Christianity

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5; 1:14)

Christianity is an Abrahamic religion, its adherents are known as Christians.

The Christian Bible[edit]

  • And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
  • And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.
  • Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
  • “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
    Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
    Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
    Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
  • Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
  • Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
  • And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
  • Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin.
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like those condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to human beings. We are fools for Christ, but you are so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are honored, we are dishonored!
  • Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife.
  • For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.
  • For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.
  • "Go!" He told them. So when they had come out, they entered the pigs. And suddenly the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. Then the men who tended them fled. They went into the city and reported everything—especially what had happened to those who were demon-possessed. At that, the whole town went out to meet Jesus. When they saw Him, they begged Him to leave their region.
  • God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. … The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
  • He also said to them, "You completely invalidate God's command in order to maintain your tradition! For Moses said:

    Honor your father and your mother; and,
    Whoever speaks evil of father or mother
    must be put to death.

  • He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
  • He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.
  • If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
  • If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true. You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved. John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me.
  • Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going.
  • Household slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel.
  • If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
  • If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
  • Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
  • “Look, I’m sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as serpents and as harmless as doves. Because people will hand you over to sanhedrins and flog you in their synagogues, beware of them. You will even be brought before governors and kings because of Me, to bear witness to them and to the nations. But when they hand you over, don’t worry about how or what you should speak. For you will be given what to say at that hour, because you are not speaking, but the Spirit of your Father is speaking through you. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will even rise up against their parents and have them put to death. You will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. When they persecute you in one town, escape to another. For I assure you: You will not have covered the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
  • No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
  • After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
  • On the first day of the week came Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher and saw the stone taken away from the sepulcher.
    • Matthew 28:1-2's account of the discovery of the tomb (two Mary's arrive at the tomb after sunrise, but before the stone had been removed) versus John 20:1's account (one Mary arrives at the tomb before sunrise, but after the stone had been removed).
  • So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.
  • Jesus said unto her, "Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father …"
    • Matthew 28:8-9's account of the appearance of the resurrected Jesus (Jesus appears away from that tomb, and the Mary's touch his feet; see also Luke 24:13-15 in which Jesus appears on the road to Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem) versus John 20:17's account (Jesus appears at the tomb and tells Mary not to touch him).
  • Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
  • Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn

    'a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
    a daughter-in-law against her motherinlaw—
    a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'

  • The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
  • Then Peter came to Him and said, "Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" "I tell you, not as many as seven," Jesus said to him, "but 70 times seven. For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves."
  • Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, "You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?" And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.
  • [The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken. … They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. … I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
  • The next day when they came out from Bethany, He was hungry. After seeing in the distance a fig tree with leaves, He went to find out if there was anything on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. He said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!"
  • The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers.
  • That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows.
  • There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
  • I am not going out of my mind, Your Excellency Festus, but I am speaking words of truth and of a sound mind. For a fact, the king to whom I am speaking so freely well knows about these things .. Do you, King A·grip′pa, believe the Prophets? I know that you believe.” But A·grip′pa said to Paul: “In a short time you would persuade me to become a Christian.” At this Paul said: “I wish to God that whether in a short time or in a long time, not only you but also all those who hear me today would become men such as I am ...
  • [...] since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
  • The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
  • A woman should learn in silence with full submission. I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to be silent.
  • For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake.
  • Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.
  • The victor and the one who keeps My works to the end: I will give him authority over the nations—

    and He will shepherd them with an iron scepter;
    He will shatter them like pottery—
    just as I have received [this] from My Father.

  • Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.
  • Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
  • When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. "I am innocent of this man's blood," he said. "It is your responsibility!"
    All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"
  • Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
  • Then he said to those standing by, "Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas." "Sir," they said, "he already has ten!" He replied, "I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me."
    • Jesus's Parable of the Ten Minas, Luke 19:26-27. John Chrysostom, a Sainted Archbishop, one of the only Three Holy Hierarchs, and a Doctor of the Church quoted the last sentence out of context, as if a command of Jesus rather than his parable's protagonist, to condemn the Jews:
      • [T]he Jewish people were driven by their drunkenness and plumpness to the ultimate evil; they kicked about, they failed to accept the yoke of Christ, nor did they pull the plow of his teaching. Another prophet hinted at this when he said: "Israel is as obstinate as a stubborn heifer." … Although such beasts are unfit for work, they are fit for killing. And this is what happened to the Jews: while they were making themselves unfit for work, they grew fit for slaughter. This is why Christ said: "But as for these my enemies, who did not want me to be king over them, bring them here and slay them." (Luke 19:27)
  • Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
  • [...] for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: Who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men.
  • …Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
    Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.
    His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.
    He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. …
    Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
    And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

    KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

    Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
    that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."
    And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
    Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
    And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
  • You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
    • Jesus, in Matthew 5:43-48.
  • “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."
    • Jesus, in Matthew 38:42

The Gnostic Gospels[edit]

The Gospel of Judas[edit]

  • [Jesus laughs as he watches his disciples offering a prayer to God before Passover.]
    Disciples: Why are you laughing at us?
    Jesus says that he is laughing not at them but at their strange idea of pleasing their God.
  • You will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me.
    • Jesus to Judas.
  • Only Judas has guessed the master aright—and has discerned that he comes from the heavenly realm of the god "Barbelo." In the realm of Barbelo, it seems, earthly pains are unknown and the fortunate inhabitants are free from the attentions of the God of the Old Testament. Jesus himself is descended in some fashion from Adam's third son, Seth. With Judas' help, he hopes to guide the seed of Seth back to the realm of Barbelo.
  • [O]ut beyond the stars, there exists a divine, blessed realm, free of the materiality of this earthly one. This is the realm of Barbelo, a name that gnostics gave the celestial Mother, who lives there with, among others, her progeny, a good God awkwardly called the Self-Generated One. Jesus, it turns out, is not the son of the Old Testament God, whose retinue includes a rebellious creator known as Yaldabaoth, but an avatar of Adam's third son, Seth. His mission is to show those lucky members of mankind who still have a "Sethian" spark the way back to the blessed realm. Jesus, we learn, was laughing at the disciples' prayer because it was directed at their God, the Old Testament God, who is really no friend of mankind but, rather, the cause of its suffering.

The Gospel of Mary[edit]

  • He questioned them about the Saviour: Did He really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did He prefer her to us?
    Then Mary wept and said to Peter, My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I have thought this up myself in my heart, or that I am lying about the Saviour?
    Levi answered and said to Peter, Peter you have always been hot tempered.
    Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries.
    But if the Saviour made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Saviour knows her very well.
    That is why He loved her more than us. Rather let us be ashamed and put on the perfect Man, and separate as He commanded us and preach the gospel, not laying down any other rule or other law beyond what the Saviour said.
    And when they heard this they began to go forth to proclaim and to preach.
  • Sin as such does not exist, but you make sin when you do what is of the nature of fornication, which is called "sin." For this reason the Good came into your midst, to the essence of each nature, to restore it to its root. For this reason you come into existence and die.
    • In response to a question by Peter: "Since you have now explained all things to us, tell us this: what is the sin of the world?"

The Gospel of Thomas[edit]

  • The man old in days will not hesitate to ask a small child seven days old about the place of life, and he will live. For many who are first will become last, and they will become one and the same.
  • Recognize what is in your sight, and that which is hidden from you will become plain to you. For there is nothing hidden which will not become manifest.
  • Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of Heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.
  • Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man.
  • I have cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.
  • Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the Son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven either on earth or in heaven.

Acts of Pilate, or The Gospel of Nicodemus[edit]

A depiction in stained glass: "thy mother Mary fled into Egypt"
  • The elders of the Jews answered and said unto Jesus: What shall we see? Firstly, that thou wast born of fornication; secondly, that thy birth in Bethlehem was the cause of the slaying of children; thirdly, that thy father Joseph and thy mother Mary fled into Egypt because they had no confidence before the people.

The Talmud[edit]

Babylonian Talmud[edit]

  • Yeshua's mother was Miriam [Mary] … This is as they say about her in the Pumbeditha: This one strayed from [was unfaithful to] her husband. … He is guilty as a beguiler who says, "I will worship (other gods)," … In the case of any one who is liable to death penalties enjoined in the Law, it is not proper to lie in wait for him except he be a beguiler … [as] they did to Ben Stada whom they hanged on the eve of the Passover. … The husband of his mother was called Stada, and her seducer Pandera.
    • The Talmud, Mishnah 27:15, "Offenders Liable to Capital Punishment: The Beguiler to Idolatry" (ca. 200). Peter Schäfer in Jesus in the Talmud (Princeton, 2007) explains: "if the Babylonian Talmud takes it for granted that Jesus' mother was an adulteress, then the logical conclusion follows that we was a mamzer, a bastard or illegitimate child".

