Inverse Relations

"The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."

¬ Abu Ala Al-Maarri

The meaning of religious freedom, I fear, is sometimes greatly misapprehended. It is taken to be a sort of immunity, not merely from governmental control but also from public opinion. A dunderhead gets himself a long-tailed coat, rises behind the sacred desk, and emits such bilge as would gag a Hottentot. Is it to pass unchallenged? If so, then what we have is not religious freedom at all, but the most intolerable and outrageous variety of religious despotism. Any fool, once he is admitted to holy orders, becomes infallible. Any half-wit, by the simple device of ascribing his delusions to revelation, takes on an authority that is denied to all the rest of us.

¬ H.L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun on September 14, 1925. Mencken's reporting of the Scopes Trial:

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