FORGERY IN CHRISTIANITY
THE DISEASE AND THE CURE
SEGMENTS:R R MAN IS A RELIGIOUS R R FAITH IN A FATAL DECLINE R R THE INDICTMENT R R OUTLINE OF CASE AND PROOFS
RR FORGERY DEFINED R R RELIGIOUS LAWS OF OUTLAWRY R R RETURN TO THE INDEX OF CHAPTERS
"ALL TRUTH is safe, and nothing else is safe; and he who keeps back the truth, or withholds it from men, from motives of expediency, is either a coward or a criminal, or both." MAX MULLER, The Science of Religion, p. 11
"The time has come for honest men to denounce false teachers and attack false gods." Luther Burbank
MAN IS A RELIGIOUS ANIMAL-is incurably religious," are commonplaces of clerical rhetoric. The priestly "Doctors of Divinity" who unctuously utter these pious-and apocryphal-platitudes-fathered by the wish,-urge the incurable state of mind-the religious neurosis of their patients in proof of the divinely ordered nature of the malady, as patent of the necessity and importance of their "sacred science" of soul-cure, and the divine warrant for their continuance in perpetuity in their practice upon otherwise damned humanity.
It is the ghostly Doctors themselves, however, who by their quackeries have created the fiction of the disease, and who purposely keep the patient opiated and on the crutches of Faith, in order to "make their calling and election sure," and to perpetuate their thralling dominion over the mind and money of man. The first recorded priestly ban-by threat and fear of death-was on Nature's own Golden Specific for superstition and priestcraft,-the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge: "Thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Gen. ii, 17.) A warden with a flaming sword was posted to guard the Tree: sword, and rack, and stake, civil and political outlawry, social and business ostracism and loss of living, odious Odium Theologicum and foul calumny, have ever since been-so far as possible yet are the consecrated weapons of priestcraft to keep mankind ignorant and obedient to the priests. "No beast in nature is so implacable as an offended saint," is axiomatic of those who prate of loving their enemies. As Jurgen picturesquely says: "The largest lake in Hell is formed by the blood which the followers of the 'Prince of Peace' have shed in advancing his cause,"-and their selfish own,-as we shall abundantly see in the following pages.
FAITH IN A FATAL DECLINE
Howbeit, their pulpits and their press are lugubriously vocal with Jeremiads bewailing the ever-swelling tide of Unbelief in the land,-throughout Christendom. The Church statistics, notoriously padded after the Biblical model of the Censuses in the Wilderness, can claim at most some forty-odd millions of adherents-many of them by lip-service and non-paying (therefore negligible), and others many non-distinguished for piety or common honesty-out of the hundred and twenty-odd millions of our American population. The Reverend Rector of Trinity Church in New York City-(one of the wealthiest dead-hand tax-free land monopolists in America)-thus bewails: "In America we are dealing with a country, the majority of whose inhabitants are pagans. ... Only forty percent of the population acknowledges affiliation with any Church." (N. Y. Times, March 15, 1930.) The ex-Secretary of the Home Missions Council of one of the great Churches bemoans: "There has been a tremendous revolution in the history of the Church. ... The country church is waning and dying. ... The revolution under our eyes is found in the mode of thinking of the whole country." (N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 1930). An effective cause is found in the recent survey report of the Federal Council of Churches, to be in "the acceptance of a scientific view of life ... general questioning of formerly revered authority ... with absolute religious and ethical authority dethroned. ... Women have made no comparable advance in participation in church affairs. ... It can hardly be said that the church is an influential factor in the lives of the working classes." (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Jan. 31, 1930.) A curious confession of likely cause and effect,-in the mental calibre of the credent-is stated by the Reverend publicity counsel of a [viii] national Church: "All sermons should be keyed to the mentality of a fifteen-year-old youth. ... Half the people of the United States have the mentality of a fifteen-year-old youth. Most church-goers enjoyed the 'children's sermon' more than the one on religious philosophy. ... The average man can carry only one idea at a time." (Herald-Tribune, Jan. 28, 1930.)-Verily, "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."
All Fools' Day seems to be a sort of New Year's for ecclesiastical statistics and general stock-taking of the faithful: annually at that time the very religious Christian Herald publishes its collect of figures on Church membership; the Catholic Directory emits its own; and the generality of Divines gives voice to holy Lamentations and pious warnings to the Church and to the ungodly. From this year's extensive crop a little sheaf is added, the matter being important to our purposes, and curiously instructive as depicting the accelerated downward tobogganing of the Faith, The Report of the Christian Herald discloses: "The total of communicants last year (1929) was 50,006,566," of which number it assigns a total of 18,051,680 to the fourteen sects of Catholic dis-Unity (Herald-Tribune, April 26, 1930); though the figures of the Catholic Directory are 20,178,202. (Ib. April. 16, 1930). Under the alarming caption-"Warns Protestant Church it is Lagging," the Report of the Director of the Church Survey bemoans: "The Protestant Church in America is not keeping pace with the population. ... American Protestantism increased from 7 in each 100 of the population in 1800 to 24 in each 100 of the population of 1900. During the past thirty years Protestantism has not increased its ratio of the population as much as one member more per hundred."-This is a very notable disclosure: that for a whole century the very vocal and intolerant Protestant population of this country has varied between 7% and 24% of the total population, and is today less than 25%:-yet this petty minority dingdongs that this is a "Christian country," and imposes its ludicrous medieval "Blue Laws" and tyrannous proscriptions-as will be noted-upon the great anti-clerical majority of the people. And further striking figures follow from the same source: "A study made in 1912-[i.e. before Woman Suffrage],-"exclusively in cities, found two-thirds of the Protestant city membership consisted of [ix] women. ... There has been a steady proportionate decrease of interest in religion among women of the United States. ... It was also found [in this present Survey] that only 18 percent of the country population is in Church membership, although it is customary to think of country people as highly religious.-[They, too, are becoming more educated.] In New York City, the Church population is reported equally divided among Protestants, Roman Catholics and Jews. Only about eight percent of the population are members of the Protestant churches,"-thus only some 24% of the people of New York City among all three much-divided sects. (N.Y. Times, May 5, 1930.) In a recent abusive set of letters by three True Believers of the same family name (one a Rev.), addressed to the Editor of a Metropolitan paper for writing sanely about the Tabooed Subject of Birth Control, this was denounced as an "insult to over 2,000,000" Faithful in this City. (Herald-Tribune, April 12, 1930.) But the Faithful boast of their 444 churches in Greater New York: if each had the exaggerated membership of 1,000,-let the reader do his own figuring and note the result. And foreign immigration of the Faithful has been sadly curtailed of late by law.
