It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
"Surely every human being ought to attain to the dignity of the unit. Surely it is worth while to be one, and to feel that the census of the universe would be incomplete without counting you. Surely there is grandeur in knowing that in the realm of thought you are without a chain; that you have the right to explore all heights and all depths; that there are no walls or fences, or prohibited places, or sacred corners in all the vast expanse of thought; that your intellect owes no allegiance to any being, human or divine; that you hold all in fee, and upon no condition, and by no tenure, whatsoever; that in the world of mind you are relieved from all personal dictation, and from the ignorant tyranny of majorities. Surely it is worth something to feel that there are no priests, no popes, no parties, no governments, no kings, no gods, to whom your intellect can be compelled to pay a reluctant homage. Surely it is a joy to know that all the cruel ingenuity of bigotry can devise no prison, no dungeon, no cell in which for one instant to confine a thought; that ideas cannot be dislocated by racks, nor crushed in iron boots, nor burned with fire. Surely it is sublime to think that the brain is a castle, and that within its curious bastions and winding halls the soul, in spite of all worlds and all beings, is the supreme sovereign of itself." - Robert G. Ingersoll
"He (Lincoln) was an avowed and open infidel, and sometimes bordered on Atheism...He went further against Christian beliefs and doctrines and principles than any man I ever heard." - John T. Stuart, Lincoln's first law partner
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma." - Joseph Lewis quoting Lincoln in a 1924 speech in New York
Robert Green Ingersoll is too little known today. Yet he was the foremost orator and political speechmaker of late 19th century America -- perhaps the best-known American of the post-Civil War era.
Between 1865 and 1899 Ingersoll crisscrossed the country on more than a dozen speaking tours. He would pack the largest theaters of the day at the then-substantial admission of $1 apiece. Ingersoll had numerous three- to four-hour lectures committed to memory. No human being had been seen and heard by more Americans - or would be until the advent of motion pictures, radio, and television. His subjects ranged from Shakespeare and Burns to religion, from political and moral issues to the lives of famous patriots and scientists. Among his best-known speeches were "The Gods," "Ghosts," "Humboldt," "Shakespeare," and "What Must We Do To Be Saved?"
Ingersoll was beloved by contemporary leaders in all walks of life. Among his admirers were president James Garfield, poet Walt Whitman, General Ulysses S. Grant, industrialist-philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, inventor Thomas Edison, and preacher Henry Ward Beecher. Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) was especially impressed by Ingersoll. After hearing Ingersoll speak, he wrote his wife Olivia Langdon Clemens: "What an organ is human speech when it is employed by a master!"
Love is the only bow on Life's dark cloud. It is the morning and the evening star. It shines upon the babe, and sheds its radiance on the quiet tomb. It is the mother of art, inspirer of poet, patriot and philosopher. It is the air and light of every heart -- builder of every home, kindler of every fire on every hearth. It was the first to dream of immortality. It fills the world with melody -- for music is the voice of love. Love is the magician, the enchanter, that changes worthless things to Joy, and makes royal kings and queens of common clay. It is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart, and without that sacred passion, that divine swoon, we are less than beasts; but with it, earth is heaven, and we are gods. - Robert Green Ingersoll
Unfortunately, Solomon's death was followed by the division of his empire, and Israel and Judah were formed. The power of the old kingdom waned rapidly and not long after, Jerusalem was attacked by an Egyptian pharaoh and the temple was looted and destroyed. Solomon's wealth disappeared, and with it vanished any evidence that might have solved the riddle of the origins of his gold. - Todd Frye
Knowledge of historical facts has been used as a screening device in many societies, from China to the United States, and the habit is still with us to some extent. Unfortunately, this use can encourage mindless memorization—a real but not very appealing aspect of the discipline. - Peter N. Stearns, American Historical Association