Supplemental Page toPeter's Appeal to Authority, by Dawson Bethrick
In Post #59 to theFreethinkers thread on the Theism vs. Atheism Web, Christian apologist Peter Pike submitted a list of quotations from America's founding intellectuals to prove that they were either Christian or at least sympathetic to religious ideas, thus implying that the principles with which they informed the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were religious in nature.
The Rev had also posted a list of quotes from America's founding intellectuals which calls into question the belief that the they were all Christian.
I have a few quotes for rebutal. Sorry, I know they will be garbled by the computer.
"The government of the is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion."
..........From the "Treaty of Tripoli" which was signed during the term of George Washington and ratified by congress during the term of 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."
..........To John Taylor
"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!"
..........To Thomas Jefferson
"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?"
..........To F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816
"The Christian god is a three headed monster, cruel, vengeful, and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites."
"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
"Christianity...(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man. ...Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus."
"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."
..........To John Adams, 1803
"But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, 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."
..........To S. Kercheval, 1810
"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."
..........To John Adams, Apr. 11, 1823
"Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses. Here is an order, attributed to 'God' to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and to debauch and rape the daughters. I would not dare so dishonor my Creator's name by (attaching) it to this filthy book (the Bible)."<o:p></o:p>
"The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretended imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty."
The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.
-- Poor Richard's Almanack, 1758
"As to Jesus of Nazareth...I think the system of morals and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity."
"I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did."
..........Letter to his father, 1738
"The bible is not my book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma."
"My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them."
Just a few quotes from some very important early Americans.
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