The true significance to the Church of the great slump in its membership-and hence revenues, is crudely "given away" by the Very Rev. Episcopal Bishop of Long Island, lamenting like conditions in his Diocese: "The growth of population during the last decade on Long Island has been a challenge to the Church. ... The Episcopal Bishop of the diocese advocated [in a public address] a drive to bring into the church the wealthy residents of Long Island." (Herald-Tribune, May 6, 1930.) The Most Rev. Episcopal superior of the last-lamenting has made a famous discovery, and with oracular gravity which evokes a smile he assigns its cause: "There are no great poets, painters, writers, nor musicians-[only great Manikins of Bishops]-today, and the cause of this artistic deficiency can be found in the moderns' total disregard for religion." (Episc. Bishop of Manhattan: Herald-Tribune, April. 21, 1930.) And the Highly Rev. Bishop of the National Capital thus portentously, and truly, glooms: "There is an organized movement, world-wide in scope, to unsettle Christian ideals and Christian institutions, both in Russia and elsewhere" (Ib. May 13, 1930);-which, judging by the age-old gigantic failure of both-as herein we shall see,-is not so much to be wondered.
So far as Russia is concerned-(and the fact and the reason for it apply as well to every other "Christian" country),-the reason is truly stated by the pious Editor of Atlantis in a Jeremiad of confession before the Institute of Citizenship just held in Atlanta: "For a thousand years, ever since Russia became a Christian country, and more especially in the last 200 years, when the Czar became the official head of the Church, the State religion in Russia was one of the means whereby the Russian people were oppressed, exploited and kept in ignorance. The Russian people had a score to settle with the Church after the revolution, and they took full advantage of it" (N.Y. Times, April 8, 1930), a like chance for which all Christendom is looking. The very religious Editor continues to confess: "It is useless to deny that the Church, in most instances, has lost its hold upon vast majorities of the people." (Ibid.) At the Christian Herald Institute of Religion held this year at Buck Hill Falls, Pa., a perfect symposium of Jeremiads bewailed Faith on the Toboggan: "Unless emphasis on elaborate creeds does not cease, we will deliver ourselves into the hands of the Humanists for the defeat which we deserve." ... "The Church is simply going to pieces in the small towns of the Middle West. ... The paganization of rural America is going on so fast that if we wait for even the union of closely allied denominations to be accomplished, it will mean ruination." ... "The greatest difficulty in effecting mergers of churches lies in personalities and prejudices." (Herald-Tribune, May 15, 1930.) Thus today, after nearly two thousand years of the "Sweetness and light" of our Divine Christian religion, "personalities and prejudices" among those taught to love even their enemies persist and keep the Fold of Christ divided into mutually-hating Flocks; precisely so that the olden Pagan sneer at the early Christians is perfectly befitting their successors today: "There is no wild beast so ferocious as Christians who differ concerning their faith." (Lecky, Rationalism in Europe, ii, 31.)
To conclude this review of pregnant figures and confessions, two luminous revelations are in one day made of cause and effect. Says the eminent Rev. President of the National Bible Institute: "... because the Bible has ceased to have authority either in the pulpit or in the pew. Decline in church attendance and decrease in church membership are almost invariably traceable to unbelief in the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible,"-Due to increasing knowledge of its true character, as herein revealed. (Herald-Tribune, May 26, 1930.) And the ghastly irony and joke of the whole huge bankruptcy of Faith is thus exposed by the egregious Pastor of a Brooklyn Baptist Flock, who images the Missionary "selling" the Faith to the benighted Heathen: "'I have a religion here that will do you poor heathen a lot of good. Of course it hasn't succeeded very well at home, but we are sure it will do you a lot of good.'" (Ibid.) It's just like God told the Jews: You shan't sell the dead carcasses found by the way to the Chosen; "but thou shalt give it unto the stranger that is in thy gates, that he may eat it; or thou mayst sell it unto an alien"! (Deut. xiv, 21.) So the dead cats of Faith are flung out of the sanctuary as unfit for the Knowing, but are peddled to the ignorant heathen for whatever the refuse may bring of clerical revenue.
Like conditions exist in all priest-ridden lands. The Rt. Rev. Archbishop of Canterbury in his call for the decennial Lambeth Conference for 1930, at which over sixty of the Episcopal bishops of this country are to attend, sounds a fateful monition: "The new knowledge of the Bible and still more of the universe in which we live still confuses and bewilders the beliefs of many of our clergy and people. There are tendencies in the life of our Church which suggest the prevalence of forms of belief ... which almost exclude belief in God the Father and God the Holy Spirit." (Herald-Tribune, March 12, 1930.) Wails the Rev. Pyke to the annual Assembly of the National Council of Evangelical Churches of England: "A large part of England has lapsed into semi-heathenism; ... our half-filled churches." (Herald-Tribune, April 20, 1930.) Such creed-searchings and churchly lamentations over their moribund condition may be multiplied into volumes.
Some potent cure thus seems to be at work. This curative specific is simply increasing popular knowledge: "Know the truth and the truth shall make you free," is the Golden Recipe for the religious disorder. What Cicero said of the Pythian Oracles may as truly be applied to every form of priestcraft: "When men began to be less credulous, their power vanished."
Day by day, as knowledge increaseth and spreads amongst the people in the pews as well as among the parsons, does it become more difficult and embarrassing for the pulpiteers to "put over" their tales of myth and magic to the hearers of the Word. Even the clergy are becoming awakened to the stinging truth aimed at priests and the priest-taught by Prof. Shotwell: "Where we can understand, it is a moral crime to cherish the ununderstood," and are beginning to feel the humiliation of their false Position. A noted clerical educator, Dr. Reinold Niebuhr, professor of Christian Ethics in that hotbed of every heresy, the Union Theological Seminary, in his textbook suggestively entitled 'Leaves from the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic,' makes this confession of recognized Dishonesty in the mass of clerical teaching and preaching: "As a teacher your only interest is to discover the truth. 'As a preacher you must conserve other interest besides the truth.' It is your business to deal circumspectly with the whole religious inheritance lest the virtues [?] which are involved in the older traditions perish through your iconoclasm. That is a formidable task and a harassing one; for one can never be quite sure where pedagogical caution ends AND DISHONESTY BEGINS"! (Quoted by Alva Johnston in N.Y. Herald-Tribune, March 8, 1930.)
The great Church Father, Bishop St. Augustine (of whom more hereafter), was wise to the psychology of-at least-Pagan religion-the mode of its incipience and the manner of its age-long persistence. The priests and the priest-taught, he tells, instilled the virus of superstition into their victims when "small and weak," when they knew not to resist or healthily to react against the contaminating inoculation; "then, afterwards, it was necessary that succeeding generations should preserve the traditions of their ancestors, drinking in this superstition with their mother's milk." (Augustine, City of God, xxii, 6.) Thinks one that this cunning modus operandi is confined only to Pagan priestcrafts and superstitions?
If, instead of the saintly Doctors of Hebrew-Christian Divinity, injecting their saving "opiate of the people" into the cradled babes of Christ, it were the abhorred Doctors of Mohammedan or Mormon Divinity who got to the cradles first,-those infant souls would all but surely be lost to the Christ, and in their God's tender mercy, as assured by the sainted Augustine, would spend eternity crawling on the candent floors of Hell, playing with the "worm that never dies": hardly from the cradle to the grave could all the Christian purges for Sin and pills for Salvation of Soul, later administered, serve for effective catharsis of the venom of those Christianly-hated "superstitions, drunk in with their mother's milk."
