Thursday, April 16, 2009

Our Founding Fathers -- Who Were Yours

My mean-spirited fellow blogger, Durango, is getting a kick out of this billboard.

I must admit that the first time I saw it, I thought it was a religious billboard as in, "Even if you don't believe in God, He is still with you so you are not alone." They need to replace the clouds or flowers or whatever that is with a heavy metal band or something.

But that is not apparently the point. Anyway, I was most astonished at the letter criticizing the billboard and how it was "a mockery of our founding fathers". I was glad to see a glimmer of hope in the follow up.

It amazes me that people without a clue profess to know our founding fathers. It also amazes me that people accept it. So I went to this website and found a bunch of quotes from our "founding fathers" (I'm just going to copy it here -- pardon the font mess):
George Washington, 1st President (1789-1797)
"... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion ..."

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." and "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." ~ Thomas Jefferson

"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 (letter to J. Adams April 11,1823)

"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 importers ..." -- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President (1801-1809) Source: Six Historic Americans, by John E. Remsberg

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot ..." -- Thomas Jefferson:
Source: Thomas Jefferson letter to Horatio G. Spafford, 1814. ME 14:119

James Madison, fourth president and father of the Constitution, was not religious in any conventional sense. "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."
"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."
From: The Madisons by Virginia Moore, P. 43 (1979, McGraw-Hill Co. New York, NY) quoting a letter by JM to William Bradford April 1, 1774, and James Madison, A Biography in his Own Words, edited by Joseph Gardner, p. 93, (1974, Newsweek, New York, NY) Quoting Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments by JM, June 1785.

"The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." ~ James Madison

"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. My own mind is my own church." ~ Thomas Paine

"The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma." ~ Abraham Lincoln

"This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religions in it. -- John Adams, 2nd President (1797-1801)
Source: A letter to Thomas Jefferson, May 15, 1817

Benjamin Franklin:
"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
Source: "Toward the Mystery"

Thomas Paine (1737-1809):

"I would not dare to so dishonor my Creator God by attaching His name to that book (the Bible)."
The Age of Reason, Part 1, Section 5

Thomas Paine (1737-1809):
"The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion." From The Age of Reason

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