Nothing gives me greater joy than to know that this belief in
eternal pain is growing weaker every day — that thousands of
ministers are ashamed of it. It gives me joy to know that
Christians are becoming merciful, so merciful that the fires of
hell are burning low — flickering, choked with ashes, destined in
a few years to die out forever.
For centuries Christendom was a madhouse. Popes, cardinals,
bishops, priests, monks and heretics were all insane.
Only a few — four or five in a century were sound in heart
and brain. Only a few, in spite of the roar and din, in spite of
the savage cries, heard reason’s voice. Only a few in the wild rage
of ignorance, fear and zeal preserved the perfect calm that wisdom
We have advanced. In a few years the Christians will become —
let us hope — humane and sensible enough to deny the dogma that
fills the endless years with pain. They ought to know now that this
dogma is utterly inconsistent with the wisdom, the justice, the
goodness of their God. They ought to know that their belief in
hell, gives to the Holy Ghost — the Dove — the beak of a vulture,
and fills the mouth of the Lamb of God with the fangs of a viper.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Why I Am An Agnostic”