As Non-Theists, what does the Fourth of July mean to us?

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Was the "Declaration Of Independence"...."The Fourth of July"....something special for Non-Theists as well as Theists? Were the people who were declaring independence from England, declaring it on Human Rights or because they were religious?
This 4th let's do 2 things: first off appreciate that we live in a free country with a great constitution when there are people around the world and in Iran being killing for simply speaking their mind or having their own thoughts; 2nd, let's appreciate our founding ideals of the separation of church and state. A reason why we are free is because of the 1st amendment.

And you wouldn't find religious among the greatest of the founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Thomas Paine, John Adams and the likes. They were vehemently against religion and Christianity.

Sassan, is what you just said, a fact, that can be traced to some specific words by Thomas Jefferson and the others, or is, what was written by these few men, not really clear, whether they were "religious" or not? Christians seem to think there is enough written prove that they were christians!
It means that we can figure out a pretty good rationale for killing the myrmidons of our oppressors and the oppressors themselves, if we can drag them from their gated communities.
Joe, you look like Steven Colbert in that picture. Of course I can provide you quotes galore. I will start off with Thomas Jefferson:


“And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”

—Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823


"Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites"

–Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.


"I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature."
-Thomas Jefferson


"History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. "

-Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813


"The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves...these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ."

-Thomas Jefferson


"Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus."

-Thomas Jefferson


"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

-Thomas Jefferson


“One man with courage is a majority.”

-Thomas Jefferson




Sassan, is that good, that I look like Steven Colbert, or bad, ha,ha! Either way, thank you. Thank you soooo much, for sharing those "specific" words. From time to time, I have looked up those people too, to read for myself, what they really believed after all. I used to get into very serious, heavy discussions with my "christian friends" about this but of course, they would never agree with me. I lost their friendship but I didn't compromise my stand on the subject. I think someone soon, should write a new book, about ALL the things that were written by Thomas Jefferson and the others, to get it out "in the open" once and for all. Maybe someone like a Sam Harris or a Richard Dawkins maybe???
Christopher Hitchens' wrote an in-depth book about Thomas Jefferson titled appropriately "Thomas Jefferson: Author of America"
oh and it was a good thing :)

Its just 3 days after Canada Day.


Being Irish, it means the day after July 3rd.

Oh, and Will Smith and Aliens.

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."
-Benjamin Franklin


"I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies."
-Benjamin Franklin, in Toward The Mystery


"The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason."
-Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard, 1758


"Think how great a proportion of Mankind consists of weak and ignorant Men and Women, and of inexperienc'd Youth of both Sexes, who have need of the Motives of Religion to restrain them from Vice, to support their Virtue, and retain them in the Practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great Point for its Security."
-Benjamin Franklin, 1757, in Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987, p. 61


"None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing."
-Benjamin Franklin


"Revealed religion has no weight with me."
-Benjamin Franklin


"Improvement in religion is called building up and edification. Faith is then the ground floor, hope is up one pair of stairs. My dear beloved Jenny, don't delight so much to dwell in those lower rooms, but get as fast as you can into the garret; for in truth the best room in the house is charity. For my part I wish the house was turned upside down"
-Benjamin Franklin, 1758, to his sister, Mrs. Jane Mecom, Works, Vol. VII., p. 184


"Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people quarrel about victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them."
-Benjamin Franklin, quoted by Joseph Lewis in "Benjamin Franklin - Freethinker"


"It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin's general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers"
-Priestley's Autobiography, p. 60, on Benjamin Franklin


"If belief in the miraculous revelation of the Old Testament and the New is required to make a man religious, then Franklin had no religion at all. It would be an insult to say that he believed in the popular theology of his time, or of ours, for. I find not a line from his pen indicating any such belief."
-Theodore Parker


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