American Founding Fathers Quotes

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  • 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 (1984). “Jefferson: Writings”, p.1970, Library of America
  • But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

    John Adams, Charles Francis Adams (1856). “The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations”, p.235
  • We will not be led like sheep to the slaughter.

    "Freedom fighters" by Andrew Pulver, February 23, 2001.
  • Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, creator of the Universe. That he governs it by his Providence. That he ought to be worshiped. That the most acceptable service we render him is doing good to his other children. That the soul of Man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this.

    Children   Believe   Men  
    Benjamin Franklin (1905). “The Life of Benjamin Franklin: Written by Himself. Now First Edited from Original Manuscripts and from His Printed Correspondence and Other Writings”
  • The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity

    John Adams, Charles Francis Adams (1856). “The Works of John Adams, Second President of the United States: With a Life of the Author, Notes and Illustrations”, p.45
  • Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have remover their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.

    Notes on the State of Virginia, query 18 (1781 - 1785)
  • I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever.

    God   Country   War  
    Notes on the State of Virginia, query 18 (1781 - 1785)
  • No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever.

    Religious   Father   Men  
    Thomas Jefferson, Richard Holland Johnston, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States “The Writings of Thomas Jefferson”
  • It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one.

    Religious   Believe   Men  
    Thomas Jefferson (1829). “Memoirs, Correspondence and Private Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Late President of the United States”, p.209
  • 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 (1821). “The Theological Works of Thomas Paine”, p.2
  • We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people... it is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

  • Ecclesiastical establishments tend to great ignorance and corruption

    James Madison, David B. Mattern (1997). “James Madison's "Advice to My Country"”, p.90, University of Virginia Press
  • Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    Thomas Jefferson (2010). “The Works of Thomas Jefferson: Notes on Virginia II, Correspondence 1782-1786”, p.80, Cosimo, Inc.
  • Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt.

    Law   Government   People  
    The Advertiser, 1748.
  • Hold on, my friends, to the Constitution of your country and the government established under it. Leave evils which exist in some parts of the country, but which are beyond your control, to the all-wise direction of an over-ruling Providence. Perform those duties which are present, plain and positive. Respect the laws of your country.

    Letter to Dr. William B. Gooch of West Dennis, Massachusetts, in 1851. The Bay State Monthly, 1898.
  • Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe 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.

    Lying   Believe   Book  
    Thomas Paine (2016). “THOMAS PAINE Ultimate Collection: Political Works, Philosophical Writings, Speeches, Letters & Biography (Including Common Sense, The Rights of Man & The Age of Reason): The American Crisis, The Constitution of 1795, Declaration of Rights, Agrarian Justice, The Republican Proclamation, Anti-Monarchal Essay, Letters to Thomas Jefferson and George Washington…”, p.450, e-artnow
  • The soul of man is immortal and imperishable.

    Men   Soul   Immortality  
    Plato, General Press (2016). “The Republic”, p.506, GENERAL PRESS
  • Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting "Jesus Christ," so that it would read "A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;" the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

    "Autobiography of Thomas Jefferson". Book by Thomas Jefferson, 1821.
  • It is contrary to the principles of reason and justice that any should be compelled to contribute to the maintenance of a church with which their consciences will not permit them to join, and from which they can derive no benefit; for remedy whereof, and that equal liberty as well religious as civil, may be universally extended to all the good people of this commonwealth.

  • The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now. They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.

    Letter to Zabdiel Adams, "Letters of Delegates to Congress: Volume 4", June 21, 1776.
  • It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favors.

    Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789
  • Here is my Creed. I believe in one God, the Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His Providence. That He ought to be worshipped.

    Benjamin Franklin, William Temple Franklin (1817). “Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin ...”, p.241
  • 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 laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

  • It may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov't from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others.

    Order   Rights   Doubt  
  • Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise, every expanded prospect.

    James Madison, Ralph Ketcham “Selected Writings of James Madison”, Hackett Publishing
  • We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!

    "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln".
  • Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

    Bible   God   Religious  
    John Adams, Charles Francis Adams (1854). “Works: with a life of the author”, p.229
  • 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.

    Atheist   Pain   Fear  
    Thomas Paine (1819). “The Theological Works of Thomas Paine”, p.4
  • Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

    Self   Grace   Unbroken  
    Abraham Lincoln (2008). “The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln”, p.156, Wildside Press LLC
  • Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by a difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought to be deprecated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.

    George Washington, Edward Frank Humphrey (1932). “George Washington on religious liberty and mutual understanding: selections from Washington's letters”
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