Edited to conform to my belief system
"When I became convinced after a lifetime of soul-searching and truth-seeking, as to the accuracy of my beliefs, that most all the myths are in fact myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison came tumbling down -- and fell hard, the dungeon was flooded with bright light, and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust.
I was free -- free to think, to express my thoughts - free to live my own ideal within the framework of the Torah I loved - free to live for myself, for the benefit of humankind, and those I loved -- free to use all my faculties, and my senses -- free to spread imagination's wings -- free to investigate, to guess, to dream, to hope -- free to judge and determine for myself -- free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds from "religious" crackpots, all the "inspired" books that ignoramuses have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past -- free from corrupt and evil clergy and their delusions -- free from all the "called" and "set apart" -- free from the sanctified mistakes and holy lies ---free from the fear of contrived eternal pain -- free from the monsters in clergy garb who claim some divine power -- free from human devils and the like.
For the first time I was free.
There were no prohibited places in the realm of thought - no air - no space - where a delirious clergyman can penetrate -- no chains for my limbs -- no lashes for my back --no fires for my flesh -- no following another's misguided step - no need to bow -- to kiss hands -- to partake in holy frauds -- nor cringe nor crawl or utter lying words.
I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly and joyously faced all the worlds.
And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain -- to all the wise, the good, the brave, of every time and land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of mankind.
And I vowed to grasp the torch (shraga) that they held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still."
Robert G. Ingersoll (1833-1899)