"But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." - Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782
"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." - Thomas Jefferson, Autobiography, in reference to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom
"History 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
"It is not only the sacred volumes they [the churches] have thus interpolated, gutted, and falsified, but the works of others relating to them, and even the laws of the land Our judges, too, have lent a ready hand to further these frauds, and have been willing to lay the yoke of their own opinions on the necks of others; to extend the coercions of municipal law to the dogmas of their religion, by declaring that these make a part of the law of the land." - Thomas Jefferson
"We might as well say that the Newtonian system of philosophy is a part of the common law, as that the Christian religion is... In truth, the alliance between Church and State in England has ever made their judges accomplices in the frauds of the clergy; and even bolder than they are." - Thomas Jefferson
"The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." - John Adams
"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because if there be one, He must approve the homage of Reason rather than that of blindfolded Fear." - Thomas Jefferson
"What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of political tyranny. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy." - James Madison
"Christianity... (has become) the most perverted system that ever shone on man. ...Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus." - Thomas Jefferson
"It is between fifty and sixty years since I read it [the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation], and I then considered it merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherencies of our own nightly dreams.” - Thomas Jefferson in a letter to General Alexander Smyth, Jan. 17, 1825
The Treaty With Tripoli, worked out under Washington's guidance and then signed into law by John Adams in 1797, reads: "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 religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
James Madison in a July 10, 1822 letter to Edward Livingston: "We are teaching the world the great truth, that Governments do better without kings and nobles than with them. The merit will be doubled by the other lesson: the Religion flourishes in greater purity without, than with the aid of Government." "I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Government will both exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together."
James Madison wrote to Edward Everett on March 18, 1823, "The settled opinion here is, that religion is essentially distinct from civil Government, and exempt from its cognizance; that a connection between them is injurious to both..."
"During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." - James Madison
"The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity." - John Adams
"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
“I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies." - Benjamin Franklin
Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative. - John Stuart Mill