Christ was not kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha-Robert G. Ingersoll
WAS he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Laotse, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death—a sublimer martyr than Bruno?- By Robert G. Ingersoll 1894.
Who wrote the New Testament?
Christian scholars admit that they do not know. They admit that, if the four gospels were written by-Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, they must have been written in Hebrew. And yet a Hebrew manuscript of any one of these gospels has never been found. All have been and are in Greek. So, educated theologians admit that the Epistles, James and Jude, were written by persons who had never seen one of the four gospels. In these Epistles—in James and Jude—no reference is made to any of the gospels, nor to any miracle recorded in them.
The first mention that has been found of one of our gospels was made about one hundred and eighty years after the birth of Christ, and the four gospels were first named and quoted from at the beginning of the Third Century, about one hundred and seventy years after the death of Christ.
We now know that there were many other gospels besides our four, some of which have been lost. There were the gospels of Paul, of the Egyptians, of the Hebrews, of Perfection, of Judas, of Thaddeus, of the Infancy, of Thomas, of Mary, of Andrew, of Nicodemus, of Marcion and several others.
So there were the Acts of Pilate, of Andrew, of Mary, of Paul and Thecla and of many others. Another book called the Shepherd of Hermes.
At first not one of all the books was considered as inspired. The Old Testament was regarded as divine; but the books that now constitute the New Testament were regarded as human productions. We now know that we do not know who wrote the four gospels.
The question is, Were the authors of these four gospels inspired?
If they were inspired, then the four gospels must be true. If they are true, they must agree.
The four gospels do not agree.
Matthew, Mark and Luke knew nothing of the Atonement, nothing of salvation by faith. They knew only the gospel of good deeds—of charity. They teach that if we forgive others God will forgive us.
With this the gospel of John does not agree.
In that gospel we are taught that we must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; that we must be born again; that we must drink the blood and eat the flesh of Christ. In this gospel we find the doctrine of the Atonement and that Christ died for us and suffered in our place.
This gospel is utterly at variance with the other three. If the other three are true, the gospel of John is false. If the gospel of John was written by an inspired man, the writers of the other three were uninspired. From this there is no possible escape. The four cannot be true.
It is evident that there are many interpolations in the four gospels.
For instance, in the 28th chapter of Matthew is an account to the effect that the soldiers at the tomb of Christ were bribed to say that the disciples of Jesus stole away his body while they, the soldiers, slept.
This is clearly an interpolation. It is a break in the narrative.
The 10th verse should be followed by the 16th. The 10th verse is as follows:
“Then Jesus said unto them, ‘Be not afraid; go tell my brethren that they go unto Galilee and there shall they see me.'”
The 16th verse:
“Then the eleven disciples went away unto Galilee into a mountain, where Jesus had appointed them.”
The story about the soldiers contained in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th verses is an interpolation—an afterthought—long after. The 15th verse demonstrates this.
Fifteenth verse: “So they took the money and did as they were taught. And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
Certainly, this account was not in the original gospel, and certainly the 15th verse was not written by a Jew. No Jew could have written this: “And this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.”
Mark, John and Luke never heard that the soldiers had been bribed by the priests; or, if they had, did not think it worth while recording. So the accounts of the Ascension of Jesus Christ in Mark and Luke are interpolations. Matthew says nothing about the Ascension.
Certainly there never was a greater miracle, and yet Matthew, who was present—who saw the Lord rise, ascend and disappear—did not think it worth mentioning.
On the other hand, the last words of Christ, according to Matthew, contradict the Ascension: “Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
John, who was present, if Christ really ascended, says not one word on the subject.
As to the Ascension, the gospels do not agree.
Mark gives the last conversation that Christ had with his disciples, as follows:
“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover. So, then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven and sat on the right hand of God.”
Is it possible that this description was written by one who witnessed this miracle?
This miracle is described by Luke as follows: “And it came to pass while he blessed them he was parted from them and carried up into heaven.”
“Brevity is the soul of wit.”
In the Acts we are told that: “When he had spoken, while they beheld, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.”
Neither Luke, nor Matthew, nor John, nor the writer of the Acts, heard one word of the conversation attributed to Christ by Mark. The fact is that the Ascension of Christ was not claimed by his disciples.
At first Christ was a man—nothing more. Mary was his mother, Joseph his father. The genealogy of his father, Joseph, was given to show that he was of the blood of David.
Then the claim was made that he was the son of God, and that his mother was a virgin, and that she remained a virgin until her death.
Then the claim was made that Christ rose from the dead and ascended bodily to heaven.