Palestinian Talmud[edit]

Early Middle Ages[edit]

  • This, I shall say, is He, the son of the carpenter or the whore, the destroyer of the Sabbath, the Samaritan and Who had a devil. This is He, Whom ye bought of Judas: this is He, Who was smitten with a reed and with bufferings, dishonoured with spittings, drugged with gall and vinegar. This is He, Whom the disciples stole secretly away, that it might be said that He had risen again[.]
  • Josephus … in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple … ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ.
    • Origen (c. 185–c. 254), Origin Against Celus, Book I, Chapter XLVII.
  • 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, translation., 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.'
  • How can we admit that the divine became an embryo, and that after its birth, it was wrapped in swaddling clothes, covered with blood, bile, and even worse things?
    • Porphyry of Tyre (c. 233–c. 309 CE), Porphyry Against the Christians: The Literary Remains (Guildford 1994), expressing the Neoplatonist's skepticism about Jesus' divinity
  • 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, Volume 22, p. 296.
  • Nothing is more miserable than those people who never failed to attack their own salvation. When there was need to observe the Law, they trampled it under foot. … On this account Stephen said: "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart, you always resist the Holy Spirit", not only by transgressing the Law but also by wishing to observe it at the wrong time.
  • Before they committed the crime of crimes, before they killed their Master, before the cross, before the slaying of Christ, [Jewish sacrifices were] an abomination.
  • You [Jews] did slay Christ, you did lift violent hands against the Master, you did spill his precious blood. This is why you have no chance for atonement, excuse, or defense.
  • 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.
  • How hateful to me are the enemies of your Scripture! How I wish that you would slay them [the Jews] with your two-edged sword, so that there should be none to oppose your word! Gladly would I have them die to themselves and live to you!
  • 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.
  • [S]uch infants as quit the body without being baptized will be involved in the mildest condemnation of all. That person, therefore, greatly deceives both himself and others, who teaches that they will not be involved in condemnation[.]
  • We must be on our guard against giving interpretations which are hazardous or opposed to science, and so exposing the word of God to the ridicule of unbelievers.
    • Augustine of Hippo, De genesi ad litteram libri duodecim (The Literal Meaning of Genesis) (415), I, nos. 19, 21, 39 [2]
  • [T]here is another form of temptation, more complex in its peril. … It originates in an appetite for knowledge. … From this malady of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. Hence do we proceed to search out the secret powers of nature (which is beside our end), which to know profits not, and wherein men desire nothing but to know.
  • 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. [3].
  • 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.
  • The holy universal Church teaches that God cannot be truly adored except within its fold; she affirms that all those who are separated from her will not be saved.

The Qur'an (القرآن) and the Hadith (الحديث)[edit]

The Dome of the Rock (مسجد قبة الصخرة) in Jerusalem (built 692 AD), that contains numerous inscriptions that proclaim God's uniqueness and deny that He has any son or requires any assistance.

The Qur'an (القرآن)[edit]

  • And when Allah said: O Isa, [Jesus] I am going to terminate the period of your stay (on earth) and cause you to ascend unto Me and purify you of those who disbelieve and make those who follow you above those who disbelieve to the day of resurrection; then to Me shall be your return, so l will decide between you concerning that in which you differed.
    • Original: إِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى إِنِّي مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَإِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَجَاعِلُ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُوكَفَوْقَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْفَأَحْكُمُ بَيْنَكُمْ فِيمَا كُنتُمْ فِيهِ تَخْتَلِفُونَ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 3:55 (The Family of Amran, سورة آل عمران).
  • Then because of their breaking of their covenant, and their disbelieving in the revelations of Allah, and their slaying of the prophets wrongfully, and their saying: Our hearts are hardened—Nay, but Allah set a seal upon them for their disbelief, so that they believe not save a few—
    And because of their disbelief and of their speaking against Mary a tremendous calumny;
    And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, Allah's messenger—they slew him not nor crucified him, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.
    But Allah took him up unto Himself. Allah was ever Mighty, Wise.
    There is not one of the People of the Scripture but will believe in him before his death, and on the Day of Resurrection he will be a witness against them.
    • Original: فَبِمَا نَقْضِهِم مِّيثَاقَهُمْ وَكُفْرِهِم بَآيَاتِ اللّهِ وَقَتْلِهِمُ الأَنْبِيَاءَبِغَيْرِ حَقًّ وَقَوْلِهِمْ قُلُوبُنَا غُلْفٌ بَلْ طَبَعَ اللّهُ عَلَيْهَابِكُفْرِهِمْفَلاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ إِلاَّ قَلِ
      وَبِكُفْرِهِمْ وَقَوْلِهِمْ عَلَى مَرْيَمَبُهْتَاناً عَظِيماً
      وَقَوْلِهِمْ إِنَّا قَتَلْنَا الْمَسِيحَ عِيسَى ابْنَمَرْيَمَرَسُولَ اللّهِ وَمَا قَتَلُوهُ وَمَا صَلَبُوهُ وَلَـكِن شُبِّهَ لَهُمْ وَإِنَّالَّذِينَاخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ لَفِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِلاَّ اتِّبَاعَالظَّنِّوَمَا قَتَلُوهُ يَقِينا
      بَل رَّفَعَهُ اللّهُ إِلَيْهِ وَكَانَ اللّهُعَزِيزاً حَكِيماً
      وَإِن مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ إِلاَّ لَيُؤْمِنَنَّ بِهِ قَبْلَ مَوْتِهِوَيَوْمَالْقِيَامَةِ يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدا
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 4:155–159 (The Women, سورة النساء).
  • O followers of the Book! [The Bible] do not exceed the limits in your religion, and do not speak (lies) against Allah, but (speak) the truth; the Messiah, Isa son of Marium [Jesus son of Mary] is only an apostle of Allah and His Word which He communicated to Marium and a spirit from Him; believe therefore in Allah and His apostles, and say not, Three. Desist, it is better for you; Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector.
    • Original: يَا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ لاَ تَغْلُواْ فِي دِينِكُمْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْعَلَى اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقِّ إِنَّمَا الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُاللّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِّنْهُ فَآمِنُواْ بِاللّهِوَرُسُلِهِ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ ثَلاَثَةٌ انتَهُواْ خَيْراً لَّكُمْ إِنَّمَا اللّهُإِلَـهٌوَاحِدٌ سُبْحَانَهُ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ وَلَدٌ لَّهُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتوَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ وَكَفَى بِاللّهِ وَكِيل
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 4:171 (The Women, سورة النساء).
  • Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah, He is the Messiah, son of Marium; and the Messiah said: O Children of Israel! serve Allah, my Lord and your Lord. Surely whoever associates (others) with Allah, then Allah has forbidden to him the garden, and his abode is the fire; and there shall be no helpers for the unjust.
    Certainly they disbelieve who say: Surely Allah is the third (person) of the three; and there is no god but the one God, and if they desist not from what they say, a painful chastisement shall befall those among them who disbelieve.
    • Original: لَقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ هُوَالْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَقَالَ الْمَسِيحُ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اعْبُدُواْاللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ مَن يُشْرِكْ بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ حَرَّمَ اللّهُعَلَيهِالْجَنَّةَ وَمَأْوَاهُ النَّارُ وَمَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ مِنْ أَنصَارٍ
      لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلاَثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْإِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِي
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 5:72–73 (The Dinner Table, سورة المائدة).
  • And when Allah will say: O Isa son of Marium! [Jesus son of Mary] did you say to men, Take me and my mother for two gods besides Allah he will say: Glory be to Thee, it did not befit me that I should say what I had no right to (say); if I had said it, Thou wouldst indeed have known it; Thou knowest what is in my mind, and I do not know what is in Thy mind, surely Thou art the great Knower of the unseen things.
    • Original: وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِيوَأُمِّيَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْأَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُمَا فِينَفْسِي وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوب
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 5:116 (The Dinner Table, سورة المائدة).
  • Then she brought him to her own folk, carrying him. They said: O Mary! Thou hast come with an amazing thing.
    O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a wicked man nor was thy mother a harlot.
    Then she pointed to him. They said: How can we talk to one who is in the cradle, a young boy?
    He spake: Lo! I am the slave of Allah. He hath given me the Scripture and hath appointed me a Prophet,
    And hath made me blessed wheresoever I may be, and hath enjoined upon me prayer and almsgiving so long as I remain alive,
    And (hath made me) dutiful toward her who bore me, and hath not made me arrogant, unblest.
    Peace on me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!
    Such was Jesus, son of Mary: (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt.
    It befitteth not (the Majesty of) Allah that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is.
    And lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path.
    The sects among them differ: but woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of an awful Day.
    See and hear them on the Day they come unto Us! yet the evil-doers are today in error manifest.
    And warn them of the Day of anguish when the case hath been decided. Now they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.
    • Original: فَأَتَتْ بِهِ قَوْمَهَا تَحْمِلُهُ قَالُوا يَا مَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئاًفَرِيّاً
      يَا أُخْتَ هَارُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْأُمُّكِ بَغِيّاً
      فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُوا كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَفِيالْمَهْدِ صَبِيّاً
      قَالَ إِنِّي عَبْدُ اللَّهِ آتَانِيَ الْكِتَابَ وَجَعَلَنِينَبِيّاً
      وَجَعَلَنِي مُبَارَكاً أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِي بِالصَّلَاةِوَالزَّكَاةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيّاً
      وَبَرّاً بِوَالِدَتِي وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِيجَبَّاراً شَقِيّاً
      وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَيَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُوَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيّاً
      ذَلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ قَوْلَ الْحَقِّالَّذِي فِيهِ يَمْتَرُونَ
      مَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ مِن وَلَدٍ سُبْحَانَهُإِذَا قَضَى أَمْراً فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ
      وَإِنَّ اللَّهَرَبِّي وَرَبُّكُمْفَاعْبُدُوهُ هَذَا صِرَاطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ
      فَاخْتَلَفَ الْأَحْزَابُ مِنبَيْنِهِمْ فَوَيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن مَّشْهَدِ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ
      أَسْمِعْ بِهِمْوَأَبْصِرْ يَوْمَ يَأْتُونَنَا لَكِنِ الظَّالِمُونَ الْيَوْمَ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
      وَأَنذِرْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْحَسْرَةِ إِذْ قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ وَهُمْ فِي غَفْلَةٍوَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 19:27–39 (Maryam, سورة مريم).
  • And when Isa son of Marium [Jesus son of Mary] said: O children of Israel! surely I am the apostle of Allah to you, verifying that which is before me of the Taurat and giving the good news of an Apostle who will come after me, his name being Ahmad [Muhammad], but when he came to them with clear arguments they said: This is clear magic.
    • Original: وَإِذْ قَالَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ يَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللَّهِإِلَيْكُم مُّصَدِّقاًلِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيَّ مِنَ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمُبَشِّراً بِرَسُولٍ يَأْتِي مِنبَعْدِي اسْمُهُ أَحْمَدُ فَلَمَّاجَاءهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ قَالُوا هَذَا سِحْرٌ مُّبِينٌ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 61:6 (The Ranks, سورة الصف).
  • Say: He, Allah, is One.
    Allah is He on Whom all depend.
    He begets not, nor is He begotten.
    And none is like Him.
    • Original: بِسْمِ اللهِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
      قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
      اللَّهُ الصَّمَدُ
      لَمْ يَلِدْوَلَمْ يُولَدْ
      وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ كُفُواً أَحَدٌ
    • The Qur'an (القرآن), Sura 112:1–4 (The Unity, سورة الإخلاص).

