(442) Tue 9 Aug 94 23:26 By: David Rice To: Eddie Taylor Re: Wind-up Award St: @EID:d3ec

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(442) Tue 9 Aug 94 23:26 By: David Rice To: Eddie Taylor Re: Wind-up Award St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:d3ec 1d09bb40 @PID: ProBoard 2.01 rJ @TID: FastEcho 1.41/g 10280 >FR> The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, >FR> is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; ET> You have to remember[sic] that although Paine was a [brilliant] ET> statesman, he was indeed an atheist. You have to remember that Thomas Paine was -NOT- an atheist. He believed in God as Creator of the universe, Earth, and all life on it. As several of my colleagues and others of my fellow- citizens of France have given me the example of making their voluntary and individual profession of faith, I also will make mine; and I do this with all that sincerity and frankness with which the mind of man communicates with itself. I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. But, lest it should be supposed that I believe in many other things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons for not believing them. 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. 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. I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of man, that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive to morality than this? Too bad Thomas Paine wasn't an atheist: even the best of humanity can make a mistake. --- ProBoard v2.01 [Reg] * Origin: No Special Rights for Christians! (1:124/9005) SEEN-BY: 102/2 138 752 835 850 851 890 943 1302 206/1701 209/207 209 710 720 SEEN-BY: 280/1 309/2 345/31 640/75 @PATH: 124/9005 9023 1 396/1 280/1 209/209 102/2 851


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