It required many years for these absurdities to take possession of the minds of men.
If Christ rose from the dead, why did he not appear to his enemies? Why did he not call on Caiphas, the high priest? Why did he not make another triumphal entry into Jerusalem?
If he really ascended, why did he not do so in public, in the presence of his persecutors? Why should this, the greatest of miracles, be done in secret in a corner?
It was a miracle that could have been seen by a vast multitude—a miracle that could not be simulated—one that would have convinced hundreds of thousands.
After the story of the Resurrection, the Ascension became a necessity. They had to dispose of the body.
So there are many other interpolations in the gospels and epistles.
Again I ask: Is the New Testament true? Does anybody now believe that at the birth of Christ there was a celestial greeting; that a star led the Wise Men of the East; that Herod slew the babes of Bethlehem of two years old and under?
The gospels are filled with accounts of miracles. Were they ever performed?
Matthew gives the particulars of about twenty-two miracles, Mark of about nineteen, Luke of about eighteen and John of about seven.
According to the gospels, Christ healed diseases, cast out devils, rebuked the sea, cured the blind, fed multitudes with five loaves and two fishes, walked on the sea, cursed a fig tree, turned water into wine and raised the dead.
Matthew is the only one that tells about the Star and the Wise Men—the only one that tells about the murder of babes.
John is the only one who says anything about the resurrection of Lazarus, and Luke is the only one giving an account of the raising from the dead the widow of Nain’s son.
How is it possible to substantiate these miracles?
The Jews, among whom they were said to have been performed, did not believe them. The diseased, the palsied, the leprous, the blind who were cured, did not become followers of Christ. Those that were raised from the dead were never heard of again.
Does any intelligent man believe in the existence of devils? The writer of three of the gospels certainly did. John says nothing about Christ having cast out devils, but Matthew, Mark and Luke give many instances.
Does any natural man now believe that Christ cast out devils? If his disciples said he did, they were mistaken. If Christ said he did, he was insane or an impostor.
If the accounts of casting out devils are false, then the writers were ignorant or dishonest. If they wrote through ignorance, then they were not inspired. If they wrote what they knew to be false, they were not inspired. If what they wrote is untrue, whether they knew it or not, they were not inspired.
At that time it was believed that palsy, epilepsy, deafness, insanity and many other diseases were caused by devils; that devils took possession of and lived in the bodies of men and women. Christ believed this, taught this belief to others, and pretended to cure diseases by casting devils out of the sick and insane. We know now, if we know anything, that diseases are not caused by the presence of devils. We know, if we know anything, that devils do not reside in the bodies of men.
If Christ said and did what the writers of the three gospels say he said and did, then Christ was mistaken. If he was mistaken, certainly he was not God. And, if he was mistaken, certainly he was not inspired.
Is it a fact that the Devil tried to bribe Christ?
Is it a fact that the Devil carried Christ to the top of the temple and tried to induce him to leap to the ground?
How can these miracles be established?
The principals have written nothing, Christ has written nothing, and the Devil has remained silent.
How can we know that the Devil tried to bribe Christ? Who wrote the account? We do not know. How did the writer get his information? We do not know.
Somebody, some seventeen hundred years ago, said that the Devil tried to bribe God; that the Devil carried God to the top of the temple and tried to induce him to leap to the earth and that God was intellectually too keen for the Devil.
This is all the evidence we have.
Is there anything in the literature of the world more perfectly idiotic?
Intelligent people no longer believe in witches, wizards, spooks and devils, and they are perfectly satisfied that every word in the New Testament about casting out devils is utterly false.
Can we believe that Christ raised the dead?
A widow living in Nain is following the body of her son to the tomb. Christ halts the funeral procession and raises the young man from the dead and gives him back to the arms of his mother.
This young man disappears. He is never heard of again. No one takes the slightest interest in the man who returned from the realm of death. Luke is the only one who tells the story. Maybe Matthew, Mark and John never heard of it, or did not believe it and so failed to record it.
John says that Lazarus was raised from the dead; Matthew, Mark and Luke say nothing about it.
It was more wonderful than the raising of the widow’s son. He had not been laid in the tomb for days. He was only on his way to the grave, but Lazarus was actually dead. He had begun to decay.
Lazarus did not excite the least interest. No one asked him about the other world. No one inquired of him about their dead friends.
When he died the second time no one said: “He is not afraid. He has traveled that road twice and knows just where he is going.”
We do not believe in the miracles of Mohammed, and yet they are as well attested as this. We have no confidence in the miracles performed by Joseph Smith, and yet the evidence is far greater, far better.
