Yet there is no religion except the practice of morality. But what most call religion is simply superstition. Religion as it is now taught teaches our duties toward God – our obligations to the Infinite, and the results of a failure to discharge those obligations. I believe that we are under no obligations to the Infinite; that we cannot be. All our obligations are to each other, and to sentient beings. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,” has nothing to do with morality. “Do unto other as ye would that others should do unto you” has nothing to do with believing in the Lord Jesus Christ. Baptism has nothing to do with morality. “Pay your honest debts.” That has nothing to do with baptism. What is called religion is simple superstition, with which morality has nothing to do.
The churches do not prevent people from committing natural offenses, but restrain them from committing artificial ones. As for instance, the Catholic Church can prevent one of its members from eating meat on Friday, but not from whipping his wife. The Episcopal Church can prevent dancing, it may be, in Lent, but not slander. The Presbyterian can keep a man from working on Sunday, but not from practicing deceit on Monday. And so I might go through the churches. They lay the greater stress upon the artificial offenses. Those countries that are the most religious are the most immoral. When the world was under the control of the Catholic Church, it reached the very pit of immorality, and nations have advanced in morals just in proportion that they have lost Christianity.