John Adams quote re. non-divine origin of United States government

In his, "A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America" [1787-1788], 

John Adams wrote: 

"The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature; and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the influence of Heaven, more than those at work upon ships or houses, or laboring in merchandise or agriculture; it will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. 

". . . Thirteen governments [of the original states] thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, and which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favor of the rights of mankind." 

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Comment by Michael Penn on May 22, 2014 at 6:36pm

My first time reading it, but such a wonderful quote by John Adams. Now watch someone come along again and claim that all of our founding fathers were theists. I'm sick of it.

Comment by Larry Taylor on May 19, 2014 at 9:32pm
Not to throw cold water, but I have seen this quote many times. And a well read xtian will usually finish the quote.
"The experiment is made, and has completely succeeded: it can no longer be called in question, whether authority in magistrates, and obedience of citizens, can be grounded on reason, morality, and the Christian religion, without the monkery of priests, or the knavery of politicians. As the writer was personally acquainted with most of the gentlemen in each of the states, who had the principal share in the first draughts, the following letters were really written to lay before the gentleman to whom they are addressed, a specimen of that kind of reading and reasoning which produced the American constitutions."
Comment by kathy: ky on May 18, 2014 at 3:48pm
Excellent, John, Excellent.
Comment by Loren Miller on May 18, 2014 at 9:34am

I had seen this quote before, but I agree that it deserves a further and wider airing.  This is a portion of US history which is barely covered, if it is covered at all, which leaves room for those who want to promote the idea that the US is a christian nation to push their agendas.

We need to slam the door in their faces, and this quote and others like it are the means to that end.

Comment by Idaho Spud on May 18, 2014 at 7:55am

Thanks for that quote John.

Comment by Randall Smith on May 18, 2014 at 7:43am

I was unaware of this particular Adams quote. His "Treaty of Tripoli" quote is widely known among atheists, however.



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