This truth is strikingly stated in an eloquent period by Ingersoll, and stunningly confirmed and confessed by the syndicated Prophet of Protestantism below to be quoted. The former opens his classic Why I Am an Agnostic, with these trenchant words:
"For the most part we inherit our opinions. We are the heirs of habits and mental customs. Our beliefs, like the fashions of our garments, depend on where we were born. We are molded and fashioned by our surroundings. Environment is a sculptor-a painter.
"If we had been born in Constantinople, the most of us would have said: 'There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet.' If our parents had lived on the banks of the Ganges, we would have been worshippers of Siva, longing for the heaven of Nirvana.
"As a rule, children love their parents, believe what they teach, and take great pride in saying that the religion of mother is good enough for them. ...
"The Scotch are Calvinists because their fathers were. The Irish are Catholics because their fathers were. The English are Episcopalians because their fathers were, and the Americans are divided into a hundred sects because their fathers were. ... Children are sometimes superior to their parents, modify their ideas, change their customs, and arrive at different conclusions."
The truth thus uttered by the great Agnostic finds its confirmation curiously wrung from the lips of the Bellwether of would-be "reconciliationists" of primitive Superstition and modern Science. In a metropolitan newspaper carrying his syndicated "Daily Counsel" to the lovelorn and the misty-minded, a Virginia Believer puts to him challengingly the question direct: "Do you mean to imply that belief is largely a matter of environment, and if so, would you not have been as firm a follower of Mahomet as you are of Christ if you had been born of Mahometan parentage and brought up in that faith?" For once there was no chance for Conmanian suppleness of evasion, so the blunt and confusing truth is forced: Yes! "It is fairly certain that, had I been cradled in Mohametans [sic] I should now have been turning toward Mecca at the appointed hours"! (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Oct. 29, 1929.) Thus the champion special pleader for the fast fading faith of Christ confesses away the divinely self-evident "truth" of his Christian faith, admits that it is the result not of independent thought and convincing proofs to his mind, but the inheritance of the cradle and the nursery,-that that towering intellect would today be bearing witness to the "revealed truth" of a false God and religion, if he had chanced to be "born that way"! Allah would to him-and to millions-be true and living God and Jehovah a crude barbarian myth, but for the accident of birth and teaching,-a reversal of the whole scheme of salvation! Thus the Cradle determines the Creed; it is the virus of the superstition-germ first injected which infects the credulity-center of the brain and colors too-oft through life the whole concept of "religious truth" in the mind of the patient.
The psychology of the priestly maxim-"Disce primum quod credendum est-Learn first what is to be believed," and the persistent virulence of the virus thus injected, is aptly signified by the Rev. Wenner, 83-year old Bellwether of Lutheranism in America, and for 61 years pastor of one of its oldest sheep-folds in New York City: "I do not think that time has produced many changes in the attitude of Lutheran worshippers,-because of the stable nature of the religious education we give the youth of our sect. From the age of six onward we instruct them in the tenets of our faith, and they usually abide." (N.Y. Herald-Tribune, Oct. 10, 1929.)
The predilect precept of the Doctors of every brand of Divinely forever is: "Catch 'em in the cradle, and get 'em inoculated before they know." In the bib and rattle period, the childish brain is a soft, clean surface, "soft as wax to be molded into vice," as His Holiness says: helpless it receives and retains whatever is first impressed or imposed upon it: true religion or false, Christ or Crishna or Santa Claus, Holy Ghost or the ghosts of Afric superstition. "Give us a child until it is seven, and we've got it cinched for life," is the ghoulish axiom of all the Faiths: "Suffer little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven,"-as of the heathen Nirvana. How godly a work is it to sear the thoughtless child mind with the brand of Faith; how infamous and damnable to offer to the "immature" and inept youth in college freedom from the stigma of credulity! How crude and cruel for the Chinese to bind and cripple for life the feet of their girl children; how fiendish the custom of sundry savage tribes, ignorant of the "Light of the World," to clamp the infant heads between boards so as to produce the hideous deformity of skull so aesthetically popular among them; but how pleasing to gods and priests to fetter the child mind in the bonds of Faith, and so to dwarf and deaden the mind's most precious faculty-Reason! "To succeed," eloquently said Ingersoll, "the theologians invade the cradle, the nursery. In the brain of innocence they plant the seeds of superstition. They pollute the minds and imaginations of children. They frighten the happy with threats of pain-they soothe the wretched with gilded lies. ... All of these comforting and reasonable things are taught by the ministers in their pulpits-by teachers in Sunday schools and by parents at home. The children are victims. They are assaulted in the cradle-in their mother's arms. Then, the school-master carries on the war against their natural sense, and all the books they read are filled with the same impossible truths. The poor children are helpless. The atmosphere they breathe is filled with lies-lies that mingled with their blood." This unholy cradle-robbing goes on with vehement zest. The Churches, the Federal Council of Churches, the Vicar of God and his adjutants, all ply amain the arts of enslaving the babe in the cradle, the child in the school. In the Encyclical of December 31, 1929, the right of the Church to the child is proclaimed as above that of parents and State; the secular public schools are damned, and the prole of the Faithful are forbidden to attend and mingle with the "irreligious" State pupils: "the frequenting of non-Catholic schools, namely, those which are open to Catholic and non-Catholic alike, is forbidden to Catholic children," as such a school is not "a fit place for Catholic students," who must be baited with "the supernatural." (Current History, March 1930, p. 1091, passim.) Yet the banned and cursed Public Schools of New York City, forbidden to the Faithful child, the ecclesiastical City government fills with Faithful teachers for the purpose of "boot-legging" the forbidden supernaturalism into them; a work so wide-spread and active, that the Cardinal Archbishop of the City, addressing over 2000 of the Catholic Teachers Association, "praises their work of teaching faith in City Institutions." (N.Y. Times, Nov. 25, 1928.) And every rationalist effort to counteract such illegal propaganda and to free the schools from the pernicious influences of superstition, is denounced and opposed by the Bible bootleggers of every brand of Faith; and in the brave instance of Russia, a medieval orgy of prayer-assault on High Heaven is made, to counsel God what he ought to do to the Russians for their "godless" efforts to save the children of that Church-cursed land from the superstitions of priestcraft.
In an ironical letter to the English press, in which he "enters the lists against the British critics of Moscow's anti-clerical policy," George Bernard Shaw, writing under a transparent Russian pseudonym, says: "In Russia we take religious questions very seriously. We protect our children very carefully against proselytizers of our fantastic sects until they are old enough to make up their own minds. To us, it is inconceivable that a government would tolerate the inculcation upon helpless children of beliefs that will not stand the most strenuous scientific examination or in which the teachers themselves do not honestly believe. ... We cannot understand why the so-called Articles of Religion, which have been described. by one of the most learned and intellectually gifted of your churchmen as capable of being professed only by 'fools, bigots or liars,' are deliberately taught as divine truths in your schools. ... Russia is setting an example of intellectual and moral integrity to the whole world, while England is filling its temples with traders, persecuting its clergy, and bringing up children to be scoffers to whom religion means nothing but hypocrisy and humbug." (Herald-Tribune, April 7, 1930.)
