Atheistic quotes

Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

― Infinity0, on DalNet’s #atheism

When the philosopher’s argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense.

― Edward Abbey in Voice Crying in the Wilderness

The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages—as if the savages weren’t dangerous enough already.

― Edward Abbey

Fantastic doctrines (like Christianity or Islam or Marxism) require unanimity of belief. One dissenter casts doubt on the creed of millions. Thus the fear and hate; thus the torture chamber, the iron stake, the gallows, the labor camp, the psychiatric ward.

― Edward Abbey

Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination.

― Edward Abbey

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

― Abu’l‐Ala al Ma’arri

Who made who?


Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That unalterable rule applies both to God and man.

― John Emerich Edward Dalberg‐Acton (Lord Acton) in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 5,1887

Thought is one of the manifestations of human energy, and among the earlier and simpler phases of thought, two stand conspicuous—Fear and Greed. Fear, which, by stimulating the imagination, creates a belief in an invisible world, and ultimately develops a priesthood; and Greed, which dissipates energy in war and trade.

― Brooks Adams (1848‐1927), The Law of Civilization and Decay

The power of the priesthood lies in the submission to a creed. In their onslaughts on rebellion they have exhausted human torments; nor, in their lust for earthly dominion, have they felt remorse, but rather joy, when slaying Christ’s enemies and their own.

― Brooks Adams, The Emancipation of Massachusetts

If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!

― Clark Adams

Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

― Douglas Adams

I refuse to prove that I exist says God, for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing.Oh, says man, but the Babel Fish is a dead give‐away, isn’t it? It proves You exist, and so therefore You don’t. Q.E.D. Oh, I hadn’t thought of that. says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

― Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Walking on water is easy. It is what we do for a living. You just have to know where the rocks are. Step from rock to rock, and those on the shore will think you are performing a miracle.

― advice from professional prophets

A spokesman for the Lyon Group, producers of Barney and Friends, denied that Barney is an instrument of Satan.

― the Advocate, spring 1994

Most of us spend the first 6 days of each week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.

― Fred Allen

Religions change; beer and wine remain

― Harvey Allen

God wanted to have a holiday, so He asked St. Peter for suggestions on where to go.

Why not go to Jupiter? asked St. Peter.

No, too much gravity, too much stomping around, said God.

Well, how about Mercury?

No, it’s too hot there.

Okay, said St. Peter, What about Earth?

No, said God, They’re such horrible gossips. When I was there 2000 years ago, I had an affair with a Jewish woman, and they’re still talking about it.

Had I been present at the creation of the world, I would have proposed some improvements.

― Alfonso X (Alfonso the Wise; 1226‐1284; King of Castile)

Sensible men no longer belive in miracles; they were invented by priests to humbug the peasants.

― King Alfonso

…And no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers. No matter how assured we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions. This is true in religion as it is in politics, and is self‐evident to all except fanatics and the naive. As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be advised to leave them to heaven. They will not, unfortunately, do us the same courtesy. They attack us and each other, and whatever their protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword. My own belief in God, then, is just that—a matter of belief, not knowledge. My respect for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth. But even well‐educated Christians are frustated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure of Jesus because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record. Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it. Some Christians, alas, resort to formal lying to obscure such reality.

― Steve Allen

As I argued in Beloved Son, a book about my son Brian and the subject of religious communes and cults, one result of proper early instruction in the methods of rational thought will be to make sudden mindless conversions—to anything—less likely. Brian now realizes this and has, after eleven years, left the sect he was associated with. The problem is that once the untrained mind has made a formal commitment to a religious philosophy—and it does not matter whether that philosophy is generally reasonable and high‐minded or utterly bizarre and irrational—the powers of reason are suprisingly ineffective in changing the believer’s mind.

― Steve Allen

If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank.

― Woody Allen

Not only is God dead, but just try to find a plumber on weekends.

― Woody Allen

To YOU I’m an atheist; to God, I’m the Loyal Opposition.

― Woody Allen

As the poet said, Only God can make a tree—probably because it’s so hard to figure out how to get the bark on.

― Woody Allen

How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?

― Woody Allen

If it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever.

― Woody Allen

We face the nineties with a Court that relegates First Amendment rights to the level of any law, a Justice Department quite willing to establish first and second class citizenship determined by religious belief…a Christian arrogance and exclusivism reminiscent of earlier centures of religious persecution.

― Robert S. Alley, in Christian Exclusivism and Second‐Class Citizenship Free Inquiry

Imagine encouraging [a child] to participate in such twisted rituals and worshiping of tortuous crucifixes and such like this from birth. No wonder we have so many hateful and sadistic people in our society.

― Brent Allsop

Immaculate deceptions going on every day, still you follow the clowns who give the circus away.

― The Almighty

I acted alone on God’s orders.

― Yigal Amir, assassin of Yitzak Rabin

Father says bow your head,

Like the Good Book says.

I think the Good Book is

missing some pages…

― Tori Amos

This whole Christian theology thing is that god came down to experience life through his son. Well, how’s he experiencing life if he doesn’t get laid? Give me a break. And why would he not get laid, as he created the apparatus in the first place?

― Tori Amos

I got enough guilt to start my own religion

― Tori Amos

Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god but a great rock and the sun a hot rock.

― Anaxagorus, ca. 475 BC

No, no, no—you don’t argue with concepts. You have to claim Dogma, and therefore leave no room for rational thought.

― Kevin J. Anderson, Flashback

People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to live at all. I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God’s will, but as human being become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of respectability at a commensurate speed.

― Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, p. 101

Every man thinks God is on his side. The rich and powerful know he is.

― Jean Anouilh

Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on.

― Anonymous

There are ten church members by inheritance for every one by conviction.

― Anonymous

If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we’re going?

― Anonymous

A good rule for interpretation is: If the literal sense makes good sense, seek no other sense lest you come up with nonsense.

― Anonymous

Since the Bible and the church are obviously mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust them to tell us where we are going?

― Anonymous

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

― Susan B. Anthony

I tell them I have worked 40 years to make the W.S. platform broad enough for Atheists and Agnostics to stand upon, and now if need be I will fight the next 40 to keep it Catholic enough to permit the straightest Orthodox religionist to speak or pray and count her beads upon.

― Susan B. Anthony, on the Women’s Suffrage platform

What you should say to outsiders that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it

― Susan B. Anthony, in Susan B. Anthony: a Biography

To no form of religion is woman indebted for one impulse of freedom…

― Susan B. Anthony

Stating the The Constitution guarantess that government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religious exercises, the court held the First Amendment is violated by including clerical members who offer prayer as part of an official school graduation ceremony, even though attendance was supposedly voluntary. The court concluding that attendance was in a real sense obligatory with the students indiced to conform.

― Lee v. Weisman (1992, U S) 120 L Ed 2d 467, 112 S Ct 2649, from the 1996 pocket part for the book Modern Constitutional Law, Vol. I: The Individual And The Government, by Chester J. Antieau

…our constitutional tradition, from the Declaration of Independence and the first inaugural address of Washington… down to the present day, has, with a few aberrations, see Church of Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226 (1892), ruled out of order government‐sponsored endorsement of religion—even when no legal coercion is present, and indeed even when no ersatz, peer‐pressure psycho‐coercion is present—where the endorsement is sectarian, in the sense of specifying details upon which men and women who believe in a benevolent, omnipotent Creator and Ruler of the world are known to differ (for example, the divinity of Christ).

― Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577, 641 (1992)

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days. Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that… The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan‐Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E) temperature of the earth (‐300K), gives H as 798K (525C). The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed… [However] Revelations 21:8 says But the fearful, and unbelieving…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. A lake of molten brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C.

― From Applied Optics vol. 11, A14, 1972

Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches.

― Thomas Aquinas (1225‐1274), Summa Theologica

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.

― Thomas Aquinas (1225‐1274), Summa Theologica

If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy.

― Thomas Aquinas (1225‐1274), Summa Theologica

As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power…

― Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica,Q92, art. 1, Reply Obj. 1

I suggest that the anthropomorphic god‐idea is not a harmless infirmity of human thought, but a very noxious fallacy, which is largely responsible for the calamities the world is at present enduring

― William Archer, Theology and War

Theocracy has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood‐stained tyranny.

― William Archer (1667‐1735)

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider godfearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.

― Aristotle, Politics

A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all‐knowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that rejects such a God is amply justified.

― Karen Armstrong, in A History of God

Nothing is more humbling than to look with a strong magnifying glass at an insect so tiny that the naked eye sees only the barest speck and to discover that nevertheless it is sculpted and articulated and striped with the same care and imagination as a zebra. Apparently it does not occur to nature whether or not a creature is within our range of vision, and the suspicion arises that even the zebra was not designed for our benefit.

― Rudolf Arnheim

All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science.

― Matthew Arnold (1822‐1888)

Miracles do not happen.

― Matthew Arnold, Literature and Dogma, last words of preface to 1883 edition

We are only fabulous beasts, after all.

― John Ashbery

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.

― Isaac Asimov

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.

― Isaac Asimov

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly and warn the people of Canada…

― Isaac Asimov, Canadian Atheists Newsletter, 1994

To rebel against a powerful political, economic, religious, or social establishment is very dangerous and very few people do it, except, perhaps, as part of a mob. To rebel against the scientific establishment, however, is the easiest thing in the world, and anyone can do it and feel enormously brave, without risking as much as a hangnail. Thus, the vast majority, who believe in astrology and think that the planets have nothing better to do than form a code that will tell them whether tomorrow is a good day to close a business deal or not, become all the more excited and enthusiastic about the bilge when a group of astronomers denounces it.

― Isaac Asimov

…if I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.

― Isaac Asimov, in I. Asimov: A Memoir

As it happens, Josephus, who mentions John the Baptist, does not mention Jesus. There is, to be sure, a paragraph in his history of the Jews which is devoted to Jesus, but it interrupts the flow of the discourse and seems suspiciously like an afterthought. Scholars generally believe this to have been an insertion by some early Christian editor who, scandalized that Joesphus should talk of the period without mentioning the Messiah, felt the insertion to be a pious act.

― Isaac Asimov, in Asimov’s Guide To The Bible

Although the time of death is approaching me, I am not afraid of dying and going to Hell or (what would be considerably worse) going to the popularized version of Heaven. I expect death to be nothingness and, for removing me from all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism.

― Isaac Asimov, On Religiosity, Free Inquiry

My aim is to argue that the universe can come into existence without intervention, and that there is no need to invoke the idea of a Supreme Being in one of its numerous manifestations.

― Peter William Atkins, preface to The Creation

Someone with a fresh mind, one not conditioned by upbringing and environment, would doubtless look at science and the powerful reductionism that it inspires as overwhelmingly the better mode of understanding the world, and would doubtless scorn religion as sentimental wishful thinking. Would not that same uncluttered mind also see the attempts to reconcile science and religion by disparaging the reduction of the complex to the simple as attempts guided by muddle‐headed sentiment and intellectually dishonest emotion?

― P.W. Atkins, The Limitless Power of Science essay in Nature’s Imagination, John Cornwell, ed.; 1995 Oxford University Press, p.123

Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny. Through fear of being shown to be vacuous, religion denies the awesome power of human comprehension. It seeks to thwart, by encouraging awe in things unseen, the disclosure of the emptiness of faith. Religion, in contrast to science, deploys the repugnant view that the world is too big for our understanding. Science, in contrast to religion, opens up the great questions of being to rational discussion, to discussion with the prospect of resolution and elucidation. Science, above all, respects the power of the human intellect. Science is the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Rennaissance. Science respects more deeply the potential of humanity than religion ever can.

― P.W. Atkins, The Limitless Power of Science essay in Nature’s Imagination, John Cornwell, ed.; 1995 Oxford University Press, p.125

The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.

― Saint Augustine

Often a non‐Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other parts of the world, about the motions and orbits of the stars and even their sizes and distances,… and this knowledge he holds with certainty from reason and experience. It is thus offensive and disgraceful for an unbeliever to hear a Christian talk nonsense about such things, claiming that what he is saying is based in Scripture. We should do all that we can to avoid such an embarrassing situation, which people see as ignorance in the Christian and laugh to scorn.

― St. Augustine

I feel that nothing so casts down the manly mind from it’s height as the fondling of women and those bodily contacts which belong to the married state.

― St. Augustine, De Trinitate 7.7

All diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to demons; chiefly do they torment freshly‐baptized Christians, yea, even the guiltless new‐born infants.

― Saint Augustine (354‐430)

It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word.

― St. Augustine, Treatise on the Correction of the Donatists (417), p.214

If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self‐delusion and ignorance which does harm.

― Marcus Aurelius

God loves all his children, by gum.

That don’t mean he won’t incinerate some.

Can’t you feel those hot flames licking you…

― Austin Lounge Lizards, in Jesus Loves Me

A prevalent fallacy is the assumption that a proof of an after‐life would also be a proof of the existence of a deity. This is far from being the case. If—as I hold—there is no good reason to believe that a god either created or presides over this world, there is equally no good reason to believe that a god created or presides over the next world, on the unlikely supposition that such a thing exists.

― Sir A.J. Ayer

Religious Cult: The church down the street from yours.

B.C. cartoon

The earth is flat, and anyone who disputes this claim is an atheist who deserves to be punished.

― Sheik Abdel‐Aziz ibn Baaz, Muslim religious edict

For they heard that command of our Creator, if they truly listened to His instructions to be responsible stewards, then their entire framework of human rationalizations for tearing apart Act comes to naught

― U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, using religious arguments to defend the 1973 Endangered Species Act from conservatives who wish to limit or abolish it

Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men.

― Francis Bacon

Hey brother christian with your high and mighty errand,

Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear a word you’re saying…

― Bad Religion

I don’t know what stopped Jesus Christ

from turning every hungry stone into bread,

And I don’t remember hearing how Moses reacted

when the innocent first born sons lay dead,

Well I guess God was a bit more demonstrative

back when he flamboyantly parted the sea,

Now everybody’s praying, Don’t prey on me.

― Bad Religion, in Don’t Pray on Me

And I want to conquer the world,

Give all the idiots a brand new religion…

― Bad Religion

So long as there are earnest believers in the world, they will always wish to punish opinions, even if their judgment tells them it is unwise and their conscience that it is wrong.

― Walter Bagehot, in Literary Studies

…Jesus was almost certainly not of Nazareth. An overwhelming body of evidence indicates that Nazareth did not exist in biblical times. The town is unlikely to have appeared before the third century.

― Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, in The Messianic Legacy

It’s not listed in the Bible, but my spiritual gift, my specific calling from God, is to be a television talk‐show host.

― James Bakker

I wake up every morning and I wish I were dead, and so does Jim.

― Tammy Fae Bakker

…and now we’re down to our last $37,000.

But just last week you said you were down to your last $50,000, what happened to $13,000 since then?

Uh…um…I don’t know.

― Tammy Fae Bakker

A Boss in Heavan is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished.

― Mikhail Bakunin

The idea of God implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind both in theory and practice. He who desires to worship God must harbor no childish illusions about the matter but bravely renounce his liberty and humanity.

― Mikhail Bakunin

All religions, with their gods, demigods, prophets, messiahs and saints, are the product of the fancy and credulity of men who have not yet reached the full development and complete personality of their intellectual powers.

― [Mikhail A. Bakunin]

But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free‐thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge.

― Mikhail Bakunin, in God and the State

…the Bible as we have it contains elements that are scientifically incorrect or even morally repugnant. No amount of explaining away can convince us that such passages are the product of Divine Wisdom.

― Bernard J. Bamberger, in The Story of Judaism

Reason shapes the future, but superstition infects the present.

― Iain M Banks

God has been replaced, as he has all over the West, with respectability and air conditioning.

― Imamu Amiri Baraka, Home, 1966

If there were a god, there would be no need for religion.

If there were not a god, there would be no need for religion.

― Ron Barrier

There is no such thing as a god. If such a creature existed, belief would be rendered unnecessary, and the entire system of organized religion would collapse.

― Ron Barrier

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it Christmas and went to church; the Jews called it Hanukka and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say Merry Christmas! or Happy Hanukka! or (to the atheists) Look out for the wall!

― Dave Barry, Christmas Shopping: A Survivor’s Guide

In fact, when you get right down to it, almost every explanation Man came up with for anything until about 1926 was stupid.

― Dave Barry

Pretty rowdy behavior for Jesus. He’d get a buzz off the beer and go squealing out of the parking lot.

― Bartender in Waco, TX

There should be absolutely no Separation of Church and State in America.

― David Barton, president of Wallbuilders and a close ally of the Christian Coalition, 1994 Anti‐Defamation League Report

After all, any religion that can get numerous Christians to ignore a simple and direct command from jesus in the name of context obviously is going to have a hard time with teaching better morality to everybody else. Maybe this explains the widespread explosion of religion in America and the widespread rise in hatefulness, racism, right winged savagery, and widespread lack of honesty.

― William Barwell

If a man achieves or suffers change in premises which are deeply embedded in his mind, he will surely find that the results of that change will ramify throughout his whole universe.

― Gegory Bateson

We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There’s a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody’s values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe.

― Gary Bauer, religious‐right Family Research Council

All the idols made by man, however terrifying they may be, are in point of fact subordinate to him, and that is why he will always have it in his power to destroy them.

― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex

Christ came, and Christianity arose…But originating in Judaism, which knew woman only as a being bereft of all rights, and biased by the Biblical conception which saw in her the source of all evil, Christianity preached contempt for women.

― August Bebel, Woman and Socialism

Christianity is the enemy of liberty and civilization

― August Bebel

We aim in the domain of politics at republicanism; in the domain of economics at socialism; in the domain of what is today called religion, at atheism.

― August Bebel, Summary of Views

Enough of acting the infant who has been told so often how he was found under a cabbage that in the end he remembers the exact spot in the garden and the kind of life he led there before joining the family circle.

― Samuel Beckett

There was never such a gigantic lie told as the fable of the Garden of Eden.

― Henry Ward Beecher, early American preacher, from What Great Men Think Of Religion by Ira Cardiff

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Francis Bellamy, 1892

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin.

― Cardinal Bellarmino 1615, during the trial of Galileo

To affirm that the Sun…is at the centre of the universe and only rotates on its axis without going from east to west, is a very dangerous attitude and one calculated not only to arouse all Scholastic philosophers and theologians but also to injure our holy faith by contradicting the Scriptures

― Cardinal Bellarmino, 17th Century Church Master Collegio Romano, who imprisoned and tortured Galileo for his astronomical works

We are told by the church that we have accomplished nothing… Is it a small thing to make men truly free, to destroy the dogmas of ignorance, prejudice and power, the poisoned fables of superstition, and drive from the beautiful face of earth the fiend of fear?

― D.M. Bennett, in Champions of the Church

Faith—the ability to believe the ridiculous for the sublime.

― Rich Bennett

Miracles happen to those who believe in them. Otherwise why does not the Virgin Mary appear to Lamaists, Mohammedans, or Hindus who have never heard of her.

― Bernard Berenson (1865‐1959)

For what is it but an exquisite and priceless chance of salvation due to God alone, that the omnipotent should deign to summon to His service, as though they were innocent, murderers, ravishers, adulterers, perjurers, and those guilty of every crime?

― St. Bernard, appeal for recruits for the Second Crusade, quoted by Brooks Adams, in The Law of Civilization and Decay

About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill…Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever‐reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection.

― Gerald L. Berry, Religions of the World

[N]o philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism.

― Annie Besant, The Gospel of Atheism

For centuries the leaders of Christian thought spoke of women as a necessary evil, and the greatest saints of the Church are those who despise women the most.

― The Freethinker’s Textbook Part II—Christianity, 1876, Annie Besant

While it cannot be proved retrospectively that any experience of possession, conversion, revelation, or divine ecstasy was merely an epileptic discharge, we must ask how one differentiates real transcendence from neuropathies that produce the same extreme realness, profundity, ineffability, and sense of cosmic unity. When accounts of sudden religious conversions in TLEs [temporal‐lobe epileptics] are laid alongside the epiphanous revelations of the religious tradition, the parallels are striking. The same is true of the recent spate of alleged UFO abductees. Parsimony alone argues against invoking spirits, demons, or extraterrestrials when natural causes will suffice.

― Barry L. Beyerstein, Neuropathology and the Legacy of Spiritual Possession, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 3, pg. 255

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose.

― Bhagavad Gita

If you love god, burn a church

― Jello Biafra

See god? That is the easiest thing in the world. He always appears to me in the bottom of the tenth glass of beer…and sometimes as a beautiful, young, female nude.

― theologian Franz Bibfeldt on the reality of visions

Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited

― Ambrose Bierce

Pray: To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled in behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

― Ambrose Bierce

Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises.

― Ambrose Bierce, in Collected Works

Evangelist, n., A bearer of good tidings, particularly (in a religious sense) such as assure us of our own salvation and the damnation of our neighbours.

― Ambrose Bierce

Scriptures: The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.

― Ambrose Bierce

Religion, n: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the Nature of the Unknowable.

― Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary

Christian, n.: One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

― Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

― Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary

Infidel: In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.

― Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary

Ocean: A body of water occupying 2/3 of a world made for man—who has no gills.

― Ambrose Bierce, in The Devil’s Dictionary

Some heathens whose Idol was greatly weatherworn threw it into a river, and erecting a new one, engaged in public worship at its base.

What is this all about? inquired the New Idol.

Father of Joy and Gore, said the High Priest, be patient and I will instruct you in the doctrines and rites of our holy religion.

A year later, after a course of study in theology, the Idol asked to be thrown into the river, declaring himself an atheist.

Do not let that trouble you, said the High Priest—so am I.

― Ambrose Bierce, in Two Sceptics, Fantastic Fables

Heaven: A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound on yours.

― Ambrose Bierce

A clergyman is a man who undertakes the management of our spiritual affairs as a method of bettering his earthly ones.

― Ambrose Bierce

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

― First Amendment, in the U.S. Constitution

Religion is a means of exploitation employed by the strong against the weak; religion is a cloak of ambition, injustice and vice.

― Georges Bizet, letter to Edmond Galabert, 1866

Never before have I encountered such corrupt and foul‐minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church?

― Black Adder II

Babble about The wages of sin serves to cover up the sin of wages. We want rights, not rites—sex, not sects. Only Eros and Eris belong in our pantheon. Surely the Nazarene necrophile has had his revenge by now. Remember, pain is just God’s way of hurting you.

― Bob Black, in The Abolition of Work

The establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.

― U.S. Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, Majority opinion Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or nonattendance.

― U.S. Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, Majority opinion Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion.

― Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.

― Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)

The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach.

― Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947),last words

The manifest object of the men who framed the institutions of this country, was to have a State without religion, and a Church without politics—that is to say, they meant that one should never be used as an engine for any purpose of the other, and that no man’s rights in one should be tested by his opinions about the other. As the Church takes no note of men’s political differences, so the State looks with equal eye on all the modes of religious faith. …Our fathers seem to have been perfectly sincere in their belief that the members of the Church would be more patriotic, and the citizens of the State more religious, by keeping their respective functions entirely separate.

― Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jeremiah S. Black, from a 1856 speech on religious liberty

The Bible doesn’t forbid suicide. It’s Catholic directive, intended to slow down their loss of martyrs.

― Ellen Blackstone

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.

― Edmund Blake

Whenever I think of how religion started, I picture some frustrated old man making out a list of all the ways he could gain power, until he finally came up with the great solution of constant fear and guilt, then he leaped up and started planning a new wardrobe.

― Steve Blake

The ancient poets animated all objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged and numerous senses could perceive. And particularly they studied the genius of each city and country, placing it under its mental deity; Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of, and enslav’d the vulgar by attempting to realize or abstract the mental deities from their objects: thus began priesthood; Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales. And at length they pronounc’d that the Gods had order’d such things. Thus men forgot that all deities reside in the human breast.

― William Blake, in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

As the caterpiller chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

― William Blake, in Proverbs of Hell

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,

And saw what I never had seen:

A Chapel was built in the midst,

Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,

And Thou shalt not writ over the door;

So I turn’d to the Garden of Love

That so many sweet flowers bore;

And I saw it was filled with graves,

And tomb‐stones where flowers should be;

And priests in black gowns were walking their rounds,

And binding with briars my joy and desires.

― William Blake, in Songs of Experience

A Little Boy Lost

Nought loves another as itself,

Nor venerates another so,

Nor is it possible to thought

A greater than itself to know:

And Father, how can I love you

Or any of my brothers more?

I love you like the little bird

That picks up crumbs around the door.

The Priest sat by and heard the child,

In trembling zeal he seiz’d his hair:

He led him by his little coat,

And all admir’d the priestly care.

And standing on the altar high,

Lo! what a fiend is here! said he,

One who sets reason up for judge

Of our most holy Mystery.

The weeping child could not be heard,

The weeping parents were in vain;

They strip’d him to his little shirt,

And bound him in an iron chain;

And burn’d him in a holy place,

Where many had been burn’d before:

The weeping parents wept in vain.

Are such things done on Albion’s shore?


― William Blake, in Songs of Experience

Prisons are built with stones of Law, Brothels with bricks of Religion.

― William Blake, in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Anti‐intellectualism among millenarians and Bible Literalists is a recurrent phenomenon, but no other religious movement in America ever has been as programatically set against its intellect as are Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Fundamentalist majority wing of the Southern Baptist Convention are devotees of pure reason compared to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

― Harold Bloom, in The American Religion

Though there are a number of rather savage apocalyptic scenarios current among American Fundamentalists, I am aware of none quite so inhumane as the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ accounts of the End of our Time. There is something peculiarly childish in these Watchtower yearnings: the remind me of why very small children cannot be left alone with wounded and suffering household pets.

― Harold Bloom, in The American Religion

There is a God, but He drinks.

― Blore

Gilles de Rais supposedly sodomized, mutilated, and murdered more than 700 children. At his trial he told of his usual procedure of sexually assaulting boys, cutting open their chests and burying his face in their lungs, and opening their abdomens and handling their intestines. He also confessed to necrophilia with the dismembered bodies and to attempted intercourse with a fetus he cut out of a pregnant woman. At his trial de Rais repented, and the bishop of Nantes was forced to receive him back into the church.

Bodies Under Siege

Everything is more or less organized matter. To think so is against religion, but I think so just the same.

― Napoleon Bonaparte

All religions have been made by men.

― Napoleon Bonaparte

If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.

― Napoleon Bonaparte

How can you have order in a state without religion? For, when one man is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he cannot resign himself to this difference unless there is an authority which declares God wills it thus. Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.

― Napoleon Bonaparte

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.

― Napoleon Bonaparte

I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet they lay their hands on everything they can get.

― Napoleon Bonaparte

Religion divides us, while it is our human characteristics that bind us to each other.

― Sir Hermann Bondi

Believing cannot tip the scales in making a historical judgment about whether something really happened. I can choose to believe that George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Rappahannock, but my believing that he did it has nothing to do with whether or not he really did to it. So also with the story of Jesus walking on the water: Believing that he did it has nothing to do with whether he really did do it. Belief cannot be the basis for historical conclusion; it has no direct relevance.

― Marcus J. Borg, in Faith and Scholarship

3. Interpreting the Bible: All reading of Scripture (including a literalist approach) involves subjective interpretation. For example, to read the stories of Jesus’ birth as literal historical accounts involves an act of interpretation just as much as reading them as symbolic narratives (namely, it involves a decision to read them literally). The recognition that all interpretations are subjective does not, however, mean that all are equally good. About any interpretation, one may ask (or be asked), what have you got to go on? Why do you read it that way?

― Marcus J. Borg, in Faith and Scholarship

If God has made the world a perfect mechanism, He has at least conceded so much to our imperfect intellect that in order to predict little parts of it, we need not solve innumerable differential equations, but can use dice with fair success.

― Max Born

Pray, and all your sins are hooked upon the sky.

Pray, and the heathen lie will disappear.

Prayers, they hide the saddest views,

Believing the strangest things, Loving the alien.

― David Bowie

The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God.

― Boy Scouts of America, statement on membership form

The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship…

― Boy Scouts of America policy, 1970

…Any organization could profit from a 10‐year‐old member with enough strength of character to refuse to swear falsely.

― New York Times editorial, 12/12/93, on the Boy Scouts’ refusing membership to Mark Welsh, who would not sign a religious oath

The word heretic ought to be a term of honour…

― Charles Bradlaugh

The atheist does not say there is no God, but he says I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God; the word God is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. …The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me.

― Charles Bradlaugh, in Plea for Atheism

I cannot follow you Christians; for you try to crawl through your life upon your knees, while I stride through mine on my feet.

― Charles Bradlaugh

Oh great, but not necessarily superior, being who dwells beyond this plane of existence and who is accessible only through prayer, meditation, or crystals, we salute you without thereby acknowledging that you are entitled to greater respect than that accorded any other endangered species. We hope to pass through your plane of existence at some point on our psychic journey to the same exalted status as marine mammals or even snail darters. Moreover, to the extent your design for the universe coincides with the U.S. Constitution and includes low‐cost access to cable, we ask you to provide us our minimum daily requirement of essential vitamins and nutrients consistent with FDA guidelines, and when judging us be duly mindful or our status as victim, which providesfull justification for what might appear on superficial examination to befelonious. In the same vein, we will endeavor to excuse and forgive those whohave transgressed against us, with the possible exception of our parents, teachers, policemen and clergy about whom we have just resurrected disturbing memories. We ask all this in the name of your prophet—[Here on alternating weeks substitute names drawn from the consensus of the class. Some suggestions for early in the year: L. Ron Hubbard, Ayatollah Khomeini, Jimmy Carter, Patricia Ireland, Mike Wallace.]

― John F. Bramfeld, a lawyer in Urbana, Ill., as printed in Wall Street Journal Pg A‐18 Thurs, Jan 12, 1995, contemplating what would happen to school prayer after it was filtered through the apparatus of politically correct educrats.

The world presents enough problems if you believe it to be a world of law and order; do not add to them by believing it to be a world of miracles.

― U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

In any culture, subculture, or family in which belief is valued above thought, and self‐surrender is valued above self‐expression, and conformity is valued above integrity, those who preserve their self‐esteem are likely to be heroic exceptions.

― Nathaniel Branden, in The Six Pillars of Self‐Esteem, Bantam Books, New York, 1994

If, in any culture, children are taught, We are all equally unworthy in the sight of God

If, in any culture, children are taught, You are born in sin and are sinful by nature

If children are given a message that amounts to Don’t think, don’t question, believe

If children are given a message that amounts to Who are you to place your mind above that of the priest, the minister, the rabbi?

If children are told, If you have value it is not because of anything you have done or could ever do, it is only because God loves you

If children are told, Submission to what you cannot understand is the beginning of morality

If children are instructed, Do not be willful, self‐assertiveness is the sin of pride

If children are instructed, Never think that you belong to yourself

If children are informed, In any clash between your judgement and that of your religious authorities, it is your authorities you must believe,—

If children are informed, Self‐sacrifice is the foremost virtue and the noblest duty

then consider what will be the likely consequences for the practice of living consciously, or the practice of self‐assertiveness, or any of the other pillars of healthy self‐esteem.

