By James Hervey Johnson | circa 1970
The James Hervey Johnson Charitable Educational Trust
No fair judge would decidte a case without carefully hearing and considering both sides. Intelligent men do not form a conclusion without carefully considering both sides of a subject. This article is for the intelligent person who wants to know both sides of the religious subject.
Very few have ever studied the evidence against religion. What they have of atheism has been a distorted view given by the promoters of religion, who have done all they could to slander atheists and to try associate them with something evil such as Communism, crime or immorality. The truth is that atheists are the most intelligent and enlightened people in the nation. After they have become mature and made a study of the evidence against religion, they are simply unable to believe the religion with which they were indoctrinated in their childhood.
PEOPLE ARE BRAIN STUFFED
Religion is imposed upon children before they have mature minds, and sufficient facts stored in their brains to be able to form a judgment based upon reason and evidence. Every effort is made by the clergy to prevent the child from knowing any of the evidence against the religion with which they have been indoctrinated. The schools are not permitted to say a word against religion, the daily papers fear to antagonize powerful church leaders by publishing the evidence discrediting religious doctrines, and not only do the radio and TV broadcasters refrain from permitting atheist programs on the air, but by regulation of the Federal Communications Commission, which has almost absolute power over them, broadcasters are required to provide religion programs for a definite part of their time.
The political boards which control public library policies almost entirely prevent any books exposing religious doctrines from being made available to the public. The few books critical of religion are on reference shelves and must be asked for and read in the reference rooms. Not only do the schools prohibit atheistic books in their class rooms and in their libraries, but actually, by one method or another, indoctrinate the students with religious beliefs, although this is contrary to the Constitution and has been so decided by the U. S. Supreme Court.
Thus the religious forces have been able to prevent the general public from even knowing that there is any opposition to their doctrines and dogmas.
RELIGION A PROFITABLE MONEY MAKING SCHEME
Churches own at least $30,000,000,000 worth of property in the U.S. and they have an income of at least ten billion dollars a year and all this is tax exempt, so it is easy for an alert mind to understand why they are so energetic in trying to keep anyone from learning that their doctrines are false and based upon superstition. Not only do the churches have this tremendous benefit of tax exemption, but the clergy are exempt from the harshness and risk of wounds and death in military service, but they have many other special privileges denied the taxpayers and soldiers, such as half or lower fares on planes, trains and buses. They receive more than their share of the benefits of government without paying any of its costs. Churches are exempt from wage and hour laws, and some work their nuns for nothing by ordinary board and room all their lives, they work children for nothing, they are exempt from social security, unemployment and sales taxes and many of the other government burdens the rest of us have to bear. So it is for their selfish benefit that they have been able to prevent the atheist viewpoint from being fairly heard. If the truth about their religious propaganda were known they would have to pay taxes, go to war, and work like other Americans.
WHAT ARE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS?
Religion teaches that there is an all powerful, all merciful God who created and rules the universe, that those who believe the religious doctrines propagated by the clergy will live in a heaven after they die, and that those who do not believe this will either burn in hell forever after their death, or will not survive in any form. Christianity teaches that Jesus Christ was a part of God, who assumed human form, and was killed and resurrected, that he died for the alleged sins of mankind, that he was born of a virgin, and now rules as either a part of God or separately, from his spiritual realm in the sky, or an all pervading invisible universal spirit.
Religion teaches that the earth was created from nothing, that man was a special creation, that prayers to God can cause miracles to occur, that Jesus and certain other people healed sick people by command, healed blindness by rubbing spit in the eyes of the blind, that rotting corpses were revived by Jesus, that he had the power to calm storms, to heal leprosy, to feed 5000 people with a few fish and loaves of bread, that he could walk on the water and other supernatural things, which are contrary to the laws of nature and science.
Christianity, although some clergymen are skeptical, claims that the Bible is the inspired word of God; some preachers claim that every part of it is true and that those who show that the Bible is simply the writings and ravings of primitive, ignorant, unscientific priests and even insane fanatics that is based purely upon superstition and is so full of false declarations, inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and mistakes that it has no more value than any one of the hundreds of ancient books written in the age of ignorance, are evil men.
