American Founding Fathers on Religion

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"The Roman Catholic Church is not the only denomination that is profoundly sexually dysfunctional. The truth is that all fundamentalist religions, particularly those derived from the Abrahamic tree, with its Middle Eastern iron age thinking about sex and gender, share the same four issues: 1) A sense of superiority and entitlement as the followers of the one true faith. 2) A sense of persecution for their faith. 3) the belief as a matter of faith in male dominance. 4) the obsessive need for men through the institution and with the justification of the faith to control the half of the human race with vaginas.

In my view, it is time for humanity to move out of the iron age thinking of two and a half millennia ago, and get on with gender equality."
—Stephan A. Swartz, 2018 (

Source: Stephan A. Schwartz (

What James Madison, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin really thought about religion

From: (Brad Pierce)
Subject: Religion and the USA "founding fathers"
Newsgroups: alt.conspiracy
Organization: UCLA, Computer Science Department
Date: Wed, 30 Dec 92 16:30:36 GMT

       "What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments
    had on society?  In some instances they have been seen to erect
    a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on
    many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of
    political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians
    of the liberties of the people.  Rulers who wish to subvert
    the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient
    auxiliaries.  A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate
    it, needs them not."

                           - James Madison
                             "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785

       "Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments,
    instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have
    had a contrary operation.  During almost fifteen centuries has
    the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial.  What has
    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."

                           - James Madison
                             "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785

       "As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a
    revelation.  But how has it happened that millions of fables,
    tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian
    revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that
    ever existed?"

                           - John Adams
                             letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816

       "I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal
    example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has
    preserved--the Cross.  Consider what calamities that engine of
    grief has produced!"

                           - John Adams
                             letter to Thomas Jefferson

       "What havoc has been made of books through every century of
    the Christian era?  Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious
    by the bull of Pope Gelasius?  Where are the forty wagon-loads of
    Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope,
    because suspected of heresy?  Remember the 'index expurgatorius',
    the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the 

                           - John Adams
                             letter to John Taylor

       "The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized
    learning.  And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed
    a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY?
    The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence,
    the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced,
    propagated, and applauded.  But touch a solemn truth in collision
    with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and
    you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm
    about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes."

                           - John Adams
                             letter to John Taylor

       "In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile
    to liberty.  He is always in alliance with the despot ... they
    have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into
    mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore
    the safer engine for their purpose."

                           - Thomas Jefferson
                             to Horatio Spafford, March 17, 1814

       "Is uniformity attainable?  Millions of innocent men, women
    and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been
    burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an
    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."

                            - Thomas Jefferson
                              from "Notes on Virginia"

       "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.

                            - Thomas Jefferson
                              letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787

       "It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they
    believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one
    is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not
    one.  But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of
    the priests."

                             - Thomas Jefferson
                               to John Adams, 1803

       "But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer
    of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by
    those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into
    an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors
    in Church and State."

                             - Thomas Jefferson
                               to S. Kercheval, 1810

       "History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden
    people maintaining a free civil government.  This marks the
    lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as
    religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own

                             - Thomas Jefferson
                               to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

       "On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral
    principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to
    this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing
    one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and
    to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the
    human mind."

                             - Thomas Jefferson
                               to Carey, 1816

       "But the greatest of all 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,
    we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality
    which has ever fallen from the lips of man.  The establishment
    of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent
    morality, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture,
    which has resulted fro artificial systems, invented by
    ultra-Christian sects (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 the Hierarchy, etc.)
    is a most desirable object."

                              - Thomas Jefferson
                                to W. Short, Oct. 31, 1819

       "It is not to be understood that I am with him (Jesus Christ)
    in all his doctrines.  I am a Materialist; he takes the side of
    Spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentence toward
    forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to
    redeem it.
       Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him by his
    biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct
    morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again,
    of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth,
    charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that
    such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.
    I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore him to
    the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, the
    roguery of others of his disciples.  Of this band of dupes
    and imposters, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and the first
    corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus."

                                - Thomas Jefferson
                                  to W. Short, 1820

       "The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation,
    is ever more dangerous.  Jesus had to work on the perilous
    confines of reason and religion; and a step to the right or
    left might place him within the grasp of the priests of the
    superstition, a bloodthirsty race, as cruel and remorseless
    as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham,
    of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel.  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
                                  to Story, Aug. 4, 1820

       "The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the
    happiness of man.  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, is nothing.
       3. That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible
    the proposition, the more merit the 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."

                                - Thomas Jefferson
                                  to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822

       "Creeds have been the bane of the Christian church ... made
    of Christendom a slaughter-house."

                                - Thomas Jefferson
                                  to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822

       "The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of
    Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who
    have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy
    absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his
    genuine words.  And the day will come, when the mystical
    generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in
    the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the
    generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."

                                - Thomas Jefferson
                                  to John Adams, Apr. 11, 1823

       "The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and
    of Calvin, are, to my understanding, mere lapses into polytheism,
    differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible."

                                - Thomas Jefferson
                                  to Jared Sparks, 1820

       "I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy
    is more regarded than virtue.  The scriptures assure me that at
    the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but
    what we did."

                                 - Benjamin Franklin
                                   letter to his father, 1738

       "I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite
    Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us,
    but that He is even infinitely above it."

                                 - Benjamin Franklin
                                   from "Articles of Belief and Acts
                                    of Religion", Nov. 20, 1728

       "I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good
    works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping,
    sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries
    and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of
    pleasing the Deity."

                                 - Benjamin Franklin
                                   Works, Vol. VII, p. 75

       "If we look back into history for the character of the present
    sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their
    turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution.  The
    primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the
    Pagans, but practiced it on one another.  The first Protestants
    of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church,
    but practiced it upon the Puritans.  They found it wrong in Bishops,
    but fell into the practice themselves both here (England) and
    in New England."
                                 - Benjamin Franklin