― Nathaniel Branden, in The Six Pillars of Self‐Esteem

Everything that is doddering, squint‐eyed, infamous, sullying, and grotesque is contained for me in this single word: God.

― Andre Breton (1896‐1966)

No myth of miraculous creation is so marvelous as the face of man’s evolution.

― Robert Briffault (1876‐1948) Rational Education,1930

To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.

― David Brooks, The Necessity of Atheism

There is no stopping the world’s tendency to throw off imposed restraints, the religious authority that is based on the ignorance of the many, the political authority that is based on the knowledge of the few.

― Van Wyck Brooks, The Nation, 14 August 1954

I hope you don’t like my posts…that is the intent!

― Brother Orchid, demonstrating how to be christian

The pursuit of happiness belongs to us, but we must climb around or over the church to get it.

― Heywood Broun (1888‐1939)

There are many extraordinary tales from antiquity, including women with snakes for hair, creatures whose gaze turns you to stone, creatures with equine bodies and human torsos, many accounts of people rising from the dead, lots of tales of magic, and numerous accounts of physical encounters with fantastic beings. Ancient people were a superstitious, scientifically primitive lot, and believed in many things that today we know are silly. I find it bizarre that so many people see nothing suspicious about the extraordinary or supernatural claims of the bible, yet don’t hesitate to express disbelief in equally well documented claims of minotaurs, basilisks, and wizards.

― Scott Brown

If Jesus had been killed 20 years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little Electric Chairs around their necks instead of crosses

― Lenny Bruce

Morality becomes hypocrisy if it means accepting mothers suffering or dying in connection with unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions—and unwanted children living in misery.

― Gro Harlem Brundtland, at the Cairo population conference

It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people.

― Giordano Bruno (1548‐burned at the stake,1600)

A pious man is one who would be an atheist if the king were.

― Jean de La Bruy re (1645‐1696)

If we have to give up either religion or education, we should give up education.

― William Jennings Bryan

All the ills from which America suffers can be traced to the teaching of evolution.

― William Jennings Bryan

If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it.

― William Jennings Bryan

The parents have a right to say that no teacher paid by their money shall rob their children of faith in God and send them back to their homes skeptical, or infidels, or agnostics, or atheists.

― William Jennings Bryan

As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.

― Anita Bryant, 1977

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.

― John Buchan (1875‐1940) British author, statesman

Who are beneficiaries of the Court’s protection? Members of various minorities including criminals, atheists, homosexuals, flag burners, illegal immigrants (including terrorists), convicts, and pornographers.

― US Presidential candidate Pat Buchahan, Address to the Heritage Foundation, January 29, 1996

And how can we ever again succeed in educating children to become moral men and women if, in America’s public schools, we consciously deny them all religious instruction, and deny them access to that primary source of morality, God’s own word. The Bible is the one book from which they are expressly not allowed to be taught.

― US Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, The City and The Crusade, Commencement Address for Christendom College, May 6, 1996

What’s the Christian‐bashing all about? Simple—a struggle for the soul of America is under way, a struggle to determine whose views, values, beliefs and standards will serve as the basis of law.

― US Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Washington Times, June 15, 1995

In a GQ profile of Pat Buchanan, journalist John Judis asks the presidential candidate his views about teaching creationism in school. Look, my view is, I believe God created heaven and earth, said Buchanan. I think this: What ought to be taught as fact is what is known as fact. I don’t believe it is demonstrably true that we have descended from apes. I don’t believe it. I do not believe all that.

― Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 November 1995

Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free.

― US Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, speech to the Christian Coalition, Sept. 1993, as reported in ADL Report, 1994

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings. Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels.

― Pearl S. Buck

Be born anywhere, little embryo novelist, but do not be born under the shadow of a great creed, not under the burden of original sin, not under the doom of Salvation.

― Pearl S. Buck, Advice to Unborn Novelists

To assert that Christianity communicated to man moral truths previously unknown, argues on the part of the asserter either gross ignorance or else wilful fraud… The system of morals expounded in the New Testament contains no maxims which had not been previously enunciated.

― Henry Thomas Buckle

Be not misled by reports or tradition or common opinion. Be not misled by proficiency in the scriptures, nor by speculation and conclusions, nor by attractive theories and favorite ideas, nor by impressions of personal merits (of the teacher) and not by the authority of some master. But rather, Kalamas, when you discern yourselves: these things are unprofitable, these things are blameworthy, these things are censured by the wise; these things, when performed and undertaken are conducive to misfortune and sorrow, indeed do you then reject them. …And when you discern yourselves: these things are profitable, these things are not blameworthy, these things are praised by the wise; these things, when performed and undertaken are conducive to good fortune and happiness, indeed do you then accept them.

― G. Buddha, from the Anguttara Nikaya

Jesus Christ: A common exclamation indicating surprise, disgust, anger or bewilderment.

― Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic’s Dictionary

Religion, religion. Oh, there’s a fine line

between Saturday night and Sunday morning…

Where’s the church, who took the steeple,

Religion’s in the hands of some crazy ass people,

Television preachers with bad hair and dimples,

The God’s honest truth is, it’s not that simple.

― Jimmy Buffett, Fruitcakes

For those who believe in God, most of the big questions are answered. But for those of us who can’t readily accept the God formula, the big answers don’t remain stone‐written. We adjust to new conditions and discoveries. We are pliable. Love need not be a command or faith a dictum. I am my own God. We are here to unlearn the teachings of the church, state, and our educational system. We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.

― Charles Bukowski

Armies of Bible scholars and theologians have for centuries found respected employment devising artful explanations of the Bible often not really meaning what it says.

― J.S. Bullion, Jr., U.S. freethinker, writer

The attack on the peasant economy was accompanied by a fierce campaign against the Orthodox Church, the center of traditional peasant culture, which was seen by the Stalinist leadership as one of the main obstacles to collectivization.

― Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, ISBN 0‐394‐58601‐8), p. 264, in the chapter Stalin’s Revolution, showing that Stalin’s motivation for destroying churches was because of their threat to his political plans and not communistic atheism

Of greater significance was the reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church, the traditional bastion of Russian nationalism and the tsarist regime, which now became associated with the cult of Stalin and resumed its role as a state church.

― Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, ISBN 0‐394‐58601‐8), chapter, Stalin’s New Order, pp 906‐907, on Stalin’s wartime reconciliation with the church, showing that the the atheism of the communist party had nothing to do with the treatment accorded religions or the religious during Stalin’s regime

God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for oppression and bloodshed.

― Luis Buquel

The idea that a good God would send people to a burning Hell is utterly damnable to me. The ravings of insanity! Superstition gone to seed! I don’t want to have anything to do with such a God. No avenging Jewish God, no satanic devil, no fiery hell is of any interest to me.

― Luther Burbank, address to Science League of San Francisco, Dec. 1924

All my work in the field of science and research has come through a change in my earlier opinions on religion. Growth is the law of life. Orthodoxy is the death of scientific effort.

― Luther Burbank, from Burbank the Infidel by Joseph Lewis

Do not feed children on maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion; give them nature.

― Luther Burbank

The language of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment is at best opaque, particularly when compared with other portions of the Amendment. Its authors did not simply prohibit the establishment of a state church or a state religion, an area history shows they regarded as very important and fraught with great dangers. Instead they commanded that there should be no law respecting an establishment of religion. A law respecting the proscribed result, that is, the establishment of religion, is not always easily identifiable as one violative of the Clause. A given law might not establish a state religion but nevertheless be one respecting that end in the sense of being a step that could lead to such establishment and hence offend the First Amendment.

― Chief Justice Warren Burger, writing for the majority in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971

It is hard to say whether the doctors of law or divinity have made the greater advances in the lucrative business of mystery.

― Edmund Burke, A Vindication of Natural Society, 1757

The popular notion that witches were burned is quite false. In fact, no witches were burned at any time in Salem or anywhere else in America. Nor were witches by any means all women; in fact, they were not all even human beings. Two dogs were actually put to death in Salem for witchcraft. The means of execution in all cases, including the unfortunate dogs, was by hanging, with one exception: an old man named Giles Corey. …Corey’s death was by pressing; heavy stones were placed upon his chest in an attempt to force him to plead [he protected his kin by refusing to plead either way]. …Nor was the witchcraft hysteria confined to Salem; Andover, Massachusetts, was caught up in it before the affair had run its course, and at least one witch was found in Maine. Salem was not, as a matter of fact, even the first to hang a witch. An old woman in Boston had confessed to witchcraft and been hanged in 1688, four years before the first execution in Salem.

― Tom Burnam, The Dictionary of Misinformation, 1975

Why has a religious turn of mind always a tendancy to narrow and harden the heart?

― Robert Burns

Science has done more for the development of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years.

― John Burroughs, in The Light of Day

In fact they recapitulate the story of Christianity word for word, like the inevitable course of some unsightly disease: criminal ignorance, brutish stupidity, self‐righteous bigotry, paranoid fear of outsiders. For the cultist, psychiatrists, the media, Government agencies have become Satan incarnate. Like the fundamental Christians, they have to be right.

― William S. Burroughs

If you’re gonna do business with a religious son of a bitch.. GET IT IN WRITING. His word ain’t worth shit, not with the good Lord teaching him how to fuck you on the deal.

― William Burroughs

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself

― Sir Richard F. Burton

There is no Heaven, there is no Hell;

These are the dreams of baby minds;

Tools of the wily Fetisheer,

To fright the fools his cunning blinds.

― Richard Francis Burton, The Kasidah

One religion is as true as another.

― Robert Burton, in The Anatomy of Melancholy

It is a common saying that thought is free. A man can never be hindered from thinking whatever he chooses so long as he conceals what he thinks. The working of his mind is limited only by the bounds of his experience and the power of his imagination. But this natural liberty of private thinking is of little value. It is unsatisfactory and even painful to the thinker himself, if he is not permitted to communicate his thoughts to others, and it is obviously of no value to his neighbors. Moreover it is extremely difficult to hide thoughts that have any power over the mind. If a man’s thinking leads him to call in question ideas and customs which regulate the behaviour of those about him, to reject the beliefs which they hold, to see better ways of life than those they follow, it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions. Some have preferred, like Socrates, some would prefer today, to face death rather than conceal their thoughts. Thus freedom of thought, in any valuable sense, includes freedom of speech.

― J.B. Bury, in A History of Freedom of Thought

No, I don’t know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God.

― George Bush

God is usually on the side of big squadrons and against little ones.

― Roger de Bussy‐Rabutin

People in general are equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced.

― Samuel Butler, in Samuel Butler’s Notebooks

God: The word that comes after go‐cart.

― Samuel Butler

An apology for the devil: it must be remembered that we have heard one side of the case. God has written all the books.

― Samuel Butler

It is death, and not what comes after death, that men are generally afraid of.

― Samuel Butler

Not only were a good many of the revolutionary leaders more deist than Christian, the acutal number of church members was rather small. Perhaps as few as five percent of the populace were church members in 1776

― Lynn R. Buzzard, in They Haven’t Got a Prayer by David C. Cook

I fear your Lordship has been reading religious publications of the sensational and morbid type.

― Donn Byrne, in Tale of the Gypsy Horse

I do not believe in revealed religion—I will have nothing to do with your immortality; we are miserable enough in this life, without speculating on another…

― Lord Byron (1778‐1824), Letter to Rev. Francis Hodgson, 1811

The trouble with born‐again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around.

― Herb Caen (b. 1916), U.S. columnist, author. San Francisco Chronicle (20 July 1981)

Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers.

― Bruce Calvert

Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?

― John Calvin, citing Ps. 93:1 in his Commentary on Genesis

God preordained, for his own glory and the display of His attributes of mercy and justice, a part of the human race, without any merit of their own, to eternal salvation, and another part, in just punishment of their sin, to eternal damnation.

― John Calvin

No efficiency. No accountability. I tell you, Hobbes, it’s a lousy way to run a universe.

― Calvin and Hobbes

It’s hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.

― Calvin, in Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson

Mom and dad say I should make my life an example of the principles I believe in. But every time I do, they tell me to stop it.

― Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin: Do you believe in the devil? You know, a supreme evil being dedicated to the temptation, corruption, and destruction of man?

― Hobbes: I’m not sure that man needs the help.

It does not pay a prophet to be too specific.

― L. Sprague de Camp

There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral.

― Rev. Alexander Campbell

A one sentence definition of mythology?Mythology is what we call someone else’s religion.

― Joseph Campbell

The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they can level mountains, and nobody doubts them.

― Joseph Campbell

The night of December 25, to which date the Nativity of Christ was ultimately assigned, was exactly that of the birth of the Persian savior Mithra, who, as an incarnation of eternal light, was born the night of the winter solstice (then dated December 25) at midnight, the instant of the turn of the year from increasing darkness to light.

― Joseph Campbell, in The Mythic Image

Creation scientists must be aware that the informed workers in literary interpretation and in physical and biological sciences regard their stance as irresponsible, and that in the scholarly world as well as in the schools they are doing irreparable damage to the Christian cause.

― Prof. Ken Campbell, Australian National University, in St. Mark’s Review 137 (Autumn, 1989) (Anglican)

I don’t know whether this world has a meaning which transcends it. But I do know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me just now to know it. What can a meaning outside my condition mean to me? I can understand only in human terms. What I touch—what resists me—that is what I understand. And these two certainties—my appetite for the absolute and for unity, and the impossibility of reducing this world to a rational and reasonable principle—I also know that I cannot reconcile them. What other truth can I admit without lying, without bringing in a hope I lack and which means nothing within the limits of my condition?

― Albert Camus, from The Myth of Sisyphus

It is a matter of persisting. At a certain point on his path the absurd man is tempted. History is not lacking in either religions or prophets, even without gods. He is asked to leap. All he can reply is that he doesn’t fully understand, that it is not obvious. Indeed, he does not want to do anything but what he fully understands. He is assured that this is the sin of pride, but he does not understand the notion of sin; that perhaps hell is in store, but he has not enough imagination to visualize that strange future; that he is losing immortal life, but that seems to him an idle consideration. An attempt is made to get him to admit his guilt. He feels innocent. To tell the truth, that is all he feels—his irreparable innocence. This is what allows him everything. Hence, what he demands of himself is to live /solely/ with what he knows, to accommodate himself with what is, and to bring in nothing that is not certain. He is told that nothing is. But this at least is certainty. And it is with this that he is concerned: he wants to find out if it is possible to live without /appeal/.

― Camus, An Absurd Reasoning

If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.

― Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus

Most religions do not make men better, only warier.

― Elias Canetti

U.S. Adults (Gallup): humans didn’t evolve, 46 percent; evolution guided by God, 40; evolution occurred by itself, 10 percent.

― Quoted by Adam L. Carley, Free Inquiry, Fall 1994

The whole of religion has been one uniform curse to the human race…

― Richard Carlile, As to God

The enemy with whom I have to grapple is one with whom no peace can be made. Idolatry will not parley; superstition will not treat on covenant. They must be uprooted for public and individual safety.

― Richard Carlisle

I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood.

― George Carlin

We created god in our own image and likeness!

― George Carlin

I credit that eight years of grammar school with nourishing me in a direction where I could trust myself and trust my instincts. They gave me the tools to reject my faith. They taught me to question and think for myself and to believe in my instincts to such an extent that I just said, This is a wonderful fairy tale they have going here, but it’s not for me.

― George Carlin, in the New York Times, 20 August 1995

If churches want to play the game of politics, let them pay admission like everyone else

― George Carlin

This is a lttle prayer dedicated to the separation of church and state. I guess if they are going to force those kids to pray in schools they might as well have a nice prayer like this: Our Father who art in heaven, and to the republic for which it stands, thy kingdom come, one nation indivisible as in heaven, give us this day as we forgive those who so proudly we hail. Crown thy good into temptation but deliver us from the twilight’s last gleaming. Amen and Awomen.

― George Carlin

I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.

― George Carlin

Never attribute to Devil‐worshipping conspiracies what opportunism, emotional instability, and religious bigotry are sufficient to explain.

― Shawn Carlson

If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.

― Thomas Carlyle

Just in the ratio knowledge increases, faith decreases.

― Thomas Carlyle

I don’t believe in God. My god is patriotism. Teach a man to be a good citizen and you have solved the problem of life.

― Andrew Carnegie

Take a hard look at the Grand Canyon. Try to explain that through evolution.

― Freddie Cash

We [Catholics] are also under an obligation to keep secrets faithfully. And sometimes the easiest way to fulfill that duty is to say what is false, or to tell a lie.

― Catholic Encyclical X, 195

So that a false statement knowingly made to one who has a right to the truth will not be a lie.

― Catholic Encyclical IX, 471

If, therefore, the Catholic Church also claims the right of dogmatic intolerance with regard to her teachings, it is unjust to reproach her for exercising this right…She regards dogmatic intolerance not alone as her contestable right, but also as a sacred duty…According to Romans 8:11, the secular authorities have the right to punish, especially grave crimes with death; consequently, heretics may be not only excommunicated, but also justly put to death.

― The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 Edition, Vol. 14

I can imagine no greater misfortune for a cultured people than to see in the hands of the rulers not only the civil, but also the religious power.

― Caius Valerius Catullus

The order of creation in the Bible is woefully incorrect and violates even the most simple and obvious rules of natural science.

― Charles Cazeau

We found that we didn’t have much problem with [Jesus Christ], it was his followers we found questionable.

― Graham Chapman, discussing making of Life of Brian

Education and religion are two things not regulated by supply and demand. The less of either the people have, the less they want.

― Charlotte Observer, 1897

In God we rust.

― Gordon Charrick

It is usually when men are at their most religious that they behave with the least sense and the greatest cruelty.

― Ilka Chase

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology.

― C. K. Chesterton

The villa’s and the chapel’s where

I learned with little labor

The way to love my fellow man

And hate my next‐door neighbor.

― C.K. Chesterton

…once a person admits to not believing in God, this raises the question of whether or not that person believes in America…

― Chief spokesman for national office of the Boy Scouts

Worship the gods as if they were present.

― Motto inscribed on door of Chinese temple

The Bible is one of the most genocidal books in history

― Noam Chomsky

We must not hold back in the battle for children’s minds

― Church of England spokesman

Today, Jesus’s name is used to divide us, to make us intolerant, bigoted, hateful. There is nowhere Jesus could be born today were he would feel comfortable. Jesus is being betrayed by the people who claim to believe in him.

― F. Forrester Church, in God and Other Famous Liberals

History aside, the almost universal opinion that one’s own religious convictions are the reasoned outcome of a dispassionate evaluation of all the major alternatives is almost demonstrably false for humanity in general. If that really were the genesis of most people’s convictions, then one would expect the major faiths to be distributed more or less randomly or evenly over the globe. But in fact they show a very strong tendency to cluster…which illustrates what we all suspected anyway: that social forces are the primary determinants of religious belief for people in general. To decide scientific questions by appeal to religious orthodoxy would therefore be to put social forces in place of empirical evidence…

― Paul Churchland, in Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind

I wonder that a soothsayer doesn’t laugh whenever he sees another soothsayer.

― Marcus Tullius Cicero

Kill them all. God will select those who should go to heaven and those who should go to hell.

― Abbot Arnold de Citeaux, 1205

It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him.

― Arthur C. Clarke

You don’t believe in organized religion, yet a major theme in so many of your works seems to be a quest for God. Yes, in a way—a quest for ultimate values, whatever they are. My objection to organized religion is the premature conclusion to ultimate truth that it represents…

― Arthur C. Clarke

You will find men like him in all of the world’s religions. They know that we represent reason and science, and, however confident they may be in their beliefs, they fear that we will overthrow their gods. Not necessarily through any deliberate act, but in a subtler fashion. Science can destroy a religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistance of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now.

― Arthur C. Clarke, in Childhood’s End

All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All separated from government are compatible with liberty.

― Henry Clay

For what is hairy is by nature drier and warmer than what is bare; therefore, the male is hairier and more warm blooded than the female; the uncastrated, than the castrated; the mature than the immature.

― Clement of Alexandria

Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote. The relative positions to be assumed by man and woman in the working out of our civilization were assigned long ago by a higher intelligence than ours.

― Grover Cleveland, 1905

Saying your prayers could be a health hazard according to a report in the Medical Journal of Australia. Dr. Margaret T. Taylor traced a case of lead poisoning to the rosary beads an eight‐year‐old girl was in the habit of kissing. Dr. Taylor suggested that lead poisoning from the same source could account for anemia among nuns and other members of the Catholic faith.

― Cleveland Press

It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

― W. K. Clifford

We are a people of faith. We have been so secure in that faith that we have enshrined in our Constitution protection for people who profess no faith. And good for us for doing so. That is what the First Amendment is all about.

― Bill Clinton

Sometimes I think the environment in which we operate is too secular. That fact that we have freedom of religion doesn’t mean we need to try to have freedom from religion. It doesn’t mean that those of us who have faith shouldn’t frankly admit that we are animated by that faith.

― Bill Clinton

The Bible is the authoritative Word of God and contains all truth.

― Bill Clinton

I ask you this whole week to pray for me and pray for the members of Congress; ask us not to turn away from our ministry. Our ministry is to do the work of God here on earth

― Bill Clinton

Thou shalt have one God only; who would be at the expense of two?

― Arthur Hugh Clough, in The Latest Decalogue

You read the Bible in your own special ways

you’re fond of quoting certain things it says

Mouth full of righteousness and wrath from above

When do we hear about forgiveness and love?

― Bruce Cockburn, Gospel of Bondage

If life were to be found on a planet, then it would also have been contaminated by original sin and would require salvation.

― Piero Coda, theology professor in Rome, in a statement to the Vatican, as reported by Ecumenical News International

A Roman Catholic priest and theologian has called on his church to consider the possibility of evangelizing extraterrestrials, according to published reports. After two Swiss astronomers said they had discovered the first planet in a solar system similar to Earth’s, Piero Coda, a theology professor in Rome, said any beings living on the planet would be in need of salvation.

― Associated Baptist Press article, as quoted Jennifer Graham, Knight‐Ridder Newspaper, in Mork from Ork is going to hell? Some scholars say extraterrestrials would be tainted by original sin.

The evaporation of 4 million (people) who believe in this crap would leave the world a better place.

― Andrei Codrescu, on the NPR program All Things Considered, Dec. 19, 1995, referring to believers in the Rapture

The devil and God are components of a Siamese twin. Neither has any existence apart from the other. In denying the existence of the one, Christians have helped to kill the other. If there need to be no fear of hell, people may well ask what is the attraction of heaven? Gods and devils were born together. Gods and devils will die together.

― Chapman Cohen, The Devil, Pamphlets for the People, no. 6

Regularity in Nature is not proof of the control of Nature by a Divine intelligence; it is rather the reverse. If something—call it matter, or ether, or x—exists, it must operate in accordance with its innate qualities; and so long as this x remains uncontrolled, its manifestations will continue unchallenged—in other words, there will be order. The same causes, the same results. That is the manifest signs of a natural order that knows nothing of God.

― Chapman Cohen

Now, primitive man is neither a metaphysician nor an idealist. He does not concern himself with the origin and destiny of the universe, nor even with its nature, except so far as his necessities compel him to form some conclusions as to the nature of the forces around him. His gods are in no sense a creation of an idealising faculty, they are the most concrete matter‐of‐fact expressions. It is not even a question of morality. He does not say, Let us make gods in the interest of morality and the higher life; it is the sheer pressure of facts upon an uninformed mind that leads him to believe in those extra‐natural beings, whose anger he is bound to placate.

― Chapman Cohen

Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense.

― Chapman Cohen

If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim effective power for good.

― Morris Cohen

A whole generation started the day with prayer and ended up not benefiting very much from it. After all, it was not 7‐year‐olds who gathered stoned and naked at Woodstock.

― Richard Cohen

The religious right has many people crippled and blinded…They’re cowering when there’s no need to cower. The government’s job is not to suggest, promote or choose religious thoughts to be recommended to the people.

― Tennessee State Sen. Steve Cohn, in response to a Tennessee Senate resolution urging people to post and observe the Ten Commandments

He who begins by loving Christianity more than Truth, will proceed by loving his sect or church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all.

― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

To doubt has more of faith…than that blank negation of all such thoughts and feelings which is the lot of the herd of church‐and‐meeting trotters.

― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I told the priest,

Don’t count on any second coming,

God got his ass kicked

the first time he came down here slumming.

― Concrete Blonde

The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.

― Joseph Conrad

For every age is fed on illusions, lest men should renounce life early, and the human race come to an end.

― Joseph Conrad (Korzeniowski)

And I just want to say… anyone who quotes the bible… that’s bullshit. Because the bible is a book that has fucked up the world more than any other single book. A book that was written by a bunch of male chauvinists.

― Consolidated, Dominion

As you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make one drink, so also, You can drag a Christian to the truth, but you can’t make one think.

― Delmar Coughlin

The problem with Protestantism is that it’s not quite silly enough to be rejected out of hand.

― R. Craig Coulter

I am a prophet sent by God to declare the destruction of the United States because of abortion.

― Michael Courtney

A man said to the Universe,Sir, I existYes, said the Universe, but that has not created within me a sense of obligation.

― Stephen Crane

Why does god cause tornados and train wrecks?

― Crash Test Dummies

Keep your faith in God, but keep your powder dry.

― Oliver Cromwell

I slept with Faith, and found a corpse in my arms on awaking; I drank and danced all night with Doubt, and found her a virgin in the morning.

― Aleister Crowley, in The Book of Lies

If one were to take the bible seriously one would go mad. But to take the bible seriously, one must be already mad.

― A. Crowley

There are no atheists in the foxholes.

― William Thomas Cummings, in the Field Sermon on Bataan

The price of seeking to force our beliefs on others is that someday they might force their beliefs on us.

― Mario Cuomo

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners… But for that very reason, I was shown mercy so that in me… Jesus Christ might display His unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.

― Jeffrey Dahmer, convicted serial killer, in a statement to the court, Milwaukee, WI, February 17, 1992

The best that we can do is to be kindly and helpful toward our friends and fellow passengers who are clinging to the same speck of dirt while we are drifting side by side to our common doom.

― Clarence Darrow

I don’t believe in god because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.

― Clarence Darrow, speech, Toronto, 1930

I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.

― Clarence Darrow

The fact that there is a general belief in a future life is no evidence of its truth.

― Clarence Darrow

Even many of those who claim to believe in immortality still tell themselves and others that neither side of the question is susceptible of proof. Just what can these hopeful ones believe that the word proof involves? The evidence against the persistence of personal consciousness is as strong as the the evidence for gravitation, and much more obvious. It is as convincing and unassailable as the proof of the destruction of wood or coal by fire. If it is not certain that death ends personal identity and memory, then almost nothing that man accepts as true is susceptible as proof.

― Clarence Darrow, The Myth of Immortality

They were allowed to stay there on one condition, and that is that they didn’t eat of the tree of knowledge. That has been the condition of the Christian church from then until now. They haven’t eaten as yet, as a rule they do not.

― Clarence Darrow

To think is to differ.

― Clarence Darrow, Scopes trial, July 1925

I say that religion is the belief in future life and in God. I don’t believe in either.

― Clarence Darrow, interview, N.Y. Times, 19 April 1936

The origin of the absurd idea of immortal life is easy to discover; it is kept alive by hope and fear, by childish faith, and by cowardice.

― Clarence Darrow

In spite of all the yearnings of men, no one can produce a single fact or reason to support the belief in God and in personal immortality.

― Clarence Darrow, The Sign, May 1938

Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt.

― Clarence Darrow

If today you can take a thing like evolution and make it a crime to teach in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools and next year you can make it a crime to teach it to the hustings or in the church. At the next session you may ban books and the newspapers… Ignorance and fanaticism are ever busy and need feeding. Always feeding and gloating for more. Today it is the public school teachers; tomorrow the private. The next day the preachers and the lecturers, the magazines, the books, the newspapers. After a while, Your Honor, it is the setting of man against man and creed against creed until with flying banners and beating drums we are marching backward to the glorious ages of the sixteenth centry when bigots lighted fagots to burn the men who dared to bring any intelligence and enlightenment and culture to the human mind.

― Clarence Darrow, at the Scopes Monkey Trial, 1925

On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation…

― Charles Darwin

I can hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe, and this would include my Father, Brother and almost all my best friends, will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.

― Charles Darwin

gullibility + arrogance = Unshakable faith = −common sense

― Scott Davies

There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a hottest part implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible.

― Richard Davisson

Consider the idea of God. We do not know how it arose in the meme pool. Probably it originated many times by independent mutation. In any case, it is very old indeed. How does it replicate itself? By the spoken and written word, aided by great music and great art. Why does it have such high survival value? Remember that survival value here does not mean value for a gene in a gene pool, but value for a meme in a meme pool. The question really means: What is it about the idea of a god that gives it its stability and penetrance in the cultural environment? The survival value of the god meme in the meme pool results from its great psychological appeal. It provides a superficially plausible answer to deep and troubling questions about existence. It suggests that injustices in this world may be rectified in the next. The everlasting arms hold out a cushion against our own inadequacies which, like a doctor’s placebo, is none the less effective for being imaginary. There are some of the reasons why the idea of God is copied so readily by successive generations of individual brains. God exists, if only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture.

― Richard Dawkins, in The Selfish Gene

Another meme of the religious meme complex is called faith. It means blind trust, in the absence of evidence, even in the teeth of evidence. The story of Doubting Thomas is told, not so that we shall admire Thomas, but so that we can admire the other apostles in comparison. Thomas demanded evidence. Nothing is more lethal for certain kinds of meme than a tendency to look for evidence. The other apostles, whose faith was so strong that they did not need evidence, are held up to us as worthy of imitation. The meme for blind faith secures its own perpetuation by the simple unconscious expedient of discouraging rational inquiry.

― Richard Dawkins, in The Selfish Gene

Blind faith can justify anything. In a man believes in a different god, or even if he uses a different ritual for worshipping the same god, blind faith can decree that he should die—on the cross, at the stake, skewered on a Crusader’s sword, shot in a Beirut street, or blown up in a bar in Belfast. Memes for blind faith have their own ruthless ways of propagating themselves. This is true of patriotic and political as well as religious blind faith.

― Richard Dawkins, in The Selfish Gene

I think what attracts me about the Electric Monk is that it’s such an eloquent example of the futility of belief for belief’s sake. I mean there’s only any point in believing something if it’s true.

― Richard Dawkins

And it’s not just faith itself: it’s the idea that faith is a virtue and the less evidence there is, the more virtuous it is. You can actually quote, well, Tertullian for example: It is certain because it is impossible. Sir Thomas Brown, actually seeking for more difficult things to believe, because things for which there is mere evidence are just too easy, and it’s no test of his faith. In order to have a test of your faith, you must be asked to believe really daft things like the transubstantiation, you know, the blood of Christ turning into wine, and stuff… That is so manifestly absurd that you’ve got to be a really great believer, in the class of the Electric Monk, in order to believe it… You’re actually showing off your believing credentials by the ability to believe something like that… If it were an easy thing to believe, substantiated by facts, then it wouldn’t be any great achievement.

