I wasn't saying whatever they're saying I was saying. I'm sorry I said it really. I never meant it to be a lousy anti-religious thing. I apologize if that will make you happy. I still don't know quite what I've done. I've tried to tell you what I did do but if you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then OK, I'm sorry.
All my life I have made it a rule never to permit a religious man or woman take for granted that his or her religious beliefs deserved more consideration than non-religious beliefs or anti-religious ones. I never agree with that foolish statement that I ought to respect the views of others when I believe them to be wrong.
Some 'separation' zealots would expunge any vestige of religious observance in public schools. Many of the same anti-religious fanatics would like to wipe out of existence all church-related schools, by regulation or taxation, so that universal ignorance of the life of spirit should prevail.
A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.
You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principle enemy of moral progress in the world.