The Hadith (الحديث)[edit]

  • The Prophet said, "On the night of my Ascent to the Heaven, I saw Moses who was a tall brown curly-haired man as if he was one of the men of Shan'awa tribe, and I saw Jesus, a man of medium height and moderate complexion inclined to the red and white colors and of lank hair. I also saw Malik, the gate-keeper of the (Hell) Fire and Ad-Dajjal [the Antichrist] amongst the signs which Allah showed me."
  • The Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection the Believers will assemble and say, 'Let us ask somebody to intercede for us with our Lord.' … 'Go to Jesus, Allah's Slave, His Apostle and Allah's Word and a Spirit coming from Him.' Jesus will say, 'I am not fit for this undertaking, go to Muhammad the Slave of Allah whose past and future sins were forgiven by Allah.' So they will come to me and I will proceed till I will ask my Lord's Permission and I will be given permission.

Islamic Inscriptions from the Dome of the Rock (مسجد قبة الصخرة)[edit]

Floor plan for the octagonal arcade of The Dome of the Rock (مسجد قبة الصخرة) in Jerusalem (built 692 CE), that contains numerous inscriptions that proclaim God's uniqueness and deny that He has any son or requires any assistance.
  • O People of the Book! Do not exaggerate in your religion nor utter aught concerning God save the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a Messenger of God, and His Word which He conveyed unto Mary, and a spirit from Him. So believe in God and His messengers, and say not 'Three' - Cease! (it is better for you! - God is only One God. Far be it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son. His is all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth. And God is sufficient as Defender.
  • Oh God, bless Your Messenger and Your servant Jesus son of Mary. Peace be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he shall be raised alive! Such was Jesus, son of Mary, (this is) a statement of the truth concerning which they doubt.
  • It befitteth not (the Majesty of) God that He should take unto Himself a son. Glory be to Him! When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. Lo! God is my Lord and your Lord. So serve Him. That is the right path. God (Himself) is witness that there is no God save Him.
  • There is no god but God. He is One. Praise be to God, Who hath not taken unto Himself a son, and Who hath no partner in the Sovereignty, nor hath He any protecting friend through dependence.

High Middle Ages[edit]

  • Yes, you Jews. I say, do I address you; you, who till this very day, deny the Son of God. How long, poor wretches, will ye not believe the truth? Truly I doubt whether a Jew can be really human, for he will neither yield to human reasoning, nor accept the authorities which are both God's and his own.
  • 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.
  • Christians, be ye more serious in your movements;
    Be ye not like a feather at each wind,
    And think not every water washes you.

    Ye have the Old and the New Testament,
    And the Pastor of the Church who guideth you
    Let this suffice you unto your salvation.

    If evil appetite cry aught else to you,
    Be ye as men, and not as silly sheep,
    So that the Jew among you may not mock you.

Late Middle Ages[edit]

  • When the existence of the Church is threatened, she is released from the commandments of morality. With unity as the end, the use of every means is sanctified, even deceit, 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.
  • All the world suffers from the usury of the Jews, their monopolies and deceit. … Then as now Jews have to be reminded intermittently anew that they were enjoying rights in any country since they left Palestine and the Arabian desert, and subsequently their ethical and moral doctrines as well as their deeds rightly deserve to be exposed to criticism in whatever country they happen to live.
  • Christ is not God, not the saviour of the world, but a mere man, a sinful man, and an abominable idol. All who worship him are abominable idolaters. And Christ did not rise again from death to life nor did he ascend into heaven.

The Reformation[edit]

  • Reason is the Devil's harlot, who can do nought but slander and harm whatever God says and does.
  • What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.
  • I cannot forbid a person to marry several wives, for it does not contradict Scripture.
    • Martin Luther, letter to Chancellor Gregory Brück (An Den Kanzler Brück), 1524-01-13, in Dr. Martin Luther's Briefe, Sendschreiben und Bedenken: volständig aus den verschiedenen Ausgaben seiner Werke und Briefe, aus andern Büchern und noch unbenutzten Handschriten gesammelt. From the Wilhelm Martin Leberecht De Wette Collection of Luther's Letters (Berlin: Georg reimer, 1826) Volume 2, p. 459 (Letter DLXXII; Latin text).
  • When the Gospel is preached unto faith, hope, love, and patience, God gives His wonder-working Spirit. Paul reminds the Galatians of this. "God had not only brought you to faith by my preaching. He had also sanctified you to bring forth the fruits of faith. And one of the fruits of your faith was that you loved me so devotedly that you were willing to pluck out your eyes for me." To love a fellow-man so devotedly as to be ready to bestow upon him money, goods, eyes in order to secure his salvation, such love is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
    • 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. [4]
  • 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. [5]
  • What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? …
    First to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn … This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, and do not condone or knowingly tolerate such public lying, cursing, and blaspheming of his Son and of his Christians. …
    Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed. …
    Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them. …
    Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb. … Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. …
    Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them and put aside for safekeeping. …
    Seventh, I commend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow, as was imposed on the children of Adam (Gen 3[:19]).
  • 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.
  • Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.
    • John Calvin, A Response To Questions and Objections of a Certain Jew (Ad quaestiones et objecta Judaei cuiusdam responsio).
  • 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.
  • After he [Servetus] had been recognized, I thought he should be detained. My friend Nicolas summoned him on a capital charge, offering himself as a security according to the lex talionis. On the following day he adduced against him forty written charges. He at first sought to evade them. Accordingly we were summoned. He impudently reviled me, just as if he regarded me as obnoxious to him. I answered him as he deserved … of the man's effrontery I will say nothing; but such was his madness that he did not hesitate to say that devils possessed divinity; yea, that many gods were in individual devils, inasmuch as a deity had been substantially communicated to those equally with wood and stone. I hope that sentence of death will at least be passed on him; but I desired that the severity of the punishment be mitigated.
  • 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)[edit]

