Debunking the Christian Democracy Myth
Quotes from the Founding Fathers
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George Wasington wrote: ↑ →
1st President (1789-1797)
- “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. I had hoped that liberal and enlightened thought would have reconciled the Christians so that their [not our?] religious fights would not endanger the peace of Society.” (Letter to Sir Edward Newenham, June 22, 1792)
- In support of Thomas Paine:
- “Your presence may remind Congress of your past services to this country; and if it is in my power to impress them, command my best exertions with freedom, as they will be rendered cheerfully by one who entertains a lively sense of the importance of your works, and who with much pleasure subscribes himself,” (letter to Thomas Paine written after publication of Age of Reason)
- Farewell Address — 1796: He honors Liberty fifteen times, but god or Jesus not even once.
Rev. Dr. Abercrombie: “On sacramental Sundays, Gen. Washington, immediately after the desk and pulpit services, went out with the greater part of the Congregation.”
Rev. Dr. Wilson: “After that [Dr. Abercrombie’s reproof], upon communion days, he absented himself altogether from the church.”
Rev. Dr. Beverly Tucker: “The General was accustomed, on communion Sundays, to leave the church with her [Nelly Custis], sending the carriage back for Mrs. Washington.”
Rev. Dr. Bird Wilson: “He never was a communicant in them [Dr. White’s churches].”
Rev. William Jackson: “I find no one who ever communed with him.”
Rev. E.D. Neill: “The President was not a communicant.”
Rev. Jared Sparks: “This [his refusal to commune] may be admitted and regretted.”
Gen. A.W. Greely: “There is no reliable evidence that he ever took communion.”
St. Louis Globe: “There is nothing to show that he was ever a member of the church.”
Washington himself (as quoted by Dr. Abercrombie): “I have never been a communicant.”
2nd President (1797-1801)
- “Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion.”
- “Thirteen governments [states & former colonies] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretense of miracle or mystery...are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind.”
- “It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service [formation of the American governments] had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven...”
Treaty of Tripoli ― Ratified by the Senate and signed into law by John Adams on 10 June, 1797.
- “[T]he Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion...”
- “How has it happened that millions of myths, fables, legends and tales have been blended with Jewish and Christian fables and myths and have made them the most bloody religion that has ever existed? Filled with the sordid and detestable purposes of superstition and fraud?” (Letters to F.A. Van Der Kamp 1809-1816)
- In reference to Thomas Paine:
- “It has been very generally propagated through the continent that I wrote the pamphlet 'Common Sense.' I could not have written anything in so manly and striking a style.” (letter to Thomas Paine)
3rd President (1801-1809)
- “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.”
- “The serious enemies are the priests of the different religious sects to whose spells on the human mind its improvement is ominous.”
- “I join you [John Adams], therefore, in sincere congratulations that this den of the priesthood is at length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom is no longer to disgrace the American history and character.”
- “In every country and in every age the priest [any and every clergyman] has been hostile to liberty; he is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”
- “I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition [Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon fables and mythologies.”
- “His [Calvin's] religion was demonism. If ever man worshiped a false God, he did.”
- “Their [Presbyterian’s] ambition and tyranny would tolerate no rival if they had power.”
- “It is not to be understood that I am with him [Jesus] in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist.”
- “It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself.”
- “If by religion, we are to understand sectarian dogmas, in which no two of them agree, then your [John Adams’] exclamation on that hypothesis is just, ‘that this would be the best of worlds if there were no religion in it’.”
- Christianity neither is, nor ever was apart of the common law. Feb. 10, 1814
- “Christian creeds and doctrines, the clergy's own fatal inventions, through all the ages has made of Christendom a slaughterhouse, and divided it into sects of inextinguishable hatred for one another.” (Letter to Thomas Whittemore, June 5, 1822)
- In support of Thomas Paine:
- “No writer has exceeded Paine in ease and familiarity of style, in perspicuity of expression, happiness of elucidation, and in simple and unassuming language.”
