Has a man the right to examine, to investigate, the religion
of his own country — the religion of his father and mother?
Christians admit that the citizens of all countries not Christian
have not only this right, but that it is their solemn duty.
Thousands of missionaries are sent to heathen countries to persuade
the believers in other religions not only to examine their
superstitions, but to renounce them, and to adopt those of the
missionaries. It is the duty of a heathen to disregard the religion
of his country and to hold in contempt the creed of his father and
of his mother. If the citizens of heathen nations have the right to
examine the foundations of their religion, it would seem that the
citizens of Christian nations have the same right. Christians,
however, go further than this; they say to the heathen: You must
examine your religion, and not only so, but you must reject it;
and, unless you do reject it, and, in addition to such rejection,
adopt ours, you will be eternally damned. Then these same
Christians say to the inhabitants of a Christian country: You must
not examine; you must not investigate; but whether you examine or
not, you must believe, or you will be eternally damned.
Robert Green Ingersoll – “Why I Am Agnostic”