― Richard Dawkins

The level of awe that you get by contemplating the modern scientific view of the universe: deep time (by which I mean geological time), deep space, and what you could call deep complexity, living things… that level of awe is just orders of magnitude greater and more awe‐inspiring than the sort of pokey medieval world‐view which the church still actually has. I mean, they sort of pay lip‐service to the scientific world‐view, but if you listen to what they say on Thought For The Day [a religious program on BBC Radio] and things like that, it is medieval. It’s a small world, a small universe, with the sky up there, very little advance since that time. So I yield to nobody in my awe for the universe and for life, but I also have a deep desire to understand it, in terms of what makes it work, what makes it tick, and not to take refuge in spurious non‐explanations like I just believe it because I believe it, that sort of thing.

― Richard Dawkins

On the contrary, if the universe were just electrons and selfish genes, meaningless tragedies like the crashing of this bus [full of children from a Roman Catholic school and for no apparent reason but with wholesale loss of life] are exactly what we should expect, along with equally meaningless good fortune. Such a universe would be neither evil nor good in intention. It would manifest no intentions of any kind. In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.

― Richard Dawkins, in River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

I suspect the reason is that most people […] have a residue of feeling that Darwinian evolution isn’t quite big enough to explain everything about life. All I can say as a biologist is that the feeling disappears progressively the more you read about and study what is known about life and evolution.

I want to add one thing more. The more you understand the significance of evolution, the more you are pushed away from the agnostic position and towards atheism. Complex, statistically improbable things are by their nature more difficult to explain than simple, statistically probable things.

― Richard Dawkins, in the New Humanist

Science offers us an explanation of how complexity (the difficult) arose out of simplicity (the easy). The hypothesis of God offers no worthwhile explanation for anything, for it simply postulates what we are trying to explain. It postulates the difficult to explain, and leaves it at that. We cannot prove that there is no God, but we can safely conclude the He is very, very improbable indeed.

― Richard Dawkins, in the New Humanist

The analogy between telescope and eye, between watch and living organism, is false. All appearances to the contrary, the only watchmaker in nature is the blind forces of physics, albeit deployed in a very special way. A true watchmaker has foresight: he designs his cogs and springs, and plans their interconnections, with a future purpose in his mind’s eye. Natural selection, the blind, unconscious, automatic process which Darwin discovered, and which we now know is the explanation for the existence and apparently purposeful form of all life, has no purpose in mind. It has no mind and no mind’s eye. It does not plan for the future. It has no vision, no foresight, no sight at all. If it can be said to play the role of watchmaker in nature, it is the blind watchmaker.

― Richard Dawkins, in The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1987

The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.

― Richard Dawkins, in The Blind Watchmaker, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1987

All religions make me wanna throw up

All religions make me sick

All religions make me wanna throw up

All religions suck

They all claim that they have the Answer

When they don’t even know the Question

They’re just a bunch of liars

They just want your money

They just want your consciousness

All religions suck

All religions make me wanna throw up

All religions suck

All religions make me wanna BLEAH!

They really make me sick

They really make me sick

They really make me ILL!

― Dead Kennedys, in Religious Vomit

You’ve got a Methodist Coloring Book

And you color really well

But don’t color outside the lines

Or God will send you to hell

― Dead Milkmen, Methodist Coloring Book

…this monkey mythology of Darwin is the cause of permissiveness, promiscuity, prophylactics, perversions, pregnancies, abortions, pornotherapy, pollution, poisoning and proliferation of crimes of all types.

― Judge Braswell Dean, in Time Magazine, March 1981

…And whereas it has also come to the knowledge of the said Congregation that the Pythagorean doctrine—which is false and altogether opposed to the Holy Scripture—of the motion of the Earth and the immobility of the Sun, which is also taught by Nicolaus Copernicus in De Revolutionibus orbium coelestium, and by Diego de Zuiga on Job, is now being spread abroad and accepted by many… Therefore, in order that this opinion may not insinuate itself any further to the prejudice of Catholic truth, the Holy Congregation has decreed that the said Nicolaus Copernicus, De Revolutionibus orbium, and Diego de Zuiga, On Job, be suspended until they are corrected.

― Decree of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Index condemning De Revolutionibus, March 5, 1616

The Catholic Church… upheld feudalism, then monarchism, warning of growing evils and possible revolutions. In the same manner, and under the same reservations, she now upholds capitalism; but, above all things and forever, she upholds the Catholic Church.

― Daniel DeLeon, The Vatican in Politics, 1891

The capitalist class is interested in keeping the workingmen divided among themselves. Hence it foments race and religious animosities that come down from the past.

― Daniel DeLeon, Two Pages from Roman History, 1903

Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.

― Democritus

The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight—that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether

― Daniel Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, p. 18

In the beginning, there were no reasons; there were only causes. Nothing had a purpose, nothing has so much as a function; there was no teleology in the world at all.

― Daniel C. Dennett, in Consciousness Explained, Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1991

I don’t want to start

Any blasphemous rumours

But I think that God’s

Got a sick sense of humour

And when I die

I expect to find him laughing

― Depeche Mode, in Blasphemous Rumours

girl of eighteen

fell in love with everything

found new life in Jesus Christ

hit by a car

ended up

in a life support machine

― Depeche Mode

The seeker after truth must, once in the course of his life, doubt everything, as far as is possible. What is doubtful should even be considered as false. This doubt should not, meanwhile, be applied to ordinary life.

― Descartes, 1‐3rd Principles of Human Knowledge

When Yahweh your god has settled you in the land you’re about to occupy, and driven out many infidels before you…you’re to cut them down and exterminate them. You’re to make no compromise with them or show them any mercy.

― Deut. 7:1 (KJV)

Already the spirit of our schooling is permeated with the feeling that every subject, every topic, every fact, every professed truth must be submitted to a certain publicity and impartiality. All proffered samples of learning must go to the same assay‐room and be subjected to common tests. It is the essence of all dogmatic faiths to hold that any such show‐down is sacrilegious and perverse. The characteristic of religion, from their point of view, is that it is intellectually secret, not public; peculiarly revealed, not generally known; authoritatively declared, not communicated and tested in ordinary ways…It is pertinent to point out that, as long as religion is conceived as it is now by the great majority of professed religionists, there is something self‐contradictory in speaking of education in religion in the same sense in which we speak of education in topics where the method of free inquiry has made its way. The religious would be the last to be willing that either the history or the content of religion should be taught in this spirit; while those to whom the scientific standpoint is not merely a technical device, but is the embodiment of the integrity of mind, must protest against its being taught in any other spirit.

― John Dewey, Democracy in the Schools, 1908

It (modern philosophy) certainly exacts a surrender of all supernaturalism and fixed dogma and rigid institutionalism with which Christianity has been historically associated.

― John Dewey

Styles of sculpture, music, and dance used to vary greatly from village to village within New Guinea. Some villagers along the Sepik River and in the Asmat swamps produced carvings that are now world‐famous because of their quality. But New Guinea villagers have been increasing coerced or seduced into abandoning their artistic traditions. When I visited an isolated triblet of 578 people at Bomai in 1965, the missionary controlling the only store had just manipulated the people into burning all their art. Centuries of unique cultural development (heathen artifacts, as the missionary put it) had thus been destroyed in one morning.

― Jared Diamond, in The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal, Harper Collins, New York, 1992

Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place worse than they found it.

― Charles Dickens

I believe the spreading of Catholicism to be the most horrible means of political and social degredation left in the world.

― Charles Dickens

To prove the Gospels by a miracle is to prove an absurdity by something contrary to nature.

― Diderot

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

― Denis Diderot, Dithyrambe sur la fete de rois

I have only a small flickering light to guide me in the darkness of a thick forest. Up comes a theologian and blows it out.

― Denis Diderot

It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley, but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.

― Denis Diderot

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

― Philip K. Dick

The myths about Hades and the gods, though they are pure invention, help to make men virtuous.

― Diodorus Siculus, about 20 B.C.

When I look upon seamen, men of science and philosophers, man is the wisest of all beings; when I look upon priests and prophets nothing is as contemptible as man.

― Diogenes

Let me try to make crystal clear what is established beyond reasonable doubt, and what needs further study, about evolution. Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry. By contrast, the mechanisms that bring evolution about certainly need study and clarification. There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms.

― Theodosius Dobzhansky Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution, American Biology Teacher vol.35 (March 1973) reprinted in EVOLUTION VERSUS CREATIONISM, J. Peter Zetterberg ed., ORYX Press, Phoenix AZ 1983

Are we courting you? Maybe we are, but what’s wrong with that? You are the glue that holds America together.

― Bob Dole, to a rally of the Christian Coalition

For many years I have exhorted you in vain, with gentleness, preaching, praying and weeping. But according to the proverb of my country, where blessing can accomplish nothing, blows may avail. We shall rouse against you princes and prelates who, alas, will arm nations and kingdoms against this land…and thus blows will avail where blessings and gentleness have been powerless.

― St. Dominic, to the heretical Albiginses, Encyclopedia Brittanica

Where would Christianity be if Jesus got eight to fifteen years with time off for good behavior?

― NY State Senator James Donovan, speaking in support of capital punishment

You’ve got to put in your pew time and come by your disdain for religion honestly, like us.

― Doonsbury cartoon

I can find no room in my cosmos for a deity save as a waste product of human weakness, the excrement of the imagination.

― George Norman Douglas, South Wind (1917)

I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.

― Frederick Douglass, escaped slave

I bet you don’t want anything about the Bible taught in school.If they teach Greek and Roman mythology, they should also teach Middle Eastern mythology.

― Morton Downey, controversial TV talk‐show host, to Rob Sherman, spokesman for American Atheists, on the show

Geology shows that fossils are of different ages. Paleontology shows a fossil sequence, the list of species represented changes through time. Taxonomy shows biological relationships among species. Evolution is the explanation that threads it all together. Creationism is the practice of squeeezing one’s eyes shut and wailing does not!.

― Dr.Pepper

If thinking freely for yourself is a sure ticket to hell, then the conversations in heaven must be awfully boring.

― San Francisco’s infamous Dr. Weirde

Do not put your trust in such trinkets of deceit!

― Dracula, on the crucifix

How can the Church be received as a trustworthy guide in the invisible, which falls into so many errors in the visible?

― John W. Draper (1811‐1882), U.S. chemist

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstances. All forms of dogmatic religion should go. The world did without them in the past and can do so again. I cite the great civilizations of China and India.

― Theodore Dreiser, press interview, March 1941

I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world.

― Georges Duhamel

If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which he has inflicted upon men, He would kill himself.

― Alexander Dumas

Just as Philo, learned in Greek speculation, had felt a need to rephrase Judaism in forms acceptable to the logic‐loving Greeks, so John, having lived for two generations in a Hellenistic environment, sought to give a Greek philosophical tinge to the mystic Jewish doctrine that the Wisdom of God was a living being, and to the Christian doctrine that Jesus was the Messiah. Consciously or not, he continued Paul’s work of detaching Christianity from Judaism. Christ was no longer presented as a Jew, living more or less under the Jewish Law; he was make to address the Jews as you, and to speak of their Law as yours; he was not a Messiah sent to save the lost sheep of Israel, he was the coeternal Son of God; not merely the future judge of mankind, but the primeval creator of the universe. In this perspective the Jewish life of the man Jesus could be put into the background, faded almost as in Gnostic heresy; and the god Christ was assimilated to the religious and philosophical traditions of the Hellenistic mind. Now the pagan world—even the anti‐Semitic world—could accept him as its own.

― Will and Ariel Durant, in The Story of Civilization

Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. The Greek mind dying, came to a tranmigrated life in the theology and liturgy of the Church; the Greek language, having reigned for centuries over philosophy, became the vehicle of Christian literature and ritual; the Greek mysteries passed down into the impressive mystery of the Mass. Other pagan cultures contributed to the syncretist result. From Egypt came the ideas of a divine trinity, the Last Judgement, and a personal immortality of reward and punishment; from Egypt the adoration of the Mother and Child, and the mystic theosophy that made Neoplatonism and Gnosticism, and obscured the Christian creed; there, too, Christian moanasticism would find itsw exemplars and its source. From Phrygia came the worship of the Great Mother; from Syria the resurrection drama of Adonis; from Thrace, perhaps the cult of Dionysus, the dying and saving god. From Persia came millennarianism, the ages of the world, the final conflagration, the dualism of Satan and God, of Darkness and Light; already in the Forth Gospel Christ is the Light shining in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out. The Mithraic ritual so closely resemled the eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass that Christian fathers charged the Devil with inventing these similarities to mislead frail minds. Christianity was the last great creation of the ancient pagan world.

― Will and Ariel Durant, in The Story of Civilization

With the judgment of the angels and the sentence of the saints, we anathematize, execrate, curse and cast out Baruch de Spinoza, the whole of the sacred community assenting, in presence of the sacred books with the six hundred and thirteen precepts written therein, pronouncing against him the malediction wherewith Elisha cursed the children, and all the maledictions written in the Book of the Law. /…/ Let him be accursed by day, and accursed by night; let him be accursed in his lying down, and accursed in his rising up; accursed in going out and accursed in coming in. May the Lord never more pardon or acknowledge him; may the wrath and displeasure of the Lord burn henceforth against this man, load him with all the curses written in the Book of the Law, and blot out his name from under the sky.

― Excommunication of Spinoza, by the Catholic Church

We’ve satisfied our endless needs,

And justified our bloody deeds,

In the name of Destiny,

And in the Name of god

― Eagles, in The Last Resort

God says do what you wish, but make the wrong choice and you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That sir, is not free will. It would be akin to a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath and cry out for his imprisonment/execution. When god says the same we call him loving and build churches in his honor.

― William C. Easttom II

So behold here the triumph God’s wisdom has won.

Behold here the damage that can’t be undone.

Stagnation is good, and we’re good to the core,

while faith rots us like salt rots the land

If your god helps the helpless, may he help you all well.

I’m bound for the outside to find my own hell.

If defiance means death, I would die before stand

like a sheep to be thrown to God’s hand.

― Julia Ecklar, in The Hand of God

Christian Science repudiates the evidences of the senses and rests upon the supremacy of God. Christian healing…places no faith in hygiene or drugs; it reposes all faith in mind, in spiritual power divinely directed.

― Mary Baker Eddy, on Christian Science healing

My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it.

― Thomas Edison, Do We Live Again?

All Bibles are man‐made.

― Thomas Edison

So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake… Religion is all bunk.

― Thomas Edison

I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God.

― Thomas Alva Edison, Columbian Magazine

I do not believe that any type of religion should ever be introduced into the public schools of the United States.

― Thomas Edison

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked, his wrath towards you burns like fire; he is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight; you are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours. You have offended him infinitely more than ever a stubborn rebel did his prince; and yet it is nothing but his hand that holds you from falling into the fire every moment. It is to be ascribed to nothing else, that you did not go to hell the last night, that you was suffered to awake again in this world, after you closed your eyes to sleep.

― Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, preached July 8, 1741. In Ola Elizabeth Winslow, ed., Jonathon Edwards: Basic writings (New York: New American Library, 1966) p. 159.

I cannot conceive of a personal God who would directly influence the actions of individuals, or would directly sit in judgment on creatures of his own creation. I cannot do this in spite of the fact that mechanistic causality has, to a certain extent, been placed in doubt by modern science. My religiosity consists in a humble admiratation of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance—but for us, not for God.

― Albert Einstein, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

…a doctrine which is able to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests… The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.

― Albert Einstein’s address at the Princeton Theological Seminary, May 19, 1939

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery—even if mixed with fear—that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds—it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man.

― Albert Einstein, in The World as I See It

The mystical trend of our time, which shows itself particularly in the rampant growth of the so‐called Theosophy and Spiritualism, is for me no more than a symptom of weakness and confusion. Since our inner experiences consist of reproductions, and combinations of sensory impressions, the concept of a soul without a body seem to me to be empty and devoid of meaning.

― Albert Einstein

I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.

― Albert Einstein, in The World as I See It

If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed.

― Albert Einstein

A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death.

― Albert Einstein, Religion and Science, New York Times Magazine, 9 November 1930

I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.

― Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, and published by Princeton University Press.

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

― Albert Einstein

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.

― Albert Einstein, 1954, from Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman, Princeton University Press

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism

― Albert Einstein

The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.

― Albert Einstein

Scientific research is based on the idea that everything that takes place is determined by laws of nature, and therefore this holds for the action of people. For this reason, a research scientist will hardly be inclined to believe that events could be influenced by a prayer, i.e. by a wish addressed to a Supernatural Being.

― Albert Einstein, 1936, responding to a child who wrote and asked if scientists pray. Source: Albert Einstein: The Human Side, Edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann

I cannot believe that God plays dice with the cosmos.

― Albert Einstein, in the London Observer, 5 April 1964, on his problems with quantum mechanics and not, as popularly misinterpreted, an expression of religious belief.

The more a man is imbued with the ordered regularity of all events the firmer become his conviction that there is no room left by the side of this ordered regularity for causes of a different nature. For him neither the rule of human nor the rule of divine will exists as an independent cause of natural events. To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science, for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot. But I am convinced that such behavior on the part of representatives of religion would not only be unworthy but also fatal. For a doctrine which is to maintain itself not in clear light but only in the dark, will of necessity lose its effect on mankind, with incalculable harm to human progress. In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests. In their labors they will have to avail themselves of those forces which are capable of cultivating the Good, the True, and the Beautiful in humanity itself. This is, to be sure a more difficult but an incomparably more worthy task…

― Albert Einstein, Science, Philosophy, and Religion, A Symposium, published by the Conference on Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their Relation to the Democratic Way of Life, Inc., New York, 1941

Although I cannot believe that the individual survives the death of his body, feeble souls harbor such thought through fear or ridiculous egotism.

― Albert Einstein

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms.

― Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955

The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.

― Albert Einstein, letter to Sigmund Freud, 30 July 1932

I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet.

― Albert Einstein, letter, 1954

You will hardly find one among the profounder sort of scientific minds without a religious feeling of his own. But it is different from the religiosity of the naive man. For the latter, God is a being from whose care one hopes to benefit and whose punishment one fears; a sublimation of a feeling similar to that of a child for its father, a being to whom one stands, so to speak, in a personal relation, however deeply it may be tinged with awe.

But the scientist is possessed by the sense of universal causation… There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. His religious feeling takes the form of a rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law, which reveals an intelligence of such superiority that, compared with it, all the systematic thinking and acting of human beings is an utterly insignificant reflection… It is beyond question closely akin to that which has possessed the religious geniuses of all ages.

Albert Einstein, Mein Weltbild, Amsterdam: Querido Verlag, 1934

Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of awesome mystical power. We know this because they manage to be invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can’t see them.

― Steve Eley

And the alcoholic bastard waved his finger at me

His voice was filled with evangelical glee

Sipping down his gin and tonics

While preaching about the evils of narcotics

And the evils of sex, and the wages of sin

While he mentally fondles his next of kin…

― Danny Elfman, in Insanity

Man makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacrilizes himself and the world. The sacred is the prime obstacle to his freedom. He will become himself only when he is totally demysticized. He will not be truly free until he has killed the last god.

― Mircea Eliade

Our literature is a substitute for religion, and so is our religion.

― T.S. Eliot, Milton, 1947

For that again, is what all manner of religion essentially is: childish dependency.

― Albert Ellis

In a sense, the religious person must have no real views of his own and it is presumptuous of him, in fact, to have any. In regard to sex‐love affairs, to marriage and family relations, to business, to politics, and to virtually everything else that is important in his life, he must try to discover what his god and his clergy would like him to do; and he must primarily do their bidding.

― Albert Ellis

And it is in his own image, let us remember, that Man creates God.

― H. Havelock Ellis

In an early class, one of the students asked me if I believed in God. I replied, I don’t think so. And then proceeded to wail on the theme, using material from this column of some weeks ago, in which I observed the perpetuation of insanity on this planet through the mediums of Arabs‐vs‐Jews, Catholics‐vs‐Protestants, Southern Baptists‐vs‐Everyone. I said I felt if God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he them, then we were God. And when man in his most creative, his most loving, his most gentle and most human, then he is most God‐like. The student said he would pray for my immortal soul. He also asked for my address, so he could send me some literature on the subject of God. I thanked him politely and told him I’d gotten all the literature I could handle on the subject from a certain Thomas Aquinas.

― Harlan Ellison, from The Glass Teat, Article #29

When belief in a god dies, the god dies.

― Harlan Ellison, Deathbird Stories

Do you believe

God makes you breath?

How did he lose

Six million Jews?

― Emerson, Lake and Palmer

As men’s prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self‐Reliance (1841)

The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders, a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.

― R.W. Emerson

Other world! There is no other world! Here or nowhere is the whole fact.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

A sect or party is an elegant incognito devised to save a man from the vexation of thinking.

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

7. Certain crimes are committed more immediately against God himself; others, against the state; and a third kind against certain persons. The chief crie in the first class, cognizable by temporal courts, is blasphemy, under which may be included atheism. This crime consists in denying or vilifying the Deity, by speech or writing. All who curse God or any of the persons of the blessed Trinity, are to suffer death, even for a single act; and those who deny him (sic), if they persist in their denial. The denial of a providence, or of the authority of the holy Scriptures, is punishable capitally for the third offence.

― 1771 edition of Encyclopedia Brittanica, under Law: Tit. 33 Of crimes

Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot;

Or he can, but does not want to;

Or he cannot and does not want to.

If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent.

If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked.

But, if God both can and wants to abolish evil,

Then how come evil in the world?

― Epicurus

There is nothing to fear from gods,

There is nothing to feel in death,

Good can be attained,

Evil can be endured

― The Four Herbs of Epicurus

Thus that which is the most awful of evils, death, is nothing to us, since when we exist there is no death, and when there is death we do not exist.

― Epicurus

[66] To sum up (or I shall be pursuing the infinite), it is quite clear that the Christian religion has a kind of kinship with folly in some form, though it has none at all with wisdom. If you want proofs of this, first consider the fact that the very young and the very old, women and simpletons, are the people who take the greatest delight in sacred and holy things, and are therefore always found nearest the altars, led there doubtless solely by their natural instinct. Secondly, you can see how the first great founders of the faith were great lovers of simplicity and bitter enemies of learning. Finally, the biggest fools of all appear to be those who have once been wholly possessed by zeal for Christian piety. They squander their possessions, ignore insults, submit to being cheated, make no distinction between friends and enemies, shun pleasure, sustain themselves on fasting, vigils, tears, toil and humilations, scorn life and desire only death—in short, they seem to be dead to any normal feelings, as if their spirit dwelt elsewhere than in their body. What else can that be but madness? And so we should not be surprised if the apostles were thought to be drunk on new wine, and Festus judged Paul to be mad.

― Erasmus, in the Praise of Folly

Religion stills a thinking mind.

― Greg Erwin

If I didn’t know better, I would think that you were just making definitions up in an ad hoc manner to avoid coming to a conclusion which contradicted your a priori wishes.

― Greg Erwin

All religious vows, codes, and commitments are null and void herein. Please refrain from contaminating the ideosphere with harmful memes through prayer, reverence, holy books, proselytizing, prophesying, faith, speaking in tongues or spirituality. Fight the menace of second‐hand faith! Humanity sincerely thanks you!

― Greg Erwin, in The Nullifidian

Churches should look to their members and friends only for the financing of their undertakings, and no church should engage in any undertaking, no matter how laudable it may be, that its members and friends are unable or unwilling to finance.

― Sen. Sam Ervin

When religion controls government, political liberty dies;and when government controls religion, religious liberty perishes.

Sen. Sam Ervin

They feed you on the guilt to keep you humble, keep you low

Some man and myth they made up a thousand years ago.

― Melissa Etheridge, in in Silent Legacy

Do we, holding that the gods exist, deceive ourselves with insubstantial dreams and lies, while random careless chance and change alone control the world?

― Euripedes, in Hecuba

He was a wise man who originated the idea of gods.

― Euripedes

I have repeated whatever may rebound to the glory, and suppresed all that could tend to the disgrace, of our religion.

― Eusebius, in Praeparatio Evangelica

The North American church is out of touch with global realities.

― Evangelical Foreign Mission Association, affiliated with the Baptist Church, on the current state of mission outreaches by American christian churches

(19)Yet she increased her whorings, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt (20) and lusted after her paramours whose members were like those of donkeys and whose emissions was like that of stallions

― Ezekiel 23

We’re fighting against humanism, we’re fighting against liberalism… we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today…our battle is with Satan himself.

― Jerry Falwell

The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

Our goal has been achieved. The Religious Right is solidly in place, and religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

We’ve literally been inundated since the election [with evangelicals] saying please, please, please crank up the Moral Majority again.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

..If we are going to save America and evangelize the world, we cannot accommodate secular philosophies that are diametrically opposed to Christian truth…We need to pull out all the stops to recruit and train 25 million Americans to become informed pro‐moral activists whose voices can be heard in the halls of Congress.

I am convinced that America can be turned around if we will all get serious about the Master’s business. It may be late, but it is never too late to do what is right. We need an old‐fashioned, God‐honoring, Christ‐exalting revival to turn American back to God. America can be saved!

― Rev. Jerry Falwell, in the Moral Majority Report, September 1984

I feel most ministers who claim they’ve heard God’s voice are eating too much pizza before they go to bed at night, and it’s really an intestinal disorder, not a revelation.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

I hope I live to see the day, when, as in the early days of our country, we won’t have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!

― Rev. Jerry Falwell, in America Can Be Saved

I listen to feminists and all these radical gals—most of them are failures. They’ve blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That’s all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they’re mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They’re sexist. They hate men—that’s their problem.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

The decline in American pride, patriotism, and piety can be directly attributed to the extensive reading of so‐called science fiction by our young people. This poisonous rot about creatures not of God’s making, societies of aliens without a good Christian among them, and raw sex between unhuman beings with three heads and God alone knows what sort of reproductive apparatus keeps our young people from realizing the true will of God.

― Jerry Falwell, in Can Our Young People Find God in the Pages of Trashy Magazines? No, Of Course Not!

Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah’s chariotters.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

If you’re not a born‐again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

I believe that the people of Israel are the chosen people of God.

― Rev. Jerry Falwell

If god wanted people to believe in him, why’d he invent logic then?

― David Feherty, PGA Tour golfer

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.

― James Feibleman, Understanding Philosophy, 1973

Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?

― Jules Feiffer

What good is a beautiful church that serves the spiritual needs to someone sleeping on a steam grate?

― James Felder

Real religion should be something that liberates men. But churches don’t want free men who can think for themself and find their own divinity within. When a religion becomes organized it is no longer a religious experience but only superstition and estrangement.

― Federico Fellini, c.1981 60 Minutes interview by Harry Reasoner

We will not, therefore, lose our time praying to an imaginary god for things which our own exertions alone can procure.

― Francisco Ferrer

[My] purpose…is is to transform theologians into anthropologists, lovers of God into lovers of man, candidates for the next world into students of this world…I negate the fantastic hypocracy of theology and religion only in order to affirm the true nature of man.

― Feuerbach

You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don’t know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we’re here… I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It doesn’t frighten me.

― Richard P. Feynman

The greatest achievement ever made in the cause of human progress is the total and final separation of church and state. If we have nothing else to boast of, we could lay claim with justice that the first among the nations we of this country made it an article of organic law that the relations between man and his maker were a private concern, into which other men have no right to intrude. To measure the stride thus made for the Emancipation of the race, we have only to look back over the centuries that have gone before us, and recall the dreadful persecutions in the name of religion that have filled the world.

― David Dudley Field (1805‐1894) in describing American Progress in Jurisprudence, as quoted in Anson Phelps Stokes, Church And State In The United States Vol I, p. 37

The Theologian is an owl, sitting on an old dead branch in the tree of human knowledge, and hooting the same old hoots that have been hooted for hundreds and thousands of years, but he has never given a hoot for progress.

― Emmet F. Fields

Atheism is the world of reality, it is reason, it is freedom. Atheism is human concern, and intellectual honesty to a degree that the religious mind cannot begin to understand. And yet it is more than this. Atheism is not an old religion, it is not a new and coming religion, in fact it is not, and never has been, a religion at all. The definition of Atheism is magnificent in its simplicity: Atheism is merely the bed‐rock of sanity in a world of madness.

― Atheism: An Affirmative View, by Emmett F. Fields

Prayers never bring anything… They may bring solace to the sap, the bigot, the ignorant, the aboriginal, and the lazy—but to the enlightened it is the same as asking Santa Claus to bring you something for Xmas

― W.C. Fields

I’m looking for loopholes.

― W.C. Fields, caught reading the Bible

A world where most men prefer sex with little children to sex with grown women, mostly allegedly Christian parents secretly engage in bloody Satanic rituals and every third person has suffered anal, genital and other harassments by demonic dwarfs from outer space makes as much sense—and just as little sense—as a world where the universe is ruled by the ghost of a crucified Jew and George Bush had rational reasons (which no one can now remember) for bombing Iraq again two days before leaving the White House.

― Prof. T.F.X. Finnegan, Trinity College, Dublin

It remains one of the most baffling yet affecting phenomena in modern religious life: A beam of light or a spot of dirt in an otherwise ordinary place is perceived as the image of the Virgin Mary, and suddenly thousands of pilgrims descend on the site, turning it into a makeshift shrine. …In previous years, it has been a vision in the sky, a glint off a car bumper, a face in a tortilla, a tear on an icon. …But while church leaders are often loath to debunk a visionary experience, not wanting to damage the faith of thousands, they are also leery of letting such events get out of hand. If someone who claims to have communicated with the divine begins spreading teachings that are contrary to church dogma, bishops have not hesitated to step in.

― David Firestone, Newsday, Press Democrat, 23 December 1990

I see them on the corner

Big black Bible in hand

Shoutin’ at the people to hear the word of the Lord,

and it’s this:You’re just a filthy sinner‐man!

You can’t save yourself, but—Jesus can!

And then you too can be an angel with a sword— Smite the unrighteous!

Make Jesus your goal,

Sell him your soul,

Go throw your mind down the nearest hole.


And the Lord Christ Jesus will

Save you from the Devil and Sin,

The Lord Marx Lenin will

Save you from the Chairman of the Board,

The Lord Smack Needle will

Save you from the pains of life—But who will come and save you from your Lord?

― Leslie Fish, in Trinity

We warn the North that every one of the leading abolitionists is agitating the negro slavery question merely as a means to attain their ulterior ends… a surrender to Socialism and Communism—to no private property, no church, no law; to free love, free lands, free women and free children.

― George Fitzhugh, 1857

Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds. One explorer says, Some gardener must tend this plot. The other disagrees, There is no gardener. So, they pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener… So they set up a barbed wire fence. They electrify it. They patrol it with bloodhounds… But no shrieks even suggest that some intruder intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry. Yet still the Believer is not convinced. But there is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a gardener who has no scent and makes no sound, a gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden which he loves. At last the Skeptic despairs, But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even no gardener at all?

― Anthony Flew

Religion…can exercise a severe crippling and inhibiting effect upon the human mind, by fostering irrational anxiety and guilt, and by hampering the free play of the intellect.