RELIGION DEMANDS ITS ACCEPTANCE WITHOUT PROOF
Religious leaders insist that as they cannot offer real proof of their beliefs, doctrines and dogmas that men must accept them upon faith – that is without proof, and solely upon the word of the clergy and the Bible, or in the case of the other dozen or so major religions upon their so called sacred books.
Atheists do not accept the word of the clergy, nor their Bible as proof of what they teach, and they refuse to accept any belief on “faith”. They demand evidence.
THE ATHEIST’S POSITION
Atheists say there is no evidence of any god, that science has shown that matter and force are eternal, that the earth was not created from nothing, that there is no historical evidence that Jesus ever lived, that the Christ story is as big a myth as the Santa Claus myth, which children outgrow by the time they are 6 or 7 years old. They do not believe that Christ or any one of the other fifteen crucified saviors was born of a virgin, that a virgin birth is contrary to common sense, to science and that an alleged virgin birth should have no bearing on whether a god was thus created or not. They attach no more significance to the virgin birth story than to the stories of the Greek Gods having sprung from the brains of other gods, or being gathered from the foam of the sea.
NO HEAVEN, NO HELL, NO ANGELS, NO DEVILS
Atheists find absolutely no evidence of any after life, any heaven, hell, angels, or devils. Science denies that spit will heal blindness, that rotting corpses can be revived, that a man could be swallowed by a whale or a big fish, as reported in the story of Jonah, and ejected alive after three days in the powerful juices of the whale’s stomach which digest bones in a few hours. They believe in the science of evolution which traces the development of man from lower forms of life. The evidence of the great scientist Charles Darwin, who presents facts that anyone can see for himself, is more convincing than the primitive childish tale of unknown authors of the age of superstition.
NO GOOD GOD
Every day the atheists see a mountain of evidence that there is no good god. Everyday innocent men, women and children are tortured and murdered and butchered by criminals, others are killed by snakes, wild animals, others burned to death, are killed in auto and plane and ship disasters, thousands die each year in hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones, floods, tidal waves, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. A god who had the power to prevent those things and did not, would be a vicious, evil, sadistic, criminal fiend. Any parent who allows his child to die from neglect is arrested and imprisoned for child neglect and manslaughter. No intelligent person can consider this evidence and believe in a good god.
EVIDENCE FOR THE INTELLIGENT THINKER
Millions of people have been bred for ages to be believers. For ages, the thinkers, the doubters, the dissenters, the heretics, the intelligent scientists were foully tortured, imprisoned and murdered by the religious forces for fear that if they lived and their thoughts would be known, religion would lose its power and the priest clan would not be able to live lives of ease and comfort without work. Only in the last hundred years has it been physically safe to deny the existence of God and to criticize or expose religion. Even today atheists are socially and economically ostracized, advertising of atheist literature is practically prohibited on radio and TV, in the daily press and many national magazines. It is unsocial to talk against religion, and in many countries, especially Catholic countries, would result in the death or injury of the unbeliever at the hands of the priest-led fanatics.
So, many people are inherent believers. This article can do nothing for them. But we offer, to the intelligent thinker, a world of evidence that will convince him that religion is a gigantic fraud.
THE APOLOGIZERS REFUTED
There is a vast literature call apologetics, which seeks to excuse and explain religion and the Bible declarations which are contrary to science, intelligence and common sense. These apologists are really deceivers, who seek to tell the gullible that black does not mean black, that white does mean white and that what is preached or written does mean what it says literally, but that the Bible superstitions are in allegory and must be “interpreted” by the clergy. Every possible kind of apology or excuse is made to try to reconcile obvious falsehood with facts. Thus, the creation of the earth in seven days did not mean days of 24 hours but ages, the story of Jonah did not mean he was literally swallowed; Joshua did not actually stop the sun by command (and the moon also). Some modern preachers admit that they do not really believe in the virgin birth story or in the miracles of Jesus. All of these excuses and apologies fall on deaf ears of the atheists. They have enough intelligence to read what the Bible says and to make their own conclusions. They do not need paid interpreters who “sing for their bread” and are expert deceivers and mind twisters.
