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Lemuel K Washburn
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Lemuel K Washburn
Freethinker, aphorist

We do not say that another world is not worth a single thought, but rather that this world is worth all our thoughts, and needs them.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

No church has all the truth, and no school either. So-called religion merely shows where the search after truth ended. But truth is the infinite reality, and it will always be for man to find.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

No man ever yet tore down his altar and found a God behind it.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Every kiss of love imprinted by a mother's lips on the face of her babe gives the lie to the Christian doctrine of total depravity, and every gift which the heart of pity lays in the hand of misfortune brands this doctrine as false and a libel on our human nature.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

It is a waste of words to talk about God and what he knows and what he does. No man knows that God does anything, that God knows anything, or that there is a God.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Lots of men who would not associate with infidels for fear of contaminating their characters are not yet out of jail.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

When a minister says that God will help you, ask him to put up the collateral.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Where the cross has been planted only superstitions have grown.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

What a queer thing is Christian salvation! Believing in firemen will not save a burning house; believing in doctors will not make one well, but believing in a savior saves men. Fudge!
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Piety could do nothing better than imitate morality.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911), quoted from Ciaran Hanway, Omnipurpose Page

But it is neither as God nor as a man that Jesus must be regarded, but as a myth. No such person ever lived either as a human or divine existence. He is simply a creature of fancy, the fruit of the imagination. He is a character of the brain, the creation of religious genius.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

To build one house for man is better than to build a dozen houses to God.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

It rains on the just and the unjust, but rarely just enough on either.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

There is no authority that can be quoted against a man but the authority of some other man.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The truths which God revealed have been overthrown by the truths which man has discovered.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A man cannot be happy who believes in hell, any more than he can sweeten his coffee with a pickle.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

No creed can be stretched to the size of truth; no church can be made as large as man.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

If God exists, what objection can he have to saying so?,
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

We are told that all things are possible with God, and yet God cannot boil an egg in cold water.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

If the factory pays taxes and the church does not, it follows that the church will some day own the factory.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

God cannot be put into the national Constitution without putting liberty out of it.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

History shows that there is nothing so easy to enslave and nothing so hard to emancipate as ignorance, hence it becomes the double enemy of civilization. By its servility it is the prey of tyranny, and by its credulity it is the foe of enlightenment.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The cross everywhere is a dagger in the heart of liberty.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The more mystery is encouraged, the more deceit can impose upon the human mind.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

An organization that requires the suppression of facts and the discouragement of knowledge in order to maintain its supremacy, is the relic of a tyranny which our free age and our free thought are in duty bound to remove from the earth.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The churches erected in the name of God will ere long be tombstones to his, memory.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

What has God revealed to man that has ever helped him get a living?
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Take away every achievement of the world and leave man freedom, and the earth would again bloom with every glory of attainment; but take away liberty and everything useful and beautiful would vanish.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A miracle is not an explanation of what we cannot comprehend.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

There is greater argument in one fact than in all the creeds.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The doubter is the safe man; the man who can be depended upon. He does not build upon a foundation of guesswork, and the structure he erects will stand. Let us not fear doubt, but rather fear to have falsehood passed for truth.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Too long has this world been at the feet of the priest. Man is never in that position for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the priest.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

We should scorn the person who would be mean enough to allow his fellow-being to be punished for his deeds. Yet we have a religion in our midst that is founded on this kind of meanness.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A true man will not join anything that in any way abridges his freedom or robs him of his rights.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

It is plain enough that men and women care for God. This is too apparent to be disputed, unless men and women are hypocrites. What is not so plain is that God cares for men and women.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Prayer is a hook that never caught any fish. It is a gun that never brought down any game.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The feet of progress have always been shod by doubt.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

No man ever got an answer to prayer that he could show to another person.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The character of God would stand vastly higher in human estimation if he had visited the garden in which he had placed the first human pair and picked up the serpent and cast him over the garden wall before he had a chance to tempt Eve, instead of waiting until the mischief was done, and then cursing the whole lot for what he might so easily have prevented.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

If there were no ministers and no priests, how long would there be any churches?
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Unless some people change their habits before they die, there will be a lot of dirty angels in the next world, if there is any next world.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

It has been discovered that the man who was lost in thought was not a church member.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Religion is no more the parent of morality than an incubator is the mother of a chicken.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Hell is where cowards have sent heroes.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

When the church teaches that confession is good for the soul, it teaches false doctrine; it is only good for the church.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

If man had no knowledge except what he has got out of the Bible he would not know enough to make a shoe.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

We could believe in God if he shortened the road for the lame, led the blind or fed the starving.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A great many people who worship Jesus would not let him come at the back door.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

There is no sadder grief than that which lies at the bottom of a life that has been wrecked through deception.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A person has not much excuse for living who can make no better use of life than passing it in a nunnery.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Prayer is like a pump in an empty well, it makes lots of noise, but brings no water.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Laying up treasures in heaven never kept a man out of the poor-house.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Blessings on the man who first dared to doubt.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Trying to find God is a good deal like looking for money one has lost in a dream.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The power that conquers men to-day must be the power of enlightened opinion.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