  • The Cross!
    There, and there only (though the deist rave,
    And atheist, if Earth bears so base a slave);
    There and there only, is the power to save.
  • The universe, the whole mass of all things that are, is corporeal, that is to say body, and hath dimensions of magnitude, length breadth and depth. Every part of the universe is body and that which is not body is no part of the universe. And because the universe is all, that which is no part of it is nothing. Consequently, nowhere.
  • [T]he universe, that is, the whole mass of all things that are, is corporeal, that is to say, body, and hath the dimensions of magnitude, namely length, breadth, and depth: also every part of body is likewise body and hath the like dimensions; and consequently every part of the universe is body, and that which is not body is no part of the universe: and because the universe is all, that which is no part of it is nothing, and consequently nowhere. Nor does it follow from hence that spirits are nothing: for they have dimensions and are therefore really bodies; though that name in common speech be given to such bodies only as are visible or palpable; that is, that have some degree of opacity: but for spirits, they call them incorporeal, which is a name of more honour, and may therefore with more piety be attributed to God Himself; in whom we consider not what attribute expresseth best His nature, which is incomprehensible, but what best expresseth our desire to honour Him.
  • For after the Bible was translated into English, every man, nay every boy and wench, that could read English, thought they spoke with God Almighty, and understood what he said, when by a certain number of chapters a day they had read the Scriptures once or twice over. The reverence and obedience due to the Reformed Church here, and to the bishops and pastors therein, was cast off, and every man became a judge of religion, and an interpreter of the Scriptures to himself.... I confess this licence of interpreting the Scripture was the cause of so many several sects, as have lain hid until the beginning of the late King's reign, and did then appear to the disturbance of the commonwealth.
  • 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)[edit]

  • 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.
  • Before the christian religion had, as it were, humanized the idea of the divinity, and brought it somewhat nearer to us, there was very little said of the love of God. The followers of Plato have something of it, and only something. The other writes of pagan antiquity, whether poets or philosophers, nothing at all.
    • Edmund Burke, A Philosphical Emquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757), Part II, Section V.
  • 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).
  • If we go back to the beginning, we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them and that custom, respect and tyranny support them in order to make the blindness of men serve their own interests. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.
  • [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?
  • The most horrible wickedness and cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have troubled the human race began with this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. … It would be far, far better for us to let a thousand devils roam the world, and publicly preach the doctrine of devils (if there were such a thing, which there isn't), than to let one impostor and monster such a Moses, Joshua, Samuel or the Bible prophets come speaking the so-called word of God, and causing men to believe it.
  • 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[.]
  • The most extraordinary of all the things called miracles, related in the New Testament, is that of the devil flying away with Jesus Christ, and carrying him to the top of a high mountain; and to the top of the highest pinnacle of the temple, and showing him and promising to him all the kingdoms of the world. How happened it that he did not discover America? or is it only with kingdoms that his sooty highness has any interest.
  • Here then is the whole story, foolish as it is, of this child and this virgin; and it is upon the barefaced perversion of this story that the book of Matthew, and the impudence and sordid interest of priests in later times, have founded a theory, which they call the gospel; and have applied this story to signify the person they call Jesus Christ; begotten, they say, by a ghost, whom they call holy, on the body of a woman, engaged in marriage, and afterwards married, whom they call a virgin, seven hundred years after this foolish story was told; a theory which, speaking for myself, I hesitate not to believe, and to say, is as fabulous and as false as God is true. …
    It is not then the existence or the non-existence, of the persons that I trouble myself about; it is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene. It gives an account of a young woman engaged to be married, and while under this engagement, she is, to speak plain language, debauched by a ghost, under the impious pretence, (Luke i. 35,) that "the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee." Notwithstanding which, Joseph afterwards marries her, cohabits with her as his wife, and in his turn rivals the ghost. This is putting the story into intelligible language, and when told in this manner, there is not a priest but must be ashamed to own it.
  • Matthew says, that the angel that was sitting upon the stone on the outside of the sepulchre told the two Marys that Christ was risen, and that the women went away quickly. Mark says, that the women, upon seeing the stone rolled away, and wondering at it, went into the sepulchre, and that it was the angel that was sitting within on the right side, that told them so. Luke says, it was the two angels that were standing up; and John says, it was Jesus Christ himself that told it to Mary Magdalene; and that she did not go into the sepulchre, but only stooped down and looked in.
    Now, if the writers of these four books had gone into a court of justice to prove an alibi, (for it is of the nature of an alibi that is here attempted to be proved, namely, the absence of a dead body by supernatural means,) and had they given their evidence in the same contradictory manner as it is here given, they would have been in danger of having their ears cropt for perjury, and would have justly deserved it. Yet this is the evidence, and these are the books, that have been imposed upon the world as being given by divine inspiration, and as the unchangeable word of God.
  • 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[edit]