THE GOODNESS OF GOD MYTH AND ITS APOLOGETIC
The clergy tell us that God knows best, that he makes people suffer because man has sinned, and that this sin spreads on to the fourth generation. A god who would vent the sins of the parents on a child would be a vicious monster, a criminal devil. A god who would cause an innocent person to suffer for the sins of another would be an evil tyrant. Only a fiend could get satisfaction from watching anyone suffer, especially if he had the power to prevent it.
But this excuse can be shown to be absurd, even though an intelligent man could not condone a god’s permitting of children to be born blind, without arms, or legs, with defective hearts, to contract polio, to be beaten to death by their parents, we would still see that helpless little animals are born blind, deformed, and suffer the most cruel tortures at the hands of other animals and heedless men. By no stretch of the religious imagination could the animals be accused of suffering because of either their “sin”, or that of their parents. Atheists are intellectually unable to accept the stories and superstitions of the clergy on faith, or their excuses and “explanations” of the obvious falseness of the things they preach.
THE BENEFITS OF RELIGION
The clergy say that even if one cannot accept their belief in a god, or Jesus, of the Virgin Birth tale, the heaven and hell myths, that men should support religion because “it does a lot of good” that it teaches men to be better, that it has been the cause of civilization, that it is moral force for human progress, and they claim that they are entitled to their tax exemption and their special privileges because they support morality.
The atheists have examined these claims and found them to be at complete variance with the truth, even though many non-religious people, who have not examined the facts, accept this “great lie” because they have heard it repeated so much, without being able to hear the evidence against it.
RELIGION HAS BEEN A TERRIBLE CURSE TO MANKIND
The evidence shows that from the beginning religion has bred superstition, that it has fought science and education, freedom and happiness of men, that it has made every effort to obstruct man’s advance from primitive savagery, that it has used torture, murder, burning at the stake, life imprisonment, stoning, banishment, destruction of books, slander, libel, every form of destruction and suppression that it could devise to hinder human happiness and make mankind slaves to its selfish and evil purposes.
Religious leaders have walked hand in hand with the most vicious tyrants on earth to oppress humanity and to exploit men for their own selfish demands. Any intelligent person can read the terrible record of religion himself. The Atheist does not, as the clergy does, ask anyone to accept their statements on faith, without proof, but urges each man to make his own research, as the Atheists have done.
RELIGION’S BLOODY RECORD
The Bible itself tells of the Jewish priests saying that their God ordered the unbelievers to be stoned to death. Their God was quoted as saying that the Jew must murder and torture the men, women and children of the cities they sought to take for loot and plunder. The young virgins were permitted to live and be raped by the Jewish soldiers. The Old Testament is a record of God-ordered murder of hundreds of thousands of people at the hands of the Jews who were supposed to be God’s chosen people. These atrocities are pinpointed in the Books, the Bible Unveiled and the Bible Unmasked, in the Religion of the Occident and referred to in Superior Men, written by this writer.
Not only were the Jews ordered to murder all the inhabitants of the various cities and towns but were also to kill every animal.
GOD A VENGEFUL FIEND
God even ordered his own son Jesus to be tortured to death on the cross – what a sadistic pleasure this must have been to the so-called omnipotent, all merciful father! God didn’t like the men he created so he ordered the flood to destroy all human and animal life on earth except the Noah family and the animals he could put in a small boat. What a god, and what a story! He vented his insane vengeance even on the innocent animals.
From the earliest history we read of the Egyptians engaged in religious wars, of the Jews fighting among themselves, of the Babylonians, Chaldeans, Persians engaged in religious wars, exterminating those who did not believe in the gods.
When the Christians got the upper hand they exterminated the pagans. In his monumental work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon describes the slaughters by the Catholic church of the pagans, of the Albigensis, of the Huguenots, as does Dr. Martin A. Larson in his Religion of the Occident. The books on the Crusades tell of the wanton slaughter of those who opposed the invasion of their lands by the fanatical Crusaders. The history of the Inquisition tells of the torture and murder of hundreds of thousands by that Infamous branch of the Catholic Church.