Thus the Church enchains the Reason. The proudest boast today of the Church for its ex-Pagan Saint Augustine, is that: "as soon as a contradiction-[between his "philosophy" and his religious doctrines]-arises, he never hesitates to subordinate his philosophy to religion, reason to faith"! (Cath. Encyc. ii, 86.) So this great ex-Pagan Saint of the Church surrenders his reason to faith, and avers: "I would not believe the Gospels to be true, unless the authority of the Catholic Church constrained me"! (Augustine, De Genesi.)
Ingersoll, in one of his glowing, devastating periods of oratory, said: "Somebody ought to tell the truth about the Bible!" That I have already essayed quite comprehensively to do. In my recent work, Is It God's Word? (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, 1926, 2nd and 3rd Editions), I devote some five hundred pages to "An Exposition of the Fables and Mythology of the Bible and of the Impostures of Theology," as my thesis is defined in my sub-title. "A farrago of palpable nonsense," in the words of the Dean of American critics, is about all that remains of Holy Writ as the pretended "Word of God," as the result of that searching analysis.
That study was limited, in most part, to the sacred texts for the internal evidences, which themselves so abundantly afford, of their own falsity and primitive-minded fatuity. On the other phase of inquiry I there limited myself to the suggestive remark: "The gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their pretended dates" (p. 279; cf. p. 400), purposing then to complement the work by this sequel or companion volume, treating the frauds and forgeries of religion and the Church.
Taking up now more particularly the second phase of my subject, I here propose to treat of the inveterate forgeries, frauds, impostures, and mendacities of Priestcraft and its Theology. I shall be explicit and plain spoken, and unmistakably state my purpose and my proofs. For nearly two thousand years the priestcraft of Christendom, for purposes of domination by fear and greedy exploitation through imposture upon credulity, has consigned to earthly fire and sword, and to eternal damnation all who dared to dissent or to protest; the priestly word "miscreant," misbeliever, has become the synonym for everything foul and criminal in human nature. The day of reckoning and of repudiation is at hand; Priestcraft has here its destroying answer, in very plain and unafraid words.
This book is a grave indictment, impossible to be made or to be credited unless supported at every point by incontrovertible facts. These I promise to produce and array in due and devastating order.
I charge, and purpose to prove, from unimpeachable texts and historical records, and by authoritative clerical confessions, beyond the possibility of denial, evasion, or refutation:
As the Catholic-Protestant-Skeptic Bayle, of seventeenth century fame, said: "I am most truly a Protestant; for I protest indifferently against all systems and all sects" of religious imposture.
My accusal, therefore, is not limited in purpose, scope or effect to any one Church or sect, but is aimed alike at all of the discordant factions of ancient Jewish and more modern Christian faith. For, as has been well said, "Faith is not knowledge, no more than that three is four, but eminently contained in it; so that he that knows, believes, and something more; but he that believes many times does not know-nay, if he doth barely and merely believe, he doth never know." The same critical cleric at another place said: "Still less was it ever intended that men should so prostitute their reason, as to believe with infallible faith what they are unable to prove with infallible arguments." (Chillingworth, Religion of Protestants, pp. 66, 412.) With infallible facts I purpose to blast the false pretenses of Priest-forged Faith.
It is matter of fact, that for some 1500 years of this Era there was but one "True Church" of Christ; and that Church claims with conscious pride the origin and authorship of all the New Testament Books, out of its own Holy bosom, by its own canonized Saints. The New Testament Books are, therefore, distinctively Catholic documents. That Church, therefore,-if these its credentials and documents are forgeries,-as from its own records I shall prove-itself forged all the Books of the New Testament and all the documents of religious dogma and propaganda the forgery of which shall be proved in this book, and did itself perpetrate all the pious frauds herein revealed, and is their chief beneficiary. All the other Christian sects, however, are sprung or severed from the original One True Church;-"all other forms of the Christian religion . . . originated by secession from the True Church, ... and their founders ... were externally members of the Church." (CE. vii, 367.) All these Protestant sects, therefore, with full knowledge of the guilty facts and partakers in the frauds, found their claim to Divinity-and priestly emoluments-upon and through those tainted titles, and thus yet fully share the guilt as accomplices after the fact. The "Reformed" Sects, on breaking away from the old Monopoly of Forgery, appropriated the least clumsy and more plausible of the pious Counterfeit of Christianity, and for the centuries since have industriously and knowingly been engaged in passing the stolen counterfeit upon their own unsuspecting flocks; they are therefore equally guilty with the original Forgers of the Faith.
OUTLINE OF CASE AND PROOFS
The proofs of my indictment are marvelously easy. They are to be found in amplest record of history and accredited ecclesiastic authorities, and in abounding incautious admissions made by the Recredited spokesmen of the Accused: upon these I shall freely and fully draw for complete proofs of my every specification. These damning things of the Church, scattered through many clerical volumes and concealed in many archives, are not well known to the pious or preoccupied layman. My task is simply to bring together the documentary proofs and expose them before the astonished eves of the modern reader; that is the prime merit of my work. To accomplish this purpose with unimpeachable certitude, I need and make no apology for the liberal use of quotation marks in presenting the ensuing startling array of accusations and confessions; to be followed by the plenary proofs.
As in the judicial process, I shall, before proceeding to the concrete proofs, define first the crime charged, and outline the scope of the evidence to be presented. I shall first make a prima facie justification of the charges, by citing a few generalities of confession of guilt, with corroborations by weighty supporting authorities, and thus create the proper "atmosphere" for the appreciation of the facts. Then shall come the shaming proofs in astounding detail.
Forgery, in legal and moral sense, is the utterance or publication, with intent to deceive or defraud, or to gain some advantage, of a false document, put out by one person in the name of and as the genuine work of another, who did not execute it, or the subsequent alteration of a genuine document by one who did not execute the original. This species of falsification extends alike to all classes of writings, promissory notes, the coin or currency of the realm, to any legal or private document, or to a book. All are counterfeit or forged if not authentic and untampered.
A definition by a high ecclesiastical authority may appropriately be cited, as it thoroughly defines the chronic clerical crime. The Catholic Encyclopedia thus defines the crime:
"Forgery (Lat. falsum) differs very slightly from fraud. It consists in the deliberate untruthfulness of an assertion, or in the deceitful presentation of an object, and is based on an intention to deceive and to injure while using the externals of honesty. Forgery is truly a falsehood and is a fraud, but it is something more. ... A category consists in making use of such forgery, and is equivalent to forgery proper. ... The Canonical legislation [dealt principally with] the production of absolutely false documents and the alteration of authentic ... for the sake of certain advantages. ...
"Canon law connects forgery and the use of forged documents, on the presumption that he who would make use of such documents must be either the author or instigator of the forgery. In canon law forgery consists not only in the fabrication or substitution of an entirely false document, but even by partial substitution, or by any alteration affecting the sense and bearing of an authentic document or any substantial point, such as names, dates, signature, seal, favor granted, by erasure, by scratching out or writing one word over another, and the like."
(Catholic Encyclopedia, vi, 135, 136.)
