While rereading Thomas Paine's _Age of Reason_, I came across the
following passages I could swear Twain paraphrased almost word for
word. Can anyone readily point me to specific passages that sound
Of all the systems of religion that were ever invented,
there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more
aunedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more
contradictory initself, than this thing called
Christianity . . . The Bible represents God to be a
changeable, passionate, vindictive Being, making a
world and then drowning it, afterwards repenting of
what he had done, and promising not to do so again.
Setting one nation to cut the throats of another,
and stopping the course of the sun, till the
butchery should be done (197).
Paine, Thomas. The Age of Reason. Ed., Moncure Daniel Conway.
New York: Putnam, 1924.