"When the Old Testament God saw him quietly in his grave he was satisfied. The muscles relaxed, and the frown gave place to a smile. But in the New Testament the trouble commences at death. In the New Testament, God is to wreak his revenge forever and ever. It was reserved for the one who said, "Love thine enemies" to tear asunder the veil between time and eternity and fix the horrified gaze of man upon the gulfs of eternal fire."

Thomas Paine – (1737-1809) Author, Humanitarian, Revolutionary

"The God of hell should be held in loathing, contempt and scorn. A God who threatens eternal pain should be hated , not loved; cursed, not worshipped. A heaven presided over by such a God must be below the meanest hell."

Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1889) – Author, Orator, Humanitarian.

"The Old Testament filled this world with tyranny and injustice, and the New gives us a future filled with pain for nearly all of the sons of men. The Old Testament describes the hell of the past, and the New the hell of the future."

Robert G. Ingersoll – Soldier, Patriot, Governor of Illinois

"The hideous doctrine of eternal torment after death has probably caused more terror and misery, more cruelty and more violation of natural human sympathy, than any religious belief in the history of mankind. Yet this doctrine was unambiguously taught by Jesus. "The Son of Man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matt 14): "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire." (Matt 25).

Margaret Knight – Lecturer, Aberdeen University

"Let me tell you that religion is the cruelest fraud ever perpetrated upon the human race. It is the last of the great schemes of thievery that man must legally prohibit so as to protect himself from the charlatans who prey upon the ignorance and fears of the people."

Joseph Lewis – 1889-1968, American freethinker

"People in general do not know what wickedness there is in this pretended Word of God. Brought up in habits of superstition, they take it for granted that the Bible is true, and that it is good... Good heavens! it is quite another thing; it is a book of lies wickedness and blasphemy; for what can be a greater blasphemy than to ascribe the wickedness of man to the orders of the Almighty?"

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) – 'The Age of Reason' – Citadel Press

"Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalise mankind; and for my part, I sincerely detest it as I detest everything that is cruel."

Thomas Paine – Co-founder of American Democracy

"No other religion has such a bloodstained record as Christianity. During the ages of faith the Church argued, not illogically, that any degree of cruelty towards sinners and heretics was justified, if there was a chance that it could save them, or others, from the eternal torments of hell. Thus, in the name of the religion of love, large numbers of people were not merely killed but atrociously tortured in ways that make the gas chambers of Belsen seem humane."

Margaret Knight – Lecturer, Aberdeen University