Under every phase and phrase of this its own clerics legal definition, the Church is guilty,-is most guilty.
A "beginning of miracles" of confession of ecclesiastical guilt of forgery of Church documents is made in the same above article by the Encyclopedia,-very many others will follow in due course from the same source:
"Substitution of false documents and tampering with genuine ones was quite a trade in the Middle Ages. Innocent III (1198) points out nine species of forgery [of ecclesiastical records] which had come under his notice."
(CE. vi, 136.)
But such frauds of the Church were not confined to the Middle Ages; they begin even with the beginning of the Church and infest every period of its history for fifteen hundred years and defile nearly every document, both of "Scriptures" and of Church aggrandizement. As truly said by Collins, in his celebrated Discourse of Free Thinking:
"In short, these frauds are very common in all books which are published by priests or priestly men. ... For it is certain they may plead the authority of the Fathers for Forgery, Corruption and mangling of Authors, with more reason than for any of their Articles of Faith." (p. 96.)
Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, the great "Father of Church History" (324 A.D.) whom Niebuhr terms "a very dishonest writer,"-of which we shall see many notable instances,-says this: "But it is not our place to describe the sad misfortunes which finally came upon [the Christians], as we do not think it proper, moreover, to, record their divisions and unnatural conduct to each other before the persecution-[by Diocletian, 305 A.D.]. Wherefore we have decided to relate nothing concerning them except things in which we can vindicate the Divine judgment. ... But we shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity." (Ecclesiastical History, viii, 2; N&PNF. i, 323-324.)
Eusebius himself fraudulently "subscribed to the [Trinitarian] Creed formed by the Council of Nicea, but making no secret, in the letter which he wrote to his own Church, of the non-natural sense in which he accepted it." (Cath. Encyc. v, 619.) As St. Jerome says, "Eusebius is the most open champion of the Arian heresy," which denies the Trinity. (Jerome, Epist. 84, 2; N&PNF. vi, 176.) Bishop Eusebius, as we shall see, was one of the most prolific forgers and liars of his age of the Church, and a great romancer; in his hair-raising histories of the holy Martyrs, he assures us "that on some occasions the bodies of the martyrs who had been devoured by wild beasts, upon the beasts being strangled, were found alive in their stomachs, even after having been fully digested"! (quoted, Gibbon, History, Ch. 37; Lardner, iv, p. 91; Diegesis, p. 272). To such an extent had the "pious frauds of the theologians been thus early systematized and raised to the dignity of a regular doctrine," that Bishop Eusebius, "in one of the most learned and elaborate works that antiquity has left us, the Thirty-second Chapter of the Twelfth Book of his Evangelical Preparation, bears for its title this scandalous proposition: 'How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived'"-(quoting the Greek title; Gibbon, Vindication, p. 76).
St. John Chrysostom, the "'Golden Mouthed," in his work 'On the Priesthood,' has a curious panegyric on the clerical habit of telling lies-"Great is the force of deceit! provided it is not excited by a treacherous intention."' (Comm. on I Cor. ix, 19; Diegesis, p. 309.) Chrysostom was one of the Greek Fathers of the Church, concerning whom Dr. (later Cardinal) Newman thus apologetically spoke: "The Greek Fathers thought that, when there was a justa causa, an untruth need not be a lie. ... Now, as to the just cause, ... the Greek Fathers make them such as these self-defense, charity, zeal for God's honor, and the like." (Newman, Apology for His Life, Appendix G, p. 345-6.) He says nothing of his favorites, the Latin Fathers; but we shall hear them described, and amply see them at work lying in their zeal for God's honor, and to their own dishonor.
The Great Latin Father St. Jerome (c. 340-420), who made the celebrated Vulgate Version of the Bible, and wrote books of the most marvelous Saint-tales and martyr-yarns, thus describes the approved methods of Christian propaganda, of the Fathers, Greek and Latin alike, against the Pagans:
"To confute the opposer, now this argument is adduced and now that. One argues as one pleases, saying one thing while one means another. ... Origen, Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinaris write at great length against Celsus and Porphyry. Consider how subtle are the arguments, how insidious the engines with which they overthrow what the spirit of the devil has wrought. Sometimes, it is true, they are compelled to say not what they think but what is needful. ...
"I say nothing of the Latin authors, of Tertullian, Cyprian, Minutius, Victorianus, Lactantius, Hilary, lest I should appear not so much to be defending myself as to be assailing others. I will only mention the APOSTLE PAUL. ... He, then, if anyone, ought to be calumniated; we should speak thus to him: 'The proofs which you have used against the Jews and against other heretics bear a different meaning in their own contexts to that which they bear in your Epistles. We see passages taken captive by your pen and pressed into service to win you a victory, which in volumes from which they are taken have no controversial bearing at all ... the line so often adopted by strong men in controversy-of justifying the means by the result."
(Jerome, Epist. to Pammachus, xlviii, 13; N&PNF. vi, 72-73; See post, p. 230.)
Of Eusebius and the others he again says, that they "presume at the price of their soul to assert dogmatically whatever first comes into their head." (Jerome, Epist. li, 7; id. p. 88.) And again, of the incentive offered by the gullible ignorance of the Faithful, for the glib mendacities of the priests: "There is nothing so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common crowd or an uneducated congregation." (Epist. lii, 8; p. 93.) Father Jerome's own high regard for truth and his zeal in propaganda of fables for edification of the ignorant ex-pagan Christians is illustrated in numberless instances. He tells us of the river Ganges in India, which "has its source in Paradise"; that in India "are also mountains of gold, which however men cannot approach by reason of the griffins, dragons, and huge monsters which haunt them; for such are the guardians which avarice needs for its treasures." (Epist. cxxv, 6; N&PNF. vi, 245.) He reaches the climax in his famous Lives of sundry Saints. He relates with all fervor the marvelous experiences of the "blessed hermit Paulus," who was 113 years of age, and for sixty years had lived in a hole in the ground in the remotest recesses of the desert; his nearest neighbor was St. Anthony, who was only ninety and lived in another hole four days' journey away. The existence and whereabouts of Paulus being revealed to Anthony in a vision, he set out afoot to visit the holy Paulus. On the way, "all at once he beholds a creature of mingled shape, half horse half man, called by the poets Hippo-centaur," with whom be holds friendly converse. Later "he sees a mannikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goat's feet," this being one of the desert tribe "whom the Gentiles worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi," and whose strange, language Anthony was rejoiced to find that he could understand, as they reasoned together about the salvation of the Lord. "Let no one scruple to believe this incident," pleads Father Jerome'; "its truth is supported by" one of these creatures that, was captured and brought alive to Alexandria and sent embalmed to the emperor at Antioch. Finally holy Anthony reached the retreat of the blessed Paulus, and was welcomed. As they talked, a raven flew down and laid a whole loaf of bread at their feet. "See," said Paulus, "the Lord truly loving, truly merciful, has sent us a meal. For the last sixty years I have always received half a loaf; but at your coming the Lord has doubled his soldier's rations." During the visit Paulus died; Anthony "saw Paulus in robes of snowy white ascending on high among a band of angels, and the choirs of prophets and apostles." Anthony dragged the body out to bury it, but was without means to dig a grave; as he was lamenting this unhappy circumstance, "behold, two lions from the recesses of the desert with manes flying on their necks came rushing along; they came straight to the corpse of the blessed old man," fawned on it, roared in mourning, then with their paws dug a grave just wide and deep enough to hold the corpse; came over and licked the hands and feet of Anthony, and ambled away. (Jerome, Life of Paulus the First Hermit, N&PNF. vi, 299 seq.)
