christ with his church, and was pronounced to be indissoluble either by divorce or by death. The practice of second nuptials was branded with the name of a legal adultery; and the persons who were guilty of so scandalous an offence against Christian purity were soon excluded from the honours, and even from the arms, of the church. Since desire was imputed as a crime, and marriage was tolerated as a defect, it was consistent with the same principles to consider a state of celibacy as the nearest approach to the Divine perfection.
  • The names of Seneca, of the elder and the younger Pliny, of Tacitus, of Plutarch, of Galen, of the slave Epictetus, and of the emperor Marcus Antoninus, adorn the age in which they flourished, and exalt the dignity of human nature. They filled with glory their respective stations, either in active or contemplative life; their excellent understandings were improved by study; philosophy had purified their minds from the prejudices of the popular superstition; and their days were spent in the pursuit of truth and the practice of virtue. Yet all these sages (it is no less an object of surprise than of concern) overlooked or rejected the perfection of the Christian system. Their language or their silence equally discover their contempt for the growing sect which in their time had diffused itself over the Roman empire. Those among them who condescend to mention the Christians consider them only as obstinate and perverse enthusiasts, who exacted an implicit submission to their mysterious doctrines, without being able to produce a single argument that could engage the attention of men of sense and learning.
  • [H]ow shall we excuse the supine inattention of the Pagan and philosophic world to those evidences which were presented by the hand of Omnipotence, not to their reason, but to their senses? During the age of Christ, of his apostles, and of their first disciples, the doctrine which they preached was confirmed by innumerable prodigies. The lame walked, the blind saw, the sick were healed, the dead were raised, daemons were expelled, and the laws of Nature were frequently suspended for the benefit of the church.
    … Under the reign of Tiberius, the whole earth, or at least a celebrated province of the Roman empire, was involved in a preternatural darkness of three hours. Even this miraculous event, which ought to have excited the wonder, the curiosity, and the devotion of mankind, passed without notice in an age of science and history. It happened during the lifetime of Seneca and the elder Pliny, who must have experienced the immediate effects, or received the earliest intelligence, of the prodigy. Each of these philosophers, in a laborious work, has recorded all the great phenomena of Nature, earthquakes, meteors, comets, and eclipses, which his indefatigable curiosity could collect. Both the one and the other have omitted to mention the greatest phenomenon to which the mortal eye has been witness since the creation of the globe.
  • But the most interesting conquest of the Seljukian Turks was that of Jerusalem, which soon became the theatre of nations. In their capitulation with Omar, the inhabitants had stipulated the assurance of their religion and property; … and the sepulchre of Christ, with the church of the Resurrection, was still left in the hands of his votaries. Of these votaries, the most numerous and respectable portion were strangers to Jerusalem: the pilgrimages to the Holy Land had been stimulated, rather than suppressed, by the conquest of the Arabs; … The harmony of prayer in so many various tongues, the worship of so many nations in the common temple of their religion, might have afforded a spectacle of edification and peace; but the zeal of the Christian sects was imbittered by hatred and revenge; and in the kingdom of a suffering Messiah, who had pardoned his enemies, they aspired to command and persecute their spiritual brethren.
  • About four hundred and sixty years after the conquest of Omar, the holy city was rescued from the Mahometan yoke. In the pillage of public and private wealth, the adventurers had agreed to respect the exclusive property of the first occupant; and the spoils of the great mosque, seventy lamps and massy vases of gold and silver, rewarded the diligence, and displayed the generosity, of Tancred. A bloody sacrifice was offered by his mistaken votaries to the God of the Christians: resistance might provoke but neither age nor sex could mollify, their implacable rage: they indulged themselves three days in a promiscuous massacre; and the infection of the dead bodies produced an epidemical disease. After seventy thousand Moslems had been put to the sword, and the harmless Jews had been burnt in their synagogue, they could still reserve a multitude of captives, whom interest or lassitude persuaded them to spare. … Bareheaded and barefoot, with contrite hearts, and in an humble posture, they ascended the hill of Calvary, amidst the loud anthems of the clergy; kissed the stone which had covered the Savior of the world; and bedewed with tears of joy and penitence the monument of their redemption. … nor shall I believe that the most ardent in slaughter and rapine were the foremost in the procession to the holy sepulchre.
