"Practical religion consists in doing good:
and the only way of serving God
is that of endeavoring to make His creation happy.
All preaching that has not this for its object
is nonsense and hypocrisy."
Thomas Paine
(1737-1809) US Founding father, pamphleteer, author
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Al, DC     
  • 1
    Though I agree with his (should be) overview of Christianity, the topic of religion doing good and religion specifically is way too broad to be painted with such a stroke. A 'god' may or may not be helpful in defining one's religion - by way of example: Buddhism, Satanism, Socialism. AND; I, on multiple occasions have given several dictionary and legal definitions of religion on this blog, only to have almost everyone express their own definition that differs from the established print.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    I'm with Paine on this. We can never be sure exactly what Jesus taught since the Bible was copied and recopied hundreds of times and many errors occurred because of this. Assuming he said what the New Testament says, his teachings seem to be that we be as kind as possible to fellow occupiers of this planet. He said nothing about dying for sins or who gets to wear the funny hat in Rome.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 1
    Read "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrman to see why I wrote the second sentence above.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 1
    Religion = We are good, they are bad = Division = War = Killing with the idea that you do a service to God.
     -- michael, Loves Park, IL     
  • 1
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
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