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3/19/2002                                                                                       View Comments

John Adams Quotes

Adams, John
"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity."

[John Adams]

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"The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?"

[John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson]

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"As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. 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, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816]

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"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved--the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

[John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson]

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"What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius? Where are the forty wagon-loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because suspected of heresy? Remember the 'index expurgatorius', the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the guillotine."

[John Adams, letter to John Taylor]

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"The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes."

[John Adams, letter to John Taylor]

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"God has infinite wisdom, goodness and power; he created the universe; his duration is eternal, a parte ante and a parte post. His presence is as extensive as space. What is space? An infinite spherical vacuum. He created this speck of dirt and the human species for his glory; and with deliberate design of making nine-tenths of our species miserable for ever for his glory. This is the doctrine of Christian theologians, in general, ten to one. Now, my friend, can prophecies or miracles convince you or me that infinite benevolence, wisdom, and power, created, and preserves for a time innumerable millions, to make them miserable forever, for his own glory? Wretch! What is his glory? Is he ambitious? Does he want promotion? Is he vain, tickled with adulation, exulting and triumphing in his power and the sweetness of his vengeance? Pardon me, my Maker, for these awful questions. My answer to them is always ready. _I believe no such things_. My adoration of the author of the universe is too profound and too sincere. The love of God and his creation-delight, joy, triumph, exultation in my own existance- though but an atom, a molecule organique in the universe- are my religion".

[John Adams, in a latter to Jefferson, Sept. 14, 1813, from "Christianity and the Constitution: The Founding faith of our Fathers" John Eidsmoe ISBN: 0-8010-3444-2]

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TREATY OF PEACE AND FRIENDSHIP
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE BEY AND SUBJECTS
OF TRIPOLI OF BARBARY
8 Stat. 154, Treaty Series 358

Treaty signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796, and at Algiers January 3, 1797.
Senate advice and consent to ratification June 7, 1797.
Ratified by the President of the United States June 10, 1797
Entered into force June 10, 1797
Proclaimed by the President of the United States June 10, 1797.
ARTICLE 11

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, -- as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-- and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religous opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."


[John Adams, 1797-05-27, Article 11, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the US and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary. Treaties and Other International Acts of America, ed. Hunter Miller]

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"This is my religion . . . joy and exaltation in my own existence . . . so go ahead and snarl . . . bite . . . howl, you Calvinistic divines and all you who say I am no Christian. I say you are not Christian."

[John Adams, in _Toward the Mystery_]

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"[In regard to the Trinity] "Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses, and beheld the great God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that three was one . . . and one equals three, you and I would never have believed it. We would never fall victims to such lies."

[John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson]

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"Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents, wave succeeding wave in the Catholic church, from the Council of Nicea, and long before, to this day."

[John Adams, to Jefferson, 3 December 1813]

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"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses...."

[John Adams, "A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788] from Adrienne Koch, ed., The American Enlightenment: The Shaping of the American Experiment and a Free Society, New York: George Braziller, 1965, p. 258]

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"Nothing is more dreaded than the national government meddling with religion."

[John Adams]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would take note of that quote John Adams left us of the government meddling with religion. A human being must always be free to choose for themselves what to believe, or else they become as a robot and no reason do they longer have for living. -Bec D