  • Let divines and philosophers, statemen and patriots, unite their endeavours to renovate the age by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating little boys and girls; of inculcating in the minds of youth the fear and love of the Deity…in short leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system….
  • [A]ll churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, are simply human inventions. They use fear to enslave us. They are a monopoly for power and profit.
  • What have we learned from this false thing called "revealed religion"? Absolutely nothing that is useful to man, and everything that is dishonorable to God. What does the Bible teach us?—rapine, cruelty, and murder. What does the New Testament teach us?—to believe that God had sex with a woman engaged to be married. The belief in this debauchery is what is called faith.
  • People in general do not realize the wickedness that is in this so-called word of God. They are raised with the superstitious ideas that the Bible is true and good, and don't allow themselves to doubt it. The ideas that they form from the generosity of God are carried over to the book that they have been taught to believe was written by his authority. Good heavens, it is something else entirely! It is a book of lies, wickedness, and blasphemy. What can be a greater blasphemy than to say that the wickedness of man was done by the order of God?
  • Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints; and the Turks their Mahomet; as if the way to God was not open to every man alike.
    Each of those churches shows certain books, which they call revelation, or the Word of God. The Jews say that their Word of God was given by God to Moses face to face; the Christians say, that their Word of God came by divine inspiration; and the Turks say, that their Word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from heaven. Each of those churches accuses the other of unbelief; and, for my own part, I disbelieve them all.
  • Having thus made an insurrection and a battle in heaven, in which none of the combatants could be either killed or wounded—put Satan into the pit—let him out again—given him a triumph over the whole creation—damned all mankind by the eating of an apple, these Christian mythologists bring the two ends of their fable together. They represent this virtuous and amiable man, Jesus Christ, to be at once both God and man, and also the Son of God, celestially begotten, on purpose to be sacrificed, because they say that Eve in her longing had eaten an apple.
  • If I owe a person money, and cannot pay him, and he threatens to put me in prison, another person can take the debt upon himself, and pay it for me. But if I have committed a crime, every circumstance of the case is changed. Moral justice cannot take the innocent for the guilty even if the innocent would offer itself. To suppose justice to do this, is to destroy the principle of its existence, which is the thing itself. It is then no longer justice. It is indiscriminate revenge.
  • As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of atheism; a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of man-ism with but little deism, and is as near to atheism as twilight is to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which it calls a redeemer[.]
  • Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself, than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism; and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests; but so far as respects the good of man in general, it leads to nothing here or hereafter.
  • As the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims] … it is declared … that no pretext arising from religious opinion shall ever product an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. … The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation.
  • [W]hen the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation that he had never on any occasion said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion and they thought they should so pen their address as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However [Dr. Rush] observed the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice. Rush observes he never did say a word on the subject in any of his public papers except in his valedictory letter to the Governors of the states when he resigned his commission in the army, wherein he speaks of the benign influence of the Christian religion. I know that Gouverneur Morris, who pretended to be in his secrets & believed himself to be so, has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that system than he himself did.

The Nineteenth Century

  • The disadvantages under which his doctrines appear are remarkable... Like Socrates & Epictetus, he wrote nothing himself... But he had not, like them, a Xenophon or an Arrian to write for him. ... According to the ordinary fate of those who attempt to enlighten and reform mankind, he fell an early victim to the jealousy & combination of the altar and the throne, at about 33 years of age, his reason having not yet attained the maximum of its energy, nor the course of his preaching, which was but of 3 years at most, presented occasions for developing a complete system of morals. Hence the doctrines which he really delivered were defective as a whole, and fragments only of what he did deliver have come to us mutilated, misstated, & often unintelligible.... They have been still more disfigured by the corruptions of schismatising followers, who have found an interest in sophisticating & perverting the simple doctrines he taught by engrafting on them the mysticisms of a Grecian sophist, frittering them into subtleties, & obscuring them with jargon, until they have caused good men to reject the whole in disgust, & to view Jesus himself as an impostor.