Christianity is just as lenient as it is austere, just as lenient, that is to say, infinitely lenient. When the infinite requirement is heard and upheld, heard and upheld in all its infinitude, then grace is offered, or rather grace offers itself, and to it the individual, each for himself, as I also do, can flee for refuge. ~ Søren Kierkegaard
Are there no Moravians in the Moon, that not a missionary has yet visited this poor pagan planet of ours, to civilise civilisation and christianise Christendom? ~ Herman Melville
  • 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.
  • God … created this Speck of Dirt and the human Species for his glory: and with the deliberate design of making nine tenths of our Species miserable forever, for his glory. This is the doctrine of Christian Theologians in general: ten to one.
  • If the Christian religion, as I understand it, or as you understand it, should maintain its ground, as I believe it will, yet Platonic, Pythagoric, Hindoo, and 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.
  • We have now, it Seems, a National Bible Society, to propagate the King James's Bible through all Nations. Would it not be better to apply the pious SubScriptions, to purify Christendom from the Corruptions of Christianity; than to propagate those corruptions in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America!
  • Do you think a Protestant Popedom is annihilated in America? Do you recollect, or have you ever attended to the ecclesiastical Strifes in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and every part of New England? What a mercy it is that these people cannot whip and crop, and pillory and roast, as yet in the U.S.! If they could they would.
  • When we say that God is a spirit, we know what we mean, as well as we do when we say that the pyramids of Egypt are matter. Let us be content, therefore, to believe him to be a spirit, that is, an essence that we know nothing of, in which originally and necessarily reside all energy, all power, all capacity, all activity, all wisdom, all goodness.
    • John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson (17 January 1820)
    • Often misquoted as "God is an essence that we know nothing of" and attached to part of another Adams letter to Jefferson (22 January 1825 — over five years later) on a different theological point, to form "God is an essence we know nothing of. Until this awful blasphemy is gotten rid of there will never be any liberal science in the world." Misquotation cited in Jonathan Miller. (2004). A Brief History of Disbelief [TV-Series]. BBC Four. and in The Quotable John Adams (Globe Pequot, 2008), p. 185ff.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal as well as a moral and religious code…
    • John Quincy Adams Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and its Teachings (Auburn: James M. Alden, 1850) letter V, p. 61.
  • We must not only act politically, but in our politics act religiously, religiously in the sense of freedom, of which the one true expression is justice and love. Indeed, for us alone, who are called the enemies of the Christian religion, for us alone it is reserved, and even made the highest duty ... really to exercise love, this highest commandment of Christ and this only way to true Christianity.
    • Mikhail Bakunin, in "The Reaction in Germany" (1842), his first political writings, signed "Jules Elysard." It was not until 1860 that Bakunin publicly adopted his famous stance of firm atheism, and vigorous rejection of traditional religious institutions.
  • 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!
  • I say, the acknowledgment of God in Christ
    Accepted by thy reason, solves for thee
    All questions in the earth and out of it,
    And has so far advanced thee to be wise.
    • Robert Browning, "A Death in the Desert", stanza 21, The Complete Poetic and Dramatic Works of Robert Browning (1895), p. 390.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae [wasps] with the express intention of their [larva] feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.
  • Madame de Staël thought it was pride in man to endevour to penetrate the secret of the universe; and speaking of the higher metaphysics she said: "I prefer the Lord's Prayer to it all."
    • Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, in Albertine-Adrienne Necker de Saussure, Sketch of the Life, Character and Writings of Baroness de Staël-Holstein (1820), p. 329
    • Often misquoted as "I desire no other evidence of the truth of Christianity than the Lord's Prayer".
  • REMEMBER! — It is christianity TO DO GOOD always — even to those who do evil to us. It is christianity to love our neighbour as ourself; and to do to all men as we would have them Do unto us. It is christianity to be gentle, merciful, and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of them, or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to shew that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything.
    • Charles Dickens, The Life of Our Lord, Written for his own Children (1849), Chapter 11.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Christian is God Almighty's gentleman: a gentleman, in the vulgar superficial way of understanding the word, is the Devil's Christian.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • If the Christian religion, as I understand it, or as you understand it, should maintain its ground, as I believe it will, yet Platonic, Pythagoric, Hindoo, and 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.
  • 48: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
49: Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
50: And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
51: The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
52: Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
53: And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
54: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
55: The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
56: Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
57: But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
58: But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
59: And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
60: And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
61: Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
62: Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
63: There laid they Jesus,
64: And rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
  • 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.
  • My aim in that was, to justify the character of Jesus against the fictions of his pseudo-followers [the authors of the Gospels], which have exposed him to the inference of being an impostor. For if we could believe that he really countenanced the follies, the falsehoods and the charlatanisms which his biographers father on him, and admit the misconstructions, interpolations and theorizations of the fathers of the early, and fanatics of the latter ages, the conclusion would be irresistible by every sound mind, that he was an impostor. I give no credit to their falsifications of his actions and doctrines, and to rescue his character, the postulate in my letter asked only what is granted in reading every other historian. When Livy and Siculus, for example, tell us things which coincide with our experience of the order of nature, we credit them on their word, and place their narrations among the records of credible history. But when they tell us of calves speaking, of statues sweating blood, and other things against the course of nature, we reject these as fables not belonging to history. … That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore.
    • Thomas Jefferson, 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.[26].
  • 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.[27].
  • 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[.]
  • It is between fifty and sixty years since I read the Apocalypse, and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy, nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams. … what has no meaning admits no explanation.
  • The inquiring subject must be in one of two situations: either he must in faith be convinced of the truth of Christianity and his own relation to it, in which case all the rest cannot possibly be of infinite interest, since faith is precisely the infinite interest in Christianity and any other interest easily becomes a temptation; or he is not in a relationship of faith but is objectively in a relationship of observation and as such is not infinitely interested in deciding the question.
    • Soren Kierkegaard Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, Hong, p. 21 (1846).
  • Christianity is spirit; spirit is inwardness; inwardness is subjectivity, subjectivity is essentially passion, and at its maximum an infinite, personally interested passion for one’s eternal happiness. All decision, all essential decision, is rooted in subjectivity. As soon as subjectivity is taken away, and passion from subjectivity, and infinite interest from passion, there is no decision whatever, whether on this issue or any other. All decision, all essential decision, is rooted in subjectivity.
    • Soren Kierkegaard Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments, Hong, p. 33 (1846).
  • I have never fought in such a way as to say: I am the true Christian, others are not Christians. No, my contention has been this: I know what Christianity is, my imperfection as a Christian I myself fully recognize — but I know what Christianity is. And to get this properly recognized must be, I should think, to every man’s interest, whether he be a Christian or not, whether his intention is to accept Christianity or to reject it. But I have attacked no one as not being a Christian, I have condemned no one.
  • Instead of giving the impression, in however small a degree, that there are such difficulties about Christianity that an apology for it is needed if men are to be persuaded to enter into it, rather to represent it as a thing so infinitely lofty, as in truth it is, that the apology belongs in another place, is required, that is to say, of us for the fact that we venture to call ourselves Christians, or it transforms itself into a contrite confession that we have God to thank if we merely assume to regard ourselves as a Christian. But neither must this ever be forgotten: Christianity is just as lenient as it is austere, just as lenient, that is to say, infinitely lenient. When the infinite requirement is heard and upheld, heard and upheld in all its infinitude, then grace is offered, or rather grace offers itself, and to it the individual, each for himself, as I also do, can flee for refuge.
  • 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.
  • Are there no Moravians in the Moon, that not a missionary has yet visited this poor pagan planet of ours, to civilise civilisation and christianise Christendom?
    • Herman Melville, in White-Jacket (1850), Chapter 64; this has often been quoted with modernized American spelling, rendering it "to civilize civilization and christianize Christendom?".
  • The Author of the Sermon on the Mount is assuredly a far more benign being than the Author of Nature. But unfortunately, the believer in the Christian revelation is required to believe that the same being is the author of both! If he doesn't resolutely avert his mind from this subject or practise the act of quieting his conscience by sophistry, he will be involved in endless moral perplexities, because the ways of his Deity in Nature are often totally at variance with what he thinks to be the commands of that same Deity in the Gospel. Those who suffer the least moral damage from this tangle are probably those who never try to reconcile the two standards — the one set by Nature, and the one set by Jesus in the Gospels — with one another, but admits to himself that the purposes of Providence are mysterious, that its ways are not our ways, that its justice and goodness are not the justice and goodness that we can understand and that it is fitting for us to practise. When this is how the believer feels, however, the worship of God stops being the adoration of abstract moral perfection. It becomes a matter of the bowing down to a gigantic image of something not fit for us to imitate. It is the worship of pure power.
    I say nothing of the moral difficulties and perversions involved in revelation itself; though even in the Christianity of the Gospels, at least in its ordinary interpretation, there are some that are so flagrant that they almost outweigh all the beauty and benignity and moral greatness that so clearly distinguish the sayings and character of Christ. For example, thinking "This is the object of highest worship!" of a being who could make a Hell and create countless generations of human beings with the certain foreknowledge that he was creating them to be sent to Hell. Is there any moral atrocity that couldn't be justified by the imitation of such a Deity? And could we possibly adore such a being without frightfully distorting the standard of right and wrong? Any other of the outrages to the most ordinary justice and humanity involved in the common Christian idea of God's moral character sinks into insignificance beside this dreadful Hell-focused idealization of wickedness.
  • 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.
  • In his last moments he cries out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me!" What conclusion is it natural to draw from this distressing exclamation? It appears to be this, that on the part of Jesus Christ, there was a virtual renunciation of his confidence in the Creator; and on the supposition that there was originally a concerted plan of execution well understood by both the parties, the fulfilment of it seems here to have been relinquished, and the beneficial effects annihilated. On the part of Jesus, it is saying, "I have been deceived in this undertaking. I did not expect that I should have been forsaken in this hour of my greatest distress; but I rested with confidence on eternal wisdom, for a timely escape from this wretched misfortune." On the part of the Father, there is a want of attention and support in this trying hour. He forsakes his beloved Son; he gives him up to the murderous fury of vindictive enemies; and neither the one nor the other of the parties exhibits that spirit of fortitude and constancy which might justly have been expected on so interesting an occasion. The reflecting mind concludes, therefore, that the whole is but a fiction, and that no such stipulation ever took place between the man Jesus Christ, and the Creator of the world.
  • "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.
  • [E]ven while admitting the existence of the theological God, and the reality of his so discordant attributes which they impute to him, one can conclude nothing to authorize the conduct or the cult which one is prescribed to render him. … If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has, filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? IF HE HAS SPOKEN, WHY IS THE UNIVERSE NOT CONVINCED? If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest.
  • 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.
  • Christianity is the solace of the poor. Christ has ever been the poor man's Friend.
  • 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.

