"If there is a God who will damn his children forever, I would rather go to
hell than to go to heaven and keep the society of such an infamous tyrant.
I make my choice now. I despise that doctrine. It has covered the cheeks of
this world with tears. It has polluted the hearts of children, and poisoned
the imaginations of men. It has been a constant pain, a perpetual terror to
every good man and woman and child. It has filled the good with horror and
with fear; but it has had no effect upon the infamous and base. It has wrung
the hearts of the tender, it has furrowed the cheeks of the good. This
doctrine never should be preached again. What right have you, sir, Mr.
clergyman, you, minister of the gospel to stand at the portals of the tomb,
at the vestibule of eternity, and fill the future with horror and with fear?
I do not believe this doctrine, neither do you. If you did, you could not
sleep one moment. Any man who believes it, and has within his breast a decent,
throbbing heart, will go insane. A man who believes that doctrine and does
not go insane has the heart of a snake and the conscience of a hyena."
[Robert G. Ingersoll, "The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child", 1877]