― J.C. Flugel

The Santa myth is one of the most effective means ever devised for intimidating children, eroding their self‐esteem, twisting their behavior, warping their values, and slowing their development of critical thinking skills.

― Tom Flynn, in The Trouble with Christmas

Most humans feel what Paul Kurtz has called the transcendent temptation, the emotional drive to festoon the universe with large‐scale meaning… Secular humanists suspect there is something more gloriously human about resisting the religious impulse; about accepting the cold truth, even if that truth is only that the universe is as indifferent to us as we are to it; about facing the existential vacuum in all its horrible majesty; and constructing a life of compassion and exuberance on its brink without relying on the dubious shelter of faith.

― Tom Flynn, in The Difference a Word Makes

It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible.

― George W. Foote

Atheists are often charged with blasphemy, but it is a crime they cannot commit… When the Atheist examines, denouces, or satirises the gods, he is not dealing with persons but with ideas. He is incapable of insulting God, for he does not admit the existence of any such being… We attack not a person but a belief, not a being but an idea, not a fact but a fancy.

― G.W. Foote, Who are the Blasphemers? in Flowers of Freethought

There are two things in the world that can never get together—religion and common sense.

― George W. Foote

The exoteric, state‐organised section of the Christian Church persecuted and stamped out the esoteric section, destroying every trace of its literature… in striving to eradicate… gnosis from human history.

― Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah

Whatever sympathy I feel towards religions, whatever admiration for some of their adherents, whatever historical or biological necessity I see in them, whatever metaphorical truth, I cannot accept them as credible explanations of reality; and they are incredible to me in proportion to the degree that they require my belief in positive human attributes and intervenient powers in their divinities.

― John Fowles, in The Aristos

The absurdity of a religious practice may be clearly demonstrated without lessening the numbers of people who indulge in it.

― Anatole France

If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing

― Anatole France

[God explaining the doctrine of free will.] In order not to impair human liberty, I will be ignorant of what I know, I will thicken upon my eyes the veils I have pierced, and in my blind clear‐sightedness I will let myself be surprised by what I have foreseen.

― Anatole France

Religion has done love a great service by making it a sin.

― Anatole France

The impotence of God is infinite.

― Anatole France

One of the sponsors of the creche was asked about his interest in viewing it while it stood on Scarsdale’s Boniface Circle during the christmas season. To my surprise as the questioner, it turned out the he never bothered to go look at the creche at all, let alone to admire or draw inspiration from it. But on reflection, it should not have been so surprising. The creche was not there for him to see or to appreciate for its intrinsic spiritual value in his religious universe. it was there for others, who professed other religions or none, so that the clout of his religious group should be made manifest—above all to any in the sharply divided village who would have preferred that it not be there.

― Marvin E. Frankel, in Faith And Freedom, Religious Liberty In America

Certainly the affirmative pursuit of one’s convictions about the ultimate mystery of the universe and man’s relation to it is placed beyond the reach of law. Government may not interfere with organized or individual expressions of belief or disbelief. Propagation of belief—or even of disbelief—in the supernatural is protected, whether in church or chapel, mosque or synagogue, tabernacle or meeting‐house.

― Felix Frankfurter, U.S. Supreme Court justice, majority decision, Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586, 1940

In modern Europe, as in ancient Greece, it would seem that even inanimate objects have sometimes been punished for their misdeeds. After the revocation of the edict of Nantes, in 1685, the Protestant chapel at La Rochelle was condemned to be demolished, but the bell, perhaps out of regard for its value, was spared. However, to expiate the crime of having rung heretics to prayers, it was sentenced to be first whipped, and then buried and disinterred, by way of symbolizing its new birth at passing into Catholic hands. Thereafter it was catechized, and obliged to recant and promise that it would never again relapse into sin. Having made this ample and honourable amends, the bell was reconciled, baptized, and given, or rather sold, to the parish of St. Bartholomew. But when the governer sent in the bill for the bell to the parish authorities, they declined to settle it, alleging that the bell, as a recent convert to Catholicism, desired to take advantage of the law lately passed by the king, which allowed all new converts a delay of three years in paying their debts.

― Sir James G. Frazer, in Folklore In The Old Testament

Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out‐and‐out unbeliever.

― Sigmund Freud

The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief.

― Sigmund Freud

When a man has once brought himself to accept uncritically all the absurdities that religious doctrines put before him and even to overlook the contradictions between them, we need not be greatly suprised at the weakness of his intellect.

― Sigmund Freud, in The Future of an Illusion

Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis.

― Sigmund Freud, in Future of an Illusion

Civilization has little to fear from educated people and brain‐workers. In them the replacement of religious motives for civilized behaviours by other, secular motives, would proceed unobtrusively…

― Sigmund Freud

Religious ideas have sprung from the same need as all the other achievements of culture: from the necessity for defending itself against the crushing supremacy of nature.

― Sigmund Freud, in The Future of an Illusion

While the different religions wrangle with one another as to which of them is in possesion of the truth, In our view the truth of religion may be altogether disregarded…if one attempts to assign religion it’s place in mans evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.

― Sigmund Freud

A great deal is already gained with the first step: the humanization of nature. Impersonal forces and destinies cannot be approached… if everywhere in nature there are Beings around us of a kind that we know in our own society… we can apply the same methods against these violent supermen outside that we employ in our own society; we can try to adjure them, to appease them, to bribe them, and, by so influencing them, we may rob them of a part of their power

― Sigmund Freud, in The Future of an Illusion

No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere.

― Sigmund Freud, in The Future of an Illusion

If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man’s evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity.

― Sigmund Freud, in Moses and Monotheism

Demons do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity of man.

― Sigmund Freud

At the bottom God is nothing more than an exalted father.

― Sigmund Freud

It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after‐life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be.

― Sigmund Freud

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend Do it in the name of heaven—you can justify it in the end.

One Tin Soldier

I turned to speak to God

About the world’s despair;

But to make bad matters worse

I found God wasn’t there.

― Robert Frost

The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example.

― Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina

The careful student of history will discover that Christianity has been of very little value in advancing civilization, but has done a great deal toward retarding it.

― Matilda Joslyn Gage, in Woman, Church and State

Do not allow the Church or State to govern your thought or dictate your judgment.

― Matilda Joslyn Gage

Throughout this protracted and disgraceful assault on American womanhood the clergy baptized each new insult and act of injustice in the name of the Christian religion…

― Matilda Joslyn Gage

Those who are enslaved to their sects are not merely devoid of all sound knowledge, but they will never even stop to learn.

― Galen

I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use.

― Galileo Galilei

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.

― Galileo Galilei

They know that it is human nature to take up causes whereby a man may oppress his neighbor, no matter how unjustly. …Hence they have had no trouble in finding men who would preach the damnability and heresy of the new doctrine from the very pulpit…

― Galileo Galilei

The doctrine that the earth is neither the center of the universe nor immovable, but moves even with a daily rotation, is absurd, and both philosophically and theologically false, and at the least an error of faith.

― Catholic Church’s decision against Galileo Galilei

I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations.

― Galileo Galilei, in The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies

To command the professors of astronomy to confute their own observations is to enjoin an impossibility, for it is to command them not to see what they do see, and not to understand what they do understand, and to find what they do not discover.

― Galileo Galilei, in The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies

It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment.

― Galileo Galilei, in The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies

It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.

― Galileo Galilei, in The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies

Having been admonished by this Holy Office [the Inquisition] entirely to abandon the false opinion that the Sun was the center of the universe and immovable, and that the Earth was not the center of the same and that it moved… I abjure with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church.

― Galileo Galilei, in Recantation

Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founder’s than any other agency in the world.

― Richard Le Gallienne

I could prove God statistically.

― George Gallup

Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads.

― John Galt, in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your christians are so unlike your Christ.

― Mahatma Gandhi

The most fatal blow to progress is slavery of the intellect. The most sacred right of humanity is the right to think, and next to the right to think is the right to express that thought without fear.

― Helen H. Gardner, in Men, Women and Gods

One of my less pleasant chores when I was young was to read the Bible from one end to the other. Reading the Bible straight through is at least 70 percent discipline, like learning Latin. But the good parts are, of course, simply amazing. God is an extremely uneven writer, but when He’s good, nobody can touch Him.

― John Gardner, NYT Book Review, Jan 1983

Let me confess at once that I find something profoundly impious, almost blasphemous, about setting limits of any sort on the power of God to bring things about in any manner he chooses. If God creates a world of particles and waves, dancing in obedience to mathematical and physical laws, who are we to say that he cannot make use of those laws to cover the surface of a small planet with living creatures? A god whose creation is so imperfect that he must be continually adjusting it to make it work properly seems to me a god of relatively low order, hardly worthy of any worship.

― Martin Gardner, in The Ambidextrous Universe

The divorce between church and state ought to be absolute. It ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no church property anywhere, in any state, or in any nation, should be exempt from taxation, for if you exempt the church property of any church organization, to that extent you impose tax upon the whole community.

― James A. Garfield, address to Congress

Man created God, not God, man

― Guiseppi Garibaldi

The priest is the personification of falsehood.

― Guiseppi Garibaldi

…the only right a sodomite has in a Chrisian Theocracy is the right to die.

― Dan Gentry, of Christian Research

All in all, I can’t say I believe in god. If, in fact, I ever find out that he does indeed exist, I think I’ll stay away from him, because if he’s responsible for half the things he gets credit for, he’s got to be one mean son of a bitch.

― Peter Gether, in A Cat Abroad

The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of a military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion; and the soldiers’ pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity.

― Edward Gibbons, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful.

― Edward Gibbons

Of the three Popes, John the Twenty‐third was the first victim; he fled and was brought back a prisoner; the most scandalous charges were suppressed; the Vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest.

― Edward Gibbons, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

The Roman Catholic motto is ourselves alone for fellow Roman Catholics. We must defeat all heretics (non‐Roman Catholics) at the ballot box. The holy father states that negative tactics are fatal. The demands of the holy father (the pope) are that the public services should be 100% Roman Catholic soon. Care must be taken that no suspicion may be raised when Roman Catholics are secretly given more government jobs than Protestants, Jews, and other heretics.

― Australian Archbishop Gilroy, 1940

The activities engaged in by the Christian Coalition…were a vital part of why we had a revolution at the polls on November 8, 1994.

― Newt Gingrich

The notion of religious liberty is that you cannot be forced to participate in a religious ceremony that’s not of your choosing simply because you’re out‐voted.

― Ira Glasser, Exec. Dir.of ACLU, 1995

The unnatural, that too is natural.

― Goethe

The happy do not believe in miracles.

― Goethe

Vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made with Noah after the flood… Vaccination never saved human life. It does not prevent smallpox.

― Jehovah’s Witnesses, in The Golden Age, 1931

Religion is a superstition that originated in man’s mental ability to solve natural phenomena. The Church is an organized institution that has always been a stumbling block to progress.

― Emma Goldman, What I Believe

However, on religious issures there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B, C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God‐granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.

― Sen. Barry Goldwater

I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell’s ass.

― Sen. Barry Goldwater

If there is a God, atheism must strike Him as less of an insult than religion.

― Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

God works in many ways his wonders to perform. But He’s not a skillful mechanic. A man drives over a cliff and by a miracle he only breaks his back. It would be more divine if he were a better driver and stayed on the road.

― Paul Goodman

I don’t think evolution should be taught as a fact but as a theory that some people believe in. I don’t really know about this though, I haven’t thought about it really but there’s no way it should be taught as the truth.

― Mark Goodwin

What we have here is religious bigotry, and it represents the same insidious type of exclusion that I experienced growing up black in Dixie.

― Morgan State prof. Stefan Goodwin, on religious convocation ceremonies, Washington Post, August 17, 1994

I believe in serving God and trying to understand and obey God’s will for our lives. Cynics may wave the idea away, saying God is a myth, useful in providing comfort to the ignorant and in keeping them obedient. I know in my heart—beyond all arguing and beyond any doubt—that the cynics are wrong.

― Vice Pres. Al Gore’s commencement address at Harvard, 1994

Creation science has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage—good teaching—than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?

― Stephen Jay Gould, The Skeptical Inquirer

The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science collapses on three major grounds: the creationists’ need to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth’s history into the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all fossils are products of Noah’s flood; and their reliance upon distortion, misquote, half‐quote, and citation out of context to characterize the ideas of their opponents.

― Stephen Jay Gould, The Verdict on Creationism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Winter 87/88, pg. 186

In science, fact can only mean confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent. I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms.

― Stephen J. Gould

When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown.

― Stephen Jay Gould

God is not all that exists. God is all that does not exist.

― Remy de Gourmont (1858‐1915) French novelist, critic, philosopher

I think when a person has been found guilty of rape he should be castrated. That would stop him pretty quick.

― Billy Graham, 1974

Nobody ever told us you had to be religious.

― Nancy Grambo, whose son Buzz Grambo was kicked out of the BSA Southern Maryland Troop 427, for his lack of religious belief

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separated.

― Ulysses S. Grant, speech to the Army of the Tennessee, Des Moines,Iowa, 1875

I would suggest the taxation of all property equally whether church or corporation.

― Ulysses S. Grant (1822‐1885)

Christs soldiers fight best on their knees

― Brig. General Green, ACMTC

It is the position of some theists that their right to freedom OF religion is abridged when they are not allowed to violate the Rationalists right to freedom FROM religion.

― James T. Green

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.

― Graham Greene, 1981

Faith is the antithesis of proof.

― NY State Supreme Court Justice Edward J. Greenfield, 1995

This is not an attack on the First Amendment rights of people who believe in faith healing. We just don’t believe the First Amendment allows them to inflict their views upon their children and let them die from such things as infections, when one quick trip to a doctor would cure the problem. Children should not have to die to uphold the religious beliefs of their parents.

― Scott Greenwood, Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD)

When you arrive in a city, summon the bishops, clergy and people, and preach a solemn sermon on faith; then select certain men of good repute to help you in trying the heretics and suspects denounced before your tribunal. All who on examination are found guilty or suspected of heresy must promise to absolutely obey the commands of the Church. If they refuse, you must prosecute them.

― Pope Gregory I, order to the Dominicans on their duties in the Inquisition, 1231

I don’t care anything about the separation of church and state

― Rev. Ron Griffin, pres. of Detroit Urban League, on Gov. Engler’s plan to use churches to deliver state services. Oct 18, 1995, Detroit Free Press, article by Dawson Bell

In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm.

― Che Guevara

When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell Stop! to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind. Then recite a portion of the Bible or sing a hymn.

― Mormon Guide to Self‐Control

I am treated as evil by people who claim that they are being oppressed because they are not allowed to force me to practice what they do.

― D. Dale Gulledge

School vouchers as proposed by Reagan and Bush do not represent free market competition. The reason is fairly simple. The source of the money is not the consumers. The vouchers are paid for by tax dollars. School vouchers are an attempt to breach the separation of church and state by allowing individuals who are not constrained by the prohibition against Congress passing laws respecting religion to spend tax dollars for the benefit of the religion of their choice.

I have no objection to parents sending their children to the school of their choice. The problem with public funding of schools is that it is an inherently collectivist system. The restraints that have been placed on what public schools must teach and what they are prohibited from teaching protect us to a limited extend from the full magnitude of the damage that they have the potential to do if used as a propaganda tool.

I have never granted that anyone else rightfully has the freedom to choose how my money will be spent. The only difference between that and slavery is that the masters do not have the authority to beat, sell, or kill me if I choose not to work. Send your children to schools that brainwash them any way that you wish. But do not insist on paying for it with money taken from me by taxation.

― D. Dale Gulledge

It is probably safe to say that since the late 1960s, nearly every major religious group in the country has tried to get some offending TV material altered or banned. So has every racial minority group and almost every important national‐ethnic group.

― Max Gunther, in TV Guide, 1974

We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don’t stand up to experimentation, Buddha’s own words must be rejected.

― Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, the Time, 1988

I believe that at every level of society—familial, tribal, national and international—the key to a happier and more succesful world is the growth of compassion. We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities. I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. It is the practice of compassion.

― Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

As soon as you are willing to discard observational data because it conflicts with religion, you are giving up any hope of ever really understanding the universe. As soon as you pick religion as the touchstone of reality, then we have to start discussing how one can demonstrate the correctness of one religion over another when different religions disagree.

― Wilson Heydt

The answer is simple: kill the heretics. History shows us that this is the actual solution that competing religions apply—trial by combat or trial by ordeal. God is the final arbiter. What a sad waste of human potential it has proven to be.

― Paul Hager

Humans can find a pattern in just about anything, and we must find such a pattern if we are to comprehend things. Mightn’t people be mistaking this order imposed by the human mind for order caused by God?

― J.J. Hahn, on alt.atheism

Religion is still parasitic in the interstices of our knowledge which have not yet been filled. Like bed‐bugs in the cracks of walls and furniture, miracles lurk in the lacunae of science. The scientist plasters up these cracks in our knowledge; the more militant Rationalist swats the bugs in the open. Both have their proper sphere and they should realize that they are allies.

― John Haldane, in Science and Life: Essays of a Rationalist

Scientific education and religious education are incompatible. The clergy have ceased to interfere with education at the advanced state, with which I am directly concerned, but they have still got control of that of children. This means that the children have to learn about Adam and Noah instead of about Evolution; about David who killed Goliath, instead of Koch who killed cholera; about Christ’s ascent into heaven instead of Montgolfier’s and Wright’s. Worse than that, they are taught that it is a virtue to accept statements without adequate evidence, which leaves them a prey to quacks of every kind in later life, and makes it very difficult for them to accept the methods of thought which are successful in science.

― J.B.S. Haldane

The influences that have lifted the race to a higher moral level are education, freedom, leisure, the humanizing tendency of a better‐supplied and more interesting life. In a word, science and liberalism—the two forces, fundamentally skeptical, that we havd seen continuously at work in human progress—have accomplished the very things for which religion claims the credit.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Outline of Bunk

After all, the principle objection which a thinking man has to religion is that religion is not true—and is not even sane.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

The fear of gods and devils is never anything but a pitiable degradation of the human mind.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

This question is put to Christians who believe that the Bible unerringly describes God and reports the commands and the characteristics of God. If there is a God, it is natural that we should wish to be quite correct in our understanding of that God’s nature. So, we ask: Can and does God lie?

Looking this point up in the mazes of Holy Writ, we discover confusion. In Numbers xxiii, 19, we are told: God is not a man, that he should lie. This is put even mere strongly in Hebrews vi, 18, where we read: It was impossible for God to lie.

But do these citations settle the matter? Ah, no, we are upset in, our calculations the moment we turn to 2 Thessalonians ii, 11, where we read: For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie. And in I Kings xxii, 23, God is thus reported: Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.

Can God lie? Can the Bible lie? Anyway, there is a mistake somewhere. The big mistake is in entertaining the idea of a God.

E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

When we read that some minor scientist (usually a skilled technical worker but not a thinker in science) has found God somewhere, we are not excited. We know this is only a form of words, meaning only that the scientific worker, turning away from science, has rediscovered the stale old assumption of theology, There is a God. We find invariably (as we should expect) that there is no satisfactory definition or description or identification or location or proof of a God. God is merely a word, whether it is used by a preacher or a mystic in a laboratory.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

The fact that millions of people still believe in a hell of eternal punishment for sinners and unbelievers is a drastic reminder of the need for persistent, progressive education of the masses. We have as yet only begun to realize the possibilities of progress. But science, rationalism and humanism have pointed the way, they have taken the first great steps, and we must keep right ahead on the highway of modernism.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Don’t take our word for it. Read the Bible itself. Read the statements of preachers. And you will understand that God is the most desperate character, the worst villain in all fiction.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Commonly, those who have professed the strongest motives of love of a God have demonstrated the deepest hatred toward human joy and liberty.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Theism tells men that they are the slaves of a God. Atheism assures men that they are the investigators and users of nature.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Belief in gods and belief in ghosts is identical. God is taken as a more respectable word than ghost, but it means no more.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Religion, throughout the greater part of its history, has been a form of holy terrorism. It still aims its terrors at men, but modern realism and the spread of popular enlightenment has progressively robbed those terrors of their old‐fashioned effectiveness. Wherever men take religion very seriously—wherever there is devout belief—there is also the inseparable feeling of fear.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Christian theology has taught men that they should submit with unintelligent resignation to the worst real evils of life and waste their time in consideration of imaginary evils in the life to come.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Priests and preachers have tricked, terrified and exploited mankind. They have lied for glory of God. They have collected immense financial tribute for the glory of God. Whatever may be said about the character of individuals among the clergy, the character of the profession as a whole has been distinctly and drastically anti‐human. And of course the most sincere among the clergy have been the most dangerous, for they have been willing to go to the most extreme lengths of intolerance for the glory of God.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Perhaps religion might be dismissed as unimportant if it were merely theoretical. If it were merely theoretical. It is difficult, however, if not impossible to separate theory and practice. Religion, to be sure, is full of inconsistencies between theory and practice; but there is and has always been sternly and largely a disposition of religion to enforce its theory in the conduct of life; religion has meant not simply dogmatism in abstract thinking but intolerance in legal and social action. Religion interferes with life and, being false, it necessarily interferes very much to the detriment of the sound human interests of life.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

For centuries men have fought in the most unusual and devious ways to prove the existence of a God. But evidently a God, if there were a God, has been hiding out. He has never been discovered or proved. One would think a God, if any, should have revealed himself unmistakably. Isn’t this non‐appearance of a God (the non‐appearance of a God in the shape of a single bit of evidence for his existence) a pretty, strong, sufficient proof of non‐existence?

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

A God of love, a God of wrath, a God of jealousy, a God of bigotry, a God of vulgar tirades, a God of cheating and lying—yes, the Christian God is given all of these characteristics, and isn’t it a wretched mess to be offered to men in this twentieth century? The beginning of wisdom, the beginning of humanism, the beginning of progress is the rejection of this absurd, extravagantly impossible myth of a God.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Look at the God idea from any angle, and it is foolish, it doesn’t make sense, but extravagantly proposes more mysteries than it assumes to explain. For instance, is it sensible that a real God would leave mankind in such confusion and debate about his character and his laws?

There have been many alleged revelations of God. There have, indeed, been many Gods as there have been many Bibles. And in different ages and different lands an endless game of guessing and disputing has gone on. Men have argued blindly about God. They still argue—just as blindly.

And if there is a God, we must conclude that he has willfully left men in the dark. He has not wanted men to know about him. Assuming his existence, then it would follow that he would have perfect ability to give a complete and universal explanation of himself, so that all men could see and know without further uncertainty. A real God could exhibit himself clearly to all men and have all men following his will to the last letter without a doubt or a slip.

But when we examine even cursorily the many contradictory revelations of God, the many theories and arguments, the many and diverse principles of piety, we perceive that all this talk about God his been merely the natural floundering of human ignorance.

There has been no reality in the God idea which men could discover and agree upon. The spectacle has been exactly what we should expect when men deal with theories of something which does not exist.

Hidden Gods—no Gods—all we see is man’s poor guesswork.

E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

…the Bible was a collection of books written at different times by different men—a strange mixture of diverse human documents—and a tissue of irreconcilable notions. Inspired? The Bible is not even intelligent. It is not even good craftsmanship, but is full of absurdities and contradictions.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

A sober, devout man will interpret God’s will soberly and devoutly. A fanatic, with bloodshot mind, will interpret God’s will fanatically. Men of extreme, illogical views will interpret God’s will in eccentric fashion. Kindly, charitable, generous men will interpret God’s will according to their character.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Remember that millions of Christians still base their belief in a God upon the words of the Bible, which is a collection of the most flabbergasting fictions ever imagined—by men, too, who had lawless but very poor and crude imagination. Ingersoll and numerous other critics have shot the Christian holy book full of holes. It is worthless and proves nothing concerning the existence of a God. The idea of a God is worthless and unprovable.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Talk of God leads by a direct road to the conclusion of atheism. The only sensible attitude is to dismiss the idea of God—to get it out of the way of more important ideas. The wide dissemination of this intelligent atheistic attitude is one of the leading features of any program of popular education which is completely worthy of the name.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

With its fears and superstitions and prejudices, religion poisons the mind of any one who believes in it—and even the best man, under the influence of religion, cannot reason wholesomely. Atheism, on the contrary, opens the mind to the clean winds of truth and establishes a fresh‐air sanity.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Nobody has ever taken notable pains to locate the legendary heaven; but probably that is because nobody ever thought seriously of going to a heaven.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

A few weeks ago a hurricane struck the little religious community of Bethany, Okla. A number of pious citizens of the little town were killed. Houses were destroyed—homes in which prayer and devotion reigned. A church was demolished.

Only a few miles away is the large, wicked city of Oklahoma City—at least we can certainly assume that, from the religious viewpoint, many sinners live in Oklahoma City. Assuming also (which is a great deal riskier assumption) that there is a God, why should he perpetrate this grim and sardonic joke? The sinners in the big city were left untouched. The godly folk in the little nearby village were punished by the evidences of God’s wrath. How do the religious people interpret this calamity? Often and often they explain such calamities as flood, fire and storm by saying that God is angry at the sinful people and is warning them or destroying them for their sins. Was the hurricane in Bethany a sign of the love of God for his faithful worshipers?

And God missed an even better chance, if there were a God who wished to punish rebels against his majesty and inscrutability. Just a few hundred miles north and east of Bethany, Okla., is Girard—the home of The American Freeman: and The Debunker and The Joseph McCabe Magazine and the Little Blue Books—the center of American free thought where an enormous stream of atheistic literature and. godless modern knowledge pours forth to enlighten the masses. If there were a God directing hurricanes and he wanted to really get an uncompromising foe, whom he has no chance of persuading in the ordinary way, it would have been a devastating stroke for him to send his howling punitive blasts through the town of Girard. It would be a more remarkable suggestion of the avenging act of a God if only the Haldeman‐Julius plant were destroyed and the rest of the town left unhurt—and, as good neighbors, we shouldn’t wish the Christian and respectable, people of Girard nor those who are respectable and not so Christian nor those who are Christian and not exactly respectable to suffer from our proximity and our propaganda of atheism.

Is God a joker? No—let us whisper it—the joke is that there is no God. Hurricanes come upon the just and the unjust, the pious and the impious.

E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

To be true to the mythical conception of a God is to be false to the interests of mankind.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Credulity is not a crime for the individual—but it is clearly a crime as regards the race. Just look at the actual consequences of credulity. For years men believed in the foul superstition of witchcraft and many poor people suffered for this foolish belief. There was a general belief in angels and demons, flying familiarly, yet skittishly through the air, and that belief caused untold distress and pain and tragedy. The most holy Catholic church (and, after it, the various Protestant sects) enforced the dogma that heresy was terribly sinful and punishable by death. Imagine—but all you need do is to recount—the suffering entailed by that belief.

When one surveys the causes and consequences of credulity, it is apparent that this easy believer in the impossible, this readiness toward false and fanatical notions, has been indeed a most serious and major crime against humanity. The social life in any age, it may be said, is about what its extent of credulity guarantees. In an extremely credulous age, social life will be cruel and dark and treacherous. in a skeptical age, social life will be more humane. We assert that the philosophy of humanity—that the best interests of the human race—demand a strong statement and a repeated, enlightening statement of atheism.

E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Is God fair? The Christians say that God damns forever anyone who is skeptical about truth of bunkistic religion as revealed unto the holy haranguers. What this means is that a God, if any, punishes a man for using his reason.

If there is a God in existence, reasons should be available for his existence. Assuming that such a precious thing as a man’s eternal future depends on his belief in a God, then the materials for that belief should be overwhelming and not at all doubtful.

Yet here is a man whose reason makes it impossible for him to believe in a God. He sees no evidence of such an entity. He finds all the arguments weak and worthless. He doubts and he denies.

Then is a God fair in visiting upon such a skeptic the penalty for his inevitable intellectual attitude? The intelligent man refuses to believe fairy tales. Can a God blame him? If so, then a God is not as fair as an ordinarily decent man. And fairness, we think, is more important than piety.

E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

Faith, said St. Paul, is the evidence of things not seen. We should elaborate this definition by adding that faith is the assertion of things for which there is not a particle of evidence and of things which are incredible.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Meaning Of Atheism

The church has contributed nothing to civilization. It has progressed somewhat, and it has become a little more decent, in reflection of the movements of civilization that have taken place outside of the church and usually in the face of the strong opposition of the church. But the church has always resisted the process of civilization. It has struggled to the last ditch, by fair means and foul, to preserve as long as it could the vestiges of ancient and medieval theology, with all the puerile moralities and harsh customs and medieval styles of belief.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

Why should an atheist pay more taxes so that a church which he despises should pay no taxes? That’s a fair question. How can the apologists for the church exemption answer it?

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

The churches beg—and if we don’t give them money, why, they take it anyway, forcibly, by means of this unjust state tax exemption.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

The churches can well afford to pay fair taxation. But supposing they couldn’t. Would not that be a very significant evidence that the churches were not really wanted?

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

How can a preacher talk with a straight face about political graft? He is, himself, profiting by one of the most notorious political grafts in this country.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

Why should the residence of a preacher be untaxed? Useful citizens must pay taxes on their homes. Yet the Preacher—actually and notoriously the least useful member of the community—lives in a tax‐free dwelling.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

Would you tax God? asks a defender of church tax exemption. Well, if there were a God he should be able to pay his own way and support his own business. If not, then he should do like other business men and close up shop.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

Church tax exemption means that we all drop our money in the collection boxes, whether we go to church or not and whether we are interested in the church or not. It is systematic and complete robbery, from which none of us escapes.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

It is an absurd fiction that the churches are useful. They are nothing more than propaganda centers for superstitious faiths and doctrines. Church members have a right to believe in and propagate their various doctrines. But they should pay every item of the cost, of this propaganda, including fair taxation for all church property.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

There can be no perfect freedom unless the church and state are separated. But the church and state are not separated in America so long as the state grants a subsidy to the church in the form of tax exemption.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

Is a church too small and too poor to pay taxes? That means that not enough people want the church seriously enough to pay for its upkeep. Then, why should such a church exist? Why should atheists, agnostics and non‐churchgoers be forced to maintain such a useless, unwanted church by granting it tax exemption?

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

Martyrs have been sincere. And so have tyrants. Wise men have been sincere. And so have fools.

― E. Haldeman‐Julius, in The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.

― Butch Hancock

We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can’t scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me.

― Jack Handey, in Deep Thoughts

The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby. Let us be duly thankful for out blessings.

― Garrett Hardin, in Science and Creationism

I have been looking for god for fifty years and I think if he had existed I should have discovered him.

― Thomas Hardy

The Puritan through Life’s sweet garden goes

To pluck the thorn and cast away the rose.

― Kenneth Hare

Nothing could be more anti‐Biblical than letting women vote.

― Harper’s Magazine, November 1853

Religion; humanity’s greatest folly, greatest curse.