The Book of Mormon and LDS Scriptures[edit]

The Book of Mormon (1830)[edit]

  • And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
  • And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.
  • For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
  • And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
    And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.
    Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.
  • For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.
  • Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. Wherefore, thus saith the Lord, I have led this people forth out of the land of Jerusalem, by the power of mine arm, that I might raise up unto me a righteous branch from the fruit of the loins of Joseph. Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old. Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none; For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts. Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes. For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.
  • Behold, that great city Zarahemla have I burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof.
    And behold, that great city Moroni have I caused to be sunk in the depths of the sea, and the inhabitants thereof to be drowned.
    And behold, that great city Moronihah have I covered with earth, …
    And behold, the city of Gilgal have I caused to be sunk, and the inhabitants thereof to be buried up in the depths of the earth;
    Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, …
    And behold, the city of Gadiandi, and the city of Gadiomnah, and the city of Jacob, and the city of Gimgimno, all these have I caused to be sunk, …
    that great city Jacobugath, which was inhabited by the people of king Jacob, have I caused to be burned with fire …
    the city of Laman, and the city of Josh, and the city of Gad, and the city of Kishkumen, have I caused to be burned with fire, and the inhabitants thereof, because of their wickedness in casting out the prophets, and stoning those whom I did send to declare unto them concerning their wickedness and their abominations.
    And because they did cast them all out, that there were none righteous among them, I did send down fire and destroy them, …
    And many great destructions have I caused to come upon this land, and upon this people, …
    Behold, I am Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Doctrine and Covenants (1835)[edit]

  • Hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, who have assembled yourselves together, according to my commandments, in this land, which is the land of Missouri, which is the land which I have appointed and consecrated for the gathering of the saints.
    Wherefore, this is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.
    And thus saith the Lord your God, if you will receive wisdom here is wisdom. Behold, the place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse.
    • Joseph Smith's revelation that that Jesus will come to Independence, Missouri when he returns to reign on earth, The Doctrine and Covenants, 57:1–3, revelation through Joseph Smith, in Zion, Jackson County, Missouri (July 20, 1831).
  • Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines—
    Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.
    Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.
    For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.
    if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood …
    Then shall they be gods, because they have no end …
    to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my law.
    God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. …
    Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it. …
    Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than that which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but are gods.
    David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me. …
    David's wives and concubines were given unto him of me …
    And let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph …
    Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him …
    as pertaining to the law of the priesthood—if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else.
    And if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified.
    [T]hen shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; … if she receive not this law … she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt[.]

The Pearl of Great Price (1888)[edit]

  • … I saw the stars, that they were very great, and that one of them was nearest unto the throne of God; and there were many great ones which were near unto it; And the Lord said unto me: These are the governing ones; and the name of the great one is Kolob, because it is near unto me, for I am the Lord thy God: I have set this one to govern all those which belong to the same order as that upon which thou standest. … Kolob was after the manner of the Lord, according to its times and seasons in the revolutions thereof; that one revolution was a day unto the Lord, after his manner of reckoning, it being one thousand years according to the time appointed unto that whereon thou standest. This is the reckoning of the Lord's time, according to the reckoning of Kolob.

The Twentieth Century[edit]

See also: Adolf Hitler's religious views
  • 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).
  • Should the church be trying to erect a spiritual reign of terror over people by threatening earthly and eternal punishment on its own authority and commanding everything a person must believe and do to be saved? Should the church's word bring new tyranny and violent abuse to human souls? It may be that some people yearn for such servitude. But could the church ever serve such a longing?
    When holy scripture speaks of following Jesus, it proclaims that people are free from all human rules, from everything which presumes, burdens, or causes worry and torment of conscience. In following Jesus, people are released from the hard yoke of their own laws to be under the gentle yoke of Jesus Christ. ... Jesus' commandment never wishes to destroy life, but rather to preserve, strengthen, and heal life.
  • Contemporary Christian proclamation is faced with the question whether, when it demands faith from men and women, it expects them to acknowledge this mythical world picture from the past. If this is impossible, it has to face the question whether the New Testament proclamation has a truth that is independent of the mythical world picture, in which case it would be the task of theology to demythologize the Christian proclamation.
    • Rudolf Bultmann, New Testament and Mythology and Other Basic Writings (1984), p. 3
  • Can the Christian proclamation today expect men and women to acknowledge the mythical world picture as true? To do so would be both pointless and impossible. It would be pointless because there is nothing specifically Christian about the mythical world picture, which is simply the world picture of a time now past which was not yet formed by scientific thinking. It would be impossible because no one can appropriate a world picture by sheer resolve, since it is already given with one’s historical situation. ... We cannot use electric lights and radios and, in the event of illness, avail ourselves of modern medical and clinical means and at the same time believe in the spirit and wonder world of the New Testament.
    • Rudolf Bultmann, New Testament and Mythology and Other Basic Writings (1984), p. 4
  • 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.
  • 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, Chapter 5 : The Unfinished Temple.
  • Because if this is gonna be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we've got to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition — and then admit that we just don't want to do it.
  • Jewish persecution only followed after Christians first were persecuted.
    • American Catholic priest Charles Coughlin's radio address following the Nazi Kristallnacht attack on German Jews, November 20, 1938. In New York, on December 18, 1938, two thousand followers of Coughlin chanted in protest against a potential U.S. asylum law:

      Send Jews back where they came from in leaky boats!
      Wait until Hitler comes over here!

  • 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.
  • The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country.
  • No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by the word. It is every individual's individual code of behavior by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only.
  • 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 both God and money." (Luke 16:13).
  • Nearly all the Latin Fathers are Africans - Tertullian of Carthage, the Numid Arnobius of Sicca and his pupil Lactantius, Saint Cyprian of Carthage, the African Marius Victorinus, the Berber Saint Augustine, in short, all this glorious vanguard of Latin patristic culture. What splendid gifts these were from Africa to the Church of Rome while the latter had only the works of Saint Ambrose and of Saint Jerome to put in the Balance !
    • Etienne Gilson, The Philosopher and Theology (1960), Random House New York, 1962, pp.195-196. Catholic World, Volumes 175-176 (Paulist Fathers, 1952, p.376) put it thus:

