on June 19, 2002
I had finally sat down to read the Bible when I picked up a copy of Ingersoll the Magnificent. I can tell you the latter was the only book I finished. The Bible shocked me with its ignorance and cruelty. Ingersoll impressed me with his wit and principles (charity, respect, intellectual integrity, hope, and honesty.) There are so many gems of wisdom. Here are but a few: "I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the starless night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet it is the only light. Extinguish that and nought remains." "All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the bible is simply and purely of human invention -- of barbarian invention -- is to read it." "It is a great pleasure to drive the fiend of fear out of the hearts of men, women and children. It is a positive joy to put out the fires of hell." "Honest men do not pretend to know...they admit their ignorance, and they say, 'We don't know.'" Reading Ingersoll made me want to meet people like him and directly to meeting Madalyn Murray O'Hair. They certainly had their differences, but both stood for high ideals and wanted humankind to be better.
on July 21, 2002
This is one of the best books I have read. Ingersoll was one of the most courageous and eloquent spokesmen for Reason. He honored nature, science and liberty and condemned superstition, bigotry, slavery, religious intolerance and worthless ritual in a time when it took great courage to be outspoken. His words have even greater meaning today when the evils of religious fundamentalism and fanaticism have again reared their ugly head. This book condenses much of his writings in an organised and eloquent way. If it were required reading I think it would seriously undermine the religious convictions of many Americans. I urge everyone to familiarize themselves with Ingersoll, the magnificent!