― Kevin Harris

…Jesus was not as peaceful as commonly believed, and that his actual teachings did not represent a fundamental break with the tradition of Jewish military messianism. A strong pro‐zealot‐bandit and anti‐Roman bias probably pervaded his original ministry. The decisive break with the Jewish messianic tradition probably came about only after the fall of Jerusalem, when the original politico‐military components in Jesus’s teachings were purged by Jewish Christians living in Rome and other cities of the empire as an adaptive response to the Roman victory.

― Marvin Harris, in Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches

Jesus is just a word I use to swear with

― Richard Harris

The barbaric religions of primitive worlds hold not a germ of scientific fact, though they claim to explain all. Yet if one of these savages has all the logical ground for his beliefs taken away, he doesn’t stop believing. He then calls his mistaken beliefs faith because he knows they are right. And he knows they are right because he has faith.

― Harry Harrison, Jason dinAlt character, Deathworld, Berkeley Medallion Edition, 1976

Mark’s declaration that Jesus came from the dispersion (nazareth), meaning the worldwide community of Jews outside Judaea (equivalent to diaspora), was misinterpreted by Matthew and Luke to mean that he came from a city called Nazareth [to fulfill prophesy]. In fact the term nazarite, or nazoraios, had nothing to do with any city of Nazareth, since no such place existed until the fifth century CE when one was built by a Christian Emperor to whom the nonexistence of Jesus’ alleged hometown was an embarrassment. (Although the site of Nazareth was occupied in the first century, there is no evidence of any village named Nazareth earlier than the fifth century…)

― William Harwood, in Mythology’s Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus, Prometheus

Businesses may come and go, but religion will last forever, for in no other endeavor does the consumer blame himself for product failure.

― Harvard Lamphoon, Doon (paraphrase)

God not only plays dice. He sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen.

― Stephen Hawking

What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn’t prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary.

― Stephen W. Hawking

My parents, though they had never formally left the ancestral Roman Catholic church, held no religious beliefs. Though they were no longer fiercely anti‐religious (as I suspect my paternal grandfather was, along with so many of the scientists of his generation), all positive dogma was for them a superstition of the past. They never took me to church. And though as part of my general education I was, soon after I had begun to read for pleasure, given a child’s Bible, it disappeared mysteriously when I got too interested in it…

By the age of fifteen, I had convinced myself that nobody could give a reasonable explanation of what he meant by the word God and that it was therefore as meaningless to assert a belief as to assert a disbelief in God.

Though this, in a general way, has remained my position ever since, I have always avoided unnecessarily to offend other people holding religious belief by displaying my lack of such belief, or even stating my lack of belief, if I was not challenged.

F.A. Hayek, in Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue, University of Chicago Press, 1994

If judged only by the results that challenge the laws of probabilities, then the power of prayer is nil.

― Judith Hayes

The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them that believe in it on the supposition that they’ll go there if they don’t.

― HBT, in The Gospel According to Fred 3:1

I haven’t heard anyone saying that she’s blackmailing anyone. I think she just wants to see if our freedom of religious expression is really protected or is the court supposed to cater to the whims of the masses who want to shop and open stores on Sunday or any other religious holiday.

― Tammy Rae Healy

God is, as it were, the sewer into which all contradictions flow

― G.W.F. Hegel, in Lectures on the History of Philosophy

A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The first best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father. But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional male‐female roles. This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes. (Brown and Bohn, 1989; Finkelhor, 1986; Fortune, 1983; Goldstein et al, 1973; Van Leeuwen, 1990). (emphasis in original)

― Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches, by Carolyn Holderread Heggen, Herald Press, Scotdale, PA, 1993 p. 73

As Pastor X slips out of bed

He puts a neat disguise on

That halo round his priestly head

Is merely his horizon.

― Piet Hein

God will forgive me; thats his business.

― Heinrich Heine

What Christian love cannot do is effected by a common hatred.

― Heinrich Heine

Christ rode on an ass, but now asses ride on Christ.

― Heine

In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in pitch‐black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind, old men as guides.

― Heinrich Heine, Gedanken und Einfalle, Volume 10

The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H.Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history.

― Lazarus Long, from Time Enough For Love by R. Heinlein

A religion is sometime a source of happiness, and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong. The great trouble with religion—any religion—is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak certainty of reason—but one cannot have both.

― Robert A. Heinlein, in Friday

History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.

― Robert Heinlein, in Notebooks of Lazarus Long

One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh.

― Robert Heinlein, in Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves. Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.

― Robert Heinlein, in Notebooks of Lazarus Long

God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent—it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.

― Robert Heinlein, in Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Of all the strange crimes that humanity has legislated out of nothing, blasphemy is the most amazing—with obscenity and indecent exposure fighting it out for second and third place.

― Robert Heinlein, in Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other sins are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful—just stupid.)

― Robert A. Heinlein

If you pray hard enough, you can make water run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course!

― Robert A. Heinlein

Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there.

― Robert A. Heinlein, in JOB: A Comedy of Justice

Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything… just give him time to rationalize it.

― Robert A. Heinlein, in JOB: A Comedy of Justice

There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the Doctrine of Divine Mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. The Almighty, he explained, finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores.

― Robert A. Heinlein, in Methuselah’s Children, 1941

God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good, and is no sillier than any other theology.

― Lazarus Long, in Time Enough for Love, by Robert Heinlein

…little children who have begun to live in their mothers’ womb and have there died, or who, having just been born, have passed away from the world without the sacrament of holy baptism… must be punished by the eternal torture of undying fire.

quoted in Hell, A Christian Doctrine

What the hell are you getting so upset about? I thought that you didn’t believe in God?

I don’t, she sobbed, bursting into tears, but the God I don’t believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He’s not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be.

Joseph Heller

Don’t tell me God works in mysterious ways. There’s nothing so mysterious about it. He’s not working at all. He’s playing. Or else He’s forgotten all about us. That’s the kind of God you people talk about—a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverance can you have for a Supreme being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was going through that warped, evil, scatalogical mind of His when He robbed old people of the ability to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain…

Who created the dangers? Oh, He was really being charitable to us when He gave us pain! Why couldn’t He have used a doorbell instead to notify us, or one of His celestial choirs? Or a system of red and blue neon tubes right in the middle of each person’s forehead?…

They certainly look beautiful now, writhing in agony or stupified with morphine, don’t they? What a colossal, immortal blunderer! When you consider the opportunity and power He had to really do a job and then look at the stupid, ugly little mess He made of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering. It’s obvious He never met a payroll. Why,no self‐respecting businessman would hire a bungler like Him as even a shipping clerk!

Yossarian to Lieutenant Scheisskopf’s wife, in Catch‐22, by Joseph Heller

A man who believes that he eats his God we do not call mad;

yet, a many who says he is Jesus Christ, we call mad.

― Helvetius

It never ceases to amaze me at how many religions depend upon circumsized penises.

― Dawn Henderson

Being unable to reason is not a positive character trait outside religion.

― Dewey Henize

Paris vaut une messe.

(Paris is worth a mass)

― Henry of Navare, who gained control of Paris just by converting to Catholicism

I’m an atheist, and that’s it. I believe there’s nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people.

― Katherine Hepburn

A blow to the head will confuse a man’s thinking, a blow to the foot has no such effect, this cannot be the result of an immaterial soul.

― Heraclitus, 500 BC

The universal cosmic process was not created by any god or man; it forever was, is, and forever will be, an Everliving Fire.

― Heraclitus of Ephesus, 500 BC

When politics and religion are intermingled, a people is suffused with a sense of invulnerability, and gathering speed in their forward charge, they fail to see the cliff ahead of them.

― Frank Herbert, in Dune

Organized Religion is like Organized Crime; it preys on peoples’ weakness, generates huge profits for its operators, and is almost impossible to eradicate.

― Mike Hermann

We should do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. If I were an unborn fetus I would want others to use force to protect me, therefore using force against abortionists is justifiable homicide.

― Pro‐Life doctor killer Paul Hill

Death opens her cavernous mouth before you. Thousands upon thousands of children are consumed by her every day. You have the ability to save some from being tossed into her gaping mouth. As hundreds are being rushed into eternity, other questions shrink in comparison to the weighty question, Should we defend born and unborn children with force?

― Rev. Paul J. Hill, in Take defensive action!

Are there any heinous sins being committed today that could again fan the flames of God’s righteous anger to the scorching point? Is there any need in today’s world for men of the stamp of Phinehas? Could the bold daring of Cozbi and Zimri in parading before Moses as he wept over sin have any modern parallels? The righteous zeal of Phinehas did not permit him to stay his hand long enough to even ask Moses or the church leaders of the wisdom of his action. If any similar zeal be found among us today, occasion to exercise it will not be lacking.

― Paul J. Hill, in Should We Defend Born And Unborn Children With Force?

There is no question that deadly force should be used to protect innocent life.

― Paul Hill, leader of Defensive Action

Saints fly only in the eyes of their disciples.

― Hindu proverb

The Peddler

In the zocalo

a one‐eyed salesman

offers me a gourd



with the face of God

painted on it

in cochineal & indigo

God is dead,

I tell him.

You are right,

he answers,

but it is only one peso.

I shake the gourd;

the seeds rattle

like thoughts in a dry brain.

O unfortunate country!

― George Hitchcock

I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord’s work.

― Adolf Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936

There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience, Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness, Sacrifice, and love of the Fatherland.

― Message, signed Hitler, painted on walls of concentration camps; Life, 193

Woman’s world is her husband, her family, her children and her home. We do not find it right when she presses into the world of men.

― Adolf Hitler

Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith…we need believing people.

― Adolf Hitler

I have followed [the Church] in giving our party program the character of unalterable finality, like the Creed. The Church has never allowed the Creed to be interfered with. It is fifteen hundred years since it was formulated, but every suggestion for its amendment, every logical criticism, or attack on it, has been rejected. The Church has realized that anything and everything can be built up on a document of that sort, no matter how contradictory or irreconcilable with it. The faithful will swallow it whole, so long as logical reasoning is never allowed to be brought to bear on it.

― Adolf Hitler, in The Voice of Destruction

My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in his might and seized the scourge to drive out of the temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profpoundly than ever before that it was for this that he had to shed his blood on the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice…

― Adolf Hitler

And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited.

― Adolf Hitler

I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator.

― Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf

What we have to fight for…is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator.

― Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf

This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief.

― Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf

And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God.

― Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf

Catholics and Protestants are fighting with one another… while the enemy of Aryan humanity and all Christendom is laughing up his sleeve.

― Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf

I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so

― Adolf Hitler

Any violence which does not spring from a spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain. It lacks the stability which can only rest in a fanatical outlook.

― Adolf Hitler, in Mein Kampf

An idea is an eye given by God for the seeing of God. Some of these eyes we cannot bear to look out of, we blind them as quickly as possible.

― Russell Hoban, Pilgermann

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.

― Eric Hoffer, in The True Believer, 1951

Crude absurdities, trivial nonsense, and sublime truths are equally potent in readying people for self‐sacrifice if they are accepted as the sole, eternal truth.

― Eric Hoffer, in The True Believer, 1951

The creed whose legitimacy is most easily challenged is likely to develop the strongest proselytizing impulse. It is doubtful whether a movement which does not profess some preposterous and patently irrational dogma can be possessed of that zealous drive which must either win men or destroy the world. It is also plausible that those movements with the greatest inner contradiction between profession and practice‐that is to say with a strong feeling of guilt‐are likely to be the most fervent in imposing their faith on others.

― Eric Hoffer, in The True Believer, 1951

Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger.

― Abbie Hoffman

Whenever religion is involved, terrorists kill more people.

― Dr. Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University, Scotland

In some sects members are told to commit violent acts because the only way they can hasten redemption or achieve salvation is to eliminate the nonbelievers.

― Dr. Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University, Scotland

perhaps as many as ninety percent of the Americans were unchurched in 1790

― Richard Hofstadter, in Anti‐Intellectualism in American Life

… mid‐eighteenth century America had a smaller proportion of church members than any other nation in Christendom…in 1800 [only] one of every fifteen Americans was a church member

― Richard Hofstadter, in Anti‐Intellectualism in American Life

Theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system.

― Paul Henri Thiry d’Holbach

When, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon…does he, in fact, do anything more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe?

― Paul Henry Thiry d’Holbach, in Systeme de la Nature

Nature tells man to consult reason, and to take it for his guide: religion teaches him that his reason is corrupted, that it is only a treacherous guide, given by a deceitful God to lead his creatures astray. Nature tells man to enlighten himself, to search after truth, to instruct himself in his duties: religion enjoins him to examine nothing, to remain in ignorance, to fear truth.

― Paul Henry Thiry d’Holbach, in Systeme de la Nature

People have suffered and become insane for centuries by the thought of eternal punishment after death. Wouldn’t it be better to depend on blind matter (…) than by a god who puts out traps for people, invites them to sin, and allows them to sin and commit crimes he could prevent. Only to finally get the barbarian pleasure to punish them in an excessive way, of no use for himself, without them changing their ways and without their example preventing others from committing crimes.

― Paul Henry Thiry d’Holbach, in Systeme de la Nature

Jesus Christ never commanded toleration as a motive for His disciples, and toleration is the antithesis of the Christian message.

― The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry by James L. Holly, Page 30

For narrowness and sectarianism, there is no equal to the Lord Jesus Christ

― The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry by James L. Holly, Page 40

What seems so right in the interest of toleration and its cousins‐liberty, equality and fraternity‐is actually one of the subtlest lies of the father of lies.

― The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry by James L. Holly, Page 40

Science is a first‐rate piece of furniture for a man’s upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor.

― Oliver Wendell Holmes

On the whole, I am on the side of the unregenerate who affirm the worth of life as an end in itself, as against the saints who deny it.

― Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (U.S. Supreme Court Justice), letter to Lady Pollock

I can’t help an occasional semi‐shudder as I remember that millions of intelligent men think that I am barred from the face of God unless I change. But how can one pretend to believe what seems to him childish and devoid alike of historical and rational foundations?

― Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., book review by Holmes for Time

The Pope put his foot on the neck of kings, but Calvin and his cohorts crushed the whole human race under their heels in the name of the Lord of Hosts.

― Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., address to the Massachusetts Medical Society, May 30, 1860

Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth.

― Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., 1860

The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent.

― John H. Holmes, A Sensible Man’s View of Religion, 1933

The whole Bible was written by slave owners, and for slave owners. There is no hint of criticism of slavery anywhere in that book. Jesus made no objection to mistreatment of slaves. He indicated that selling of debtors into slavery would be continued his forthcoming kingdom of heaven as well as masters having the right to beat their slaves and put them to torture.

― Merrill Holste, Slavery and the Bible, article in the May 1986 issue of American Atheist Magazine

Atheism deprives superstition of its stand ground, and compels Theism to reason for its existence.

― George Jacob Holyoake

The Questioning Spirit, whose curiosity has for its wholesome object the verification of truth, is the most effectual instrument of knowledge available to mankind. A well‐directed question is like a pickaxe—it liberates the gold from the superincumbent quartz. Whole systems of error sometimes fall to the ground from the force of unanswerable questions. All error has contradiction in it, which is revealed by a relevant inquiry, when an artillery of counter assertions might not disclose it. Arguments may be evaded, but a fair and pertinent question creates no animosity, and must answered, since silence is a confession of error or of ignorance.

― George Jacob Holyoake, in Introduction to A New Catechism, by M.M. Mangasaria

Few intelligent Christians can still hold to the idea that the Bible is an infallible Book, that it contains no linguistic errors, no historical discrepancies, no antiquated scientific assumptions, not even bad ethical standards. Historical investigation and literary criticism have taken the magic out of the Bible and have made it a composite human book, written by many hands in different ages. The existence of thousands of variations of texts makes it impossible to hold the doctrine of a book verbally infallible. Some might claim for the original copies of the Bible an infallible character, but this view only begs the question and makes such Christian apologetics more ridiculous in the eyes of the sincere man.

― Elmer Homrighausen, in Christianity in America

…it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.

― Sidney Hook

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex?

― Art Hoppe

…And malt does more than Milton can

To justify God’s ways to man

― A.E. Housman

A mystic is a person who is puzzled before the obvious but who understands the nonexistent

― Elbert Hubbard

Heaven: The Coney Island of the Christian imagination.

― Elbert Hubbard

Men whose lives are doubtful want a strong government and a hot religion.

― Elbert Hubbard

Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out any quicker than the Christmas spirit.

― Kin Hubbard

The way to make money is to start your own religion.

― L. Ron Hubbard

Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dolars, the best way would be to start his own religion.

― L. Ron Hubbard

If you hypothesize that there is a God, but that there is nothing sure and definite you can point to as a reliable pattern of things that God does, how does a state of affairs where a God does nothing, functions in no way, differ from a state of affairs where there is no God? And, if the situation is that there is a God, and this God does nothing that humans can surely identify as God‐action—in contradistinction from other action, physical/chemical/biological/psychological/social—then how can any human being ever have warrant for affirming God?

― C. Lee Hubbell, The American Rationalist, Oct ’94

No man has the right to have his own religion.

― Bishop Hughes, Official Journal of Bishops, Jan. 26 1852

Many good souls protest against a destructive criticism of Christianity and demand a substitute. I do not feel any obligation to substitute a new god for the old ones. I should gladly let them all go. I do not approve of cancer, and yet I do not feel that I have no right to attack a quack who promises a false cure until I have no real cure to propose. As someone said: he who helps destroy the boll‐weevil has done as constructive work as he who plants the seed.

― Rupert Hughes, Why I Quit Going to Church

It is well said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and I am confirmed every day in my intense conviction that the church as the church is the enemy of freedom. While protesting loudly its faith in the Truth with a capital T, the truth shall make us free, it fights at every step every effort to learn the truth and publish it and be guided by it.

― Rupert Hughes. Why I Quit Going to Church, 1924

John Wesley said that if you give up the witchcraft, you must give up the Bible. He is right. The choice is easy for me.

― Rupert Hughes

Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your Deity made you in his own image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.

― Victor Hugo

There is in every village a torch—the teacher; and an extinguisher—the clergyman.

― Victor Hugo

No deity will save us, we must save ourselves. Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.

― Humanist Manifesto II, Prometheus Books, 1973

…but I would still reply, that the knavery and folly of men are such common phenomena, that I should rather believe the most extraordinary events to arise from their concurrence, than admit of so signal a violation of the laws of nature.

― An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume, 10:2:30

There is not to be found, in all history, any miracle attested by a sufficient number of men, of such unquestioned good sense, education and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves

― David Hume

The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.

― David Hume, in An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

In the infancy of new religions, the wise and learned commonly esteem the matter too inconsiderable to deserve their attention or regard. And when afterwards they would willingly detect the cheat, in order to undeceive the deluded multitude, the season is now past, and the records and witnesses, which might clear up the matter, have perished beyond recovery.

― David Hume, in Of Miracles

Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.

― David Hume, in Treatise of Human Nature

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.

― David Hume, in Of Miracles

The weakness of the body and that of the mind in infancy are exactly proportioned; their vigour in manhood, their sympathetic disorder in sickness, their common gradual decay in old age. The step further seems unavoidable; their common dissolution in death.

― David Hume in Of the Immortality of the Soul

All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability.

― David Hume

The many instances of forged miracles, and prophecies, and supernatural events, which, in all ages, have either been detected by contrary evidence, or which detect themselves by their absurdity, prove sufficiently the strong propensity of mankind to the extraordinary and marvellous, and ought reasonably to begat a suspicion against all relations of this kind.

― David Hume, in Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

The believer is happy; the doubter is wise.

― Hungarian proverb

A fool’s prayer

Dear Lord,

Please help us not to be blasphemers.

In Jesus name we pray…

― Bill Huston

The Meta‐Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation.

― Lew Mammel, Jr.

One fails the Inverse‐Meta‐Turing test if one conceives of a Creator, but does not attempt to devise an intelligence test for It/Him. One also fails if the concept of the Creator remains unchanged as the result of the test.

― Bill Huston

Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science, as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules.

― Aldous Huxley

If we must play the theological game, let us never forget that it is a game. Religion, it seems to me, can survive only as a consciously accepted system of make believe.

― Aldous Huxley, in Time Must Have a Stop

You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.

― Aldous Huxley

God, in any but a purely philosophical, and one is almost tempted to say Pickwickian sense, turns out to be a product of the human mind. As an independent or unitary being active in the affairs of the universe, he does not exist.

― Julian Huxley, in Science, Religion and Human Nature

Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat.

― Julian Huxley

The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous.

― Julian Huxley

…it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what Agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to Agnosticism. That which Agnostics deny and repudiate, as immoral, is the contrary doctrine, that there are propositions which men ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence; and that reprobation ought to attach to the profession of disbelief in such inadequately supported propositions.

― Thomas Huxley

The dogma of the infallibility of the Bible is no more self‐evident than is that of the infallibility of the popes.

― Thomas Huxley

The Bible account of the creation of Eve is a preposterous fable.

― Thomas Huxley, English biologist

Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors.

― Thomas Huxley (1825‐1895), English biologist and advocate of Darwin’s natural selection theory

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

― Thomas Huxley

Nowhere is there an account or portrait of Christ laughing…he is always stern, serious and as gloomy as a prison guard. Never does one see him laughing until tears appear in his eyes like the roly‐poly squint‐eyed Buddha guffawing with arms upraised…

― I.R.

Call on God, but row away from the rocks.

― Indian proverb

To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.

― William Ralph Inge, 1920

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form.

― William Ralph Inge

We are not endeavoring to chain the future but to free the present. …We are the advocates of inquiry, investigation, and thought. …It is grander to think and investigate for yourself than to repeat a creed. …I look for the day when reason, throned upon the world’s brains, shall be the King of Kings and the God of Gods.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey. I believe it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts… I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

An honest god is the noblest work of man. …God has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved and he was invariably found on the side of those in power. …Most of the gods were pleased with sacrifice, and the smell of innocent blood has ever been considered a divine perfume.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Gods

To hate man and worship god seems to be the sum of all the creeds.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the fearless advocates of liberty and justice.

― Robert Green Ingersoll

I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

I have not the slightest confidence in spiritual manifestations.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

The Declaration of Independence was a denial, and the first denial of a nation, of the infamous dogma that God confers the right upon one man to govern others.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Individuality

With soap, baptism is a good thing.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

…to argue with a man who has renouced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 1

Nothing can exceed the mendacity of the religious press. I have had some little experience with political editors, and am forced to say, that until I read the religious papers, I did not know what malicious and slimy falsehoods could be constructed from ordinary words. The ingenuity with which the real and apparent meaning can be tortured out of language is simply amazing. The average religious editor is intolerant and insolent… and always accounts for the brave and generous actions of unbelievers by low, base, and unworthy motives.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 1

It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon that book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

I combat those only who, knowing nothing of the future, prophesy an eternity of pain—those who sow the seeds of fear in the hearts of men—those only who poison all the springs of life, and seat a skeleton at every feast.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

I would rather live and love where death is king than have eternal life where love is not.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

He who commends the brutalities of the past, sows the seeds of future crimes.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

A crime against god is a demonstrated impossibility.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Orthodoxy cannot afford to put out the fires of hell.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

If we should put god in the Constitution there would be no room left for man.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

If priests had not been fond of mutton, lambs never would have been sacrified to god. Nothing was ever carried to the temple that the priest could not use, and it always happened that god wanted what his agents liked.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

The inspiration of the Bible depends on the credulity of him who reads.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

It cannot be too often repeated, that truth scorns the assistance of miracle.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

We are told in the Pentateuch, that god, the father of us all, gave thousands of maidens, after having killed their fathers, their mothers, and their brothers, to satisfy the brutal lusts of savage men. If there be a god, I pray him to write in his book, opposite my name, that I denied this lie for him.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal. If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

The intellectual advancement of man depends on how often he can exchange an old superstition for a new truth.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

We are not accountable for the sins of Adam

― Robert G. Ingersoll

If Christ, in fact, said I came not to bring peace but a sword, it is the only prophecy in the New Testament that has been literally fulfilled.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Religion supports nobody. It has to be supported. It produces no wheat, no corn; it ploughs no land; it fells no forests. It is a perpetual mendicant. It lives on the labors of others, and then has the arrogance to pretend that it supports the giver.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

We have heard talk enough. We have listened to all the drowsy, idealess, vapid sermons that we wish to hear. We have read your Bible and the works of your best minds. We have heard your prayers, your solemn groans and your reverential amens. All these amount to less than nothing. We want one fact. We beg at the doors of your churches for just one little fact. We pass our hats along your pews and under your pulpits and implore you for just one fact. We know all about your mouldy wonders and your stale miracles. We want a this year’s fact. We ask only one. Give us one fact for charity. Your miracles are too ancient. The witnesses have been dead for nearly two thousand years. Their reputation for truth and veracity in the neighborhood where they resided is wholly unknown to us. Give us a new miracle, and substantiate it by witnesses who still have the cheerful habit of living this world. Do not send us to Jericho to hear the winding horns, nor put us in the fire with Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego. Do not compel us to navigate the sea with Captain Jonah, nor dine with Mr. Ezekiel. There is no sort of use in sending us fox‐hunting with Samson. We have positively lost all interest in that little speech so eloquently delivered by Balaam’s inspired donkey. It is worse than useless to show us fishes with money in their mouths, and call our attention to vast multitudes stuffing themselves with five crackers and two sardines. We demand a new miracle, and we demand it now. Let the church furnish at least one, or forever hold her peace.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Ministers say that they teach charity. That is natural. They live on hand‐outs. All beggars teach that others should give.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

The real oppressor, enslaver, and corrupter of the people is the Bible.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Volume 2

Theology is not what we know about God, but what we do not know about Nature. In order to increase our respect for the Bible, it became necessary for the priests to exalt and extol that book, and at the same time to decry and belittle the reasoning powers of man. The whole power of the pulpit has been used for hundreds of years to destroy the confidence of man in himself—to induce him to distrust his own powers of thought, to believe that he was wholly unable to decide any question for himself, and that all human virtue consists in faith and obedience. The church has said Believe and obey! If you reason you will become an unbeliever, and unbelievers will be lost. If you disobey, you will do so through vain pride and curiosity, and will, like Adam and Eve, be thrust from Paradise forver! For my part, I care nothing for what the church says, except in so far as it accords with my reason; and the Bible is nothing to me, only in so far as it agrees with what I think or know.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Volume 2

Blasphemy is an epithet bestowed by superstition upon common sense.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 5

Calvin founded a little theocracy, modeled after the Old Testament, and succeeded in erecting the most detestable government that ever existed, except the one from which it was copied.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 1

That church [Catholic] teaches us that we can make God happy by being miserable ourselves…

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 1

..if all the bones of all the victims of the Catholic Church could be gathered together, a monument higher than all the pyramids would rise…

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 1

Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 1

Give the church a place in the Constitution, let her touch once more the sword of power, and the priceless fruit of all ages will turn to ashes on the lips of men.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 1

By the efforts of these infidels, the name of God was left out of the Constitution of the United States. They knew that if an infinite being was put in, no room would be left for the people. They knew that if any church was made the mistress of the state, that mistress, like all others, would corrupt, weaken, and destroy.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 3

Suppose, however, that God did give this law to the Jews, and did tell them that whenever a man preached a heresy, or proposed to worship any other God that they should kill him; and suppose that afterward this same God took upon himself flesh, and came to this very chosen people and taught a different religion, and that thereupon the Jews crucified him; I ask you, did he not reap exactly what he had sown? What right would this god have to complain of a crucifixion suffered in accordance with his own command?

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Ingersoll’s Works, Vol. 2

Heresy is a cradle; orthodoxy a coffin.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

God so loved the world that he made up his mind to damn a large majority of the human race.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

EACH nation has created a god, and the god has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved, and he was invariably found on the side of those in power. Each god was intensely patriotic, and detested all nations but his own. All these gods demanded praise, flattery, and worship. Most of them were pleased with sacrifice, and the smell of innocent blood has ever been considered a divine perfume. All these gods have insisted upon having a vast number of priests, and the priests have always insisted upon being supported by the people, and the principal business of these priests has been to boast about their god, and to insist that he could easily vanquish all the other gods put together.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Most of these gods were revengeful, savage, lustful, and ignorant. As they generally depended upon their priests for information, their ignorance can hardly excite our astonishment.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

These gods did not even know the shape of the worlds they had created, but supposed them perfectly flat. Some thought the day could be lengthened by stopping the sun, that the blowing of horns could throw down the walls of a city, and all knew so little of the real nature of the people they had created, that they commanded the people to love them. Some were so ignorant as to suppose that man could believe just as he might desire, or as they might command, and that to be governed by observation, reason, and experience was a most foul and damning sin. None of these gods could give a true account of the creation of this little earth. All were woefully deficient in geology and astronomy. As a rule, they were most miserable legislators, and as executives, they were far inferior to the average of American presidents. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]These deities have demanded the most abject and degrading obedience. In order to please them, man must lay his very face in the dust. Of course, they have always been partial to the people who created them, and have generally shown their partiality by assisting those people to rob and destroy others, and to ravish their wives and daughters.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Nothing is so pleasing to these gods as the butchery of unbelievers. Nothing so enrages them, even now, as to have someone deny their existence.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Few nations have been so poor as to have but one god. Gods were made so easily, and the raw material cost so little, that generally the god market was fairly glutted, and heaven crammed with these phantoms.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

When the people failed to worship one of these gods, or failed to feed and clothe his priests, (which was much the same thing,) he generally visited them with pestilence and famine. Sometimes he allowed some other nation to drag them into slavery—to sell their wives and children; but generally he glutted his vengeance by murdering their firstborn. The priests always did their whole duty, not only in predicting these calamities, but in proving, when they did happen, that they were brought upon the people because they had not given quite enough to them.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

We are asked to justify these frightful passages, these infamous laws of war, because the Bible is the word of God. As a matter of fact, there never was, and there never can be, an argument even tending to prove the inspiration of any book whatever. In the absence of positive evidence, analogy and experience, argument is simply impossible, and at the very best, can amount only to a useless agitation of the air. The instant we admit that a book is too sacred to be doubted, or even reasoned about, we are mental serfs. It is infinitely absurd to suppose that a god would Address a communication to intelligent beings, and yet make it a crime, to be punished in eternal flames, for them to use their intelligence for the purpose of understanding his communication. If we have the right to use our reason, we certainly have the right to act in accordance with it, and no god can have the right to punish us for such action.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

The book, called the Bible, is filled with passages equally horrible, unjust and atrocious. This is the book to be read in schools in order to make our children loving, kind and gentle! This is the book they wish to be recognized in our Constitution as the source of all authority and justice!