    Notwithstanding these disadvantages, a system of morals is presented to us, which, if filled up in the true style and spirit of the rich fragments he left us, would be the most perfect and sublime that has ever been taught by man. ... His moral doctrines, relating to kindred & friends, were more pure & perfect than those of the most correct of the philosophers, and greatly more so than those of the Jews; and they went far beyond both in inculcating universal philanthropy, not only to kindred and friends, to neighbors and countrymen, but to all mankind, gathering all into one family, under the bonds of love, charity, peace, common wants and common aids. A development of this head will evince the peculiar superiority of the system of Jesus over all others.
  • Since its introduction, human nature has made great progress, and society experienced great changes; and in this advanced condition of the world, Christianity, instead of losing its application and importance, is found to be more and more congenial and adapted to man's nature and wants. Men have outgrown the other institutions of that period when Christianity appeared, its philosophy, its modes of warfare, its policy, its public and private economy; but Christianity has never shrunk as intellect has opened, but has always kept in advance of men's faculties, and unfolded nobler views in proportion as they have ascended. The highest powers and affections which our nature has developed, find more than adequate objects in this religion. Christianity is indeed peculiarly fitted to the more improved stages of society, to the more delicate sensibilities of refined minds, and especially to that dissatisfaction with the present state, which always grows with the growth of our moral powers and affections.
  • The general principles, on which the Fathers achieved independence, were the only Principles in which that beautiful Assembly of young Gentlemen could Unite…And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United:…Now I will avow, that I then believe, and now believe, that those general Principles of Christianity, are as eternal and immutable, as the Existence and Attributes of God; and that those Principles of Liberty, are as unalterable as human Nature and our terrestrial, mundane System.
  • 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. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.
    • Thomas Jefferson on members of the clergy who sought to establish some form of "official" Christianity in the U.S. government. Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush (September 23, 1800); The first portion of this statement has also been widely paraphrased as "The clergy believe that any power confided in me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes, and they believe rightly."
  • The Christian priesthood, finding the doctrines of Christ levelled to every understanding, and too plain to need explanation, saw in the mysticism of Plato, materials with which they might build up an artificial system, which might, from its indistinctness, admit everlasting controversy, give employment for their order, and introduce it to profit, power and pre-eminence. The doctrines which flowed from the lips of Jesus himself are within the comprehension of a child ; but thousands of volumes have not yet explained the Platonisms engrafted on them; and for this obvious reason, that nonsense can never be explained.
  • Cabalistic Christianity, which is Catholic Christianity, and which has prevailed for 1,500 years, has received a mortal wound, of which the monster must finally die. Yet so strong is his constitution, that he may endure for centuries before he expires.
  • I, too, have made a wee-little book from the same materials, which I call the Philosophy of Jesus; it is a paradigma of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book, and arranging them on the pages of d blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen; it is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call me infidel and themselves Christians and preachers of the gospel, while they draw all their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature.
  • I may say Christianity itself divided into it's thousands also, who are disputing, anathematizing and where the laws permit burning and torturing one another for abstractions which no one of them understand, and which are indeed beyond the comprehension of the human mind[.]
  • But the greatest of all the 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, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill[.] … The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems,[footnote: e.g. 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 Hierarchy, etc. —T.J.] invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him, is a most desirable object, and one to which Priestley has successfully devoted his labors and learning. It would in time, it is to be hoped, effect a quiet euthanasia of the heresies of bigotry and fanaticism which have so long triumphed over human reason, and so generally and deeply afflicted mankind; but this work is to be begun by winnowing the grain from the chaff of the historians of his life.
  • His [Jesus'] object was the reformation of some articles in the religion of the Jews, as taught by Moses. That sect had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust.
    • Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Short, August 4, 1820, on his reason for compiling the Syllabus of an Estimate of the Merit of the Doctrines of Jesus. Published in Thomas Jefferson: Writings, Merrill D. Peterson, ed., New York: Library of America, 1994, pp. 1435–1440.[19]
  • The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.
1. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.
2, That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.
These are the great points on which he endeavored to reform the religion of the Jews. 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, are nothing.
3. That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit in its 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.
