"Nobody can deny but religion is a comfort to the distressed, a cordial to the sick, and sometimes a restraint on the wicked; therefore whoever would argue or laugh it out of the world without giving some equivalent for it ought to be treated as a common enemy."
"What we are told of the inhabitants of Brazil, that they never die but of old age, is attributed to the tranquility and serenity of their climate; I rather attribute it to the tranquility and serenity of their souls, which are free from all passion, thought, or any absorbing and unpleasant labors. Those people spend their lives in an admirable simplicity and ignorance, without letters, without law, without king, without any manner of religion."
"Sometime after the Enlightenment, science and religion came to a gentleman's agreement. Science was for the real world: machines, manufactured things, medicines, guns, moon rockets. Religion was for everything else, the immeasurable: morals, sacraments, poetry, insanity, death, and some residual forms of politics and statesmanship. Religion became, in both senses of the word, immaterial. Science and religion were apples and or anges. So the pact said: render unto apples the things that are Caesar's, and unto oranges the things that are God's. Just as the Maya kept two calendars, one profane and one priestly, so Western science and religion fell into two different conceptions of the universe, two different vocabularies."
"Where is there such an one who has not a thousand times been struck with a sort of infidel idea, that whatever other worlds God may be Lord of, he is not the Lord of this; for else this world would seem to give the lie to Him; so utterly repugnant seem its ways to the instinctively known ways of Heaven."
"The Civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner, or on any pretext, be infringed."
"[Religious establishment] is adverse to the diffusion of the light of Christianity ... [because] with an ignoble and unchristian timidity it would [be] circumscribed, with a wall of defence, against the encroachments of error."