Churches are becoming political
It probably will not be long until the churches will divide as sharply upon
political, as upon theological questions; and when that day comes, if there are not liberals enough to hold the balance of
power, this Government will be destroyed. The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and
sword are in partnership, man is a slave.
All laws for the purpose of making man worship God,
are born of the same spirit that kindled the fires of the auto da fe, and lovingly built the dungeons of the Inquisition.
All laws defining and punishing blasphemy -- making it a crime to give your honest ideas about the
Bible, or to laugh at the ignorance of the ancient Jews, or to enjoy yourself on the Sabbath, or to give your opinion of Jehovah,
were passed by impudent bigots, and should be at once repealed by honest men. An infinite God ought to be able to protect
himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. Certainly he ought not so to act that laws become necessary
to keep him from being laughed at. No one thinks of protecting Shakespeare from ridicule, by the threat of fine and imprisonment.
It strikes me that God might write a book that would not necessarily excite the laughter of his children. In fact, I think
it would be safe to say that a real God could produce a work that would excite the admiration of mankind. Surely politicians
could be better employed than in passing laws to protect the literary reputation of the Jewish God.
Green Ingersoll, quoted from, Some Mistakes of Moses,
The ministers, who preached at these revivals, were
in earnest. They were zealous and sincere. They were not philosophers. To them science was the name of a vague dread -- a dangerous enemy. They did not know much, but they believed a great deal.
-- Robert Green Ingersoll, from "Why I Am an Agnostic" (1896)
The founder of a religion must be able to turn water
into wine -- cure with a word the blind and lame, and raise with a simple touch the dead to life.
It was necessary for him to demonstrate to the satisfaction of his barbarian disciple, that he was superior to nature. In
times of ignorance this was easy to do. The credulity of the savage was almost boundless. To him the marvelous was the beautiful,
the mysterious was the sublime. Consequently, every religion has for its foundation a miracle --
that is to say, a violation of nature -- that is to say, a falsehood.
No one, in the world's whole history, ever attempted to substantiate a truth by a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of
a miracle. Nothing but falsehood ever attested itself by signs and wonders. No miracle ever was performed, and no sane man
ever thought he had performed one, and until one is performed, there can be no evidence of the existence of any power superior
to, and independent of, nature.
-- Robert Green
Ingersoll, "The Gods" (1872)
Ministers say that they teach charity. This is natural.
They live on alms. All beggars teach that others should give.
-- Robert Green Ingersoll, "The Truth" (1897)
The churches have no confidence in each other. Why?
Because they are acquainted with each other.
Robert Green Ingersoll, quoted from the book Ingersoll the Magnificent,