Now, which of these is the true and charitable Christian? He who believes and acts on the simple doctrines of Jesus? Or the impious dogmatists, as Athanasius and Calvin? Verily I say these are the false shepherds foretold as to enter not by the door into the sheepfold, but to climb up some other way. They are mere usurpers of the Christian name, teaching a counter-religion made up of the deliria of crazy imaginations, as foreign from Christianity as is that of Mahomet. Their blasphemies have driven thinking men into infidelity, who have too hastily rejected the supposed author himself, with the horrors so falsely imputed to him. Had the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian. I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests[.]
  • 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.
  • I thank you, Sir, for the copy you were so kind as to send me of the revd. Mr. Bancroft's Unitarian sermons. I have read them with great satisfaction, and always rejoice in efforts to restore us to primitive Christianity, in all the simplicity in which it came from the lips of Jesus. Had it never been sophisticated by the subtleties of Commentators, nor paraphrased into meanings totally foreign to it's character, it would at this day have been the religion of the whole civilized world. But the metaphysical abstractions of Athanasius, and the maniac ravings of Calvin, tinctured plentifully with the foggy dreams of Plato, have so loaded it with absurdities and incomprehensibilities, as to drive into infidelity men who had not time, patience, or opportunity to strip it of it's meretricious trappings[.]
  • We think ourselves possessed, or, at least, we boast that we are so, of liberty of conscience on all subjects, and of the right of free inquiry and private judgment in all cases, and yet how far are we from these exalted privileges in fact! There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny or doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. In England itself it is punished by boring through the tongue with a red-hot poker. In America it is not better; even in our own Massachusetts, which I believe, upon the whole, is as temperate and moderate in religious zeal as most of the States, a law was made in the latter end of the last century, repealing the cruel punishments of the former laws, but substituting fine and imprisonment upon all those blasphemers upon any book of the Old Testament or New. Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any argument for investigating into the divine authority of those books? Who would run the risk of translating Dupuis? But I cannot enlarge upon this subject, though I have it much at heart. I think such laws a great embarrassment, great obstructions to the improvement of the human mind. Books that cannot bear examination, certainly ought not to be established as divine inspiration by penal laws. It is true, few persons appear desirous to put such laws in execution, and it is also true that some few persons are hardy enough to venture to depart from them. But as long as they continue in force as laws, the human mind must make an awkward and clumsy progress in its investigations. I wish they were repealed. The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever, but it has been mixed with extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated.
  • Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure... are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free government.
  • A Christian is God Almighty's gentleman: a gentleman, in the vulgar superficial way of understanding the word, is the Devil's Christian.
  • The real security of Christianity is to be found in its benevolent morality, in its exquisite adaptation to the human heart, in the facility with which its scheme accommodates itself to the capacity of every human intellect, in the consolation which it bears to every house of mourning, in the light with which it brightens the great mystery of the grave.
  • Why is it that, next to the birthday of the saviour of the world, your most joyous and venerated festival returns on this day? Is it not that, in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the saviour? That it forms a leading event in the progress of the gospel dispensation? Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the redeemer's mission on earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?
  • "It is a refiner as well as a purifier of the heart; it imparts correctness of perception, delicacy of sentiment, and all those nicer shades of thought and feeling which constitute elegance of mind."
    • Mrs. John Sanford, The Lady's Manual of Moral and Intellectual Culture (1854) Causes of Female Influence
  • There will soon be no more priests. Their work is done. They may wait awhile … perhaps a generation or two … dropping off by degrees. … A new order shall arise and they shall be the new priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest. The churches built under their umbrage shall be the churches of men and women. Through the divinity of themselves shall the kosmos and the new breed of poets be interpreters of men and women and of all events and things. They shall find their inspiration in real objects today, symptoms of the past and future. … They shall not deign to defend immorality or God or the perfection of things or liberty or the exquisite beauty and reality of the soul. They shall arise in America and and be responded to from the remainder of the earth.
  • One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin. The atonement requires constant self-immolation on the sinner’s part. That God’s wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son, is divinely unnatural. Such a theory is man-made. … The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree,’ than when it was flowing in his veins as he went daily about his Father’s business. … His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulchre, whereas he was alive[.]