So gross and prevalent was the clerical habit of pious lies and pretenses "to the glory of God," that St. Augustine, about 395 A.D., wrote a reproving treatise to the Clergy, De Mendacio (On Lying), which he found necessary to supplement in 420 with another book, Contra Mendacium (Against Lying). This work, says Bishop Wordsworth, "is a protest against these 'pious frauds' which have brought discredit and damage on the cause of the Gospel, and have created prejudice against it, from the days of Augustine to our own times." (A Church History, iv, 93, 94.) While Augustine disapproves of downright lying even to trap heretics,-a practice seemingly much in vogue among the good Christians: "It is more pernicious for Catholics to lie that they may catch heretics, than for heretics to lie that they may not be found out by Catholics" (Against Lying, ch. 5; N&PNF. iii, 483); yet this Saint heartily approves and argues in support of the chronic clerical characteristics of suppressio veri, of suppression or concealment of the truth for the sake of Christian "edification," a device for the encouragement of credulity among the Faithful which has run riot through the centuries and flourishes today among the priests and the ignorant pious: "It is lawful, then, either to him that discourses, disputes, and preaches of things eternal, or to him that narrates or speaks of things temporal pertaining to edification of religion or piety, to conceal at fitting times whatever seems fit to be concealed; but to tell a lie is never lawful, therefore neither to conceal by telling a lie." (Augustine, On Lying, ch. 19; N&PNF. iii, 466.) The great Bishop did not, however, it seems, read his own code when it came to preaching unto edification, for in one of his own sermons he thus relates a very notable experience: "I was already Bishop of Hippo, when I went into Ethiopia with some servants of Christ there to preach the Gospel. In this country we saw many men and women without heads, who had two great eyes in their breasts; and in countries still more southly, we saw people who had but one eye in their foreheads." (Augustine, Sermon 37; quoted in Taylor, Syntagma, p. 52; Diegesis, p. 271; Doane, Bible Myths, p. 437.) To the mind's eye the wonderful spectacle is represented, as the great Saint preached the word of God to these acephalous faithful: we see the whole congregation of devout and intelligent Christians, without heads, watching attentively without eyes, listening intently without ears, and understanding perfectly without brains, the spirited and spiritual harangue of the eloquent and veracious St. Augustine. And every hearer of the Sermon in which he told about it, believed in ?firmness of faith and infantile credulity every word of the noble Bishop of Hippo, giving thanks to God that the words of life and salvation had been by him carried to so remarkable a tribe of God's curious children.
Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), in one momentary lapse in his own arduous labors of propagating "lies to the glory of God," made the pious gesture, "God does not need our lies"; but His Church evidently did, for the pious work went lyingly on; a work given immense impetus by His Holiness Gregory himself, in his mendacious Dialogues and other papal output,-with little abatement unto this day.
A further admission of the inveteracy of ecclesiastical forgery and fraud may be cited from the Catholic Encyclopedia. Speaking deprecatingly of the "incredible liberty of discussion" which to the shock and scandal of the pious prelates "prevailed in Rome under the spell of the Renaissance,"-when men's minds were beginning to awaken from the intellectual and moral stupor of the Dark Ages of Faith, the Catholic thesaurus of archaic superstition and "Catholic Truth," admits:
"This toleration of evil [sic; i.e.:-the free discussion of Church doctrines and documents]-bore one good consequence: it allowed historical criticism to begin fair. There was need for a revision which is not yet complete, ranging over all that has been handed down from the Middle Ages under the style and title of the Fathers, the Councils, the Roman and other official, archives. In all these departments forgery and interpolations as well as ignorance had wrought mischief on a great scale."
(CE. xii, 768.)
To these preliminary confessions of the guilty Church may be added the corroborating testimony of several eminently accredited historical authorities.
Middleton, in his epochal Free Inquiry into the lying habits and miracles of the Churchmen, says: "Many spurious books were forged in the earliest times of the Church, in the name of Christ and his apostles, which passed upon all the Fathers as genuine and divine through several successive ages." (Middleton, Free Inquiry, Int. Disc. p. xcii; London, 1749.)
The same author, whose book set England ringing with its exposures of the lies and fraudulent miracles of the Church, makes this acute and accurate summing up of his evidences:
"It will not appear strange to those who have given any attention to the history of mankind, which will always suggest this sad reflection: That the greatest zealots in religion, or the leaders of sects and parties, whatever purity or principles they pretend to have seldom scrupled to make use of a commodious lie for the advancement of what they call the truth. And with regard to these very Fathers, there is not one of them, as an eminent writer of ecclesiastical history declares, who made any scruple in those ages of using the hyperbolical style to advance the honor of God and the salvation of men."
(Free Inq. p. 83; citing Jo., Hist. Eccles. p. 681.)
Lecky, the distinguished author of the History of European Morals, devotes much research into what he describes as "the deliberate and apparently perfectly unscrupulous forgery, of a whole literature, destined to further the propagation either of Christianity as a whole, or of some particular class of tenets." (Lecky, Hist. of European Morals, vol. i, p. 375.)
In his very notable History of Rationalism speaking of that Christian "epoch when faith and facts did not cultivate an acquaintance," the same author, Lecky, thus describes the state of intellectual and moral obliquity into which the Church had forced even the ablest classes of society:
"During that gloomy period the only scholars in Europe were priest and monks, who conscientiously believed that no amount of falsehood was reprehensible which conduced to the edification of the people. ... All their writings, and more especially their histories, became tissues of the wildest fables, so grotesque and at the same time so audacious, that they were the wonder of succeeding ages, And the very men who scattered these fictions broadcast over Christendom, taught at the same time that credulity was a virtue and skepticism a crime."
In the same work last quoted, Lecky again, speaking of what he terms "the pious frauds of theologians," which, he shows were "systematized and raised to the dignity of a regular doctrine," says of the pious Fathers:
"The Fathers laid down as a distinct proposition that pious frauds were justifiable and even laudable, and if they had not laid this down they would nevertheless have practiced them as a necessary consequence of their doctrine of exclusive salvation. Immediately all ecclesiastical literature became tainted with a spirit of the most unblushing mendacity. Heathenism was to be combatted, and therefore prophecies of Christ by Orpheus and the Sibyls-were forged, lying wonders were multiplied. ... Heretics were to be convinced, and therefore interpolations of old writings or complete forgeries were habitually opposed to the forged Gospels. ... The tendency ... triumphed wherever the supreme importance of dogmas was held. Generation after generation it became more universal; it continued till the very sense of truth and the very love of truth seemed blotted out from the minds of men."