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

And we are called upon to worship such a God; to get upon our knees and tell him that he is good, that he is merciful, that he is just, that he is love. We are asked to stifle every noble sentiment of the soul, and to trample under foot all the sweet charities of the heart. Because we refuse to stultify ourselves—refuse to become liars—we are denounced, hated, traduced and ostracized here, and this same god threatens to torment us in eternal fire the moment death allows him to fiercely clutch our naked helpless souls. Let the people hate, let the god threaten—we will educate them, and we will despise and defy the god.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called faith. What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of religion is based upon that believe. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Whether the Bible is true or false, is of no consequence in comparison with the mental freedom of the race.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Salvation through slavery is worthless. Salvation from slavery is inestimable.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

As long as man believes the Bible to be infallible, that book is his master. The civilization of this century is not the child of faith, but of unbelief—the result of free thought.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely of human invention—of barbarian invention—is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of your brain the coiled form of superstition—then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and of such atrocity.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

The account shows, however, that the gods dreaded education and knowledge then just as they do now. The church still faithfully guards the dangerous tree of knowledge, and has exerted in all ages her utmost power to keep mankind from eating the fruit thereof. The priests have never ceased repeating the old falsehood and the old threat: Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. From every pulpit comes the same cry, born of the same fear: Lest they eat and become as gods, knowing good and evil. For this reason, religion hates science, faith detests reason, theology is the sworn enemy of philosophy, and the church with its flaming sword still guards the hated tree, and like its supposed founder, curses to the lowest depths the brave thinkers who eat and become as gods.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

According to this account the promise of the devil was fulfilled to the very letter, Adam and Eve did not die, and they did become as gods, knowing good and evil.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

If the account given in Genesis is really true, ought we not, after all, to thank this serpent? He was the first schoolmaster, the first advocate of learning, the first enemy of ignorance, the first to whisper in human ears the sacred word liberty, the creator of ambition, the author of modesty, of inquiry, of doubt, of investigation, of progress and of civilization.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith! Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge!

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

There is but one way to demonstrate the existence of a power independent of and superior to nature, and that is by breaking, if only for one moment, the continuity of cause and effect. Pluck from the endless chain of existence one little link; stop for one instant the grand procession and you have shown beyond all contradiction that nature has a master. Change the fact, just for one second, that matter attracts matter, and a god appears.

The rudest savage has always known this fact, and for that reason always demanded the evidence of miracle. The founder of a religion must be able to turn water into wine—cure with a word the blind and lame, and raise with a simple touch the dead to life. It was necessary for him to demonstrate to the satisfaction of his barbarian disciple, that he was superior to nature. In times of ignorance this was easy to do. The credulity of the savage was almost boundless. To him the marvelous was the beautiful, the mysterious was the sublime. Consequently, every religion has for its foundation a miracle—that is to say, a violation of nature—that is to say, a falsehood.

No one, in the world’s whole history, ever attempted to substantiate a truth by a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of miracle. Nothing but falsehood ever attested itself by signs and wonders. No miracle ever was performed, and no sane man ever thought he had performed one, and until one is performed, there can be no evidence of the existence of any power superior to, and independent of nature.

The church wishes us to believe. Let the church, or one of its intellectual saints, perform a miracle, and we will believe. We are told that nature has a superior. Let this superior, for one single instant, control nature, and we will admit the truth of your assertions.

Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

In the olden times the church, by violating the order of nature, proved the existence of her God. At that time miracles were performed with the most astonishing ease. They became so common that the church ordered her priests to desist. And now this same church—the people having found some little sense—admits, not only, that she cannot perform a miracle but insists that the absence of miracle, the steady, unbroken march of cause and effect, proves the existence of a power superior to nature. The fact is, however, that the indissoluble chain of cause and effect proves exactly the contrary.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

If we admit that some infinite being has controlled the destinies of persons and peoples, history becomes a most cruel and bloody farce. Age after age, the strong have trampled upon the weak; the crafty and heartless have ensnared and enslaved the simple and innocent, and nowhere, in all the annals of mankind, has any god succored the oppressed.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Man should cease to expect aid from on high. By this time he should know that heaven has no ear to hear, and no hand to help. The present is the necessary child of all the past. There has been no chance, and there can be no interference.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

If abuses are destroyed, man must destroy them. If slaves are freed, man must free them. If new truths are discovered, man must discover them. If the naked are clothed; if the hungry are fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition is driven from the mind; if the defenseless are protected and if the right finally triumphs, all must be the work of man. The grand victories of the future must be won by man, and by man alone.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Man must learn to rely upon himself. Reading bibles will not protect him from the blasts of winter, but houses, fires. and clothing will. To prevent famine, one plow is worth a million sermons, and even patent medicines will cure more diseases than all the prayers uttered since the beginning of the world.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

The thoughts of man, in order to be of any real worth, must be free. Under the influence of fear the brain is paralyzed, and instead of bravely solving a problem for itself, tremblingly adopts the solution of another. As long as a majority of men will cringe to the very earth before some petty prince or king, what must be the infinite abjectness of their little souls in the presence of their supposed creator and God? Under such circumstances, what can their thoughts be worth?

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

The originality of repetition, and the mental vigor of acquiescence, are all that we have any right to expect from the Christian world. As long as every question is answered by the word God, scientific inquiry is simply impossible. As fast as phenomena are satisfactorily explained the domain of the power, supposed to be superior to nature must decrease, while the horizon of the known must as constantly continue to enlarge.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

According to the theologians, God prepared this globe expressly for the habitation of his loved children, and yet he filled the forests with ferocious beasts; placed serpents in every path; stuffed the world with earthquakes, and adorned its surface with mountains of flame.

Notwithstanding all this, we are told that the world is perfect; that it was created by a perfect being, and is therefore necessarily perfect. The next moment, these same persons will tell us that the world was cursed; covered with brambles, thistles and thorns, and that man was doomed to disease and death, simply because our poor, dear mother ate an apple contrary to the command of an arbitrary God.

Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

A very pious friend of mine, having heard that I had said the world was full of imperfections, asked me if the report was true. Upon being informed that it was, he expressed great surprise that any one could be guilty of such presumption. He said that, in his judgement, it was impossible to point out an imperfection Be kind enough, said he, to name even one improvement that you could make, if you had the power. Well, said I, I would make good health catching, instead of disease. The truth is, it is impossible to harmonize all the ills, and pains, and agonies of this world with the idea that we were created by, and are watched over and protected by an infinitely wise, powerful and beneficent God, who is superior to and independent of nature.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

The civilization of man has increased just to the same extent that religious power has decreased. The intellectual advancement of man depends upon how often he can exchange an old superstition for a new truth. The church never enabled a human being to make even one of these exchanges; on the contrary, all her power has been used to prevent them. In spite, however, of the church, man found that some of his religious conceptions were wrong. By reading his Bible, he found that the ideas of his God were more cruel and brutal than those of the most depraved savage. He also discovered that this holy book was filled with ignorance, and that it must have been written by persons wholly unacquainted with the nature of the phenomena by which we are surrounded; and now and then, some man had the goodness and courage to speak his honest thoughts. In every age some thinker, some doubter, some investigator, some hater of hypocrisy, some despiser of sham, some brave lover of the right, has gladly, proudly and heroically braved the ignorant fury of superstition for the sake of man and truth. These divine men were generally torn in pieces by the worshipers of the gods. Socrates was poisoned because he lacked reverence for some of the deities. Christ was crucified by a religious rabble for the crime of blasphemy. Nothing is more gratifying to a religionist than to destroy his enemies at the command of God. Religious persecution springs from a due admixture of love towards God and hatred towards man.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

The terrible religious wars that inundated the world with blood tended at least to bring all religion into disgrace and hatred. Thoughtful people began to question the divine origin of a religion that made its believers hold the rights of others in absolute contempt. A few began to compare Christianity with the religions of heathen people, and were forced to admit that the difference was hardly worth dying for. They also found that other nations were even happier and more prosperous than their own. They began to suspect that their religion, after all, was not of much real value.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

For ages, a deadly conflict has been waged between a few brave men and women of thought and genius upon the one side, and the great ignorant religious mass on the other. This is the war between Science and Faith. The few have appealed to reason, to honor, to law, to freedom, to the known, and to happiness here in this world. The many have appealed to prejudice, to fear, to miracle, to slavery, to the unknown, and to misery hereafter. The few have said, Think! The many have said, Believe!

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

While utterly discarding all creeds, and denying the truth of all religions, there is neither in my heart nor upon my lips a sneer for the hopeful, loving and tender souls who believe that from all this discord will result a perfect harmony; that every evil will in some mysterious way become a good, and that above and over all there is a being who, in some way, will reclaim and glorify every one of the children of men; but for those who heartlessly try to prove that salvation is almost impossible; that damnation is almost certain; that the highway of the universe leads to hell; who fill life with fear and death with horror; who curse the cradle and mock the tomb, it is impossible to entertain other than feelings of pity, contempt and scorn.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Reason, Observation and Experience—the Holy Trinity of Science—have taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us. In this belief we are content to live and die. If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Gods

Science built the Academy, superstition the inquisition.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Whoever imagines himself a favorite with God holds others in contempt.

― Robert Ingersoll, in Some Reasons Why

Whenever a man believes that he has the exact truth from God, there is in that man no spirit of compromise. He has not the modesty born of the imperfections of human nature; he has the arrogance of theological certainty and the tyranny born of ignorant assurance. Believing himself to be the slave of God, he imitates his master, and of all tyrants, the worst is a slave in power.

― Robert Ingersoll, in Some Reasons Why

When a man really believes that it is necessary to do a certain thing to be happy forever, or that a certain belief is necessary to ensure eternal joy, there is in that man no spirit of concession. He divides the whole world into saints and sinners, into believers and unbelievers, into God’s sheep and Devil’s goats, into people who will be glorified and people who are damned.

― Robert Ingersoll, in Some Reasons Why

…I want it so that every minister will be not a parrot, not an owl sitting upon a dead limb of the tree of knowledge and hooting the hoots that have been hooted for eighteen hundred years. But I want it so that each one can be an investigator, a thinker; and I want to make his congregation grand enough so that they will not only allow him to think, but will demand that he shall think, and give to them the honest truth of his thought.

― Robert Ingersoll, in Some Mistakes of Moses

There are some truths, however, that we should never forget: Superstition has always been the relentless enemy of science; faith has been a hater of demonstration; hypocrisy has been sincere only in its dread of truth, and all religions are inconsistent with mental freedom.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Fear believes—courage doubts. Fear falls upon the earth and prays—courage stands erect and thinks. Fear is barbarism—courage is civilization. Fear believes in witchcraft, in devils and in ghosts. Fear is religion, courage is science.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

If the book [the Bible] and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and my brain do not agree?

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves on all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Man, Woman and Child

All the meanness, all the revenge, all the selfishness, all the cruelty, all the hatred, all the infamy of which the heart of man is capable, grew, blossomed and bore fruit in this one word, Hell.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Is it not wonderful that the creator of all worlds, infinite in power and wisdom, could not hold his own against the gods of wood and stone? Is it not strange that after he had appeared to his chosen people, delivered them from slavery, feed them by miracles, opened the sea for a path, led them by cloud and fire, and overthrown their pursuers, they still preferred a calf of their own making? (Exod. 32:1‐8) …a God who gave his entire time for 40 years to the work of converting three millions of people, and succeeded in getting only two men, and not a single woman, decent enough to enter the promised land? (Num. 14:29‐30)

― Robert G. Ingersoll

It has been contended for many years that the Ten Commandments are the foundations of all ideas of justice and law. Nothing can be more stupidly false. Thousands of years before Moses, the Egyptians had a code far better.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

One good schoolmaster is worth a thousand priests.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.

― Robert Ingersoll

In all ages hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns upon the heads of thieves, called kings.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

For many centuries the sword and cross were allies. Together they attacked the rights of man. They defended each other.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

As long as woman regards the Bible as the charter of her rights, she will be the slave of man. The bible was not written by a woman. Within its leaves there is nothing but humiliation and shame for her.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

You have no right to erect your toll‐gate upon the highways of thought.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Ghosts

The infidels of one age have been the aureoled saints of the next. The destroyers of the old are the creators of the new.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in The Great Infidels

The history of intellectual progress is written in the lives of infidels.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions. I believe it was Magellan who said, The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the Church. On the prow of his ship were disobedience, defiance, scorn, and success.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

I would rather live with the woman I love in a world full of trouble, than to live in heaven with nobody but men.

― Robert G. Ingersoll, in Liberty of Man, Woman and Child

A believer is a bird in a cage, a free‐thinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing.

― Robert G. Ingersoll

Consequently, in the name of God Almighty, by the authority of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and by our Own, We reprove and condemn this Charter [the Magna Carta]; under pain of anathema We forbid the King to observe it or the barons to demand its execution. We declare the Charter null and of no effect, as well as all the obligations contracted to confirm it. It is Our wish that in no case should it have any effect.

― Pope Innocent III (1161‐1216)

Use against heretics the spiritual sword of excommunication, and if this does not prove effective, use the material sword.

― Pope Innocent III (1161‐1216)

The day that this country ceases to be free for irreligion, it will cease to be free for religion—except for the sect that can win political power.

― Supreme Court Justice Robert Houghwout Jackson, dissenting opinion in Zorach v. Clauson (343 US 306—1952)

If we concede to the State power and wisdom to single out duly constituted religious bodies as exclusive alternatives for compulsory secular instruction, it would be logical to also uphold the power and wisdom to choose the true faith among those duly constituted. We start down a rough road when we begin to mix compulsory public education with compulsory godliness.

― Supreme Court Justice Robert Houghwout Jackson, dissenting opinion in Zorach v. Clauson (343 US 306—1952)

If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion, or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.

― Robert H. Jackson, Supreme Court opinion (West Virginia State Board of Education v Barnette, 319 U.S. 624{1943})

The National Government will therefore regard as its first and supreme task to restore to the German people unity of mind and will. It will preserve and defend the foundations on which the strength of our nation rests. It will take under its firm protection Christianity as the basis of our morality, and the family as the nucleus of our nation and our State.

Nazism, A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts.

Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.

― William James (1842‐1910) American philosopher and psychologist

Damn the Solar System. Bad light; planets too distant; pestered with comets; feeble contrivance; could make a better myself.

― Francis [Lord] Jeffery

In addition I think science has enjoyed an extraordinary success because it has such a limited and narrow realm in which to focus its efforts. Namely, the physical universe.

― Ken Jenkins

After the survivor of the Spanish conquest has told his life’s story he is convicted by the Inquisition:

He posted no brief in defense or mitigation of his offenses, and when he was most solemnly advised by the Court President of the dire consequences he faced if found guilty, Juan Damasceno volunteered only one comment:

It will mean I do not go to the Christian heaven?

He was told that that would indeed be the worst of his punishments: that he would most assuredly not go to Heaven. At which, his smile sent a thrill of horror through every soul of the Court.

Gary Jennings, in Aztec

If it is good not to touch a woman, then it is bad to touch a woman always and in every case.

― Jerome, Epistle 48.14

Holy virginity is a better thing than conjugal chastity… A mother will hold a lesser place in the Kingdom of heaven, because she has been married, than the daughter, seeing that she is a virgin…but if thy mother has been humble and not proud, she will have some sort of place, but not thou…

― Saint Jerome, Roman theologian, Sermon 354

We Catholics may lie and say we are Protestants when we are among the Protestants or we may lie when we are among the Huguenots and say we are Huguenots; and if we wish we can stoop so low as to say we are Jews when we are among the Jews if our lying would benefit the Catholic Church.

― Jesuit oath from the Congressional Record

The Roman Catholic church, convinced that it is the only true church, must demand the right to freedom for herself alone and the end of freedom for all others.

― Jesuit publication

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.

― Jesus, Matthew 10:34

The belief that the soul continues its existence after the dissolution of the body is a matter of philosophical or theological speculation rather than of simple faith, and is accordingly nowhere expressly taught in Holy Scripture.

― The Jewish Encyclopedia (1910), Vol. VI, p. 564

No one has an idea really of where we should draw the line. What about the Bible? Every nut who kills people has a Bible lying around. If you’re looking for violent rape imagery, the Bible’s right there in your hotel room. If you just want to look up ways to screw people up, there it is, and you’re justified because God told you to. You have Shakespeare and you have Sophocles—what are we going to do, lose Oedipus Rex if someone pokes an eye out?

― Penn Jillette, Reason magazine, on censorship of violent TV shows

I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints—The sinners are much more fun.

― Billy Joel, from Only the Good Die Young

It can therefore be said that, from the viewpoint of the doctrine of the faith, there are no difficulites in explaining the origin of man, in regard to the body, by means of the theory of evolution.

― Pope John Paul II, April 16, 1986

One of my favorite fantasies is that next Sunday not one woman, in any country of the world, will go to church. If women simply stop giving our time and energy to the institutions that oppress, they cease to be.

― Sonia Johnson

It can be shown that for any nutty theory, beyond‐the‐fringe political view or strange religion there exists a proponent on the Net. The proof is left as an exercise for your kill‐file.

― Bertil Jonell

The rights of the people to be free to exercise their religious and philosophical beliefs includes by necessity the right to abstain from the practise of any religious and philosophical beliefs. This right cannot be guaranteed in any environment wherein a practice of this type is enacted in a state funded context—like a classroom—and the participation is all but complusory for those present in that they must experience another’s religious practice on their time and against their will. School ground is not the issue. School TIME is. At that point, it becomes STATE time, which makes it STATE religion. Say hello to theocracy.

― Timothy Jones

’Twas only fear first in the world made gods.

― Ben Jonson (1572?‐1637), Sejanus

When a dog barks at the moon, then it is religion; but when he barks at strangers, it is patriotism!

― David Starr Jordan, Cardiff, What Great Men Think of Religion

Theologians consider that it was the sin of pride, the sinful thought conceived in an instant: non serviam: I will not serve. That instant was [Lucifer’s] ruin.

― James Joyce, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

The idea of an incarnation of God is absurd: why should the human race think itself so superior to bees, ants, and elephants as to be put in this unique relation to its maker? Christians are like a council of frogs in a marsh or a synod of worms on a dung‐hill croaking and squeaking for our sakes was the world created.

― Julian The Apostate

Tertullian was born in Carthage somewhere about 160 A.D. He was a pagan, and he abandoned himself to the lascivious life of his city until about his 35th year, when he became a Christian…To him is ascribed the sublime confession: Credo quia absurdum est (I believe because it is absurd). This does not altogether accord with historical fact, for he merely said:

And the Son of God died, which is immediately credible because it is absurd. And buried he rose again, which is certain because it is impossible.

Thanks to the acuteness of his mind, he saw through the poverty of philosophical and Gnostic knowledge, and contemptuously rejected it.

C.G. Jung, in Psychological Types

Superstitions, cults and mysticism appear with surprising consistency during a social crisis. Today it is ESP and UFOs, astrology and clairvoyance, mystic cults and mesmeric healers. The growth of interest in such things is a sure indicator of social unrest, personal uneasiness, frustration and loss of purpose. These symptoms are also present in the West, particularly in the U.S., where they are more chronic; in the Soviet Union, however, we have an acute fever. …Carl Sagan of Cornell University has told me that in the U.S. there are 15,000 astrologers and only 1,500 astronomers. …It is fascinating that in the Soviet Union we are importing creationism from fundamentalists in the U.S. …The momentous changes happening now in the Soviet Union are the reason for this current upsurge of the irrational. What is important is the emerging extremism that they may signal.

― Sergei Kapitza, President of the Physical Society of the U.S.S.R. and editor of the Russian edition of Scientific American, Antiscience Trends in the U.S.S.R., Scientific American 265(2):32‐38, August 1991

Convicts register their religious affiliation when they’re processed into prison. And about 99.5% of the huge U.S.A. prison population consists of inmates who identified themselves as members of religious denominations.

― Gene M. Kasmar is high time that scholars of all godly religions united to confront the forces of immorality in the present day under various names such as secularism, human rights, freedom of speech.

― Tehran’s Kayhan International newspaper urging cooperation with the Vatican in opposing the U.N. population control document

Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!

One thing at least is certain—This life flies;

One thing is certain and the rest is lies;

The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

― Omar Khayyam, in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

My ancestors were Puritans from England. They arrived here in 1648 in the hope of finding greater restrictions than were permissible under English law at that time.

― Garrison Keillor

It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.

― Helen Keller

Faith is a euphemism for prejudice and religion is a euphemism for superstition.

― Paul Keller

The court decided, based on its reading of our precedents, that the effects test of Lemon is violated whenever government action creates an identification of the state with a religion, or with religion in general, …or when the effect of the governmental action is to endorse one religion over another, or to endorse religion in general.

― Justice Kennedy, opinion of the court in Lee vs. Weisman

The First Amendment’s Religion Clauses mean that religious beliefs and religious expression are too precious to be either proscribed or prescribed by the State. The design of the Constitution is that preservation and transmission of religious beliefs and worship is a responsibility and a choice committed to the private sphere, which itself is promised freedom to pursue that mission. It must not be forgotten then, that while concern must be given to define the protection granted to an objector or a dissenting non‐believer, these same Clauses exist to protect religion from government interference. James Madison, the principal author of the Bill of Rights, did not rest his opposition to a religious establishment on the sole ground of its effect on the minority. A principal ground for his view was: [E]xperience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of Religion, have had a contrary operation.

― Justice Kennedy, opinion of the court in Lee vs. Weisman

In religious debate or expression the government is not a prime participant, for the Framers deemed religious establishment antithetical to the freedom of all. The Free Exercise Clause embraces a freedom of conscience and worship that has close parallels in the speech provisions of the First Amendment, but the Establishment Clause is a specific prohibition on forms of state intervention in religious affairs with no precise counterpart in the speech provisions. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U. S. 1, 92‐93, and n. 127 (1976) (per curiam). The explanation lies in the lesson of history that was and is the inspiration for the Establishment Clause, the lesson that in the hands of government what might begin as a tolerant expression of religious views may end in a policy to indoctrinate and coerce. A state‐created orthodoxy puts at grave risk that freedom of belief and conscience which are the sole assurance that religious faith is real, not imposed.

― Justice Kennedy, opinion of the court in Lee v. Weisman

The lessons of the First Amendment are as urgent in the modern world as the 18th Century when it was written. One timeless lession is that if citizens are subjected to state‐sponsored religious exercises, the State disavows its own duty to guard and respect that sphere of inviolable conscience and belief which is the mark of a free people,

― Supreme Court Justice Kennedy for majority, Lee v. Weisman, 1992

Priestesses should be burnt at the stake because they are assuming powers they have no right to. In the medieval world that was called sorcery. The way of dealing with sorcerers was to burn them at the stake. It’s illegal now but if I had my way that is what would happen to them. In medieval times, I would burn the bloody bitches.

― Church of England vicar Rev. Anthony Kennedy, March 9,1994 as reported in the Times, regarding female CofE priests

I would shoot the bastards if I was allowed, because a woman can’t represent Christ. Men and women are totally different, that’s not my fault, and Jesus chose men for his disciples.

― Church of England vicar Rev. Anthony Kennedy, March 9,1994 regarding female CofE priests

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute—where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be Catholic) how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishoners for whom to vote—where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference—and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the president who might appoint him or the people who might elect him.

― John F. Kennedy

Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly upon our own point of view.

― Ben Kenobi, in Star Wars by George Lucas

The party stands on the basis of Positive Christianity, and Positive Christianity IS National Socialism…National Socialism is the doing of God’s will… God’s will reveals itself in German blood… Dr. Zoellner and Count Galen have tried to make clear to me that Christianity consists in faith in Christ as the Son of God. That makes me laugh… No, Christianity is not dependent upon the Apostle’s Creed… True Christianity is represented by the party, and the German people are now called by the party and especially by the Fuehrer to a real Christianity… The Fuehrer is the herald of a new revelation.

― Dr. Hans Kerrl, Nazi Minister for Church Affairs

I can’t believe in the God of my Fathers. If there is one Mind which understands all things, it will comprehend me in my unbelief. I don’t know whose hand hung Hesperus in the sky, and fixed the Dog Star, and scattered the shining dust of Heaven, and fired the sun, and froze the darkness between the lonely worlds that spin in space.

― Gerald Kersh (1911‐1968), British author, journalist

The Essenses are not mentioned anywhere in the New Testament, although their numbers were at least as great as the Sadducees and Pharisees. This would suggest an element of intentional secrecy regarding the influence of the sect on the teachings and work of Jesus.

― Holger Kersten and Elmer R. Gruber, in The Jesus Conspiracy: The Turin Shroud and the Truth About the Resurrection

The Essenes had various communities in Palestine, with the main center at Qumran on the shores of the Dead Sea. The sensational discovery of numerous scrolls in a cave at Qumran in 1947 made it possible to gain glimpses into a community which practised in a way, Christianity before Christ. As is well known, the translation of the material was systematically boycotted and only very recently almost all the Qumran texts have appeared in print. Similarities between the teaching of Jesus and those of the Essenes are obvious…

― Holger Kersten and Elmer R. Gruber, in The Jesus Conspiracy: The Turin Shroud and the Truth About the Resurrection

Qumran lies directly within the orbit of Jesus’s early activity. His first public appearance occurred in this region. It is a striking fact that the place where Jesus received the ritual baptismal bath in the Jordan at the hands of John, was only 5 km from the monastic settlement of Qumran. There is of course a reason for this. John the Baptist was a schaliach, an apostle of the sect of Qumran…John led a community of Essene moderates. After his baptism one should similarly count Jesus as a member of one of these communities, and refer to him as a Nazarene. This later led to the falsely translated and irrational description of him as Jesus of Nazareth, a place which was not even in existence at the time of Jesus. Later a sign was said to have been fixed to the Cross, giving charge against him as membership of this sect: Jesus, Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum—Jesus, Nazarene, King of the Jews.

― Holger Kersten and Elmer R. Gruber, in The Jesus Conspiracy: The Turin Shroud and the Truth About the Resurrection

ROONEY: Did you really seriously worry about going to prison?

KEVORKIAN: No! Never! Am I a criminal? The world knows I’m not a criminal! What are they trying to put me in jail for? You’ve lost common sense in this society because of religious fanaticism and dogma. You’re basing your laws, and your whole outlook on natural life, on mythology! It won’t work! That’s why you have all these problems in the world. Name them—India, Pakistan, Ireland. Name them! All these problems—they’re all religious problems!

― Jack Kevorkian

Politics must be founded on the solid faith of God almighty

― Alan Keyes, Rep. presidential candidate, at Christian Coalition Road to Victory convention

If we accept the logic of the Declaration, reverence for God is not just a matter of religious faith, it is the foundation of justice and citizenship in our republic.

― Alan Keyes, Rep. presidential candidate, 1995

The self‐assured believer is a greater sinner in the eyes of God than the troubled disbeliever.

― Søoren Kierkegaard

Christendom has done away with Christianity without being quite aware of it.

― Søren Kierkegaard, Time magazine, 16 December 1946

…It was as if the interlopers had suggested to a bunch of born‐again Christians that they hunt up the Ark of the Covenant and turn it into a pay toilet.

― Stephen King (The Wastelands)

Xtian (at crucifixion): <snif> It’s a shame he has to die

Jesus (shouting from cross): Well maybe I wouldn’t have to die if somebody would get a LADDER and a pair of PLIERS!!

― Kinison

And lo, Jesus did say unto the soldiers Not the OTHER hand. Ow shit, that hurts! You assholes!

― 2 Kinison 3:45

The Three in One, the One in Three? Not so! To my own Gods I go. It may be they shall give me greater ease than your cold Christ and tangled Trinities.

― Rudyard Kipling (1865‐1936), British author, poet. Plain Tales from the Hills, chapter heading to Lispeth (1888)

Obedience. A religion of slaves. A religion of intellectual death. I like it. Don’t ask questions, don’t think, obey the Word of the Lord—as it has been conveniently brought to you by a man in a Rolls with a heavy Rolex on his wrist. I like that job! Where can I sign up?

― Oleg Kiselev

Faith is often the boast of the man who is too lazy to investigate.

― F. M. Knowles

I have repeatedly stressed that the selfish impulses of man constitute a much less historic danger than his integrative tendencies. To put it in the simplest way: the individual who indulges in an excess of aggressive self‐assertiveness incurs the penalties of society‐he outlaws himself, he contracts out of the hierarchy. The true believer, on the other hand, becomes more closely knit into it; he enters the womb of his church, or party, or whatever the social holon to which he surrenders his identity.

― Arthur Koestler, The Ghost in the Machine

God seems to have left the receiver off the hook and time is running out.

― Arthur Koestler

What…can we surmise about the likelihood of someone’s being caring and generous, loving and helpful, just from knowing that they are a believer? Virtually nothing, say psychologists, sociologists, and others who have studied that question for decades.

― Alfie Kohn, in Psychology Today

In the brain of every religious person there is a god shaped vacuum.

― Jeremy Konopka

The church lives on the fact that modern research about Jesus is not known amongst the public.

― Hans Konzelmann

Illusions die hard and it is painful to yield to the insight that a grown‐up can be no man’s disciple.

― Sheldon B. Kopp

When I was a kid in the ghetto, a gang started going around harassing people, so some of the toughest kids formed a gang called The Sharks to stop them. The other gang was called The Jehovah’s Witnesses.

― Charles Kosar

Changes in the educational levels of the general population in recent years appear to account for much of the variance in biblical beliefs over time. The current proportion of biblical literalists is 32%, only half of what it was in 1963, when 65% of Americans said they believed in the absolute truth of all words in the Bible and that it represented the actual word of God. Belief in inerrancy is most likely to be found among people who did not complete high school (58%), and least likely among college graduates (29%).

― Barry A. Kosmin and Seymour P. Lachman, in One Nation Under God

Over the years I realized the god I prayed to was the god I invented. When I was talking to him, I was talking to myself. He had no understanding or qualities that I did not have. When I realized god was an extension of my imagination, I stopped praying to him.

― Howard Kreisner

…your belief in God is merely an escape from your monotonous, stupid and cruel life.

― Krishnamurti

There must be a Silicon Heaven. Where do all the calculators go?

― Kryten, Red Dwarf

To believe a myth is as easy a thing as breathing the air. But holding one’s breath for a lifetime—that is difficult.

― Michael P. Kube‐McDowell, Exile

It should be made clear that in order to live a Christian life, any Christian must be able to discriminate and hate, because that’s what the bible says.

― Bernhard Kuiper, Colorado Springs pastor

It makes a big difference if we think of God as a person or as a force. One way you get Christianity, the other you get Star Wars.

― Jayne Kulikauskas

Secular humanism does not have the essential attributes of a religion: belief in a deity, the wish for some sort of afterlife, sacred dogma or texts, or an absolutist moral creed. Instead, it expresses a philosophical and ethical point of view, and it draws upon the scientific method in formulationg its naturalistic view of the nature.

― Paul Kurtz and Tim Madigan, in Eupraxophy and Secular Humanism

I talk to God every day, and He’s never mentioned you.

Ladyhawke, the movie

If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the clergy.

― General Marquis De Lafayette (1789)

There is nothing more innately human than the tendency to transmute what has become customary into what has been divinely ordained.

― Suzanne Lafollette

Perhaps God is not dead; perhaps God is himself mad.

― R.D. Laing

The Church doesn’t believe in book‐burning, but it believes in restricting the use of dangerous books among those whose minds are unprepared for them.

― Francis J. Lally, American Roman Catholic Monsignor, Mike Wallace Interview, Fund for the Republic, 1958

The Church has through the centuries, understood that ideas are really more dangerous than other weapons. Their use should be restricted.