  • It is plain that God does not employ drugs or hygiene, nor provide them for human use; else Jesus would have recommended and employed them in his healing. The sick are more deplorably lost than the sinning, if the sick cannot rely on God for help and the sinning can. … The universal belief in physics weighs against the high and mighty truths of Christian metaphysics. This erroneous general belief, which sustains medicine and produces all medical results, works against Christian Science[.] … If we would heal by the Spirit, we must not hide the talent of spiritual healing under the napkin of its form[.] … The tender word and Christian encouragement of an invalid, pitiful patience with his fears and the removal of them, are better than hecatombs of gushing theories, stereotyped borrowed speeches, and the doling of arguments, which are but so many parodies on legitimate Christian Science, aflame with divine Love.
  • We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith and morals; and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church.
    • Vatican Council, (24 April 1870)
  • Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
    with the cross of Jesus going on before.
    Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
    forward into battle see his banners go!
  • The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.
  • In Christianity neither morality nor religion has even a single point of contact with reality.
  • The very word 'Christianity' is a misunderstanding — in truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.
  • I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty—I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind.
  • Christianity, above all, consoles; but there are naturally happy souls who do not need consolation. Consequently, Christianity begins by making such souls unhappy, for otherwise it would have no power over them.
  • Christianity is the solace of the poor. Christ has ever been the poor man's Friend.

The Twentieth Century

  • When ecclesiastic love waned, when waves of capitalistic greed surged across Christian Europe, when starving masses cried out bitterly in the slums, the promise of their salvation came not from heaven but from the earth. Its name was communism. Christianity, though it professed the love of God, had degenerated into a dead body of clergy trailing empty slogans. It was then only natural that a banner of rebellion would be raised, arguing that a merciless God who would allow such suffering could not exist. Hence, modern materialism was born. Western society became a hotbed of materialism; it was the fertile soil in which communism flourished.
  • The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianty's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practices a lie of the same nature, when it claims to bring liberty to men, whereas in reality it seeks only to enslave them. In the ancient world the relations between men and gods were founded on instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened by the idea of tolerance. Christianity was the first creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of love. Its key note is intolerance.
    • Adolf Hitler, Night of 11-12 July, Hitler'sTable Talk 1941-44, Enigma books, 2008, p.8
  • The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.
    • G. K. Chesterton What's Wrong With The World (1910) Part One: The Homelessness Of Man, Ch. 5 : The Unfinished Temple
  • Christianity is most admirably adapted to the training of slaves, to the perpetuation of a slave society; in short, to the very conditions confronting us to-day. … The rulers of the earth have realized long ago what potent poison inheres in the Christian religion. That is the reason they foster it; that is why they leave nothing undone to instill it into the blood of the people. They know only too well that the subtleness of the Christian teachings is a more powerful protection against rebellion and discontent than the club or the gun.
  • Everywhere and always, since its very inception, Christianity has turned the earth into a vale of tears; always it has made of life a weak, diseased thing, always it has instilled fear in man, turning him into a dual being, whose life energies are spent in the struggle between body and soul. In decrying the body as something evil, the flesh as the tempter to everything that is sinful, man has mutilated his being in the vain attempt to keep his soul pure, while his body rotted away from the injuries and tortures inflicted upon it.
    The Christian religion and morality extols the glory of the Hereafter, and therefore remains indifferent to the horrors of the earth. Indeed, the idea of self-denial and of all that makes for pain and sorrow is its test of human worth, its passport to the entry into heaven.
  • I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it's not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time.
    • Mohandas Gandhi as quoted by William Rees-Mogg in The Times [London] (4 April 2005). Gandhi here makes reference to a statement of Jesus: “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:13)
  • My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognised these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognise more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow my self to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice...and if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.
  • I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.
  • The Catholic Church considered the Jews pestilent for fifteen hundred years, put them in ghettos, etc, because it recognized the Jews for what they were. … I recognize the representatives of this race as pestilent for the state and for the church and perhaps I am thereby doing Christianity a great service by pushing them out of schools and public functions.
  • And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God.
  • That is the idea—that we should all be wicked if we did not hold to the Christian religion. It seems to me that the people who have held to it have been for the most part extremely wicked. You find this curious fact, that the more intense has been the religion of any period and the more profound has been the dogmatic belief, the greater has been the cruelty and the worse has been the state of affairs. In the so-called Ages of faith, when men really did believe the Christian religion in all its completeness, there was the Inquisition, with all its tortures; there were millions of unfortunate women burned as witches; and there was every kind of cruelty practiced upon all sorts of people in the name of religion.
