Some notable quotables to keep in mind when considering your god or mine.

I feel like a bit of a rant today, but rather than use my own words, let's look to some Founding Fathers, some church leaders, some great thinkers of the last, oh, few thousand years:

"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion…Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to itself, than this thing called Christianity...My mind is my own church."
-Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason (1794):

“In no instance have . . . the churches been guardians of the liberties of the people.”
-James Madison

"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"

“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.”
-Thomas Jefferson

"Lighthouses are more helpful then churches."
-Benjamin Franklin

“There can be but little liberty on earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.”
-Robert Green Ingersoll

"Strange...a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!"
-Mark Twain

"I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism.  Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life." 

-Andrew Carnegie

"The greatest enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, continued and dishonest -- but the myth -- present, persuasive, and unrealistic."
-John F. Kennedy

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

“No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.”
-George H. W. Bush

The early American feminist and vegetarian Elizabeth Cady Stanton observed that "the Bible…does not exalt and dignify women."

Husbands are to rule over wives (Genesis 3:16), young girls are to be stoned (and not with weed, either) for losing their virginity (Deuteronomy 22:20-21), women are subordinate to men (Ephesians 5:22-24), women must remain silent in the churches -- sorry mom, no hymns :(   (I Corinthians 14:34-35), women are not allowed to teach or hold authority over men (I Timothy 2:11-14).

St. Augustine said, "Any woman who acts in such a way that she cannot give birth to as many children as she is capable of, makes herself guilty of that many murders."

"Blessed art thou, O Lord our God and King of the Universe, that thou didst not create me a woman."  
-Daily prayer, still in use, of the orthodox Jewish male
Martin Luther wrote: "God created Adam lord of all living creatures, but Eve spoiled it all. Women should remain at home, sit still, keep house and bear children. And if a woman grows weary and, at last, dies from childbearing, it matters not. Let her die from bearing; she is there to do it."

Even Pope John Paul II instructed women to go back to their traditional roles as "obedient and serving companions to their husbands," and refused to have an audience with anyone advocating the ordination of women in the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Encyclopedia still declares that women are inferior to the male sex, "both as regards body and soul."

The church of the past never considered human slavery to be a moral evil. The Protestant churches of Virginia, South Carolina, and other southern states, actually passed resolutions in favor of the human slave traffic.

Human slavery was called "by Divine Appointment," "a Divine institution," "a moral relation," "God’s institution," "not immoral," but "founded in right." The slave trade was called "legal," "licit," "in accordance with humane principles" and "the laws of revealed religion."

New Testament verses calling for obedience and subservience on the part of slaves (Titus 2:9-10, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-25, I Peter 2:18-25) and respect for the master (I Timothy 6:1-2, Ephesians 6:5-9) were often cited in order to justify human slavery. Some of Jesus’ parables refer to human slaves. Paul’s epistle to Philemon concerns a runaway slave returned to his master.

"Paul's outright endorsement of slavery should be an undying embarrassment to Christianity as long as they hold the entire New Testament to be the word of God," says contemporary Quaker physician Dr. Charles P. Vaclavik. "Without a doubt, the American slaveholders quoted Paul again and again to substantiate their right to hold slaves.

"The moralist movement to abolish slavery had to go to non-Biblical sources to demonstrate the immoral nature of slavery. The abolitionists could not turn to Christian sources to condemn slavery, for Christianity had become the bastion of the evil practice through its endorsement by the Apostle Paul.
"Only the Old Testament gave the abolitionist any Biblical support in his effort to free the slaves. ‘You shall not surrender to his master a slave who has taken refuge with you.’ (Deuteronomy 23-15) What a pittance of material opposing slavery from a book supposedly representing the word of God."

In 1852 Josiah Priest wrote Bible Defense of Slavery. Others claimed blacks were subhuman. Buckner H. Payne, calling himself "Ariel," wrote in 1867, "the tempter in the Garden of Eden...was a beast, a talking beast . . . the negro."

Ariel argued that since the negro was not part of Noah’s family, he must have been a beast. Eight souls were saved on the ark, therefore, the negro must be a beast, and "consequently he has no soul to be saved."

"The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church."
-Ferdinand Magellan

All social progress since the end of the Dark Ages and the beginning of the Age of Enlightenment thus appears to contradict the Bible.

May the secular state prevail. 

and for a little fun:

"We must repsect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children are smart."
-Henry Mencken

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