"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."
Thomas Paine
(1737-1809) US Founding father, pamphleteer, author
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Reader comments about this quote:
One of the greatest founding fathers. I agree with Paine on this. Every church or religion was founded by humans and everyone is suspect. If you are convinced of the crazy notion that a talking snake convinced a woman to eat some fruit, try believing the morman religion, it's even nuttier.
 -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
    Thomas Paine only professed this view after he became a rejected and embittered drunk. His earlier days portrayed a completely different view. I guess, one man's changing opinion; OK. I don't believe what he here stated.

    jim, you know, I always smile at your Christian digs. I have to let you know, at moments of humor, I've enlarged on your not needing human senses or a god because you have a 'GPS' (-; What is it about Mormons that is so crazy, do they profess more talking animals than just snakes ? ;-)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Mike, true about Paine. What amazes me is how we have over 1000 different religious organizations from the same King James bible. It seems to be interpreted like our constitution is.
     -- cal, Lewisville, tx     
    Jim there you go again, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. But is within. Paine new with his brothers in arms that the church is not made with hands. With the challenge laid upon their ministry of this experiment of administration of a highbred form of government, ( grace ) they needed Divine guidance. Who would think to set the little man free ? God.!
    what a challenge !! After all that Noah went threw, he planted a vineyard. Habakkuk was given to his wine also. Though he was allowed to walk in his high places. Paine new !!. Cal it is simple. Christ died to Make men Free from oppression. !! But you must trust with all your heart, that Christ died for ( all ) your sins. None excluded. Trust. Colo 2;13, Titus 2:14, Eph 1:7, Colo !:14. Redeem us from all iniquity. !st Corin 15:3,4 confirms this as this is the gospel of Christ according to the apostle Paul, which brings us this good news. He declares that it is his gospel thirteen times, by which Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.
     -- watchman 13, USA     
    watchman, there _you_ go again. I'm with Paine on this one. Mike, I did a little digging a while back the last time someone tried to discredit Thomas Paine because of what some devout Christians wrote about him after he died and was unable to defend himself. But I will leave that for you to consider. Paine was a man of Reason all the days of his life, and his words can stand on their own. Paine was no stranger to controversy and could have been executed in most of the Western world for his heretical writings in his day. But that did not stop him from an exhaustive search of the origins of Christian theology. If only the 'Church' would set their doctrines free from the dogma that binds them. ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    If you wish to bolster unity with in the party set aside the humanistic secular thoughts that have no place with those that believe in Divine Guidance. As brother Paine !!! Master builders are required to represent our Republic, not journeymen. ! If you do not believe in something else besides yourself be Quiet so you may observe who the enemy is. Otherwise speak for the Republic and not against its constituents. Unity is what we seek not doubtful disputation with in ranks ! Otherwise you only speak to hear yourself talk !!
     -- watchman 13, USA     
    "These are the times that try mens souls : the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country, but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like Hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem to lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods, and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated."
    ~ Thomas Paine
     -- watchman 13, USA     
    Archer, I'm not sure Thomas Paine's courage can be impugned. Wherever he was in life's sojourn, he spoke boldly. Very inspirational from whatever side of the isle he was preaching from. The above quote posted by watchman 13 is one of the most stirring and accurate depictions ever set forth (as accurate today - if not more so - than when first spoken).
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Tears to my eyes.
     -- watchman 13, USA     
    song of Solomon ch 7:9, And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak.
     -- watchman 13, USA     
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