    You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress of humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or ever mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. …
    You may think that I am going too far when I say that that is still so, I do not think that I am. Take one fact. You will bear with me if I mention it. It is not a pleasant fact, but the churches compel one to mention facts that are not pleasant. Supposing that in this world that we live in today an inexperienced girl is married to a syphilitic man, in that case the Catholic Church says, "This is an indissoluble sacrament. You must stay together for life," and no steps of any sort must be taken by that woman to prevent herself from giving birth to syphilitic children. This is what the Catholic church says. I say that that is fiendish cruelty, and nobody whose natural sympathies have not been warped by dogma, or whose moral nature was not absolutely dead to all sense of suffering, could maintain that it is right and proper that that state of things should continue.
    That is only an example. There are a great many ways in which at the present moment the church, by its insistence upon what it chooses to call morality, inflicts upon all sorts of people undeserved and unnecessary suffering.
  • The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life.
  • Today Christians … stand at the head of [this country] … I pledge that I never will tie myself to parties who want to destroy Christianity .. 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 theater, 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 … [few] years.
    • Adolf Hitler, The Speeches of Adolph Hitler, 1922–1939, Vol. 1 (London, Oxford University Press, 1942), pp. 871–872.
  • Christian mythology incorporated the cosmological theories current eighteen centuries ago. Dante found it a slight strain to combine this mythology with the facts known in his own day. Milton found it harder. Mr. Lewis finds it impossible.
  • No egoism is so insufferable as that of the Christian with regard to his soul.
  • Today we are engaged in a final, all-out battle between Communistic Atheism and Christianity.
  • I have known many Christians—Poles, Frenchman, Spaniards—who were strict Stalinists in the field of politics but who retained certain inner reservations, believing God would make corrections once the bloody sentences of the all-mighties of History were carried out. They pushed their reasoning rather far. They argue that history develops according to immutable laws that exist by the will of God; one of these laws is the class struggle; the twentieth century marks the victory of the proletariat, which is led in its struggle by the Communist Party; Stalin, the leader of the Communist Party, fulfils the law of history or in other words acts by the will of God, therefore one must obey him. Mankind can be renewed only on the Russian pattern; that is why no Christian can oppose the one—cruel, it is true—idea which will create a new kind of man over the entire planet. Such reasing is often used by clerics who are party tools. “Christ is a new man. The new man is a Soviet man. Therefore Christ is a Soviet man!” said Justinian Marina, the Rumanian patriarch.
  • Christianity has operated with an unmitigated arrogance and cruelty -- necessarily, since a religion ordinarily imposes on those who have discovered the true faith the spiritual duty of liberating the infidels.
    • James Baldwin, "Letter from a Region in My Mind," The New Yorker (17 November 1962), republished as "Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind" in The Fire Next Time (1963)
  • Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first — rock and roll or Christianity.
    • John Lennon, as quoted in The Evening Standard (London, 4 March 1966).
    • After a controversy arose surrounding this remark, Lennon stated it had been taken out of context.
  • You just come to them and look them straight in the eye and say, "Yes brother, I'm washed in the same blood as you." It all comes in the blood—you hear all these sayings "power in the blood," "are you washed in the blood," it's a very bloody religion.
    • Marjoe Gortner, one-time child evangelist who exposed the fraudulence of fundamentalist Christian sermons in America in the 1972 academy-award winning documentary Marjoe. He estimates that he raised $3 million (1960s) dollars in donations.
  • On this earth you must belong to the church militant or get the hell out of it. That's the right word. You're either with me or against me' There is no middle ground in this battle between Christ and the anti-Christ. If you step out of (the battle), you're worse than those boys who ran off to Norway, Sweden, those boys who deserted the government. You're deserters, rotten deserters.
  • When [Jesus] executes judgment over the world at Armageddon, he will destroy all but the faithful Jehovah's witnesses. [Jesus is then shown hurling fireballs that destroy New York City, breaking dams, causing fires, and murdering many people, including children]. Jesus, alias Michael, will always remain invisible to those on earth, and can be seen only by the 144,000 select Jehovah's witnesses who rule with Him from heaven.