There is thus disclosed a very sharp and shaming contrast between the precept of the Lord Buddha: "Thou shalt not attempt, either by words or action, to lead others to believe that which is not true," and the confessed debasing principle of the Church, that the maintenance of its creed-(even by the methods of fraud, forgery and imposture above hinted and to be evidenced)-is superior to the principles of morality:
"To undo the creed is to undo the Church. The integrity of the rule of faith is more essential to the cohesion of a religious society than the strict practice of its moral precepts"!
(CE. vii, 259).
With its consciousness of the shifty and shady practices of its "sacred" profession, the Christian priestcraft differs not from the Pagan in the sneer of Cicero: "Cato mirari se aiebat, quod non rideret haruspex, cum haruspicem vidisset,-Cato used to wonder how one of our priests can forbear laughing when he sees another." (Quoted Opera, Ed. Gron., p. 3806.) We shall see all too well that the Pagan estimate holds good for the Christian; that, as said by the "universal scholar" Grotius: "Ecclesiastical history consists of nothing but the wickedness of the governing clergy,-Qui legit historiam Ecclesiasticam, quid legit nisi Episcoporum vicia?" (Epistolae, p. 7, col. 1).
The universality of the frauds and impostures of the Church, above barely hinted at, and the contaminating influence of such example, are by now sufficiently evident; they will be seen to taint and corrupt every phase of the Church and of the ecclesiastical propaganda of the Faith. As is well said by Middleton in commenting on these and like pious practices of the Holy Church: "And no man surely can doubt, but that those, who would either forge, or make use of forged books, would, in the same cause, and for the same ends, make use of forged miracles" (A Free Inquiry, Introd. Discourse, p. lxxxvii);-as well as of forged Gospels, Epistles, Creeds, Saint-tales-vast extensions of pious frauds of which we shall see a plethora of examples.
The proofs here to be arrayed for conviction are drawn from original sources, chiefly those inexhaustible mines of priestly perversions of fact and truth, the labored and ludicrous volumes of the "Fathers of the Church," and its most accredited modern American spokesman, the Catholic Encyclopedia. Hence it cannot be justly complained that this presentation of facts of Church history is unfair or untrue; all but every fact of secular and of Church history herein recounted to the shame and guilt of Holy Church is taken verbatim from the Church's own histories and historians. These clerical works of confession and confusion are for the most part three ponderous sets of volumes; they are readily accessible for verification of my recitals, and for further instances, in good libraries and bookshops; the libraries of the Union Theological Seminary and of Columbia University, in New York City, were the places of the finds here recorded. Cited so often, space will be saved for more valuable uses by citing by their initials,-which will become very familiar-my chief ecclesiastical authorities, to wit:
The Ante-Nicene Fathers, cited as ANF.;A Collection of the extant Writings of all the Founders of Christianity down to the Council of Nicaea, or Nice, in 325 A.D. American Reprint, eight volumes. The Christian Literature Publishing Co., Buffalo, N.Y., 1885.
The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, cited as N&PNF.; First and Second Series; many volumes; same publishers.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, cited as CE.; fifteen volumes and index, published under the Imprimatur of Archbishop Farley; New York, Robert Appleton Co., 1907-9.
The Encyclopedia Biblica, cited as EB., four volumes; Adam & Charles Black, London, 1899; American Reprint, The Macmillan Co., New York, 1914.
The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice, and to spare, to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion. We shall see.
RELIGIOUS LAWS OF OUTLAWRY
The land, the religious world, even today is ringing with the furious din of religious intolerance, bigotry and persecution; pestiferous medieval laws are imposed to stop the voice of Science teaching truths which impugn the ignorant myths of Bible and Theology. Tennessee and several States of the Union have passed laws making criminal the teaching of scientific facts which contradict "the story of the divine creation of man as taught in the Bible," and like Hillbilly legislation is sought in all the States. The True Church lays down this amazing limitation on learning: "When a clearly defined dogma contradicts a scientific assertion, the latter has to be revised,"! (CE. xiii, 607.) The civilized portion of the world has just been shocked at the potential judicial murder and outrage sanctioned by law in North Carolina, as likewise in a number of other States, making outlaws of honest persons who, as parties in interest or witnesses in actions civil and criminal, refuse to take the ridiculous and degrading Form of Oath "upon the Holy Evangelists of Almighty God, in token of his engagement to speak the truth, as he hopes to be saved in the way and method of salvation pointed out in that blessed volume, and in further token that, if he should swerve from the truth, he may be justly deprived of all the blessings of the Gospel, and be made liable to that vengeance which he has imprecated on his own head." (Consol. Stat. N.C., 1919, sec. 3189.)
Under this infamous statute, in the late so-called Gastonia, N.C. murder trial, the wife of one of the defendants, who had testified that her husband was not present and had no part in the shooting, was challenged as a witness and impeached, her testimony discredited, and her husband convicted for want of her evidently candid testimony: but true or not, the principle of infamy is the same-a citizen on trial for his liberty was refused the benefit of evidence under this damnable statute, and he and his wife made outlaws-refused "the equal protection of the law"! In Maryland, later in the same year 1929, a chicken-thief, caught in the act of robbery by the owner, was discharged in court because the owner of the property, a Freethinker, was not permitted under the infamous similar statute of that godly State to give testimony in court against the criminal: the case would have been the same, if the life or liberty of the Infidel citizen had been at stake,-he was an outlaw denied the "equal protection of the law"! The benighted State of Arkansas-("Now laugh!")-declares infamously in its Constitution: "No person who denies the being of a God shall hold any office in the civil government of this State, nor be competent to testify as a witness in any court"! (Const. Ark., Art. XIX, sec. 26.) Under this accursed act of outlawry, Charles Lee Smith, of New York City, a native of Arkansas, went to his home city of Little Rock in the Fall of 1928 to oppose the degrading proposition proposed as a law in a popular initiative election, forbidding the teaching of Evolution in the State-supported schools and universities; he made some remarks reflecting upon the personal integrity of the Almighty, as well as denying his existence; twice was he arrested, thrown into jail, convicted, and was denied the right to testify as a witness in his own behalf; he is today on bail to answer to the decision of the Supreme Court of that State, an outlaw, denied the "equal protection of the law" of the land! The hypocrisy and self-stultification imposed by such detestable laws, is finely illustrated: At the recent annual meeting of the American Law Institute, I denounced this Article to a leader of the Arkansas Bar, and appealed to him to "start something" to get rid of it. He shrugged his shoulders, smiled in sympathy, and said: "It is in the Constitution, and too difficult to get it out." Then, dropping into Spanish, so that others at the table might not understand, he added: "Yo no creo nada,-y no digo nada-I believe nothing-and I say nothing"! While these infamies are inflicted upon the citizens of this country by law imposed by a bigoted and ignorant minority of superstitious parsons and their docile dupes;-aye, even if imposed by an overwhelming majority, or by authentic decree of God himself,-the free and fearless defiers of Church and despisers of its Superstition will fight it on to the death, till every trace of these infamies is purged out of the statute books of these sovereign States! This is due and solemn notice and defiance to the intolerant religious oppressors and their deluded dupes.