If a man should go about now pretending to raise the dead, pretending to cast out devils, we would regard him as insane. What, then, can we say of Christ? If we wish to save his reputation we are compelled to say that he never pretended to raise the dead; that he never claimed to have cast out devils.
We must take the ground that these ignorant and impossible things were invented by zealous disciples, who sought to deify their leader.
In those ignorant days these falsehoods added to the fame of Christ. But now they put his character in peril and belittle the authors of the gospels.
Can we now believe that water was changed into wine? John tells of this childish miracle, and says that the other disciples were present, yet Matthew, Mark and Luke say nothing about it.
Take the miracle of the man cured by the pool of Bethseda. John says that an angel troubled the waters of the pool of Bethseda, and that whoever got into the pool first after the waters were troubled was healed.
Does anybody now believe that an angel went into the pool and troubled the waters? Does anybody now think that the poor wretch who got in first was healed? Yet the author of the gospel according to John believed and asserted these absurdities. If he was mistaken about that he may have been about all the miracles he records.
John is the only one who tells about this pool of Bethseda. Possibly the other disciples did not believe the story.
How can we account for these pretended miracles?
In the days of the disciples, and for many centuries after, the world was filled with the supernatural. Nearly everything that happened was regarded as miraculous. God was the immediate governor of the world. If the people were good, God sent seed time and harvest; but if they were bad he sent flood and hail, frost and famine. If anything wonderful happened it was exaggerated until it became a miracle.
Of the order of events—of the unbroken and the unbreakable chain of causes and effects—the people had no knowledge and no thought.
A miracle is the badge and brand of fraud. No miracle ever was performed. No intelligent, honest man ever pretended to perform a miracle, and never will.
If Christ had wrought the miracles attributed to him; if he had cured the palsied and insane; if he had given hearing to the deaf, vision to the blind; if he had cleansed the leper with a word, and with a touch had given life and feeling to the withered limb; if he had given pulse and motion, warmth and thought, to cold and breathless clay; if he had conquered death and rescued from the grave its pallid prey—no word would have been uttered, no hand raised, except in praise and honor. In his presence all heads would have been uncovered—all knees upon the ground.
Is it not strange that at the trial of Christ no one was found to say a word in his favor? No man stood forth and said: “I was a leper, and this man cured me with a touch.” No woman said: “I am the widow of Nain and this is my son whom this man raised from the dead.”
No man said: “I was blind, and this man gave me sight.”
THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHRIST
MILLIONS assert that the philosophy of Christ is perfect—that he was the wisest that ever uttered speech.
Let us see:
Resist not evil. If smitten on one cheek turn the other.
Is there any philosophy, any wisdom in this? Christ takes from goodness, from virtue, from the truth, the right of self-defense. Vice becomes the master of the world, and the good become the victims of the infamous.
No man has the right to protect himself, his property, his wife and children. Government becomes impossible, and the world is at the mercy of criminals. Is there any absurdity beyond this?
Love your enemies.
Is this possible? Did any human being ever love his enemies? Did Christ love his, when he denounced them as whited sepulchers, hypocrites and vipers?
We cannot love those who hate us. Hatred in the hearts of others does not breed love in ours. Not to resist evil is absurd; to love your enemies is impossible.
Take no thought for the morrow.
The idea was that God would take care of us as he did of sparrows and lilies. Is there the least sense in that belief?
Does God take care of anybody?
Can we live without taking thought for the morrow? To plow, to sow, to cultivate, to harvest, is to take thought for the morrow. We plan and work for the future, for our children, for the unborn generations to come. Without this forethought there could be no progress, no civilization. The world would go back to the caves and dens of savagery.
If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off.
Why? Because it is better that one of our members should perish than that the whole body should be cast into hell.
Is there any wisdom in putting out your eyes or cutting off your hands? Is it possible to extract from these extravagant sayings the smallest grain of common sense?
Swear not at all; neither by Heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the Earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is his holy city.
Here we find the astronomy and geology of Christ. Heaven is the throne of God, the monarch; the earth is his footstool. A footstool that turns over at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and sweeps through space at the rate of over a thousand miles a minute!
Where did Christ think heaven was? Why was Jerusalem a holy city? Was it because the inhabitants were ignorant, cruel and superstitious?
If a man sue thee at law and take away your coat, give him your cloak also.
Is there any philosophy, any good sense, in that commandment? Would it not be just as sensible to say: “If a man obtains a judgment against you for one hundred dollars, give him two hundred.”
