Founding Father Thomas Paine and his words AGAINST Christianity

Founding Father Thomas Paine
Founding Father Thomas Paine

“These are the times that try men’s souls.” This simple quotation from Founding Father Thomas Paine’s The American Crisis not only describes the beginnings of the American Revolution, but also the life of Paine himself. Throughout most of his life, his writings inspired passion, but also brought him great criticism. He communicated the ideas of the Revolution to common farmers as easily as to intellectuals, creating prose that stirred the hearts of the fledgling United States. He had a grand vision for society: he was staunchly anti-slavery, and he was one of the first to advocate a world peace organization and social security for the poor and elderly. But his radical views on religion would destroy his success, and by the end of his life, only a handful of people attended his funeral.

On January 29, 1737, Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, England. His father, a corseter, had grand visions for his son, but by the age of 12, Thomas had failed out of school. The young Paine began apprenticing for his father, but again, he failed. So, now age 19, Paine went to sea. This adventure didn’t last too long, and by 1768 he found himself as an excise (tax) officer in England. Thomas didn’t exactly excel at the role, getting discharged from his post twice in four years, but as an inkling of what was to come, he published The Case of the Officers of Excise (1772), arguing for a pay raise for officers. In 1774, by happenstance, he met Benjamin Franklin in London, who helped him emigrate to Philadelphia.

His career turned to journalism while in Philadelphia, and suddenly, Thomas Paine became very important. In 1776, he published Common Sense, a strong defense of American Independence from England. He traveled with the Continental Army and wasn’t a success as a soldier, but he produced The American Crisis (1776-83), which helped inspire the Army. This pamphlet was so popular that as a percentage of the population, it was read by or read to more people than today watch the Super Bowl.

But, instead of continuing to help the Revolutionary cause, he returned to Europe and pursued other ventures, including working on a smokeless candle and an iron bridge. In 1791-92, he wrote The Rights of Man in response to criticism of the French Revolution. This work caused Paine to be labeled an outlaw in England for his anti-monarchist views. He would have been arrested, but he fled for France to join the National Convention.

By 1793, he was imprisoned in France for not endorsing the execution of Louis XVI. During his imprisonment, he wrote and distributed the first part of what was to become his most famous work at the time, the anti-church text, The Age of Reason (1794-96). He was freed in 1794 (narrowly escaping execution) thanks to the efforts of James Monroe, then U.S. Minister to France. Paine remained in France until 1802 when he returned to America on an invitation from Thomas Jefferson. Paine discovered that his contributions to the American Revolution had been all but eradicated due to his religious views. Derided by the public and abandoned by his friends, he died on June 8, 1809 at the age of 72 in New York City.

Information on Founding Father Thomas Paine was taken from this link: Thomas Paine

Words of Founding Father Thomas Paine AGAINST Christianity:

“Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.”-The Rights of Man, 1791

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.”

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half of the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.”

“What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.”

“We do not admit the authority of the church with respect to its pretended infallibility, its manufactured miracles, its setting itself up to forgive sins. It was by propagating that belief and supporting it with fire that she kept up her temporal power.”

“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. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.”

“The story of Jesus Christ appearing after he was dead is the story of an apparition, such as timid imaginations can always create in vision, and credulity believe. Stories of this kind had been told of the assassination of Julius Caesar.”

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

“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.”

“Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.”

“It is the fable of Jesus Christ, as told in the New Testament, and the wild and visionary doctrine raised thereon, against which I contend. The story, taking it as it is told, is blasphemously obscene.?

“It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving. It consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.” The Age of Reason.

“Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person, my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.” The Rights of Man.

“To argue with a man who has renounced reason is like giving medicine to the dead” The Crisis.

“All national institution of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appears to me no other than human interventions, set up to terrify and enslave most mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” The Age of Reason, Part 1, “The Authors Profession of Faith” 1794.

“Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system.”

It is from the bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine and murder; for the belief of a cruel god makes a cruel man.”

“There is scarcely any part of science, or anything in nature, which those imposters and blasphemers of science, called priests, as well Christians, as Jews, have not at some time or other, perverted, or sought to pervert to the purpose of superstitions and falsehood.”

“The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing, it is founded on nothing, it rests on nothing; it proceeds by no authority, it has no data, it can demonstrate nothing and admits of no conclusion.”  The Age of Reason.

“Of all the tyrannies that afflicts mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst. Every other species of tyranny is limited to the world we live in, but this attempts a stride beyond grave and  seeks to pursue us into eternity.”

“Everything wonderful in appearance has been ascribed to angels, to devils, or to saints. Everything ancient has some legendary tale annexed to it. The common operations of nature have not escaped their practice of corrupting everything.”

“The Bible: a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind.” The Age of Reason.

“The Christian system of religion is an outrage on common sense.”

“Priests and conjurers are of the same trade.” The Age of Reason.

“The story of the redemption will not stand examination. That man should redeem himself from the sin of eating an apple by committing a murder on Jesus Christ, is the strangest system of religion ever set up.”

“The Church was resolved to have a New Testament, and as, after the lapse of more than three hundred years, no handwriting could be proved or disproved, the Church, which like former imposters had then gotten possession of the State, had everything its own way. It invented creeds, such as that called the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicean Creed, the Athnansis Creed, and out of loads of rubbish that were presented it voted four to be the Gospels, and others to be Epistles, as we now have them arranged.”

“Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the Word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind, and for my own part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.” The Age of Reason.

“As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of atheism-a sort of religious denial of God It professed to believe in man rather than God. It is as near to atheism as twilight to darkness. It introduces between man and his Maker an opaque body, which is called a Redeemer, as the moon introduces her opaque self between the earth and the sun, and it produces by this means as a religious or irreligious eclipse of the light. It has put the whole orbit of reason into shade.”  The Age of Reason.

“The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion.”

“Yet this is trash that the Church imposes upon the world as the Word of God; this is the collection of lies and contradictions called the Holy Bible! this is the rubbished called Revealed Religion!”

“The New Testament, they tell us, is founded upon the prophecies of the Old;; if so, it must follow the fate of its foundation.”

“We do not admit the authority of the church with respect to its pretended infallibility, its manufactured miracles, its setting itself up to forgive sins. It was by propagating that belief and supporting it with fire that she kept up her temporal power.”

“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. Each of these churches accuses the other of unbelief, and for my part, I disbelieve them all.”

Many of these quotes were researched and found at the following website links:

Positive Atheism’s Big List of Thomas Paine Quotations

88 Founding Father Quotes That Will Enrage The Religious Right by Tiffany Willis

Our Founding Fathers were NOT Christians

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