TORTURE AND MURDER
Thumbscrew and Rack, gives the methods used to force people to accept Christianity. The Conquest of Peru, and of Mexico tell how the cruelest of the Spanish soldiers with sword in one hand and the Cross in the other, subjugated the American Indians unable to cope with the superior fire arms of the Christian conquerors.
The book, The Struggle Between Religion and Science, and the two vol. book, the History of the Warfare of Science with Theology, tell of the effort of the Churches to prevent scientific advance.
Lest some naïve readers think that all these things occurred in the dim past, let them study the curse of Catholic prevention of birth control, even today which makes life miserable for millions in Catholic countries suffering poverty, crime, ignorance and misery because of exploding populations which the church causes by refusing to permit those countries to teach birth control.
Religion caused the death of the great Greek philosopher, Socrates, the burning of the great library of Alexandria, which contained the irreplaceable wisdom of the ancient world, forever destroyed by a Catholic priest, who led a mob in cutting to pieces the great librarian Hypatia, whose remaining parts of her body where dragged thru the streets, and all the books and library burned.
The evils of religion are portrayed in The Essays of An Atheist by Woolsey Teller, and in Ingersoll’s greatest Lecture, in the writings of Voltaire.
In recent time, (1941 to 1945), Catholic leaders wiped out hundreds of thousands of non Catholics, as is told in Genocide in Satellite Croatia, and the Vatican Against Europe by Edmond Paris.
Religion has introduced insane doctrines in to the fibre of western civilization. Aside from the wars between Christians, such as occurred between the U.S. and Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, there have been interminable wars between Christian countries, and by Christian countries against non Christian countries, all of which can be read in any of the histories of Europe, England and the U.S.
The Christian Churches still have enough power to prevent the teaching of the Science of Evolution in many schools, they still force most people to observe their religious holidays, besides of course their selfish, immoral demands for tax exemption.
The Christian Churches have for centuries imposed an unnatural, impractical and damaging sex ban upon the countries they control.
For ages they have obstructed Justice. Read Fifty Years of Freethought by George A. MacDonald, a two volume work, and Obstruction of Justice by Religion, by Frank Swancara which tells of such obstruction in recent times, in the U.S.A.
The Secrets and Power of the Jesuits, tells of their intrigue, and the damage they did to humanity.
THE MORAL ARGUMENT
The clergy say that their doctrines of the Golden Rule, and the Ten Commandments are beneficial to mankind. They neglect to say that Confucius promulgated the Golden Rule centuries before Christ, and that the Ten Commandments were copied of the Code of Hammurabbi, written centuries before the Bible. Read the evidence in the book, Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions, by W. T. Doane, and the Ten Commandments by Joseph Lewis, who shows them to be evil to a considerable extent and copied from pagan religion.
The clergy claim that Christ’s doctrine of turning the other cheek, forgiveness of sin, and softness toward enemies and criminals are for the benefit of mankind. Sensible men refute these insane doctrines, which place good men at the mercy of evil men, and encourage crime and war. They refer to the saying of Jesus that he came not to bring peace but a sword, to set the father against the son, and the mother against the daughter, to disrupt families, and that he wanted his enemies brought before him so he could slay them.
The Arsenal for Skeptics contains much evidence against religion, as does the great Thomas Paine’s book, the Age of Reason. The mistakes and absurdities of the Bible are contained in 4000 Errors and Unfavorable Passages by Olin Miller, in Self Contradictions of the Bible, and in The Tyranny of God, by Joseph Lewis, along with his Atheism and Other Addresses.
Fifty Years in the Church of Rome, by an ex priest tells of the evils of that Church.
Frauds, Forgeries and Relics tells of the Frauds of Christianity, as does the Great Historical Forgeries upon Which the Catholic Church was Founded.
The Illusion of Immortality by Corlisa Lamont disposes of another myth of the clergy, and the Genealogy of the Gods, by Conerly, tells how the gods were imagined from the birds and beasts of primitive man. Epic and Romance show how religions grew from old superstitions.