― Francis J. Lally, American Roman Catholic Monsignor, Mike Wallace Interview, Fund for the Republic, 1958

We do not ask to be born; and we do not ask to die. But born we are and die we must. We come into existence and we pass out of existence. And in neither case does high‐handed fate await our ratification of its decree.

― Corliss Lamont (1902‐1995) The Illusion of Immortality

You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.

― Anne Lamott

We found a great number of books…and since they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods of the Devil we burned them all.

― Catholic Bishop Diego De Landa, after burning priceless books of Mayan history and science, July 1562

No one has the right to destroy another person’s belief by demanding empirical evidence.

― Ann Landers, advice columnist

Even the weakest disputant is made so conceited by what he calls religion, as to think himself wiser than the wisest who think differently from him.

― Walter Savage Landor, in Melancthon and Calvin

We really have dinosaurs today, without any question. You just need the right weather conditions, as I see it, to get huge creatures. And in the ocean, of course,, we have huge creatures…This is where the pleisosauruses seem to be today, and perhaps also this fire‐breathing dragon is still down there—very rare, but occasionally there.

― Rev. Walter Lang, Founder, Bible‐Science Association

Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.

― Pierre Simon Laplace, responding to Napoleon on the issue of God and his Mecanique celeste

However incompatible the spirit of Jesus and armed force may be, and however unpleasant it may be to acknowledge the fact, as a matter of plain history the latter has often made it possible for the former to survive.

― Kenneth Scott Latourette, in A History of the Expansion of Christianity, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1937

Every religion in the world that has destroyed people is based on love.

― Anton Szandor LaVey

Whatever alleged truth is proven by results to be but an empty fiction, let it be unceremoniously flung into the outer darkness, among the dead gods, dead empires, dead philosophies, and other useless lumber and wreckage!

― Anton Szandor LaVey

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.

― Lynn Lavner

Radical antiabortion groups like Operation Rescue and Rescue America have to be dealt with as domestic terrorists as deadly as the ones who blew up the World Trade Center and as fanatic as the cultists in Waco.

― John Laws

One of the conditions (for escaping the stake) was that of stating all they knew of other heretics and apostates, which proved an exceedingly fruitful source of information as, under the general terror, there was little hesitation in denouncing not only friends and acquaintances, but the nearest and dearest kindred—parents and children, and brothers and sisters.

― Henry Charles Lea, History of the Inquisition of Spain

For the church to say that abortion is not acceptable for a Catholic is fine. To say directly or indirectly that on something that is a church teaching that you must also vote according to that—that’s not acceptable in a country based on the First Amendment.

― Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy

Pursuing the religious life today without using psychedelics drugs is like studying astronomy with the naked eye because that’s how they did it in the first century A.D., and besides, telescopes are unnatural.

― Timothy Leary, in The Politics of Ecstasy

All God’s children are not beautiful. Most of God’s children are, in fact, barely presentable.

― Fran Lebowitz

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s; and unto human beings, what?

― Stanislaw J. Lec

There once was a time when all people beleived in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages.

― Richard Lederer, in Anguished English

Would you sing Krishna bless America or pledge allegience to One nation under Allah? If not, would that make you unpatriotic?

― Chris Lee

Praying is like a rocking chair—it’ll give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.

― Gypsy Rose Lee

The principle that government may accommodate the free exercise of religion does not supersede the fundamental limitations imposed by the Establishment Clause, which guarantees at a minimum that a government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religion or its exercise, or otherwise act in a way which establishes a [state] religion or religious faith, or tends to do so. Lynch v. Donnelly, 465 U.S. 668, 678. Pp.7‐8.

(b)State officials here direct the performance of a formal religious exercise at secondary schools’ promotional and graduation ceremonies. Lee’s decision that prayers should be given and his selection of the religious participant are choices attributable to the State.

> Lee vs. Weisman, 1992, Supreme Court decision regarding prayers at US high school graduation ceremonies

To hell with the U.S. Constitution.

― Father Bernard Leeming, from America Magazine, 7/23/63

What is an anarchist? One who, choosing, accepts the responsibility of choice.

― Ursula K. LeGuin, in The Day before the Revolution

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man.

― Leibnitz

If you don’t think that logic is a good method for determining what to believe, make an attempt to convince me of that without using logic. No one has even bothered to try yet.

― Brett Lemoine

First, the statute must have a secular legislative purpose; second, its principle or primary effect must be one that neither advances nor inhibits religion (citation omitted); finally, the statute must not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion.

― The Lemon Test, from Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971


Imagine there’s no heaven.

It’s easy if you try.

No hell below us,

Above us, only sky…

― John Lennon, in Imagine

Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock’n’roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.

― John Lennon

God is a concept by which we measure our pain.

― John Lennon

It is quite unlawful to demand, defend, or to grant unconditional freedom of thought, or speech, of writing or worship, as if these were so many rights given by nature to man.

― Pope Leo XIII, Great Encyclical Letters,16

Hence from all we have hitherto said, it is clear beloved Catholics that we cannot approve the opinions which some [Protestants, Jews, and other heretics] comprise under the head of Americanism [freedom].

― Pope Leo XIII, Great Encyclical Letters,252

The equal toleration of all religions…is the same as atheism.

― Pope Leo XIII, Imortale Dei

When one creates phantoms for oneself, one puts vampires into the world, and one must nourish these children of a voluntary nightmare with one’s blood, one’s life, one’s intellegence, and one’s reason, without ever satisfying them.

― Eliphas Levi

One of the key figures of the Arab conquests is Khalid ibn al‐Walid, the chief general of Abu Bakr. After fulfilling orders by restoring the status quo at the death of the Prophet, he decided for himself the problem of what to do next by embarking on a programme of military expansion. The real beginning of the Arab conquests is the Battle of Aqraba in 633 in eastern Najd. The victory proved to the Arabs the capacity of the Medinese Government and the advisability of submitting to it. Thereafter a series of expeditions radiated in all directions

― Bernard Lewis, The Arabs in History

Christianity simply does not make sense until you have faced the sort of facts I have been describing. Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness. It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need forgiveness.

― C.S. Lewis, in Mere Xtianity

…believing in a God whom we cannot but regard as evil, and then, in mere terrified flattery calling Him good and worshipping him is a still greater danger… The ultimate question is whether the doctrine of the goodness of God or that of the inerrancy of scripture is to prevail when they conflict. I think the doctrine of the goodness of God is the more certain of the two. Indeed, only that doctrine renders this worship of Him obligatory or even permissable.

― C. S. Lewis, in letter to John Beversluis

The first thing to get clear about Christian morality between man and man is that in this department Christ did not come to teach any brand new morality. The Golden Rule of the New Testament (Do as you would be done by) is a summing up of what everyone, at bottom, had always known to be right.

― C.S. Lewis

When man comes to the realization that he is not the favorite of God; that he was not specifically created, that the universe was not made for his benefit, and that he is subject to the same laws of nature as all other forms of life, then, and not until then, will he understand that he must rely upon himself, and himself alone, for whatever benefits he is to enjoy; and devote his time and energies to helping himself and his fellow men to meet the exigencies of life and to set about to solve the difficult and intricate problems of living.

― Joseph Lewis, An Atheist Manifesto

It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a FACT, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution.

― R. C. Lewontin Evolution/Creation Debate: A Time for Truth Bioscience 31, 559 (1981) reprinted in EVOLUTION VERSUS CREATIONISM

Christian Fundamentalism: The doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.

― Andrew Lias

Christian Liberalism: The doctrine that there may be an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about baby seals but doesn’t give a damn about my sex life.

There were honest people long before there were Christians and there are, God be praised, still honest people where there are no Christians. It could therefore easily be possible that people are Christians because true Christianity corresponds to what they would have been even if Christianity did not exist.

― G. C. Lichtenberg (1742‐99), German physicist, philosopher. Aphorisms, Notebook L, aph. 16 (written 1765‐99; tr. by R. J. Hollingdale, 1990)

As nations improve, so do their gods.

― G. C. Lichtenberg (1742‐1799) German physicist, writer

It belongs to American liberty to separate entirely from the political government the institution which has its object the support and diffusion of religion.

― Prof. Francis Lieber (1802‐1872), American constitutional authorities, as quoted in Anson Phelps Stokes, Church And State In The United States Vol I, p. 34‐35

The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma.

― Abraham Lincoln

I am for liberty of conscience in its noblest, broadest, and highest sense. But I cannot give liberty of conscience to the pope and his followers, the papists, so long as they tell me, through all their councils, theologians, and canon laws that their conscience orders them to burn my wife, strangle my children, and cut my throat when they find their opportunity.

― Abraham Lincoln

I see a very dark cloud on America’s horizon, and that cloud is coming from Rome.

― Abraham Lincoln

My earlier views at the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.

― Abraham Lincoln, letter to Judge J.S. Wakefield, after the death of Willie Lincoln

It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.

― Abraham Lincoln, from What Great Men Think Of Religion by Ira Cardiff

My husband is not a Christian but is a religious man, I think.

― Mary Todd Lincoln, in Toward The Mystery

I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and by religious men who are certain they represent the Divine will. …I hope it will not be irreverent in me to say, that if it be probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me.

― Abraham Lincoln

The churches used to win their arguments against atheism, agnosticism, and other burning issues by burning the ismists, which is fine proof that there is a devil but hardly evidence that there is a God.

― Ben N. Lindsey and Wainwright Evans, The Revolt of Modern Youth, 1925

God kills indiscriminately and so shall we. For no creatures under God, are as we are, none so like Him as ourselves.

― Lestat de Lioncourt, in Interview With the Vampire, by Anne Rice

Much of the discussion on the existence of race reminds me of the obituary in Time Magazine (January 11, 1963) of Arthur O. Lovejoy. When the late Professor Lovejoy was asked at a government investigation if he believed in God, he promptly rattled off thirty‐three definitions of God and asked the questioner which one he had in mind. But of course it really didn’t matter to the questioner. To avow a belief in the existence of God simply assured one’s participation in the socio‐cultural system, in which everyone knows that God exists out there but we humans are just too ignorant to perceive or define Him accurately.

― pp. 55‐56 of On the Nonexistence of Human Races, Frank B. Livingstone, in The Concept of Race, Collier‐Macmillan, London, 196

I find every sect, as far as reason will help them, make use of it gladly; and where it fails them, they cry out, It is a matter of faith, and above reason.

― John Locke

It is possible to pay another man’s debts on his behalf, but it is not possible to make a guilty man innocent by suffering in his place.

― Carl Lofmark, in What is the Bible?

I have given myself a lot of trouble in this world with small result. I took my own life and the Church seriously, and the consequence is that I have wasted one and disturbed the other. The search for truth is not a trade by which a man can support himself; for a priest it is a supreme peril. For a long time now I have not really been a Catholic in the official sense of the word. I have strewn my intelligence and my activity to the four winds of an empty ideal…Roman Catholicism, as such, is bound to perish, and it deserves no regrets.

― Alfred Loisy, My Duel with the Vatican

From all this the conclusion follows that what we have here is not a historical tradition of a factual resurrection…but an assertion of faith. The stories of imagined apparitions are, for the most part, apologetic constructions for butressing belief by clothing it in material form. Whence it follows in this crucial case, as in that of miracles in general, that the only history we can glean from stories of supernatural magic is the history of belief.

― Alfred Loisy, Catholic Modernist. bible scholar, Professor at the Institut Catholique in France from 1889 until his excommunication from the Church in 1908, writing on contradiction between various stories of the resurection

It seems obvious to me that the notion of God has never been anything but a kind of ideal projection, a reflection upward of the human personality, and that theology never has been and never can be anything but a more and more purified mythology.

― Alfred F. Loisy, My Duel with the Vatican

There are no gods in my coffee cup.

― Tony Lawrence

Heaven and earth, centre and circumference, were created together, in the same instant, and clouds full of water… this work took place and man was created by the Trinity on the twenty‐third of October, 4004 B.C., at nine o’clock in the morning.

― John Lightfoot (Vice‐Chancellor of the University of Cambridge), 1859

History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion—i.e. none to speak of.

― Lazarus Long

The fundamentalists leap up and down in apoplectic rage and joy. Their worst fantasies are vindicated, and therefore (or so they like to think), their entire theology and socio‐political agenda is too. Meanwhile, teen‐age misanthropes and social misfits murder their enemies, classmates, families, friends, even complete strangers, all because they read one of Anton LaVey’s books or listened to one too many AC/DC records. The born‐agains are ready to burn again, and not just books this time.

― excerpt from Loompanics’ Greatest Hits

I don’t really miss god but I sure miss santa claus!

― Courtney Love

Toward no crimes have men shown themselves so cold‐bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of belief.

― James Russell Lowell, Literary Essays, Witchcraft

We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides.

― Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish founder of the Society of Jesus [Jesuits], Exercitia spiritualia, 1541

I keep hearing that Jesus Christ is coming, but nobody knows his tour dates.

― Michael Lucas

The poor wretches have convinced themselves that they are going to be immortal and live for all time, by worshipping that crucified sophist and living under his laws…they receive these doctrines by tradition, without any definite evidence. So if any charlatan or trickster comes among them, he quickly acquires wealth by imposing upon these simple people.

― Lucian

Even if I knew nothing of the atoms, I would venture to assert on the evidence of the celestial phenomena themselves, supported by many other arguments, that the universe was certainly not created for us by divine power: it is so full of imperfections.

― Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe

If God can do anything he can make a stone so heavy that even he can’t lift it. Then there is something God cannot do, he cannot lift the stone. Therefore God does not exist.

― Lucretius, Roman poet

Fear was the first thing on earth to make gods.

― Lucretius (96?‐55 B.C.)

How many evils have flowed from religion.

― Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 57 B.C.

All our experience with history should teach us, when we look back, how badly human wisdom is betrayed when it relies on itself.

― Martin Luther (1483‐1546), German Protestant leader

People gave ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon…This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy; but sacred scripture tells us [Joshua 10:13] that Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, and not the earth.

― Martin Luther in one of his Table Talks in 1539

People give ear to an upstart astrologer [Copernicus] who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens or the firmament, the sun and the moon. Whoever wishes to appear clever must devise some new system, which of all systems is of course the very best. This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy.

― Martin Luther, Works, Volume 22, c. 1543

Their synagogues…should be set on fire. Their homes should be broken down and destroyed. They ought to be put under one roof or in a stable, like Gypsies, in order that they may realize that they…are…but miserable captives. They should be deprived of their prayerbooks and Talmuds. Their rabbis must be forbidden under threat of death to teach any more.

― Martin Luther

Die verfluchte Huhre, Vernunft.

(The damned whore, Reason).

― Martin Luther

What shall we Christians do now with this depraved and damned people of the Jews?…I will give my faithful advice: First, that one should set fire to their synagogues…Then that one should also break down and destroy their houses…That one should drive them out the country.

― Martin Luther

Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but—more frequently than not—struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God.

― Martin Luther

Reason should be destroyed in all Christians.

― Martin Luther

The Jews are the most miserable people on earth. They are plagued everywhere, and scattered about all countries, having no certain resting place. They sit as on a wheelbarrow, without a country, people or government… but they are rightly served, for seeing they refused have Christ and his gospel, instead of freedom they must have servitude.

― Martin Luther

Either God must be unjust, or you, Jews, wicked and ungodly. You have been, about fifteen hundred years, a race rejected of God.

― Martin Luther

Men have broad and large chests, and small narrow hips, and more understanding than women, who have but small and narrow breasts, and broad hips, to the end they should remain at home, sit still, keep house, and bear and bring up children.

― Martin Luther, Table Talk

God created Adam master and lord of living creatures, but Eve spoilt all, when she persuaded him to set himself above God’s will. ’Tis you women, with your tricks and artifices, that lead men into error.

― Martin Luther

Whoever wants to be a Christian should tear the eyes out of his Reason.

― Martin Luther

Reason is the Devil’s greatest whore; by nature and manner of being she is a noxious whore; she is a prostitute, the Devil’s appointed whore; whore eaten by scab and leprosy who ought to be trodden under foot and destroyed, she and her wisdom… Throw dung in her face to make her ugly. She is and she ought to be drowned in baptism… She would deserve, the wretch, to be banished to the filthiest place in the house, to the closets.

― Martin Luther, Erlangen Edition v. 16, pp. 142‐148

There is on earth among all dangers no more dangerous thing than a richly endowed and adroit reason…Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed.

― Martin Luther, in The Faith of a Heretic

[I]n a like manner we must endure the authority of the prince. If he misuse or abuse his authority, we are not to entertain a grudge, seek revenge or punishment. Obedience is to be rendered for God’s sake, for the ruler is God’s representative. However they may tax or exact, we must obey and endure patiently.

― Martin Luther, in Tribute to Caesar sermon

Even though they grow weary and wear themselves out with child‐bearing, it does not matter; let them go on bearing children till they die, that is what they are there for.

― Martin Luther, Works 20.84

The word and works of God is quite clear, that women were made either to be wives or prostitutes.

― Martin Luther, Works 12.94

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God’s word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

He did not call them Abraham’s children, but a brood of vipers [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, He has a demon’ [Matt 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a brood of vipers; furthermore in John 8 he states: If you were Abraham’s children ye would do what Abraham did… You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham’s but the devil’s children, nor can they bear to hear this today.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Therefore the blind Jews are truly stupid fools…

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Now just behold these miserable, blind, and senseless people.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

…their blindness and arrogance are as solid as an iron mountain.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Learn from this, dear Christian, what you are doing if you permit the blind Jews to mislead you. Then the saying will truly apply, When a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into the pit [cf. Luke 6:39]. You cannot learn anything from them except how to misunderstand the divine commandments…

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self‐glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Moreover, they are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch‐thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

However, they have not acquired a perfect mastery of the art of lying; they lie so clumsily and ineptly that anyone who is just a little observant can easily detect it. But for us Christians they stand as a terrifying example of God’s wrath.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

If I had to refute all the other articles of the Jewish faith, I should be obliged to write against them as much and for as long a time as they have used for inventing their lies—that is, longer than two thousand years.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

..Christ and his word can hardly be recognized because of the great vermin of human ordinances. However, let this suffice for the time being on their lies against doctrine or faith.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Did I not tell you earlier that a Jew is such a noble, precious jewel that God and all the angels dance when he farts?

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Alas, it cannot be anything but the terrible wrath of God which permits anyone to sink into such abysmal, devilish, hellish, insane baseness, envy, and arrogance. If I were to avenge myself on the devil himself I should be unable to wish him such evil and misfortune as God’s wrath inflicts on the Jews, compelling them to lie and to blaspheme so monstrously, in violation of their own conscience. Anyway, they have their reward for constantly giving God the lie.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

No, one should toss out these lazy rogues by the seat of their pants.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

…but then eject them forever from this country. For, as we have heard, God’s anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Over and above that we let them get rich on our sweat and blood, while we remain poor and they such the marrow from our bones.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

I brief, dear princes and lords, those of you who have Jews under your rule—if my counsel does not please your, find better advice, so that you and we all can be rid of the unbearable, devilish burden of the Jews, lest we become guilty sharers before God in the lies, blasphemy, the defamation, and the curses which the mad Jews indulge in so freely and wantonly against the person of our Lord Jesus Christ, this dear mother, all Christians, all authority, and ourselves. Do not grant them protection, safe‐conduct, or communion with us… With this faithful counsel and warning I wish to cleanse and exonerate my conscience.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Let the government deal with them in this respect, as I have suggested. But whether the government acts or not, let everyone at least be guided by his own conscience and form for himself a definition or image of a Jew.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

However, we must avoid confirming them in their wanton lying, slandering, cursing, and defaming. Nor dare we make ourselves partners in their devilish ranting and raving by shielding and protecting them, by giving them food, drink, and shelter, or by other neighborly acts…

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Therefore we Christians, in turn, are obliged not to tolerate their wanton and conscious blasphemy.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Accordingly, it must and dare not be considered a trifling matter but a most serious one to seek counsel against this and to save our souls from the Jews, that is, from the devil and from eternal death. My advice, as I said earlier, is: First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss sulphur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire… Second, that all their books—their prayer books, their Talmudic writings, also the entire Bible—be taken from them, not leaving them one leaf, and that these be preserved for those who may be converted… Third, that they be forbidden on pain of death to praise God, to give thanks, to pray, and to teach publicly among us and in our country… Fourth, that they be forbidden to utter the name of God within our hearing. For we cannot with a good conscience listen to this or tolerate it…

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

He who hears this name [God] from a Jew must inform the authorities, or else throw sow dung at him when he sees him and chase him away.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. for our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all and thus our conscience is encumbered with it before God.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

If we wish to wash our hands of the Jews’ blasphemy and not share in their guilt, we have to part company with them. They must be driven from our country.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

…they remain our daily murderers and bloodthirsty foes in their hearts. Their prayers and curses furnish evidence of that, as do the many stories which relate their torturing of children and all sorts of crimes for which they have often been burned at the stake or banished.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

…that everyone would gladly be rid of them.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

Undoubtedly they do more and viler things than those which we know and discover.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

If I had power over the Jews, as our princes and cities have, I would deal severely with their lying mouth.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

They [rulers] must act like a good physician who, when gangrene has set in proceeds without mercy to cut, saw, and burn flesh, veins, bone, and marrow. Such a procedure must also be followed in this instance. Burn down their synagogues, forbid all that I enumerated earlier, force them to work, and deal harshly with them, as Moses did… If this does not help we must drive them out like mad dogs.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

My essay, I hope, will furnish a Christian (who in any case has no desire to become a Jew) with enough material not only to defend himself against the blind, venomous Jews, but also to become the foe of the Jews’ malice, lying, and cursing, and to understand not only that their belief is false but that they are surely possessed by all devils. May Christ, our dear Lord, convert them mercifully and preserve us steadfastly and immovably in the knowledge of him, which is eternal life. Amen.

― Martin Luther, in On the Jews and Their Lies

God does not work salvation for ficticious sinners. Be a sinner and sin vigorously… Do not for a moment imagine that this life is the abiding place of justice; sin must be committed.

― Martin Luther

Sin cannot tear you away from him [Christ], even though you commit adultery a hundred times a day and commit as many murders.

― Martin Luther, letter to Melanchton, Aug. 1, 1521

A large number of deaf, crippled and blind people are afflicted solely through the malice of the demon. And one must in no wise doubt that plagues, fevers and every sort of evil come from him.

― Martin Luther

An eartly kingdom cannot exist without inequality of persons. Some must be free, some serfs, some rulers, some subjects.

― Martin Luther

As for the demented, I hold it certain that all beings deprived of reason are thus afflicted only by the Devil.

― Martin Luther

As to the common people,…one has to be hard with them and see that they do their work and that under the threat of the sword and the law they comply with the observance of piety, just as you chain up wild beasts.

― Martin Luther

At Poltersberg, there is a lake similarly cursed. If you throw a stone into it, a dreadful storm immediately arises, and the whole neighboring district quakes to its centre. ’Tis the devils kept prisoner there.

― Martin Luther

How often have not the demons called Nix, drawn women and girls into the water, and there had commerce with them, with fearful consequences.

― Martin Luther

I myself saw and touched at Dessay, a child of this sort, which had no human parents, but had proceeded from the Devil. He was twelve years old, and, in outward form, exactly resembled ordinary children.

― Martin Luther

I should have no compassion on these witches; I should burn them all.

― Martin Luther

Idiots, the lame, the blind, the dumb, are men in whom the devils have established themselves: and all the physicians who heal these infirmities, as though they proceeded from natural causes, are ignorant blockheads…

― Martin Luther

In many countries there are particular places to which devils more especially resort. In Prussia there is an infinite number of evil spirits.

― Martin Luther

In Switzerland, on a high mountain, not far from Lucerne, there is a lake they call Pilate’s Pond, which the Devil has fixed upon as one of the chief residences of his evil spirits…

― Martin Luther

Many demons are in woods, in waters, in wildernesses, and in dark poolly places ready to hurt…people.

― Martin Luther

Many sweat to reconcile St. Paul and St. James, but in vain. Faith justifies and faith does not justify contradict each other flatly. If any one can harmonize them I will give him my doctor’s hood and let him call me a fool.

― Martin Luther

No gown worse becomes a woman than the desire to be wise.

― Martin Luther

Our bodies are always exposed to Satan. The maladies I suffer are not natural, but Devil’s spells.

― Martin Luther

Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding, and whatever it sees must be put out of sight and…know nothing but the word of God.

― Martin Luther

Snakes and monkeys are subjected to the demon more than other animals. Satan lives in them and possesses them. He uses them to deceive men and to injure them.

― Martin Luther

Some [demons] are also in the thick black clouds, which cause hail, lightning and thunder, and poison the air, the pastures and grounds.

― Martin Luther

The best way to get rid of the Devil, if you cannot kill it with the words of Holy Scripture, is to rail at and mock him. Music, too, is very good; music is hateful to him, and drives him far away.

― Martin Luther

The Devil can so completely assume the human form, when he wants to deceive us, that we may well lie with what seems to be a woman, of real flesh and blood, and yet all the while ’tis only the Devil in the shape of a woman. Tis the same with women, who may think that a man is in bed with them, yet ’tis only the Devil; and…the result of this connection is oftentimes an imp of darkness, half mortal, half devil…

― Martin Luther

The Devil…clutched hold of the miserable young man…and flew off with him through the ceiling, since which time nothing has been heard of [him].

― Martin Luther

The Devil, too, sometimes steals human children; it is not infrequent for him to carry away infants within the first six weeks after birth, and to substitute in their place imps…

― Martin Luther

The winds are nothing else but good or bad spirits. Hark! how the Devil is puffing and blowing…

― Martin Luther

There is no rustic so rude but that, if he dreams or fancies anything, it must be the whisper of the Holy Ghost, and he himself a prophet.

― Martin Luther

To be a Christian, you must pluck out the eye of reason.

― Martin Luther

We are at fault for not slaying them [the Jews].

― Martin Luther, On the Jews and Their Lies

We know, on the authority of Moses, that longer than six thousand years the world did not exist.

― Martin Luther, in Lectures on Genesis

We need not invite the Devil to our table; he is too ready to come without being asked. The air all about us is filled with demons…

― Martin Luther

What shall we do with…the Jews?…I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings…are to be taken from them.

― Martin Luther

What shall we do with…the Jews?…I advise that safe‐conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews.

― Martin Luther

What shall we do with…the Jews? I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach on pain of loss of life and limb.

― Martin Luther

What shall we do with…the Jews?…set fire to their synagogues or schools and bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them.

― Martin Luther

What shall we do with…the Jews?…their homes also should be razed and destroyed.

― Martin Luther

When I was a child there were many witches, and they bewitched both cattle and men, especially children.

― Martin Luther

At Sussen, the Devil carried off, last Good Friday, three grooms who had devoted themselves to him.

― Martin Luther

I almost feel like throwing Jimmy into the stove, as the priest in Kulenberg did.

― Martin Luther

I feel much freer now that I am certain the pope is the Antichrist.

― Martin Luther

I maintain that some Jew wrote it [the Book of James] who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any.

― Martin Luther

The Devil fears the word of God, He can’t bite it; it breaks his teeth.

― Martin Luther

The Devil, it is true, is not exactly a doctor who has taken degrees, but he is very learned, very expert for all that. He has not been carrying on his business during thousands of years for nothing…

― Martin Luther

The fact that [the biblical book] Hebrews is not an epistle of St. Paul, or of any other apostle, is proved by what it says in chapter two…

― Martin Luther

…two devils rose from the water, and flew off through the air, crying, Oh, oh, oh! and turning one over another, in sportive mockery…

― Martin Luther

We may well lie with what seems to be a woman of flesh and blood, and yet all the time it is only a devil in the shape of a woman.

― Martin Luther

We should throw the Epistle of James out of this school [the University of Wittenberg]…

― Martin Luther

In our sad condition, our only consolation is the expectancy of another life. Here below all is incomprehensible.

― Martin Luther, Table Talk

Heretics are not to be disputed with, but to be condemned unheard, and whilst they perish by fire, the faithful ought to pursue the evil to its source, and bathe their heads in the blood of the Catholic bishops, and of the Pope, who is the devil in disguise.

― Martin Luther, Riffel, Kirchengeschichte

I confess that mankind has a free will, but it is to milk kine, to build houses, etc., and no further.

― Martin Luther, in Table Talk

Jews and papists are ungodly wretches; they are two stockings made of one piece of cloth.

― Martin Luther, in Table Talk

Antichrist is the pope and the Turk [Muslim] together. A beast full of life must have a body and soul. The spirit or soul of Antichrist is the pope, his flesh or body the Turk.

― Martin Luther, in Table Talk

When my heart is cold and I cannot pray as I should I scourge myself with the thought of the impiety and ingratitude of my enemies, the Pope and his accomplices and vermin, and Zwingli, so that my heart swells with the righteous indignation and hatred and I can say with warmth and vehemence: Holy be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done! And the hotter I grow the more ardent do my prayers become.

― Martin Luther, in Table Talk

Whoever would like to cherish such adders and puny devils—who are the worst enemies of Christ and us all all—to befriend them and to do them honour simply in order to be cheated, plundered, robbed, disgraced, and forced to howl and curse and suffer every kind of evil, to him I would commend the Jews. And if this is not enough, let him tell the Jews to use his mouth as a privy, or else crawl into the Jew’s hind parts, and there worship the holy thing, so as afterwards to be able to boast of having been merciful, and of having helped the Devil and his progeny to blaspheme our dear Lord.

― Peter F. Weiner, in Martin Luther, Hitler’s Spiritual Ancestor

If I had to baptise a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe, hang a stone around his neck and push him over with the words I baptise thee in the name of Abraham.

― Peter F. Weiner, in Martin Luther, Hitler’s Spiritual Ancestor

Beliefs, including religious ones, are learned. Which makes atheism a normal state of affairs and religious beliefs a learned abnormality. No psychological theory is necessary to explain the causes of a normal base state. Any psychological theory of learning, attitude change or socialisation can explain the causes of religious belief.

― Rosemary Lyndall, clinical Neuro‐psychologist

W. V. O. Quine has been one of the most ruthless of recent appliers of [Ockham’s razor.] I recall an exchange in print (a fest‐schrift, around 1980) where someone quoted Shakespeare’s There are more things on heaven and earth, than are dreamed of in your philosophy at Quine. Quine responded something like, Possibly, but my concern is that there not be more things in my philosophy than are in heaven and earth.

― David Lyndes

God tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If this was the only way they could understand the difference between good and evil, how could they have known that it was wrong to disobey god and eat the fruit?

― Laurie Lynn (sechum‐l secular humanist discussion list)

I do not like your Bible verse,

It makes no sense, it is too terse,

It is devoid of all context,

What will your Holy Book say next?

I do not like your Bible verse,

it seems to go from bad to worse.

― Niall McAuley

Creeds made in Dark Ages are like drawings made in dark rooms

― Joseph McCabe, The Story of Religious Controversy, 1929

The making of an Atheist implies a mental stimulation and training which brings into play the primary factors of social progress.

― Joseph McCabe

An atheist doesn’t have to be someone who thinks he has a proof that there can’t be a god. He only has to be someone who believes that the evidence on the God question is at a similar level to the evidence on the werewolf question.