- “That you may live long to continue your useful labors, and reap the reward in the thankfulness of nations, is my sincere prayer. Accept the assurances of my high esteem and affectionate attachment.” (letter to Thomas Paine written after publication of Age of Reason)
James Madison wrote: ← ↑ →
The 4th President (1809-1817) feared organized religion. Quotations here excerpted from James Madison on Religious Liberty edited by Robert S. Alley,
- “During almost fifteen centuries, the legal establishment of Christianity has been on trial. What have been the fruits of this trial? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the Clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; and in both, clergy and laity, superstition, bigotry and persecution.” (Speech to the General Assembly of Virginia, 1785)
From a document in Madison’s own hand and re-published in the William and Mary Quarterly of October 1946.
- “The danger of silent accumulations & encroachments by Ecclesiastical Bodies have not sufficiently engaged attention in the U.S.”
- “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, my be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their shorty history.”
- “But besides the danger of a direct mixture of Religion & the civil Government, there is an evil which ought to be guarded agst in the indefinite accumulation of property from the capacity of holding it in perpetuity by ecclesiastical corporations. The power of all coprporations , ought to be limited in this respect. The growing wealth acuired by them never fails to be a source of abuses.”
- “Are the U.S. duly awake to the tendency of the precedents they are establishing, in the multiplied incorporations of Religious Congregations with the faculty of acquiring & holding property real as well as personal? Do not many of these acts [of Congress] give this faculty, without limit either as to time or as to amount? Ad must not bodies, perpetual in their existtence, and which may be always gaining without ever losing, speedily gain more than is useful, and in time more than is safe?”
- “Is the appointment of Chaplains to the two Houses of Congress consistent with the Constitution, and with the pure principle of religious freedom? In strictness the answer on both points must be in the negative. The Constitution of the U.S. forbids everything like an establishment of a national religion. The law appointing Chaplains establishes a religious worship for the national representatives, to be performed by Ministers of religion, elected by a majority of them; and these are to be paid out of the national taqxes.”
- “The establishment of the chaplainship to Cong[res]s is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles: The tenets of the chaplains elected [by the majority] shut the door of worship agst the members whose creeds & consciences forbid a participation in that of the majority.”
- If Religion consist in voluntary acts of individuals, singly, or voluntarily associaated, and it be proper that public functionaries, as well as their Constituents should discharge their religious duties, let them like their Constituents, do so at t heir own expense.”
- “Better also to disarm in the same way, the precedent of Chaplainships for the army and navy, than erect them into a political authority in matters of religion.”
- “Religious proclamations by the Executive recommending thanksgivings & fasts are shoots from the same root with the legislative acts reviewed. Altho’ recommendations only, they imply a religious agency, making no part of the trust delegated to political rulers.”
James Monroe wrote: ← ↑ →
5th President (1817-1825) in support of Thomas Paine.
- “It is not necessary for me to tell you how much all your countrymen -- I speak of the great mass of the people -- are interested in your welfare. They have not forgotten the history of their own Revolution and the difficult scenes through which they passed; nor do they review its several stages without reviving in their bosoms a due sensibility of the merits of those who served them in that great and arduous conflict. The crime of ingratitude has not yet stained, and I trust never will stain, our national character. You are considered by them as not only having rendered important services in our own Revolution, but as being on a more extensive scale the friend of human rights, and a distinguished and able defender of public liberty. To the welfare of Thomas Paine the Americans are not, nor can they be indifferent.” (letter to Thomas Paine written after publication of Age of Reason)
6th President (1825 - 1829)
- “There are in this country, as in all others, a certain proportion of restless and turbulent spirits - poor, unoccupied, ambitious - who must always have something to quarrel about with their neighbors. These people are the authors of religious revivals.”
Andrew Jackson wrote: ← ↑
Not until the 7th President (1829 - 1837) did organized religion win a proponent in that office. Jackson started out religious and grew ever more so with advancing years. Yet even so he saw the limits of his office in that regard.
- “I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation form the political concerns of the General Government.” (letter explaining his refusal to proclaim a national day of, among other things, prayer.)
- “The Infinite Father expects or requires no worship or praise from us.”
- “I conceive, then, that the Infinite has created many beings or gods vastly superior to man.”
- “It may be these created gods are immortals; or it may be that after many ages, they are changed, and others supply their places.”
- “Howbeit, I conceive that each of these is exceeding good and very powerful; and that each has made for himself one glorious sun, attended with a beautiful and admirable system of planets.”