  • The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.
  • I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    • C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (New York: HarperCollins, 1976) p. 140
  • The [Supreme] Court, by seeking to equate Christianity with other religions, merely assaults the one faith. The Court in essence is assailing the true God by democratizing the Christian religion.
    • John Whitehead The Separation Illusion: A Lawyer Examines the First Ammendmant (Mott Media 1977)
  • "I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are venomous enough, or secret, subterranean and small enough -- I call it the one immortal blemish upon the human race."
  • Yes, religion and politics do mix. America is a nation based on biblical principles. Christian values dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.
    • Beverly LaHaye quoted in Watch the Right: The Amazing Rise of Beverly LaHaye by Connie Page Ms. magazine, (February 1987)
  • The long-term goal of Christians in politics should be to gain exclusive control over the franchise. Those who refuse to submit publicly to the eternal sanctions of God by submitting to His Church's public marks of the covenant–baptism and holy communion–must be denied citizenship, just as they were in ancient Israel.
  • You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense! I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.
  • Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free.
    • Pat Buchanan speech to the Christian Coalition quoted in New York Times 12 September 1993 p. 37
  • Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."
  • The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ.
    • James Kennedy Education: Public Problems and Private Solutions (Coral Ridge Ministries 1993)
  • If the resurrection of Jesus cannot be believed except by assenting to the fantastic descriptions included in the Gospels, then Christianity is doomed. For that view of resurrection is not believable, and if that is all there is, then Christianity, which depends upon the truth and authenticity of Jesus' resurrection, also is not believable.
    • Bishop John Shelby Spong, Resurrection: Myth or Reality? (San Fransisco: HarperCollins, 1994), p. 238.
  • Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
  • Atheistic secular humanists should be removed from office and Christians should be elected... Government and true Christianity are inseparable.
  • Why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?

The Twenty-First Century

  • His message of peace and reconciliation under almost all circumstances is simply incompatible with Christian teachings as I interpret them. This 'turn the other cheek' business is all well and good but it's not what Jesus fought and died for. What we need to do is take the battle to the Muslim heathens and do unto them before they do unto us.
  • Only a humorless tyrant could want a perpetual chanting of praises that, one has no choice but to assume, would be the innate virtues and splendors furnished him by his creator, infinite regression, drowned in praise!
  • I have been called arrogant myself in my time, and hope to earn the title again, but to claim that I am privy to the secrets of the universe and its creator—that's beyond my conceit. I therefore have no choice but to find something suspect even in the humblest believer[.] … Even the most humane and compassionate of the monotheisms and polytheisms are complicit in this quiet and irrational authoritarianism: they proclaim us, in Fulke Greville's unforgettable line, “Created sick—Commanded to be well.” And there are totalitarian insinuations to back this up if its appeal should fail. Christians, for example, declare me redeemed by a human sacrifice that occurred thousands of years before I was born. I didn't ask for it, and would willingly have foregone it, but there it is: I'm claimed and saved whether I wish it or not. And if I refuse the unsolicited gift? Well, there are still some vague mutterings about an eternity of torment for my ingratitude. That is somewhat worse than a Big Brother state, because there could be no hope of its eventually passing away.
    In any case, I find something repulsive about the idea of vicarious redemption. I would not throw my numberless sins onto a scapegoat and expect them to pass from me; we rightly sneer at the barbaric societies that practice this unpleasantness in its literal form. There's no moral value in the vicarious gesture anyway. As Thomas Paine pointed out, you may if you wish take on a another man's debt, or even to take his place in prison. That would be self-sacrificing. But you may not assume his actual crimes as if they were your own; for one thing you did not commit them and might have died rather than do so; for another this impossible action would rob him of individual responsibility. So the whole apparatus of absolution and forgiveness strikes me as positively immoral, while the concept of revealed truth degrades the concept of free intelligence by purportedly relieving us of the hard task of working out the ethical principles for ourselves.
