In his eulogy for Henry Thoreau in May 1862, Emerson quotes his friend as saying:
“Nothing is so much to be feared as fear. Atheism may comparatively be popular with God himself.”
This must have inspired FDR’s famous line, as well as whole generations of heretics!
As I often say, so much faith is fear-based (fear of disappointing or angering God, fear of punishment, fear of death, etc). If a person can let go of these fears, and accept that if there is a God, that divinity is more pleased by those who fearlessly do not believe than by the fearfully faithful, there can be a great feeling of relief.
Maybe we could call that “Secular Salvation.”
What does Thoreau’s quote mean to you?