      The whole of North Africa was a glory of Christendom with St. Augustine, himself a Berber, its chief ornament.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The very basis of the Judeo-Christian code is injustice, the scapegoat system. The scapegoat sacrifice runs all through the Old Testament, then it reaches its height in the New Testament with the notion of the Martyred Redeemer. How can justice possibly be served by loading your sins on another? Whether it be a lamb having its throat cut ritually, or a Messiah nailed to a cross and 'dying for your sins.' Somebody should tell all of Yahweh's followers, Jews and Christians, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
  • Why should it be taken for granted that the men who devoted their lives to the liberation of their fellow-men should have been hissed at in the hour of death by the snakes of conscience, while men who defended slavery, practiced polygamy, justified the stealing of babes from the breasts of mothers, and lashed the naked hack of unpaid labor are supposed to have passed smilingly from earth to the embraces of the angels? Why should we think that the brave thinkers, the investigators, the honest men, must have left the crumbling shore of time in dread and fear, while the instigators of the massacre of St. Bartholomew; the inventors and users of thumbscrews, of iron boots and racks; the burners and tearers of human flesh; the stealers, the whippers and the enslavers of men; the buyers and beaters of maidens, mothers, and babes; the founders of the Inquisition; the makers of chains; the builders of dungeons; the calumniators of the living; the slanderers of the dead, and even the murderers of Jesus Christ, all died in the odor of sanctity, with white, forgiven hands folded upon the breasts of peace, while the destroyers of prejudice, the apostles of humanity, the soldiers of liberty, the breakers of fetters, the creators of light, died surrounded by the fierce fiends of God?
  • One hundred years after Christ had died suppose someone had asked a Christian, What hospitals have you built? What asylums have you founded? They would have said "None." Suppose three hundred years after the death of Christ the same questions had been asked the Christian, he would have said "None, not one." Two hundred years more and the answer would have been the same. And at that time the Christian could have told the questioner that the Mohammedans had built asylums before the Christians. He could also have told him that there had been orphan asylums in China for hundreds and hundreds of years, hospitals in India, and hospitals for the sick at Athens.
    • Robert G. Ingersoll, "What Infidels Have Done", collected in The Works of Robert G. Ingersoll vol. XI (1902)
    • Ingersoll's account is historically inaccurate. The earliest Christian hospitals date back to the 4th century, shortly after Christianity ceased to be a persecuted, underground religion. Before that, as The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity (2012, p. 727) notes, "With the exception … of the Roman valetudinaria [military hospitals] - specialized in function, immensely different in character from later Christian hospitals, and long defunct by the time of the first Christian hospitals - there were probably no hospitals at all in the Mediterranean world or the Middle East."
  • 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 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).
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?
  • We are told that Christ was killed for us, that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He has disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed.
  • I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would be either a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.
  • 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.
  • Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.
  • All the branches of Christianity suffer by the fact that they seem to be unable to take in the greatest contribution of the modern world to ethical theory, to wit, the concept of a moral obligation to be intelligent.
  • 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 am going to tell you something, Pedro, which may surprise you, though you are also a cardinal, and being a cardinal myself. I have spent all my life here in the Roman Curia and I believe I have the authority to tell you this. Having spent twenty-two years at the Holy Office, and been Secretary of State during an entire pontificate, I have reached the following conclusion. There are two elements to the Church, the divine and the human. As for the divine aspect, I have tried to do what little I could; I would give my life for it a thousand times over. But as for its human side, my dear Pedro, how miserable it is. Nevertheless, we must carry on if that is God's will.
  • 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 reasoning 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.
  • Examine the history of Christianity. Professing the salvation of humankind, Christianity has expanded through a tumultuous history of two thousand years, extending its influence throughout the world in the present era. Yet what has become of the Christian spirit that once cast flames of life so brilliant that, despite the most brutal persecution by the Roman empire, Roman citizens were brought to their knees before the crucified Jesus? Medieval feudal society buried Christianity alive. Even though the Reformation raised high the torch of new life, its flame could not turn back the sweeping tide of darkness. 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. Christianity lost the ability to equal the successes of either communism or materialism and failed to present the truth that could conquer their theories. Christians watched helplessly as these ideologies budded and thrived in their midst and expanded their influence all over the world. What a pity this is! What is more, although Christian doctrine teaches that all humanity descended from the same parents, many citizens of Christian nations who profess this doctrine will not even sit together with their brothers and sisters of different skin colors. This illustrates the actual situation of today's Christianity, which has lost much of the power to put the words of Jesus into practice. It has become a house of lifeless rituals, a whitewashed tomb.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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 Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptize Indian infants and then immediately dash their brains out: by this means they secured these infants went to Heaven.
  • Christ says, "The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth"; and He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. Then you all, of course, remember about the sheep and the goats; how at the second coming He is going to divide the sheep from the goats, and He is going to say to the goats: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." He continues: "And these shall go away into everlasting fire." Then He says again, "If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched, where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched." He repeats that again and again also. I must say that I think all this doctrine, that hell-fire is a punishment for sin, is a doctrine of cruelty. It is a doctrine that put cruelty into the world, and gave the world generations of cruel torture; and the Christ of the Gospels, if you could take Him as his chroniclers represent Him, would certainly have to be considered partly responsible for that.
  • There is the instance of the Gadarene swine, where it certainly was not very kind to the pigs to put the devils into them and make them rush down the hill into the sea. You must remember that He was omnipotent, and He could have made the devils simply go away; but He chose to send them into the pigs. Then there is the curious story of the fig-tree, which always rather puzzled me. You remember what happened about the fig-tree. "He was hungry; and seeing a fig-tree afar off having leaves, He came if haply He might find anything thereon; and when he came to it He found nothing but leaves, for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it: 'No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever'.... and Peter.... saith unto Him: 'Master, behold the fig-tree which thou cursedst is withered away.'" This is a very curious story, because it was not the right time of year for figs, and you really could not blame the tree. I cannot myself feel that either in the matter of wisdom or in the matter of virtue Christ stands quite as high as some other people known to History. I think I should put Buddha and Socrates above Him in those respects.
  • 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.
  • Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand-in-hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by the help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the Christian religion, against the churches, and against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and
  • The whole conception of a God is a conception derived from the ancient oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.
  • The true Christian is in all countries a pilgrim and a stranger.
  • Atheistic secular humanists should be removed from office and Christians should be elected... Government and true Christianity are inseparable.
  • In the most deeply significant of the legends concerning Jesus, we are told how the devil took him up into a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time; and the devil said unto him: "All this power will I give unto thee, and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it. If thou, therefore, wilt worship me, all shall be thine." Jesus, as we know, answered and said "Get thee behind me, Satan!" And he really meant it; he would have nothing to do with worldly glory, with "temporal power;" he chose the career of a revolutionary agitator, and died the death of a disturber of the peace. And for two or three centuries his church followed in his footsteps, cherishing his proletarian gospel. The early Christians had "all things in common, except women;" they lived as social outcasts, hiding in deserted catacombs, and being thrown to lions and boiled in oil.
    But the devil is a subtle worm; he does not give up at one defeat, for he knows human nature, and the strength of the forces which battle for him. He failed to get Jesus, but he came again, to get Jesus' church. He came when, through the power of the new revolutionary idea, the Church had won a position of tremendous power in the decaying Roman Empire; and the subtle worm assumed the guise of no less a person than the Emperor himself, suggesting that he should become a convert to the new faith, so that the Church and he might work together for the greater glory of God. The bishops and fathers of the Church, ambitious for their organization, fell for this scheme, and Satan went off laughing to himself. He had got everything he had asked from Jesus three hundred years before; he had got the world's greatest religion.
    • Upton Sinclair, in The Profits of Religion : An Essay in Economic Interpretation (1918), Book Seven : The Church of the Social Revolution, "Christ and Caesar".
  • 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.
  • Where is my faith? Even deep down … there is nothing but emptiness and darkness … If there be God—please forgive me. When I try to raise my thoughts to Heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul … How painful is this unknown pain—I have no Faith. Repulsed, empty, no faith, no love, no zeal, … What do I labor for? If there be no God, there can be no soul. If there be no soul then, Jesus, You also are not true.
  • Poetry is religion, religion is poetry. The message of the New Testament is poetry. Christ was a poet, the New Testament is metaphor, the Resurrection is a metaphor; and I feel perfectly within my rights in approaching my whole vocation as priest and preacher as one who is to present poetry; and when I preach poetry I am preaching Christianity, and when one discusses Christianity one is discussing poetry in its imaginative aspects. ... My work as a poet has to deal with the presentation of imaginative truth.
    • R. S. Thomas, in "R. S. Thomas : Priest and Poet" (BBC TV, 2 April 1972).
  • The bishops play the hero and say they are ready to fight, even if it costs them their lives. The fight against whom? Against the people's government, of course, against our new democratic Yugoslavia ... But how is it that the bishops did not issue this kind of pastoral letter, to be read in all the churches, in the days of Pavelic and the Germans, against those terrible massacres of Serbs in Croatia in which hundreds of thousands of women, children and menfolk lost their lives?
    • Marshal Tito, as quoted in Jasper Ridley, Tito: A Biography (Constable and Company Ltd., 1994), p. 278.
  • We must put an end once and for all to the Papist-Quaker babble about the sanctity of human life.
    • Leon Trotsky, The Russian Revolution (1930), quoted in Orlando Figes, A People's Tragedy: The Russian Revolution 1891–1924 (1996), p. 641.
  • We began to stir against slavery. Hearts grew soft, here, there, and yonder. There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one—the pulpit. It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession—at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all.
  • During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. the Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumb-screws, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. Who discovered that there was no such thing as a witch—the priest, the parson? No, these never discover anything. … There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain.
  • 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 Amendmant (Mott Media 1977).

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 115-116.
  • Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.
    • Acts, XXVI. 28.
  • Christians have burnt each other, quite persuaded.
    That all the Apostles would have done as they did.
  • A Christian is God Almighty's gentleman.
    • J. C. and A. W. Hare, Guesses at Truth.
  • Look in, and see Christ's chosen saint
    In triumph wear his Christ-like chain;
    No fear lest he should swerve or faint;
    "His life is Christ, his death is gain."
    • John Keble, Christian Year, Stanza: Luke. The Evangelist.
  • Now it is not good for the Christian's health
    To hustle the Aryan brown,
    For the Christian riles and the Aryan smiles, and it weareth the Christian down.
    And the end of the fight is a tombstone white
    With the name of the late deceased—
    And the epitaph drear: "A fool lies here
    Who tried to hustle the East."
  • What was invented two thousand years ago was the spirit of Christianity.
  • Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought
    The better fight.
  • Persons of mean understandings, not so inquisitive, nor so well instructed, are made good Christians, and by reverence and obedience, implicity believe, and abide by their belief.
  • Yes,—rather plunge me back in pagan night,
    And take my chance with Socrates for bliss,
    Than be the Christian of a faith like this,
    Which builds on heavenly cant its earthly sway,
    And in a convert mourns to lose a prey.
  • Tolle crucem, qui vis auferre coronam.
    • Take up the cross if thou the crown would'st gain.
    • St. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola.
  • Yet still a sad, good Christian at the heart.
  • You are Christians of the best edition, all picked and culled.
  • Plant neighborhood and Christian-like accord
    In their sweet bosoms.
  • This making of Christians will raise the price of hogs: if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money.
  • A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion,
    To pray for them that have done scathe to us.
  • I thank the goodness and the grace
    Which on my birth have smiled,
    And made me, in these Christian days
    A happy Christian child.
  • Vide, inquiunt ut invicem se diligant.
    • See how these Christians love one another.
    • Tertullian, Apologeticus, Chapter XXIX. Claimed also for Julian the Apostate.
  • Lord, I ascribe it to Thy grace,
    And not to chance, as others do,
    That I was born of Christian race.
  • Whatever makes men good Christians, makes them good citizens.
    • Daniel Webster, speech at Plymouth (December 22, 1820), Volume I, p. 44.
  • A Christian is the highest style of man.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IV, line 788.