Only the insane could give or follow this advice.
Think not I am come to send peace on earth, I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother.
If this is true, how much better it would have been had he remained away.
Is it possible that he who said, “Resist not evil,” came to bring a sword? That he who said, “Love your enemies,” came to destroy the peace of the world?
To set father against son, and daughter against father—what a glorious mission!
He did bring a sword, and the sword was wet for a thousand years with innocent blood. In millions of hearts he sowed the seeds of hatred and revenge. He divided nations and families, put out the light of reason, and petrified the hearts of men.
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
According to the writer of Matthew, Christ, the compassionate, the merciful, uttered these terrible words. Is it possible that Christ offered the bribe of eternal joy to those who would desert their fathers, their mothers, their wives and children? Are we to win the happiness of heaven by deserting the ones we love? Is a home to be ruined here for the sake of a mansion there?
And yet it is said that Christ is an example for all the world. Did he desert his father and mother? He said, speaking to his mother: “Woman, what have I to do with thee?”
The Pharisees said unto Christ: “Is it lawful to pay tribute unto Caesar?”
Christ said: “Show me the tribute money.” They brought him a penny. And he saith unto them: “Whose is the image and the superscription?” They said: “Caesar’s.” And Christ said: “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”
Did Christ think that the money belonged to Caesar because his image and superscription were stamped upon it? Did the penny belong to Caesar or to the man who had earned it? Had Caesar the right to demand it because it was adorned with his image?
Does it appear from this conversation that Christ understood the real nature and use of money?
Can we now say that Christ was the greatest of philosophers?
IS CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE?
HE never said a word in favor of education. He never even hinted at the existence of any science. He never uttered a word in favor of industry, economy or of any effort to better our condition in this world. He was the enemy of the successful, of the wealthy. Dives was sent to hell, not because he was bad, but because he was rich. Lazarus went to heaven, not because he was good, but because he was poor.
Christ cared nothing for painting, for sculpture, for music—nothing for any art. He said nothing about the duties of nation to nation, of king to subject; nothing about the rights of man; nothing about intellectual liberty or the freedom of speech. He said nothing about the sacredness of home; not one word for the fireside; not a word in favor of marriage, in honor of maternity.
He never married. He wandered homeless from place to place with a few disciples. None of them seem to have been engaged in any useful business, and they seem to have lived on alms.
All human ties were held in contempt; this world was sacrificed for the next; all human effort was discouraged. God would support and protect.
At last, in the dusk of death, Christ, finding that he was mistaken, cried out: “My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?”
We have found that man must depend on himself. He must clear the land; he must build the home; he must plow and plant; he must invent; he must work with hand and brain; he must overcome the difficulties and obstructions; he must conquer and enslave the forces of nature to the end that they may do the work of the world.
WHY SHOULD WE PLACE CHRIST AT THE TOP AND SUMMIT OF THE HUMAN RACE?
WAS he kinder, more forgiving, more self-sacrificing than Buddha? Was he wiser, did he meet death with more perfect calmness, than Socrates? Was he more patient, more charitable, than Epictetus? Was he a greater philosopher, a deeper thinker, than Epicurus? In what respect was he the superior of Zoroaster? Was he gentler than Laotse, more universal than Confucius? Were his ideas of human rights and duties superior to those of Zeno? Did he express grander truths than Cicero? Was his mind subtler than Spinoza’s? Was his brain equal to Kepler’s or Newton’s? Was he grander in death—a sublimer martyr than Bruno? Was he in intelligence, in the force and beauty of expression, in breadth and scope of thought, in wealth of illustration, in aptness of comparison, in knowledge of the human brain and heart, of all passions, hopes and fears, the equal of Shakespeare, the greatest of the human race?
If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future.
Before him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto-da-fê. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groans—saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him.
He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross.
He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crowned—that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason’s holy light and leave the world without a star.
He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain.
He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women’s breasts unbabed for gold.
And yet he died with voiceless lips.
Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: “You shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.”
Why did he not plainly say: “I am the Son of God,” or, “I am God?” Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain?
Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt?
I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
NOT before about the Third Century was it claimed or believed that the books composing the New Testament were inspired.
It will be remembered that there were a great number of books, of Gospels, Epistles and Acts, and that from these the “inspired” ones were selected by “uninspired” men.
