It is not to be understood that I am with him [Jesus] in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist.
"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."
"Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites."
"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 civil as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purposes"
"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."
"The authors of the gospels were unlettered and ignorant men and the teachings of Jesus have come to us mutilated, misstated and unintelligible."
James Madison ...
"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."
"In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people."
"Every new and successful example, therefore, of a perfect separation between the ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance; and I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together"
John Adams ...
"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity."
"The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
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...