The Ruins of Empire, by Count Volney tells how Christianity destroyed nation after nation, and this writer sees the Destruction of America if religion maintains its poisonous strangle hold upon our people.
In Praise of Folly, by 16th century Erasmus tells of the folly of religion in his time. The Golden Bough, also tells how superstitions damaged whole nations.
The Works of Confucius, of Buddha, the Hindu Scriptures, the Koran, the Analysis of Christian Origins, the Bible Handbook, all tell of the evils of religion and show that society had developed systems of morals and ethics long before Christ was ever heard of.
Church Wealth and Business Income tells how the churches will control most of the wealth of the U.S. if they are not curbed soon.
Crimes of the Popes, The History of the Popes and Crime and Immorality in the Catholic Church, with American Freedom and Catholic Power all tell of the evils of that Church.
The Dead Sea Scrolls shows how superstition prevailed in the time of the alleged Christ. Jesus, God Man or Myth, by Herbert Cutner, and The Mythical Christ, by Patrick Campbell show that Jesus is as big a myth as Juno or Mars.
The Origin of Species and the Descent of Man by Darwin explodes the creation story of the Bible.
Why I Left the Church by Rupert Hughes, Why I Left the Ministry and Became an Atheist by former Methodist, Vincent Runyon, and Why I am an Infidel by the great plant Wizard, Luther Burbank, all tell of the evils of religion.
History of European Morals by W. E. H. Leckey, tells how morality grew in Europe in spite of Christianity, not because of it. A little pamphlet “Is Civilization Christian?” refutes the claims of the clergy.
Letters from the Earth, by the great Mark Twain shows how ridiculous the church’s claims are. Man and His Gods by Homer W. Smith, shows how man has suffered from the many Gods imposed upon him by the priest clan. A booklet tells of the Origin and Nature of Morals, and another The Origin and Character of the Bible tells how this conglomeration of superstition was gotten together.
Ravening Wolves tells of the terror of the Catholic Rulers in Yugoslavia when they gained control. Religion and Crime by Swancara tells how religion encouraged crime. And Dr. Wilson exposes the fallacy of religion in his paperback book, Religion a Primitive Fable.
Leckey tells in his book, the Rise and Influence of Rationalism in Europe, how rationalism was the force that pulled the Western nations out of the Christian-caused dark ages.
Shackles of the Supernatural tells how mankind has been hindered by religion, Story of the Great Geologists, and books on astronomy explode the creation myth with scientific explanations. Superstition in All Ages by a Catholic Priest, written two hundred years ago, and secretly published after his death, exposes the evils and fallacies of religion.
The Thinkers Handbook offers ideas to thinkers to refute religion.
The book, Superior Men, by the writer, summarizes the whole of the evils and superstitions of religion.
The World’s Sixteen Crucified Survivors, by Kersey Graves, tells the little known story of other saviors from which the Christ myth was woven.
There are 600 books, besides the great list of books, on science which directly or indirectly refute the whole of the religious contentions of the clergy and sustain without the slightest question of doubt by a reasoning and intelligent person, the position of the atheist.
The wise man who does not wish to be a slave to a foolish superstition will read as many of these great books as he has time to study them and funds to buy them.
Reading a mass of religious slanted propaganda in the daily papers, in the national magazines, and listening to government imposed propaganda on radio and TV, the intelligent man ought to subscribe for at least one atheist paper at a cost of $3.00 a year, so as to get at least a part of the “other side.” Such positive action might save him great sums of money given to the promoters of religion, will save him mental confusion, and certainly give him peace of mind so he can devote his time and energy to making his life happier in this world, instead of preparing for the mythical nonexistence of a future world, for which the clergy collect in advance, knowing that their deception can never be proved when their victims are dead.
— Chris Finan on Charlie Hebdo
— Paul Krassner’s déjà vu about the Muhammad cartoon controversy
— D.M. Bennett’s An Open Letter to Jesus Christ
— James Hervey Johnson’s Case Against Religion
— Watson Heston’s editorial cartoons
— Atheism and Blasphemy excerpt from American Freethought series
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