If we do not need to worship God six days in the week why do we need to worship him on the seventh?
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

No man ever knew Providence to interpose when his neighbor's hens are scratching up his garden.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The people who boast the loudest of carrying their cross are never around when man cries for help.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The man who wants to be an angel is never in a hurry to begin.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

There is no justifiable Christianity in this age.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

God's name is not considered good at the banks.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Our duty to the God of Christianity is to bury him.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The measure of liberty which man enjoys determines the civilization of the age in which he lives.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Priest and God have formed some of the worst combinations in history.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A higher respect for man has been one of the chief promoters of civilization.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The dogma of the divinity of Jesus should have died on the cross, when the man of Nazareth gave up the ghost.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The doctrine of salvation by faith is a libel on justice and has done more to undermine the virtue of the world than vice itself.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The minister must take his pious grasp off of the throat of Sunday.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

People who rely most on God rely least on themselves.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A dogma is the hand of the dead on the throat of the living.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

We do not want holy books, but true ones; not sacred writings, but sensible writings.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The thirty-nine articles of orthodoxy are only the ashes of the mind.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A church that sets up a religious faith as more essential than purity, than kindness, charity or goodness, is a dangerous institution.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The money man gives to get him into heaven is what he ought to use to improve the earth.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911), quoted from Ciaran Hanway, Omnipurpose Page

If you can forgive the man who wronged you, the neighbor who slandered you and help the poor about you, you need not be particular about making any professions of righteousness.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The original sin was not in eating of the forbidden fruit, but in planting the tree that bore the fruit.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The egg of prayer never yet became a chicken.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Prayer is begging from a pauper.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

It takes the shingles from the widow's cottage to put paint on the house of God.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The church is a bank that is continually receiving deposits but never pays a dividend.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

You cannot stuff your minds with the lives of saints and grow good on the stuffing.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The church wants us to believe that God will go out of his way to strike a blasphemer and work a week to save the soul of a murderer.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

When religion comes in at the door common sense goes out at the window.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Christianity is like a slow clock -- always being moved ahead.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

If wisdom and diamonds grew on the same tree we could soon tell how much men loved wisdom.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Christianity is a black spot on the page of civilization.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

We must condemn Christianity, not Christians; strike the church, but spare the heart.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

When men are hungry roast mutton is better than the lamb that taketh away wrath.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Do not thank God for what man does.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The convent is opposed to all that is sacred in human nature.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

God never helps those who need the help of men and women.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The man who gets on his knees has not learned the right use of his legs.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The reason that revelation is always made to the simple is that the wise could not be imposed upon.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The person who can make a loaf of bread is more to the world than the person who could perform a miracle.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A great many men believe in providence until they get caught in a railroad accident.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

When Christian ministers stand up in their pulpits and say Let us pray, if they would sometimes vary the invitation and say: Let us laugh, they would do their congregations more good.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

People used to think that to mix religion with business spoiled the religion, now they think it spoils the business.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The foolish and cruel notion that a wife is to obey her husband has sent more women to the grave than to the courts for a divorce.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The man who accepts the faith of Calvin is miserable in proportion to the extent he carries it out.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

To depend upon God is like holding on to the tail-end of nothing.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

God has done nothing for men and women except to scare them out of their wits.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Civilization has come about by going to school more than to church.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Orthodoxy has put a false valuation on things. It calls a man good who goes to church, offers a prayer in public and accepts the Bible as the word of God; it calls a man bad who stays at home and enjoys himself with his family on Sunday, who eats without asking God to bless his food, and who does not expect to go to heaven on the vicarious railroad.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

It is necessary to distinguish between the virtue and the vice of obedience.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Whatever tends to prolong the existence of ignorance or to prevent the recognition of knowledge is dangerous to the well-being of the human race.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

The true man walks the earth as the stars walk the heavens, grandly obedient to those laws which are implanted in his nature.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Churches do not stand for moral influence. Not a Christian minister preaches salvation by good behavior. What a poor business Roman Catholicism would do among men if it advertised to save only those who were temperate, upright, intelligent and moral.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Priests will pardon thieves but not philosophers.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Nine times out of ten the man who declares that God is tender to the sparrow that falls is not the man to buy a winter's coal for a poor widow.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

A theologian is a person who uses the word God to hide his ignorance.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

Where are the sons of gods that loved the daughters of men?
Where are the nymphs, the goddesses of the winds and waters?
Where are the gnomes that lived inside the earth?
Where are the goblins that used to play tricks on mortals?
Where are the fairies that could blight or bless the human heart?
Where are the ghosts that haunted this globe?
Where are the witches that flew in and out of the homes of men?
Where is the devil that once roamed over the earth?
Where are they? Gone with the ignorance that believed in them.
-- Lemuel K Washburn, "Is The Bible Worth Reading?" and Other Essays (1911)

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