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Religious Institutions

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 22, 2012 7:26:07 PM PST
Bill McLean says:
Organized religions create power groups and encourage many levels of conflicts. Faith based thinking is common to mankind and a right, but religion should never have the power to damage individuals, block scientific learning, or disrupt society.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 6:16:32 PM PST
Ponger says:
Yes "faith" is common and a left over superstition from our more primitive and ignorant days. We should not let it stop positive progress.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2012 10:33:42 AM PST
Ataraxia says:
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.
-Thomas Paine

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.
-Thomas Jefferson to Alexander von Humboldt, Dec. 6, 1813.

Priests...dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live.
-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Correa de Serra, April 11, 1820

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

11.Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistant 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 part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel. [Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason]

What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not. [Pres. James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance, addressed to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1785]

The Civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, posesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state. [James Madison in a letter to Robert Walsh, March 2, 1819]

Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize [sic], every expanded prospect. [James Madison, in a letter to William Bradford, April 1,1774, as quoted by Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco:Harper & Row, 1987, p. 37]

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, 1803? Origin questionable]

The experience of the United States is a happy disproof of the error so long rooted in the unenlightened minds of well-meaning Christians, as well as in the corrupt hearts of persecuting usurpers, that without a legal incorporation of religious and civil polity, neither could be supported. A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical Religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity. [James Madison, Letter to F.L. Schaeffer, Dec 3, 1821]

May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826 (in the last letter he penned)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 10:14:43 AM PST
Bill McLean says:
Thank you Ataraxia:

I'm saving your researched work. I will give copies to all the evangelical enslaved workers that come to my door. My message will be "Read this and free yourselves."

Thanks again.

Posted on Nov 28, 2012 10:24:11 AM PST
Brian Curtis says:
A person's religious beliefs can be a guide for living their lives... and ONLY theirs. Never anyone else's.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 11:00:06 AM PST
Well, now, I don't know about that........

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 9:47:24 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 30, 2012 10:25:36 AM PST
Bill McLean says:
Reply to Brien Curtis:

"A person's religious beliefs can be a guide for living their lives... and ONLY theirs. Never anyone else'"

This is true. Lets limit religion to that. Such people do not need institutions (churches, temples, etc) to keep them in line. Throughout history it is the power of organized religions that cause wars and other cruel atrocities.

Governments, at least, should not allow religions to be tax exempt. This would weaken their power to cause harm without interfering with freedom of people to believe in superstitions.

Why should historically evil institutions have exemption from paying taxes? The world economy is weakened by these exemptions. And for what? To preserve wild arrays of superstitious doctrines and encourage clergy to suck money from people they are quick to call sheep.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 11:18:36 AM PST
Brian Curtis says:
You have a point, but I'm not happy with getting government into the business of deciding good vs. evil. I agree that churches should pay taxes like any other organization, but only because they can't point to a specific societal benefit they offer that would warrant tax exemption.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 30, 2012 4:55:10 PM PST
Bill McLean says:
Reply to Brian Curtis

Yes. You are right. But I still think that governments should be at least a little motivated by the history of cruel murders and wars that religion has caused. Some will plead innocent, but all must face the fact that they simply have no justification for exemption from taxes. Even Jesus is quoted as saying to religious leaders that they should pay taxes.
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This discussion

Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  9
Initial post:  Nov 22, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 30, 2012

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