― John McCarthy

What you are about to hear is God’s word to the men of this nation. We are going to war as of tonight. We have divine power—that is our weapon. We will not compromise. Wherever truth is at risk, in the schools or legislature, we are going to contend for it. We will win.

― CU Football Coach Bill McCartney, CFV Board Member

God is dead, but fifty thousand social workers have risen to take his place.

― J.D. McCoughey

The immortality of the soul…was really an element foreign to Hebrew belief and Hebrew psychology which was never assimilated into the Old Testament or New Testament.

― Dictionary of the Bible, by Jesuit priest John L. McKenzie

Only by the most tortured exegesis and in the most tenuous theologizing can anything resembling an anti‐abortion position be ripped from the scripture… If there are good reasons for opposing abortion on demand, and there may be, then these must be found outside the Bible.

― Delos B. McKown, What Does the Bible Say About Abortion?, Free Inquiry

The Catholic textbooks go so far as to state that oaths of office taken by the President, Congressmen, Governor, judge, etc. if the person be a Catholic must be taken with the mental restriction that his upholding of the Constitution and laws is subject to their non‐conflict with the laws of the Catholic Church.

― Emmet McLoughlins, American Culture and Catholic Schools, p.56

They all err; Muslim, Christian and Jew

Two make up humanity’s universal sect

One man intelligent without religion,

The other religious without intellect

― Ma’arri

The Puritan hated bear‐baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

― Thomas Babington Macaulay, History of England, 1848‐1855

All Gaza’s temples are torn down and burned and the city is cleansed of every belief but the Christian faith. The most stubborn opponents, faute de mieux, are tied up, marched away to the provincial capital, severely tortured, and all killed mala morte, a great number.

― Ramsay MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire, p.89, from information from the Life of Porphyry.

Anyone who asserted wrong teachings, anyone serving the devil or his demons, earned instead an equally remarkable antagonism. In their official high meetings together, Christians thus could not keep their own disagreements within the bounds of civil language; their continual quarrels required the intervention of the civil authorities; and all this was well known and noted by friends and foes alike.

― Ramsay MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire, p.92

In the light of their doctrinal dualism and the intransigence, sometimes amounting to ferocity, with which its spirit was applied, Christians might have been expected to press their differences home with every device and force available. Moreover, if they are measured by their bishops (and a better yardstick is not easily thought of), close to half the population who called themselves church members toward mid‐century must have belonged to some allegiance other than the one that ultimately prevailed: in other words, they were Arian, donatist, or Meletian. Sectarian rivalry was thus a very real thing, a spur to great exertions. Egypt especially, being split three ways, echoed to the shouts of partisans, the din of violence, and laments for those robbed, stripped naked, flogged, imprisoned, exiled, sent to the quarries and coppermines, conscripted into the army, tortured, decapitated, strangled, or stoned or beaten to death. The express object was to make converts.

― Ramsay MacMullen, Christianizing the Roman Empire, p. 93

The Old Testament is tribal in its provinciality; its god is a local god, and its village police and sanitary regulations are erected into eternal laws.

― John Macy, The Spirit of American Literature

Dogma still smells the same whether it comes from the podium or the pulpit.

― Steve Mading

When I get down on my knees, it is not to pray.

― Madonna

It is difficult to believe in a religion that places such a high premium on chastity and virginity.

― Madonna

The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church.

― Ferdinand Magellan

If Jesus was a Jew, why did he have a Spanish name?

― Bill Maher on Politically Incorrect

Jim Bakker spells his name with 2 k’s because 3 would be too obvious.

― Bill Maher, host of Politically Incorrect

Man is a dog’s ideal of what God should be.

― Andre Malraux

It is in the book of man, not the book of god, that we must look for examples of heroism, love, pity, justice, truth, honor, humanity.

― M.M. Mangasarian, in The Bible Unveiled

The worst criminals are not half so immoral as the creators and perpetrators of the unquestionable hell of Christian theology

― M.M. Mangasarian, in Morality Without God, 1913

God has always been hard on the poor.

― Jean Paul Marat (1743‐1793)

The religious part of easter is treated with solemnity, even the resurrection, but the secular part is pure paganism with all the heartiness drained out of it. Easter needs its Dickens.

― Samuel Marchbank’s Almanac

It is necessary for men to be deceived in religion.

― Marcus Terentius Varro

In some ways the case of Edward H. Winter is a prototypical miracle of modern medicine. …He would probably have died of a heart attack in May 1988, when he was 82, if a nurse at St. Francis‐St. George Hospital had not revived him through electric shock. …A few months before his heart attack, he watched the slow, agonizing death of his wife of 55 years, who had suffered brain damage after shock resuscitation from a heart attack of her own, and he resolved that nothing like that would happen to him. …When his time came, he told his children, they should simply let him die. He told his doctor the same thing. …Two days after he was revived, he suffered a debilitating stroke. …He is now partly paralyzed and largely confined to his bed in a nursing home, and although he can still speak, he can utter only a few words before he begins to cry, in despair. …But for the hospital’s intervention, he has charged, he could have died, and in dignity. …His medical bills now total about $100,000 and are still rising, and his life savings are just about depleted. …His doctors see scant chance for physical improvement. They say he could live for years. …The hospital argues any damages Winter has suffered resulted from an act of God over which the hospital had no control.

― David Margolick, New York Times, Press Democrat, 18 March 1990

I count religion but a childish toy, And hold there is no sin but ignorance.

― Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta

[as for evolution]…cutting out the sections [on the subject] is preferrable if the portions are not thick enough to cause damage to the spine of the book as it is opened and closed in normal use. When the sections needing correction are too thick, paste the pages together being careful not to smear portions of the book not intended for correction.

― R.E. Martin, American creationist, in Reviewing and Correcting Encyclopaedias (1983: 205‐7), instructing followers to censor books that don’t follow creation dogma

I believe in eight of the ten commandments; and I believe in going to church every Sunday unless there’s a game on.

― Steve Martin

It is my deliberate opinion that the one essential requisite of human welfare in all ways is scientific knowledge of human nature.

― Harriet Martineau

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feeling of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of unspiritual conditions. It is the opium of the people.

― Karl Marx, Introduction, Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right, Deutsch‐Franzoesische Yahrbuecher, 1844

Religion is the impotence of the human mind to deal with occurences it cannot understand.

― Karl Marx

The imaginary flowers of religion adorn man’s chains. Man must throw off the flowers, and also the chains.

― Karl Marx, Simon Emler, editor, The Wisdom of Karl Marx, 1948

The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.

― Karl Marx

If any person shall Blaspheme the name of God, the Father, Sonne or Holie Ghost, with direct, expresse, Presumptious or high handed blasphemie, or shall curse God in the like manner, he shall be put to death. Lev. 24:15,16

― Massachusetts’ Body of Liberties of 1641, Section 94

Immortality is not a gift, Immortality is an achievement; And only those who strive mightily Shall possess it.

― Edgar Lee Masters 1869‐1950

…I couldn’t but surmise that the devil, looking at the cruel wars that Christianity has occasioned, the persecutions, the tortures Christian has inflicted on Christian, the unkindness, the hypocracy, the intolerance, must consider the balance sheet with complacency. And when he remembers that it has laid upon mankind the bitter burden of the sense of sin that has darkened the beauty of the starry night and cast a baleful shadow on the passing plesures of a world to be enjoyed, he must chuckle as he murmurs: give the devil his due.

― W. Somerset Maughman, The Razor’s Edge

I do have a problem with separation of church and state. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the government having religious views and practices.

― Martin Mawyer, Pres. Christian Action Network

What you are about to hear is God’s word to the men of this nation. We are going to war as of tonight. We have divine power—that is our weapon. We will not compromise. Wherever truth is at risk, in the schools or legislature, we are going to contend for it. We will win.

― Bill McCartney, head of Religious Right group Promise Keepers

On the other hand, the Bible contains much that is relevant today, like Noah taking 40 days to find a place to park.

― Curtis McDougall

The invisible and the non‐existent look very much alike.

― Delo McKown

It is scandalous that any modern, intelligent, well‐educated person should believe in Christianity.

― Delos B. McKown, Ph.D., U.S. professor, philosopher, author, Former clergyman

The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein. It rejects it.

― P.B. Medawar

I was negotiating a contract to accept Jesus as my personal savior, but he refused to recognize my free sex clause.

― Al Medwin

The eyes are witnesses that the heavens revolve in the space of twenty‐four hours. But certain men, either from the love of novelty, or to make a display of ingenuity, have concluded that the earth moves; and they maintain that neither the eighth sphere nor the sun revolves…Now, it is a want of honesty and decency to assert such notions publicly, and the example is pernicious. It is the part of a good mind to accept the truth as revealed by God and to acquiesce in it.

― Melanchthon

Without the intervention of the civil authority what would our percepts become?—Platonic laws.

― Melanchthon, in Luther by Frans Funck‐Brentan

Better sleep with a sober cannibal that a drunken Christian.

― Herman Melville

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable… A man full of faith is simply one who has lost (or never had) the capacity for clear and realistic thought. He is not a mere ass: he is actually ill.

― Henry Louis Mencken

There is, in fact, no reason to believe that any given natural phenomenon, however marvelous it may seem today, will remain forever inexplicable. Soon or later the laws governing the production of life itself will be discovered in the laboratory, and man may set up business as a creator on his own account. The thing, indeed, is not only conceivable; it is even highly probable.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Perhaps the most revolting character that the United States ever produced was the Christian business man.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Puritanism—The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

― Henry Louis Mencken

The acting that one sees upon the stage does not show how human beings comport themselves in crises, but how actors think they ought to. It is thus, like poetry and religion, a device for gladdening the heart with what is palpably not true.

― Henry Louis Mencken

The liberation of the human mind has never been furthered by dunderheads; it has been furthered by gay fellows who heaved dead cats into sanctuaries and then went roistering down the highways of the world, proving to all men that doubt, after all, was safe—that the god in the sanctuary was finite in his power and hence a fraud. One horse‐laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration—courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth.

― Henry Louis Mencken, in Autobiographical Notes

God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macetated egos; He will set them above their better.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Christian theology is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is opposed to every other form of rational thinking.

― Henry Louis Mencken

We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

― Henry Louis Mencken, in Minority Report

A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self‐illusion.

― Henry Louis Mencken

The major contribution of Protestant thought to the knowledge of mankind is its massive proof that God is a bore.

― Henry Louis Mencken

What is the function that a clergyman performs in the world? Answer: he gets his living by assuring idiots that he can save them from an imaginary hell.

― Henry Louis Mencken, in Minority Report

The cosmos is a gigantic fly wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Theology‐An effort to explain the unknowable by putting it into terms of the not worth knowing.

― Henry Louis Mencken

There is no possibility whatsoever of reconciling science and theology, at least in Christendom. Either Jesus arose from the dead or He didn’t. If he did, then Christianity becomes plausible; if He did not, then it is sheer nonsense. I defy any genuine scientists to say that he believes in the Resurrection, or indeed in any other cardinal dogma of the Christian system.

― Henry Louis Mencken, in Prejudices

Metaphysics is almost always an attempt to prove the incredible by an appeal to the unintelligible.

― Henry Louis Mencken, in Prejudices

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind—that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.

― Henry Louis Mencken

There is, in fact, nothing about religious opinions that entitles them to any more respect than other opinions get. On the contrary, they tend to be noticeably silly.

― Henry Louis Mencken

The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Archbishop: A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Church: A place in which gentlemen who have never been to Heaven brag about it to people who will never get there.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Clergyman: A ticket speculator outside the gates of Heaven.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Pastor: One employed by the wicked to prove to them by his example that virtue doesn’t pay.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.

― Henry Louis Mencken

I detest converts almost as much as I do missionaries.

― Henry Louis Mencken

One seldom discovers a true believer that is worth knowing.

― Henry Louis Mencken

The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians.

― Henry Louis Mencken

A man who is an agnostic by inheritance, so that he doesn’t remember any time that he wasn’t, has almost no hatred for the religious.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

― Henry Louis Mencken

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.

― Henry Louis Mencken

It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or of the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely.

― Henry Louis Mencken

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money.

― Henry Louis Mencken

Clergyman. A ticket speculator outside the gates of Heaven.

― Henry Louis Mencken

The man or country that fights priestcraft and priests is to my mind striking deeper for freedom than can be struck anywhere.

― George Meredith, letter of Sept. 3,1874

Send me money, send me green,

Heaven you will meet,

Make a contribution and you’ll get a better seat…

― Metallica

The delegates of the annual conference are decidedly opposed to modern abolitionism, and wholly disclaim any right, wish, or intention to interfere in the civil and political relation between master and slave in the slave‐holding states of the union.

― Methodist Episcopal Church, Statement of the General Conference, Cincinnati, May 1836

But might not one suppose as some have supposed, that the feeling which is observed in animated bodies, might belong to a being distinct from the matter of these bodies, to a substance of a different nature united to them? Does the light of reason allow us in good faith to admit such conjectures? We know in bodies only matter, and we observe the faculty of feeling only in bodies: on what foundation then can we erect an ideal being, disowned by all our knowledge?

― Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709‐1751) The Natural History of the Soul (1742)

For God so loved the world that He gave Man Free Will and then got pissed when we didn’t meet his arbitrary standards. Oh, and he had his Son offed when he realized how impossible those standards were.

― Michael 4:23

Let us condemn to hellfire all those who disagree with us.

― militant religionists everywhere

I will call no being good, who is not what I mean when I apply that epithet to my fellow‐creatures; and if such a being can sentence me to hell for not so calling him, to hell I will go.

― John Stuart Mill

The time appears to me to have come when it is the duty of all to make their dissent from religion known.

― John Stuart Mill

The world would be astonished if it knew how great a proportion of its brightest ornaments, of those most ditinguished even in popular estimation for wisdom and virtue, are complete skeptics in religion.

― John Stuart Mill

The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that it was something peculiarly abstruse and mysterious.

― John Stuart Mill

In regards to Oral Roberts’ claim that God told him that he would die unless he received $20 million by March, God’s lawyers have stated that their client has not spoken with Roberts for several years. Off the record, God has stated that if I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time ago.

― Dennis Miller

Let me use their own terminology against them. They aborted a child in the 200th trimester.

― Dennis Miller

I have my own God, and I think my God finds me incredibly fucking funny. That’s why I chose him as my God…

― Dennis Miller

Born again?! No, I’m not. Excuse me for getting it right the FIRST time.

― Dennis Miller

If one is willing to make adjustments in the historical claims of the Bible, they can be correlated with the archaeological evidence if one is willing to take some liberties with the archaeological evidence.

― J. Maxwell Miller

The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief—call it what you will—than any book ever written.

― A.A. Milne

congregation, please be seated and open your prayer guides to the book

― of revelations, psalm 69

drinking the blood of jesus

drinking it right from his veins

learning to swim in the ocean

learning to prowl in his name

the body of christ looked unto me

a preacher with god‐given hands

he wants you to suck on the holy ghost

and swallow the sins of man

― psalm 69

the invisible piss of the holy ghost

comes down like acid rain

they’re making a bonnet of terminal guilt

the scavengers go on parade

the fathers who write that eternity

is used to fight the sword

have filled you up with the devil’s cock

and he’ll come in the name of the lord

the way to succeed and the way to suck eggs

― The Ministry, in Psalm 69

I respect faith, but doubt is what gives you an education.

― Wilson Mizner

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof

― Ashley Montague

How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith, which today are fables for us!

― Michel Eyquen Montaigne

O senseless man, who cannot possibly make a worm

and yet will make Gods by the dozen!

― Michel Eyquen Montaigne

Miracles arise from our ignorance of nature, not from nature itself.

― Michel Eyquen Montaigne, in Essays Book 1

…I was suddenly inspired to describe the Judeo‐Christian god as a penis which has been endowed with cosmic significance.

― Soledad de Montalvo

No kingdom has shed more blood than the kingdom of Christ.

― Montesquieu

So you’re a god, eh? Very nice, very nice. But, you still don’t have a reservation…

― Monty Python

A reading from the Book of Armaments, Chapter 4, Verses 16 to 20:

Then did he raise on high the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch, saying, Bless this, O Lord, that with it thou mayst blow thine enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy. And the people did rejoice and did feast upon the lambs and toads and tree‐sloths and fruit‐bats and orangutans and breakfast cereals… Now did the Lord say, First thou pullest the Holy Pin. Then thou must count to three. Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached, then lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade in the direction of thine foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

Monty Python, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail

And there shall in that time be rumours of things going astray, and there will be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of raffia work base, that has an attachment they will not be there. At this time a friend shall lose his friends’s hammer and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers put there only just the night before…

― Prophet, in The Life of Brian by Monty Python

Oh Lord please don’t burn us

don’t kill or toast your flock

Don’t put us on the barbeque

or simmer us in stock,

Don’t bake or baste or boil us

or stir‐fry us in a wok.

― Monty Python

…and sporteth twice they the camels, before the third hour. And so the Millionites went forth, to Ramgilliad, in Kadesh‐belgamesh, by Shorethberagalion, to the house of Gashbillbethuelbasda, he who brought the butterdish to Balshaza, and the tent‐peg to the house of Rashamon. And there, slew they the goats, yeah, and put they the bits, in little pots.

― Monty Python

There’s nothing an agnostic can’t do if he doesn’t know whether he believes in anything or not

― Monty Python, in The Meaning of Life

Tonight, instead of discussing the existence or non‐existence of God, they have decided to fight for it.

― Monty Python

Out of all the Saints sent by God, I think I am the most successful one already as it now stands. When it comes to our age, we must have an automatic theocracy to rule the world. So, we cannot separate the political field from the religious. My dream is to organize a Christian political party including the Protestant denominations, Catholic and all the religious sects. We can embrace the religious world in one arm and the political world in the other. The whole world is in my hand, and I will conquer and subjugate the world. I have met many famous so‐called famous Senators and Congressmen, but to my eyes they are just nothing; they are weak and helpless before God. If the U.S. continues its corruption, and we find among the Senators and Congressmen no one really usable for our purposes we can make Senators and Congressmen out of our members.

― Rev. Sun Myong Moon, in MASTER SPEAKS, 5/17/73, detailing his anti‐democratic plans for the USA

So telling a lie becomes a sin if you tell it to take advantage of a person, but if you tell a lie to do a good thing for him that is not a sin. Even God tells lies very often; you can see this throughout history.

― Rev. Sun Myong Moon, in MASTER SPEAKS, 3/16/72—England, revealing the extent of his respect for truth, i.e. none

The sentient may perceive and love the universe, but the universe may not perceive and love the sentient. The universe sees no distinction between the multitude of creatures and elements which comprise it. All are equal. None is favored. The universe, equipped with nothing but the materials and the power of creation, continues to create: something of this, something of that. It cannot control what it creates and it cannot, it seems, be controlled by its creations (though a few might deceive themselves otherwise). Those who curse the workings of the universe curse that which is deaf. Those who strike out at those workings fight that which is inviolate. Those who shake their fists, shake their fists at blind stars.

― Michael Moorcock, from The Chronicles of Corum

Faith is an absolutely marvelous tool. With faith there is no question too big for even the smallest mind.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

God: The Immutable One, though somewhat different for each person, denomination, religion, society, and historical period. The omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, all‐wise, infinite mind who—for strictly personal reasons—makes a point of seeming to be an impotent, know‐nothing, nowhere, bumbling oaf.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

If God is love, and if God is also omnipresent, then the Devil cannot exist. If the Devil exists, God cannot be love and also be omnipresent. Yet, an omnipresent God of love and the Devil are both said to exist. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure that there is something wrong here!

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

Thank God that the Bible cannot possibly be the word of God.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

If the Bible is telling the truth, then God is either untruthful or incompetent. If God is truthful, then the Bible is either untruthful or erroneous.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

Moral: A peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

Atheist: A person who believes in one less god than you do.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

Christians say that—without exception—their God answers all of their prayers; it’s just that He sometimes says yes and other times no, maybe, or wait. Of course the same could be said of the rain‐god,Bob.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

If God existed as an all‐powerful being, He would not need the money that faithful believers donate to their churches.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

The certainty with which a religious belief is held is usually in direct proportion to its absurdity.

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

The effectiveness of any one of three prayers, each given twice, is expressed mathematically as: ((3x2)‐6)/((6+1)‐7)

― Rev. Donald Morgan, Atheist theologian

The treatment of prayer proposals by Congress seems, as much as anything, a reflection of the state of the level of morale within the institution. If congressional morale is high and much is going on, little attention is paid to such hardy perennials. When, however, Congress begins to feel excluded and ineffectual, the bad penny of a prayer amendment seems to turn up and begins commanding attention again.

― Richard E. Morgan, The Supreme Court and Religion

All religions die of one disease—that of being found out.

― John Morley

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.

― John Morley

…Man can contemplate his own mortality and finds the thought intolerable. Any animal will struggle to protect itself from a threat of death. Faced with a predator, it flees, hides, fights or employs some other defensive mechanism, such as death‐feigning or the emission of stinking fluids. There are many self‐protection mechanisms, but they all occur as a response to an immediate danger. When man contemplates his future death, it is as if, by thinking of it, he renders it immediate. His defence is to deny it. He cannot deny that his body will die and rot—the evidence is too strong for that; so he solves the problem by the invention of an immortal soul—a soul which is more him than even his physical body is him. If this soul can survive in an afterlife, then he has successfully defended himself against the threatened attack on his life.

This gives the agents of the gods a powerful area of support. All they need to do is to remind their followers constantly of their mortality and to convince them that the afterlife itself is under the personal management of the particular gods they are promoting. The self‐protective urges of their worshippers will do the rest.

Desmond Morris, in Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour

Religious Displays, as distinct from religious beliefs, are submissive acts performed towards dominant individuals called gods. The acts themselves include various forms of body‐lowering, such as kneeling, bowing, kowtowing, salaaming and prostrating; also chanting and rituals of debasement and sacrifice; the offering of gifts to the gods and the making of symbolic gestures of allegiance.

The function of these actions is to appease the super‐dominant beings and thereby obtains favours or avoid punishments. There is nothing unusual about this behaviour in itself. Subordinates throughout the animal world subject themselves to their most powerful companions in a similar way. But the strange feature of these human submissive actions, as we encounter them today, is that they are performed towards a dominant figure, or figures, who are never present in person. Instead they are represented by images and artifacts and operate entirely through agents called holy‐men or priests. These middle‐men enjoy a position of social influence and respect because some of the power of the gods rubs off on them. It is therefore extremely important to the holy‐men to keep the worshippers permanently obedient to the super‐dominant figures, and they do this in several ways.

Desmond Morris, in Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour

One of the demands put upon the priests and holy‐men is that they should provide impressive rituals. Nearly all religions include ceremonial procedures during which the followers of a particular deity can indulge in complex group activities. This is essential as a demonstration of the power of the gods—that they can dominate and command submissive behaviour from large numbers of people at one and the same time—and it is also a method of strengthening the social bonding in relation to the common belief. Since the gods are super‐parents and super‐leaders, they must necessarily have large houses in which to meet with their followers. Anyone flying low over human settlements in a spacecraft and ignorant of our ways would notice immediately that in many of the villages and towns and cities there were one or two homes much bigger than the rest. Towering over the other houses, these large buildings must surely be the abodes of some enormous individuals, many times the size of the rest of the population. These—the houses of the gods—the temples, the churches and the cathedrals—are buildings apparently made for giants, and a space visitor would be surprised to find on closer examination that these giants are never at home. Their followers repeatedly visit them and bow down before them, but they themselves are invisible. Only their bell‐like cries can be heard across the land. Man is indeed an imaginative species.

― Desmond Morris, in Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour

I viewed my fellow man not as a fallen angel, but as a risen ape

― Desmond Morris, in The Naked Ape

No matter how old we become, we can still call them [i.e., the super‐dominant beings] Holy Mother and Father and put a child‐like trust in them (or their agents, who often adopt similar titles for themselves).

― Desmond Morris, in Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour

When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data.

― Henry Morris

Evolution is the root of atheism, of communism, nazism, behaviorism, racism, economic imperialism, militarism, libertinism, anarchism, and all manner of anti‐Christian systems of belief and practice.

― H. M. Morris, in The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth

The only way we can determine the true age of the earth is for God to tell us what it is. And since He has told us, very plainly, in the Holy Scriptures that it is several thousand years in age, and no more, that ought to settle all basic questions of terrestrial chronology.

― Henry Morris

The stars associated with the solar system, such as the planets and asteroids (and it should be remembered that the term star in Biblical usage applies to any heavenly body other than the sun and moon) would be particularly likely to be involved, in the view of the heavy concentration of angels, both bad and evil, around the planet Earth.

― Henry Morris

The so‐called geologic ages are essentially synonymous with the evolutionary theory of origins. The latter is the anti‐God conspiracy of Satan himself.

― Henry Morris

The only Bible‐honoring conclusion is, of course, that Genesis 1‐11 is actual historical truth, regardless of any scientific or chronological problems thereby entailed.

― Dr Henry Morris

Pass the pub that wrecks your body

And the church, all they want is your money


There are no atheists in foxholes isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes.

― James Morrow

Kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. But all the young girls who have not known man…, keep alive for yourselves.

― Moses, relaying God’s orders to his people, Numbers 31:17‐18

God—as revealed in his book of edicts and narratives—is practically an idiot. He has nothing to say that any sensible person should want to listen to.

― Johann Most (c. 1890), Popular anarchist speaker

As set forth by theologians, the idea of God is an argument that assumes its own conclusions, and proves nothing.

― Johann Most (c. 1890), popular anarchist speaker

Among all mental diseases that have been systematically inoculated into the human cranium, the religious pest is the most abominable.

― Johann Most, The God Pestilence,

The god of the Christians, as we have seen, is the god who makes promises only to break them; who sends them pestilence and disease in order to heal them; a god who demoralizes mankind in order to improve it. A god who created man after his own image, and still the origin of evil in man is not accredited to him.

― Johann Most, The God Pestilence,

No one can be an unbeliever nowadays. The Christian apologists have left one nothing to disbelieve.

― Saki, H.H. Munro (1870‐1916), Scottish author

CEE is opposed to censoring such things as the true Christian history of our nation and the scientific evidence that renders macro‐evolution impossible. Both of these have been extensively censored. We do support rejection or removal of obscene, morbid and unhealthy materials.

― David Muralt, Texas Director of Citizens for Excellence in Education, from Feb. 7, 1994 Austin American‐Statesman

Find a christian today and tell him he is sick. Convert him, if that term means anything, to a healthy lifestyle. Christians don’t have a monopoly on morality. We too can do the good work.

― Jon G. Murray, in Essays of an Atheist Activist

There was no such person in the history of the world as Jesus Christ. There was no historical, living, breathing, sentient human being by that name. Ever. [The Bible] is a fictional, nonhistorical narrative. The myth is good for business.

― Jon Murray, President of American Atheists, as quoted in Life Magazine, Dec. 1994 Jesus issue

A Mormon is a man that has the bad taste and the religion to do what a good many other people are restrained from doing by conscientious scruples and the police.

― Mr. Dooley

For man is the maker of all deities, inventer of all abstractions, builder of all laws and from first to last, the measure of all things, the very meaning of the earth.

― Harry A. Murry

Fascism is a religious concept.

― Benito Mussolini, in Fascism, Institutions And Doctrines

The history of the rise of Christianity has everything to do with politics, culture, and human frailties and nothing to do with supernatural manipulation of events. Had divine intervention been the guiding force, surely two millennia after the birth of Jesus he would not have a world where there are more Muslims than Catholics, more Hindus than Protestants, and more nontheists than Catholics and Protestants combined.

― John K. Naland, The First Easter, Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 2

Koranic teaching still insists that the sun moves around the earth. How can we advance when they teach things like that?

― Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin Time magazine, 31st Jan 1994

I write against the religion because if women want to live like human beings, they will have to live outside the religion and Islamic law.

― Taslima Nasrin

Jesus said, Love your neighbors. Well, I do love them. I love to kill them.

― Nasty Nick, Croatian Policeman

Almighty God, dear heavenly Father. In Thy name let us now, in pious spirit, begin our instruction. Enlighten us, teach us all truth, strengthen us in all thatis good, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from all evil in order that, as good human beings, we may faithfully perform our duties and thereby, in time and eternity, be made truly happy. Amen.

― Mandatory secondary school prayer in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, from July‐August 1995 issue of Liberty: A Magazine of Religious Freedom, published by the North American Division of the Seventh‐day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland

The loud speakers spoke up and said!

The loud speakers spoke up and said!

The loud speakers spoke up and said!

Christianity is stupid!

Christianity is stupid!

― Negativland

No country or people who are slaves to dogma and the dogmatic mentality can progress, and unhappily our country and people have become extraordinarily dogmatic and little‐minded.

― Jawaharlal Nehru

I want nothing to do with religion concerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live in hunger, filth and ignorance. I want nothing to do with any order, religious or otherwise, which does not teach people that they are capable of becoming happier and more civilized, on this earth, capable of becoming true man, master of his fate and captain of his soul. To attain this, I would put priests to work, also, and turn the temples into schools.

― Jawaharlal Nehru

The applications of science are inevitable and unavoidable for all countries and peoples today. But something more than its application is necessary. It is the scientific approach, the adverturous and yet critical temper of science, the search for the truth and new knowledge, the refusal to accept anything without testing and trial, the capacity to change previous conclusions in the face of new evidence, the reliance on observed fact and not on preconceived theory, the hard discipline of the mind all this is necessary, not merely for the application of science but for life itself and the solution of its many problems.

― Jawaharlal Nehru

These extremist sects appeal to many people in an antispiritual age because they combine their empowering theology with a warm, supportive environment, at least at first. Those who join become part of a close‐knit body of believers who are convinced they understand the meaning of history and what the future holds.

― Bruce Nelan

One would like to believe that people who think of themselves as devout Christians would also behave in a manner that is in according with Christian ethics. But pastorally and existentially, I know that this is not the case—and never has been.

― John Neuhaus

Three years ago, Ralph Reed, the executive director of the Christian Coalition, wished not to be seen. I want to be invisible, he said. I do guerilla warfare… …But on June 25th Reed played the expansive host at a luncheon given by the Coalition, the most influential group on the religious right, which was attended by hundreds of delegates to the Iowa Republican Party convention. They were celebrating their victories in gaining control of the state Party’s central committee, ousting moderate Republicans, and in dictating a platform that supported the teaching of creationism in the public schools.

― Christian Soldiers

In January, [Dan Quayle] spoke at a training conference of religious‐right activists in Fort Lauderdale, whose theme was Reclaiming America, and before the event began he stood at attention as the crowd of more than two thousand rose, faced a flag with a cross on it, and, with hands on hearts, recited in unison, I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Saviour, for whose Kingdom it stands, one Saviour, crucified, risen, and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.

― Christian Soldiers

By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation‐science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared abruptly.

― Newsweek, June 29, 1987

It is interesting that every time God gives direct orders to anyone, it is always Thou shalt kill.

― