The Experience of all my Life has proved to me, that the Memory of Malice is faithfull, and more, it continually adds to its Stock; while that of Kindness and Friendship is not only frail but treacherous.
John Adams, from his autobiography, begun in 1802
The Church of Rome has made it an Article of Faith that no man can be saved out of their Church, and all other religious Sects approach to this dreadfull opinion in proportion to their Ignorance, and the Influence of ignorant or wicked Priests.
John Adams, from his diary, February 16, 1756
The National Fast, recommended by me turned me out of office. It was connected with the general assembly of the Presbyterian Church, which I had no concern in. That assembly has allarmed and alienated Quakers, Anabaptists, Mennonists, Moravians, Swedenbogians, Methodists, Catholicks, protestant Episcopalians, Arians, Socinians, Armenians, & & &, Atheists and Deists might be added. A general Suspicion prevailed that the Presbyterian Church was ambitious and aimed at an Establishment of a National Church. I was represented as a Presbyterian and at the head of this political and ecclesiastical project. The secret whisper ran through them “Let us have Jefferson, Madison, Burr, any body, whether they be Philosophers, Deists, or even Atheists, rather than a Presbyterian President.” This principle is at the bottom of the unpopularity of national Fasts and Thanksgivings. Nothing is more dreaded than the National Government meddling with Religion.
John Adams, letter to Benjamin Rush, June 12, 1812
There is in human Nature a solid, unchangeable and eternal Foundation of Religion. There is also a germ of superstition, seemingly a fungous growth or a spurious sprout, which the grossest Blockheads and most atrocious Villains are able to cultivate into Systems and Sects to deceive millions and cheat and pillage hundreds and thousands of their fellow Creatures.
John Adams, letter to John Quincy Adams, May 10, 1816
That humans have an innate tendency to believe in a religion is something I can believe. I just personally think it’s part of the superstition, which is much more than a germ.
The Bible itself has not authority sufficient in these days to reconcile negro slavery to reason, justice & humanity. … I shudder when I think of the calamities which slavery is likely to produce in this country. You would think me mad if I were to describe my anticipations. If the gangrene is not stopped, I can see nothing but insurrections of the blacks against the whites and massacres by the whites in their turn of the blacks.
John Adams, letter to Louisa Catherine Adams, January 13, 1820
The poor people, it is true, have been much less successful than the great. They have seldom found either leisure or opportunity to form an union and exert their strength - ignorant as they were of arts and letters, they have seldom been able to frame and support a regular opposition. This, however, has been known, by the great, to be the temper of mankind, and they have accordingly laboured, in all ages, to wrest from the populace, as they are contemptuously called, the knowledge of their rights and wrongs, and the power to assert the former or redress the latter.
John Adams, A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law No. 1, August 12, 1765
And the great (the rich) in Michigan, named DeVos, labour against labor to this day. Unions exist to protect workers and their rights. The existence of a union does not mean you have thugs.
The human mind contracts habits of thinking from the Example of the Gouvernment. Accustomed to look up to a few as all in an Aristocracy, they imitate the same practice in private Life, and in common Things. Accustomed in monarchies to look up to one Man in great Affairs, they contract a similar disposition in little ones.
In the same manner in Democracies We contract an habit of deciding every Thing by a Majority of Votes. We put it to vote whether the Company will sing a Song or tell a Story. In an Aristocracy they ask 2 or 3 of the better Sort. In a Monarchy they ask the Lady or the Gentleman, in whose honour the feast was made.
John Adams, from his diary, March 9, 1783
It is now become a Maxim with some, who are even Men of Merit, that the World esteems a Man in Proportion as he esteems himself, and are generally disposed to allow him, to be what he pretends to be.
John Adams, letter to James Warren, December 2, 1778
The following Question may be answered some time or other - viz. Where do we find a precept in the Gospell, requiring Ecclesiastical Synods, Convocations, Councils, Decrees, Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Subscriptions and whole Cartloads of other trumpery, that we find Religion incumbered with in these Days?
John Adams, from his diary, February 18, 1756