Medieval laws against the fictitious crime of "Blasphemy" survive in a dozen American States, protecting by law the Christian superstition of the old Hebrew God. A model of them all is this infamous enactment of the Church-ridden Massachusetts: "Whoever wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost-[the whole Divine Family],-or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt or ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior." (Gen. Laws Mass., 1921; Chap. 272, sec. 36.) Expressed contempt is held in lighter pecuniary estimation in the Yankee "Nutmeg State," the fine being only $100.00, plus the year in gaol. (Gen. Stat. Conn., 1918, sec. 6395.) In both States, under these infamous laws, persons have been indicted, tried and convicted within the past two years! Throughout the Union are odious religious statutes, "Blue Laws" and Sunday Laws, penalizing innocuous diversions and activities of the people on days of religious Voodoo: Sunday, as we shall see, being a plagiarization from the religion of Mithras, and created a secular holiday-not a religious Holy Day-by law of the Pagan Constantine. Such laws sometimes prove troublesome to the pious Puritans themselves; an amusing instance of their boomerang effect being now chronicled to the annoyed and sneering world. Some "400" of the True Believers of the "Holy Name Society" of St. Peter's R.C, Church of New Brunswick, in the saintly State of New Jersey, including several City "Fathers" stuck their legs under the loaded tables of the local hostlery for a "Holy Communion Breakfast" the past Sunday; as they began to eat they discovered to their pious dismay that there was no bread on the tables, although the reservation had long before been made, with particular stress on a special brand of rolls, made only in the godless town of Newark. Consternation reigned, with much confusion and hurried telephoning by the management. In the midst of it came a 'phone call from the driver of the roll-delivery truck, from the local Hoosgow: "I've been arrested for the violation of section 316 of the Laws of 1798, which prohibits the delivery of bread and rolls on the Sabbath and also forbids a man to kiss his wife on that day"! Some of the sachems called the chief of police and angrily demanded that this holy law be violated by delivering the blessed rolls; the driver was arraigned before the Recorder, who "released him with a warning," and he consummated the violation by delivering the forbidden rolls to the angry Holy Namers. (Herald-Tribune, May 14, 1930.)
Now, throughout the State, and in far off Ohio, at the instigation of the parsons, these pestiferous pious laws are being forced into enforcement, headlined-"Blue Law Net Busy in Jersey," and recorded: "hundreds of names and addresses were in the possession of the police today because their owners played golf, tennis or radios, bought or sold gasoline, cigarettes or groceries, or operated trolley cars, busses or trains in this capital city (of Trenton) on the Sabbath," with much more of detail; and in the same column, a dispatch from Dover, Ohio, that the police used tear-gas bombs to dislodge the operator from the projection-box of a local "movie" theater, who, with the owner and four employees, was "arrested for violation of the Sunday closing law"! (N.Y. Sun, May 26, 1930.) And all this medieval absurdity of repressive penal legislation to enforce obsolete religious observance by disbelievers, in a land whose every constitution proclaims the complete separation of State and Church! But for the defiance of fearless heroes of Rationalism who have through the ages contended, and suffered martyrdom by rack and stake in defense of human liberty, rack and stake and fiendish torture would yet be the penalty, rather than fine and jail, for violators of the odious proscriptions of Church and Church-minded, Church-driven, politicians. To know fully the insidious and intensive efforts being made throughout our country by the dupes of priestcraft to undermine and destroy the liberties and rights of free men in the interest of canting religious Pharisaism, bent on rule and ruin, every true friend of freedom and enemy of the Church, should read intently and keep ever at hand for an arsenal of defense, Maynard Shipley's stirring book, The War on Modern Science; A Short History of the Fundamentalist Attacks on Evolution and Modernism-(Knopf, 1929),-which to rend doth "make the angry passions rise" in righteous wrath against these pious conspirators against American liberties and the innate rights of man. The Church, too, through the ages has been and yet nefariously is "in polities," seeking to dictate and dominate and impose its malign superstitions by law: witness the two last presidential campaigns, and the pernicious activities of the Methodist Board of Intolerance, Meddling and Public Nuisance, as now being revealed by the Lobbying Investigation Committee of the United States Senate, whereby it is shown seeking to ruborn and subordinate all to its intolerant superstitious dominance. In most European countries the True Church maintains its blatant "Catholic Party" in the elections and in the parliaments; here it operations are via the "grape-vine" route," but effective, as through the corrupt machinations of St. Tammany; while the Methodist Party and the Baptist Party, and their allies the Ku Klux Klan pursue the same evil ends through vocal frightening of cheap politicians and of large sections of the people and press. The very pious Editor of the Christian Herald has just published a book on "The Church in Politics," in which with cynical frankness he asserts its right and discloses its odious methods.
These odious things are all the work and blighting effects of the unholy 'Odium Theologicum' of Priestcraft, poisoning men's minds with the rancor of obsolete superstitious beliefs.
Remove the cause, the cure is automatically and quickly effected. To contribute to the speedier consummation of this supreme boon is the motive and justification of this book. It gives to the unctuous quack "Doctors of Divinity" a copious dose out of their own nauseous Pharmacopaeia of Priestly Mendacity. As it takes its deadly effect upon themselves, haply their "incurably religious" duped patients may begin to evidence hopeful symptoms of a wholesome, speedy and complete cure from their priest-made malady.
"Fraud," says Ingersoll, "is hateful to its victims." The compelling proofs of duplicitous fraud of priestcraft and Church exposed in this book must convince even the most credulous and devout Believer, that the system of "revealed religion" which he "drew in with his mother's milk" and has in innocent ignorance suffered in his system ever since, is simply a veneered Paganism, unrevealed and untrue; is a huge scheme of priestly imposture to exploit the credulous and to live in power and wealth at his expense. Luther hit the bull's-eye of the System-before he established another to pass the same old counterfeit: The Church exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of years. This is the sovereign remedy. Let him that hath ears to hear, hear; and govern himself accordingly. Every awakened Believer must feel outraged in his dignity and self-respect, and in disgust must repudiate the Creed and its impostors.
When a notorious Criminal is arraigned at the bar of Justice and put to trial for deeds of crime and shame, it is his crimes, his criminal career and record, which are the subject of inquiry ,-which are exposed and denounced-for conviction. No weight in attenuation is accorded to sundry sporadic instances-(if any)-between crimes or as cloaks for crime-of his canting piety and gestures of benevolence towards his victims, the dupes of his duplicity. Thus the Church and its Creed are here arraigned on their record of Crime,-"extenuating naught, naught setting down in malice";-simply exposing truly its own convicting record and confessions of its criminality, for condign judgment upon it.
Goliath of Gath was a very big Giant; but a small pebble, artfully slung, brought him to a sudden and violent collapse, a huge corpse. This TNT-bomb of a book, loaded with barbed facts, is flung full in facie ecclesiae-into the face of the Forgery-founded Church and all her discordant broods. The "gates of hell" will be exploded!
But yesteryear the Church of God in might
has stood against the world; now lies she here,
And none so poor to do her reverence!
New York City 780 Riverside Drive
June 1, 1930
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