The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904)[edit]

Quotes reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, The Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 27-29.
  • The Christian religion is from heaven. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and its professors are not afraid of its being examined. It has stood for eighteen hundred years, and it will stand long.
    • Best, J., Trial of Mary Ann Carlile (1821), 1 St. Tr. (N. S.) 408.
  • The Court has no fears for the safety of the Christian religion. It does not believe that the rock upon which Christianity stands can ever be shaken.
    • Bayley, J., Trial of Mary Ann Carlile (1821), 1 St. Tr. (N. S.) 1050.
  • The Christian religion is part of the law of the land.
    • Kenyon, L.C.J., William's Case (1797), 26 How. St. Tr. 704.
  • I will not suffer the Christian religion to be reviled, while I sit in this Court, and possess the power of preventing it.
  • The preservation of Christianity as a national religion, is, abstracted from its own intrinsic truth, of the utmost consequence to the civil state.
    • Sir William Blackstone (1765), Com, Book 4 Ch. iv., p. 35.
  • It is certain that the Christian religion is part of the law of the land.
    • Patteson, J., Rex v. Hetherington (1841), 5 Jur. (0. S.) 530.
  • We have no law practised in this land but is the law of God; and so did the lawyers maintain it before the King in Henry the 8th's time, the pope's legates, and chief archbishops and bishops of England; and did then prove it to them, that there was no law practised in England but the law of God, which our ministers are loth to touch, and busy themselves to study.
    • Keble, L.P., Christopher Love's Case (1651), 5 How. St. Tr. 238.
  • Christianity came in here by external spiritual force, and discipline, was introduced as a custom, and is part of the law.
    • Hale, C.J., Taylor's Case (1675), 1 Vent. 293; 3 Keb. 607, 621; see also Rex v. Woolston, Fitz. 64 ; 2 Str. Rep. 834.
  • I apprehend that it is the duty of every Judge presiding in an English Court of justice, when he is told that there is no difference between worshipping the Supreme Being in chapel, church, or synagogue to recollect that Christianity is part of the law of England.
    • Lord Hardwicke, L.C., In re Masters, &c. of the Bedford Charity (1819), 2 Swanston's Rep. 527; per Kelly, C.B., Cowan v. Milbourn (1867), 15 W. R. 751. See also Att.-Gen. v. Pearson, 3 Mer. Rep. 353.
  • The second ground of the law of England is the law of God.
    • Hyde, J., Manby v. Scott (1663), 1 Mod. Rep. 126.
  • The laws of the realm do admit nothing against the law of God.
    • Hobart, C.J., Colt v. Glover (1614), LordHobart's Rep. 149.
  • It is no longer true in the sense in which it was true when these dicta were uttered, that "Christianity is part of the law of the land." Nonconformists and Jews were then under penal laws, and were hardly allowed civil rights. But now, so far as I know the law, a Jew might be Lord Chancellor. Certainly he might be Master of the Rolls, and the great Judge whose loss we have all had to deplore2 might have had to try such a case, and if the view of the law supposed be correct, he would have had to tell the jury, perhaps partly composed of Jews, that it was blasphemy to deny that Jesus Christ was the Messiah, which he himself did deny, and which Parliament has allowed him to deny, and which it was part of " the law of the land " that he might, deny.
  • The duty of relieving his fellow creature in distress is imposed on the Christian irrespective of religious doctrines and tenets, and notwithstanding that the object of charity may worship God in an erroneous manner, but in that which he believes to be most acceptable to his Creator.
    • Sir John Romilly, M.R., Att.-Gen. v. Calvert (1857), 23 Beav. 258.
  • There is no act which Christianity forbids, that the law will not reach : if it were otherwise, Christianity would not be, as it has always been held to be, part of the law of England.
    • Best, C.J., Bird v. Holbrook (1828), 4 Bing. 641.

The Twenty-First Century[edit]

  • One of the things we [the Chinese Academy] were asked to look into was what accounted for the success, in fact the pre-eminence, of the West all over the world. We studied everything we could from the historical, political, economic, and cultural perspective. At first, we thought it was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past 20 years we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity. That is why the West has been so powerful. The Christian moral foundation of social and cultural life was what made possible the emergence of capitalism and then the successful transition to democratic politics. We don't have any doubt about this.
    • Quoted in David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing: How Christianity is Transforming China and Changing the Global Balance of Power (2003), p. 5. The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences of the People's Republic of China published its conclusions in 2002.
  • A thread of hatred runs through the New Testament. It is inaccurate to call the Christian scriptures anti-Semitic, as the authors were themselves Jewish, but many of them had become disenchanted with Jewish religion.
  • The existing and long-standing use of the word 'evolution' in our state's textbooks has not adversely affected Georgians' belief in the omnipotence of God as creator of the universe, There can be no incompatibility between Christian faith and proven facts concerning geology, biology, and astronomy. 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.
  • 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.
  • You've got to kill the terrorists before the killing stops and I am for the President — chase them all over the world, if it takes ten years, blow them all away in the name of the Lord.
  • 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).
  • And in a convert mourns to lose a prey.
  • Tolle crucem, qui vis auferre coronam.
    • Take up the cross if thou the crown would'st gain.
    • St. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola.
  • Yet still a sad, good Christian at the heart.
  • You are Christians of the best edition, all picked and culled.
  • [Christ of Revelation] comes forth as one who no longer seeks either friendship or love … His garments are dipped in blood, the blood of others. He descends that he may shed the blood of men.
  • If you wake up tomorrow morning thinking that saying a few Latin words over your pancakes is going to turn them into the body of Elvis Presley, you have lost your mind. But if you think more or less the same thing about a cracker and the body of Jesus, you're just a Catholic.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • All that is good about Christianity stems from Jesus, and all that is bad about it stems from Paul.
    • Tom O'Golo, Christ? No! Jesus? Yes!, p.199 (2011).
  • I said last year that Israel was entering into the most dangerous periods of its entire existence as a nation. That is intensifying this year with the loss of Sharon. … I think we need to look at the Bible and the Book of Joel. The prophet Joel makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who 'divide my land.' God considers this land to be His. You read the Bible and He says 'this is my land' and for any Prime Minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says 'no, this is mine.' I had a wonderful meeting with Yitzhak Rabin in 1974. He was tragically assassinated, it was a terrible thing that happened but nevertheless he was dead. And now Ariel Sharon who again was a very likeable person, a delightful person to be with, I prayed with him personally, but here he's at the point of death. He was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any Prime Minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU, the United Nations, or the United States of America. God says 'this land belongs to me. You'd better leave it alone.'
  • 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.
  • In 1939, in a stadium much like this, in Munich Germany, they packed it out with young men and women in brown shirts, for a fanatical man standing behind a podium named Adolf Hitler, the personification of evil. And in that stadium, those in brown shirts formed with their bodies a sign that said, in the whole stadium, "Hitler, we are yours." And they nearly took the world. Lenin once said, "give me 100 committed, totally committed men and I'll change the world." And, he nearly did. A few years ago, they took the sayings of Chairman Mao, in China, put them in a little red book, and a group of young people committed them to memory and put it in their minds and they took that nation, the largest nation in the world by storm because they committed to memory the sayings of the Chairman Mao. When I hear those kinds of stories, I think 'what would happen if American Christians, if world Christians, if just the Christians in this stadium, followers of Christ, would say "Jesus, we are yours"? What kind of spiritual awakening would we have?
  • The prevalence of evil and misery has always bothered those who believe in a benevolent and omnipotent God. Sometimes God is excused by pointing to the need for free will. Milton gives God this argument in Paradise Lost:

    I formed them free, and free they must remain
    Till they enthrall themselves: I else must change
    Their nature, and revoke the high decree
    Unchangeable, eternal, which ordained
    Their freedom; they themselves ordained their fall.

    It seems a bit unfair to my relatives to be murdered in order to provide an opportunity for free will for the Germans, but even putting that aside, how does free will account for cancer? Is it an opportunity of free will for tumors?
    • Steven Weinberg, Facing Up: Science and Its Cultural Adversaries (2001), p. 240.
  • 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.
  • Christianity was an epidemic rather than a religion. It appealed to fear, hysteria and ignorance. It spread across the Western world, not because it was true, but because humans are gullible and superstitious.

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