    You can see the same immorality or ammorality in the Christian view of guilt and punishment. There are only two texts, both of them extreme and mutually contradictory. The Old Testament injunction is the one to exact and eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (it occurs in a passage of perfectly demented detail about the exact rules governing mutual ox-goring; you should look it up in its context [Exodus 21]). The second is from the Gospels and says that only those without sin should cast the first stone. The first is a moral basis for capital punishment and other barbarities; the second is so relativeistic and “nonjudgmental” that it would not allow the prosecution of Charles manson. Our few notions of justice have had to evolve despite these absurd codes of ultra vindictiveness and ultracompassion. …
    Judaism has some advantages over Christianity in that, for example, it does not proselytise—except among Jews—and it does not make the cretinous mistake of saying that the Messiah has already made his appearance. … However, along with Islam and Christianity, it does insist that some turgid and contradictory and sometimes evil and mad texts, obviously written by fairly unexceptional humans, are in fact the word of god. I think that the indispensable condition of any intellectual liberty is the realisation that there is no such thing.
  • There is no need to teach that stars can fall out of the sky and land on a flat Earth in order to defend our religious faith.
  • The [Catholic] church, as far as I know, has not endorsed any war as just since it supported General Franco's invasion of Spain to destroy the Spanish republic with a Muslim mercenary army in the thirties, on the side of Hitler.
  • Give us this day our daily bread. Oh sure.
    Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Nobody better trespass against me.
    I'll tell you that.
    Blessed are the meek.
    Blessed are the merciful.
    You mean we can't use torture?
    Blessed are the peacemakers.
    Jane Fonda?
    Love your enemies - Arabs?
    Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
    The hell I can't! Look at the Reverend Pat Robertson.
    And He is as happy as a pig in shit.
  • Since Jesus came to the earth the first time 2,000 years ago as a Jewish male, many evangelicals believe the Antichrist will, by necessity, be a Jewish male. This belief is 2,000 years old and has no anti-Semitic roots. This is simply historic and prophetic orthodox Christian doctrine that many theologians, Christian and non-Christian, have understood for two millennia.
    • Jerry Falwell, quoted in "Religion, Politics a Potent Mix for Jerry Falwell" by Steve Inskeep in Morning Edition on NPR (30 June 2006)
  • The god of Moses would call for other tribes, including his favorite one, to suffer massacre and plague and even extirpation, but when the grave closed over his victims he was essentially finished with them unless he remembered to curse their succeeding progeny. Not until the advent of the Prince of Peace do we hear of the ghastly idea of further punishing and torturing the dead.
  • A thread of hatred runs through the New Testament.
  • I actually love Catholicism. It's my favourite form of clandestine global evil.
  • Christians aren't perfect, but the good ones are honest.

Unsourced

  • The greatest source of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips but deny Him by their lifestyles. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.
  • Evangelical Christianity, as everyone knows, is founded upon hate, as the Christianity of Christ was founded upon love"
  • I am a Muslim and a Hindu and a Christian and a Jew and so are all of you.
  • I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.
  • If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being.
  • It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists, but by christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.
  • Let us be done with being anti-anybody. Let us become pro-Christ and pro-love! Let us stop talking against this person and that, this nation and that. Let us begin to live Christianity!
  • My parents would always tell me that I should not hate the white man, but that it was my duty as a Christian to love all.
  • Our goal must be simple. We must have a Christian nation built on God's law, on the ten Commandments. No apologies.
  • Raising your children under Americanism or any other principles other than true Christianity is child abuse.
    • Robert T. Lee (Society for the Practical Establishment of the Ten Commandments)
  • This is God's world, not Satan's. Christians are the lawful heirs, not non-Christians.
  • We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.
    • James Watt (Secretary of the Interior in the Reagan Admin)
  • We need a legal strategy which protects the rights of those of us who hold Christian convictions which will afford us the opportunity to contend once again for the mind of this culture.
  • We've staked our future on our abilty to follow the ten commandments with all our heart.
  • When the Christian majority takes over this country, there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals. After the Christian majority takes control, pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil.
    • Gary Potter (Catholics for Christian Political Action)
  • It is the truth divine, speaking to our whole being: occupying, calling into action, and satisfying man's every faculty, supplying the minutest wants of his being, and speaking in one and the same moment to his reason, his conscience and his heart. It is the light of reason, the life of the heart, and the strength of the will.
  • "I desire no other evidence of the truth of Christianity than the Lord's Prayer."

See also

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