- In a letter to Ezra Stiles:
- “I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. [...] That the the most acceptable Service we render to him is doing good to his other Children. That the soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with Justice in another Life respecting its Conduct in this...”
- “As to Jesus of Nazareth, [...] I have...some Doubts as to his Divinity. [...] I see no harm, however, in its being believed [...] I do not perceive, that the Supreme takes it amiss, by distinguishing the Unbelievers...with any peculiar Marks of his Displeasure....”
- Info Link: Who was Ezra Stiles?
- “Some volumes against Deism fell into my hands. They were said to be the substance of sermons preached at Boyle’s Lecture. It happened that they produced on me an effect precisely the reverse of what was intended by the writers; for the arguments of the Deists, which were cited in order to be refuted, appealed to me much more forcibly than the refutation itself. In a word, I soon became a thorough Deist.”
- “The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion. It has been the most destructive to the peace of man since man began to exist. Among the most detestable villains in history, you could not find one worse than Moses, who gave an order to butcher the boys, to massacre the mothers and then rape the daughters. One of the most horrible atrocities found in the literature of any nation. I would not dishonor my Creator's name by attaching it to this filthy book.” (from The Age of Reason)
- More links to America’s most influential patriot:
- Common Sense (1776) The first published call to arms for America.
- The Crisis (1776-77) Washington ordered this read to his troops at Valley Forge.
- The Age of Reason (1794, 1796) Paine's biting criticism of the Bible.
10th President (1841-1845)
- “The United States have adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent -- that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgement. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgement of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mahommedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political Institutions.... The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid.... and the Aegis of the Government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it.” (letter dated July 10, 1843)
16th President (1861-1865)
- “My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvationand the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.” (to Judge JS. Wakefield, after Willie Lincoln's death)
Mary Todd Lincoln:
- “Mr. Lincoln was not a Christian.”
Ulysses S. Grant ← ↑ →
18th President (1869-1877)
- “Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate.” (Address to the Army of the Tennessee, Des Moines, Iowa, September 25, 1875)
Theodore Roosevelt ← ↑
26th President (1901-1909)
- “To discriminate against a thoroughly upright citizen because he belongs to some particular church, or because, like Abraham Lincoln, he has not avowed his allegiance to any church, is an outrage against that liberty of conscience which is one of the foundations of American life.” (letter to J. C. Martin, 9 November 1908)
- “If there is one thing for which we stand in this country, it is for complete religious freedom, and it is an emphatic negation of this right to cross-examine a man on his religion before being willing to support him for office.” (letter to J. C. Martin, 9 November1908)
- “I hold that in this country there must be complete severance of Church and State; that public moneys shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any particular creed; and therefore that the public schools shall be nonsectarian and no public moneys appropriated for sectarian schools.” (Carnegie Hall address, 12 October 1915)
- “Every man has a property in his own person. This nobody has a right to, but himself.”
- “The care, therefor, of every man’s soul belongs unto himself and is to be left unto himself.”
- “The care of souls cannot belong to the civil magistrate...”
- “I affirm that the magistrate's power extends not to the establishing of any articles of faith, or forms of worship, by the force of his laws.”
- “If any man err from the right way, it is his own misfortune, no injury to thee; nor therefor art thou to punish him in the things of this life because thou supposest he will be miserable in that which is to come.”
- “No man by nature is bound unto any particular church or sect”
- “Not even Americans, subjected unto a Christian prince, are to be punished either in body or goods for not embracing our faith and worship.”
- “Let them not supply their want of reasons with the instruments of force, which belong to another jurisdiction and do ill become a Churchman’s hands.”
- “Religion, which should most distinguish us from beasts, and ought most particularly to elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts themselves.”
Plato wrote: ↑ →
- “When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.”
Ferdinand Magellan wrote: ← ↑
- “The Church says the Earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church.”
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John: ↑ →
The Risen Jesus Compare for yourself these glaring contradictions between all four gospels on their single most important topic.
2 Peter 3:16: ← ↑
- “[Paul’s] letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”
Do Unto Others...Old Testament Holocausts ↑
- The Holocaust Myth Compare for yourself these blood-curling tales of wholesale, wanton rape and murder...by the good guys..
The Pledge of Allegiance ↑
Sucker Fish Emblems ↑
- Cafe Press Get your hook, line and sinker version of the fundie fish.