Category Archives: Quotes

“… neither Pagan nor Mahomedan nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.” – Third President Thomas Jefferson

When John Adams hailed Muhammad as a “sober inquirer of truth”

Second President of the United States John Adams wrote a document dated April 1776 called “Thoughts on Government,” where he wrote:

All sober inquirers after truth, ancient and modern, pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. Confucius, Zo- roaster, Socrates, Mahomet, not to mention authorities really sacred, have agreed in this.

John Adams on Muhammad

John Adams on Muhammad

Adams’ thoughts on Muhammad are in stark contrast to much of the despicable commentary coming from many Americans on the prophet of Islam. “Thoughts on Government” has some truly valuable insight on the nature of government and enlightenment philosophic principles. I highly recommend reading it here.

 

Quotes from the founding fathers on religious freedom

Virginia Act

Virginia Act

“We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition … In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States.” — George Washington (letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793

“I am persuaded, you will permit me to observe that the path of true piety is so plain as to require but little political direction. To this consideration we ought to ascribe the absence of any regulation, respecting religion, from the Magna-Charta of our country.” — George Washington, responding to a group of clergymen who complained that the Constitution lacked mention of Jesus Christ,

“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 legislative 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

“Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting ‘Jesus Christ,’ so that it would read ‘A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion,;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and [Muslim], the Hindu and Infidel of every denomination.” -Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom

“Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by [Religious] Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in history.” – James Madison

"To bigotry no sanction." - GW

“To bigotry no sanction.” – GW

“The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church from the State.” — James Madison

“The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and ingrafted into the machine of government, have been a very formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Religious controversies always produce more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.” – George Washington

“I wish 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

“The question before the human race is, whether the God of Nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious [doctrine claiming] miracles?” – John Adams

“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 Roman Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. The Puritans found it wrong in the Bishops of the Church of England, but fell into the same practice themselves in New England [in America].”– Benjamin Franklin, in an essay on “Toleration”

Jefferson's Allah tablet at the University of Virginia

Jefferson’s Allah tablet at the University of Virginia

“Experience witnesses 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

“Religious establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption, all of which facilitate the execution of mischievous projects.” “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.” – James Madison

“Soon after I had published the pamphlet, ‘Common Sense’ [on Feb. 14, 1776] in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed by a revolution in the system of religion.” – Thomas Paine

“When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obliged to call for help of the civil power, it is a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one.” – Benjamin Franklin

“The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.” — Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

“Among the sayings and discourses imputed to Jesus 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.” – Thomas Jefferson

“But a short time elapsed after the death of [Jesus] 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

“Among the sayings and discourses imputed to [Jesus] 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 [refuse]; 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 first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus.” — Thomas Jefferson (See “The Jefferson Bible,” which is his edited version of the New Testament, removing the “corruptions.”)

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

“The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those calling themselves [preachers], who have perverted them … without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come, when the mystical generation [birth] of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation [birth] of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.” – Thomas Jefferson

“What influence, in fact, have religious 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

“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly-marked feature of all law-religions, or religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.” – Thomas Paine

“They [the clergy] 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.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Across the ages, clergy have been interested not in truth but only in wealth and power; when rational people have had difficulty swallowing their impious heresies, then the clergy have, with the help of the state, forced them down their throats.” – Thomas Jefferson

Did Islam influence the writing of the Declaration of Independence?

Did Islam influence the writing of the Declaration of Independence?

“In every country and in every age, the [clergyman] has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.” – Thomas Jefferson

“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a clergy-ridden people maintaining a free civil government.” – Thomas Jefferson

“The artificial structures [the clergy] have built on the purest of all moral systems, for the purpose of deriving from it money and power, revolts those who think for themselves, and who read in that system only what is really there.” – Thomas Jefferson

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

“The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.” – Declaration of the U.S. Congress in 1797

 Source

%d bloggers like this: