The truth is that the church has always — unconsciously,
perhaps — offered rewards for falsehood. It was founded upon the
supernatural, the miraculous, and it welcomed all statements
calculated to support the foundation. It rewarded the traveller who
found evidences of the miraculous, who had seen the pillar of salt
into which the wife of Lot had been changed, and the tracks of
Pharaoh’s chariots on the sands of the Red Sea. It heaped honors on
the historian who filled his pages with the absurd and impossible.
It had geologists and astronomers of its own who constructed the
earth and the constellations in accordance with the Bible. With
sword and flame it destroyed the brave and thoughtful men who told
the truth. It was the enemy of investigation and of reason. Faith
and fiction were in partnership.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Why I Am Agnostic”