Between the “Fathers” there were great differences of opinion as to which books were inspired; much discussion and plenty of hatred. Many of the books now deemed spurious were by many of the “Fathers” regarded as divine, and some now regarded as inspired were believed to be spurious. Many of the early Christians and some of the “Fathers” repudiated the gospel of John, the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jude, James, Peter, and the Revelation of St. John. On the other hand, many of them regarded the Gospel of the Hebrews, of the Egyptians, the Preaching of Peter, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabus, the Pastor of Hermas, the Revelation of Peter, the Revelation of Paul, the Epistle of Clement, the Gospel of Nicodemus, inspired books, equal to the very best.
From all these books, and many others, the Christians selected the inspired ones.
The men who did the selecting were ignorant and superstitious. They were firm believers in the miraculous. They thought that diseases had been cured by the aprons and handkerchiefs of the apostles, by the bones of the dead. They believed in the fable of the Phoenix, and that the hyenas changed their sex every year.
Were the men who through many centuries made the selections inspired? Were they—ignorant, credulous, stupid and malicious—as well qualified to judge of “inspiration” as the students of our time? How are we bound by their opinion? Have we not the right to judge for ourselves?
Erasmus, one of the leaders of the Reformation, declared that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by Paul, and he denied the inspiration of Second and Third John, and also of Revelation. Luther was of the same opinion. He declared James to be an epistle of straw, and denied the inspiration of Revelations. Zwinglius rejected the book of Revelation, and even Calvin denied that Paul was the author of Hebrews.
The truth is that the Protestants did not agree as to what books are inspired until 1647, by the Assembly of Westminster.
To prove that a book is inspired you must prove the existence of God. You must also prove that this God thinks, acts, has objects, ends and aims. This is somewhat difficult.
It is impossible to conceive of an infinite being. Having no conception of an infinite being, it is impossible to tell whether all the facts we know tend to prove or disprove the existence of such a being.
God is a guess. If the existence of God is admitted, how are we to prove that he inspired the writers of the books of the Bible?
How can one man establish the inspiration of another? How can an inspired man prove that he is inspired? How can he know himself that he is inspired? There is no way to prove the fact of inspiration. The only evidence is the word of some man who could by no possibility know anything on the subject.
What is inspiration? Did God use men as instruments? Did he cause them to write his thoughts? Did he take possession of their minds and destroy their wills?
Were these writers only partly controlled, so that their mistakes, their ignorance and their prejudices were mingled with the wisdom of God?
How are we to separate the mistakes of man from the thoughts of God? Can we do this without being inspired ourselves? If the original writers were inspired, then the translators should have been, and so should be the men who tell us what the Bible means.
How is it possible for a human being to know that he is inspired by an infinite being? But of one thing we may be certain: An inspired book should certainly excel all the books produced by uninspired men. It should, above all, be true, filled with wisdom, blossoming in beauty—perfect.
Ministers wonder how I can be wicked enough to attack the Bible.
I will tell them:
This book, the Bible, has persecuted, even unto death, the wisest and the best. This book stayed and stopped the onward movement of the human race. This book poisoned the fountains of learning and misdirected the energies of man.
This book is the enemy of freedom, the support of slavery. This book sowed the seeds of hatred in families and nations, fed the flames of war, and impoverished the world. This book is the breastwork of kings and tyrants—the enslaver of women and children. This book has corrupted parliaments and courts. This book has made colleges and universities the teachers of error and the haters of science. This book has filled Christendom with hateful, cruel, ignorant and warring sects. This book taught men to kill their fellows for religion’s sake. This book founded the inquisition, invented the instruments of torture, built the dungeons in which the good and loving languished, forged the chains that rusted in their flesh, erected the scaffolds whereon they died. This book piled fagots about the feet of the just. This book drove reason from the minds of millions and filled the asylums with the insane.
This book has caused fathers and mothers to shed the blood of their babes. This book was the auction block on which the slave-mother stood when she was sold from her child. This book filled the sails of the slave-trader and made merchandise of human flesh. This book lighted the fires that burned “witches” and “wizards.” This book filled the darkness with ghouls and ghosts, and the bodies of men and women with devils. This book polluted the souls of men with the infamous dogma of eternal pain. This book made credulity the greatest of virtues, and investigation the greatest of crimes. This book filled nations with hermits, monks and nuns—with the pious and the useless. This book placed the ignorant and unclean saint above the philosopher and philanthropist. This book taught man to despise the joys of this life, that he might be happy in another—to waste this world for the sake of the next.
I attack this book because it is the enemy of human liberty—the greatest obstruction across the highway of human progress.
Let me ask the ministers one question: How can you be wicked enough to defend this book?
SOURCE-ABOUT THE HOLY BIBLE -A Lecture By Robert G. Ingersoll 1894