Every election season, I find the need to present a few quotes on matters spiritual from the founders of the United States. This is in response to those on the right who bleat loudly about how America was built on a Christian bedrock.
The framers were Masonic Deists. This belief system seeks knowledge of God through the application of reason and meditation on natural laws. God here is the Great Architect, not a “life coach in the sky.”
So the next time you hear someone like Michelle Bachmann or Rick Santorum prattling on about America being a Christian nation, keep the following quotes in mind.
“This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it.”
“The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.”
Adams also signed the Treaty of Tripoli. Article 11 states:
“The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
“I have examined all the known superstitions of the world and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the earth.”
“Christianity…(has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man… rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and imposters led by Paul, the first great corruptor of the teachings of Jesus.”
“The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulturated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves…these clergy in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.”
“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.”
“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for 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.”
“It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.”
“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of… each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all… of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity.”
“The Christian church has set up a religion of pomp and revenue in pretend imitation of a person (Jesus) who lived a life of poverty.”
“What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyrrany. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.”
“During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What 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.”
Madison was also against tax exemption for churches.
Another fun fact: a mere 7 percent of dwellers in the original 13 colonies belonged to a church at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Separation of Church and State
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.” —Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Danbury (Conn.) Baptist Association, January 1, 1802
And here’s one last quote, but not from a framer:
“Hence today I believe I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.” —Adolph Hitler