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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 53

Why I Hate it

Why I Hate it.

You have imprisoned the human mind; you have been the enemy of liberty; you page 11 have burned us at the stake, roasted us before slow fires, torn our flesh with irons; you have covered us with chains, treated us as outcasts; you have filled the world with fear; you have taken our wives and children from our arms; you have confiscated our property; you have denied us the right to testify in courts of justice; you have branded us with infamy; you have torn out our tongues; you have refused us burial. In the name of your religion you have robbed us of every right; and after having inflicted upon us every evil that can be inflicted in this world you have fallen upon your knees, and with clasped hands implored your God to finish the holy work in hell.

Can you wonder that we hate your doctrines, that we despise your creeds, that we feel proud to know that we are beyond your power—that we are free in spite of you, that we can express our honest thought, and that the whole world is grandly rising into the blessed light? Can you wonder that we point with pride to the fact that infidelity has ever been found battling for the rights of man, for the liberty of conscience, and for the happiness of all? Can you wonder that we I are proud to know that we have always been disciples of reason and soldiers of freedom; that we have denounced tyranny and superstition, and have kept our hands unstained with human blood!

I deny that religion is the end or object of this life. When it is so considered it becomes destructive of happiness. The real end of life is happiness. It becomes a hydra-headed monster, reaching in terrible coils from the heavens and thrusting its thousand fangs into the bleeding, quivering hearts of men. It devours their substance, builds palaces for God (who dwells not in temples made with hands), and allows His children to die in huts and hovels. It fills the earth with mourning, heaven with hatred, the present with fear, and all the future with fire and despair. Virtue is a subordination of the passions to the intellect. It is to act in accordance with your highest convictions. It does not consist in believing, but in doing. This is the sublime truth that infidels in all ages have uttered. They have handed the torch from one to the other through all the years that have fled. Upon the altar of reason they have kept the sacred fire, and throughout the long midnight of faith they fed the divine flame. Infidelity is liberty; all superstition is slavery. In every creed man is the slave of God, woman is the slave of man, and the sweet children are the slaves of all. We do not want creeds; we want some knowledge—we want happiness.

And yet we are told by the Church that we have accomplished nothing; that we are simply destroyers; that we tear down without building again.