Thomas Paine, Reasoning the Enlightenment.
In the first few lines of his argument against the church and state, Thomas Paine writes: "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, Roman church, Greek church, Turkish church, Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church." Later, he writes; "The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, apostles and saints; and the Turks their Mahomet; as if the way to God was not open to every man alike." Although historians argue against this fact, one should recognize from these statements that Paine is not a Christian, but he does believe in God, and in fact believes in a connection through revelation with God.
When Paine opens up his third chapter with the statement that he does not mean to write in disrespect of Jesus Christ, it is obvious that he truly believes that the man, Jesus Christ, was a virtuous, moral, and benevolent man. This should not be interpreted as anything other than what Paine claims that he believes Jesus Christ to be a mortal man who is no different from Greek philosophers, or even a Quaker. As such, he should be taken at his word that he believes that churches of any faith are simply established to block an individual from pursuing a connection with God for him or herself. He even believes that everyone has the right to his or her own opinion.
He uses the Enlightened form of reasoning to carry his argument forward, making "rational" points about his determination. He first attacks the idea of immaculate conception and the resurrection of a dead body and the fallacy in purported witnesses watching it float through the air like a balloon as if flying to heaven. As he claims, the entirety of these ideas cannot fit into the new rationality which has exposed the scientific basis behind conception and the circulatory system, the system that carries within it the air and nutrients of life.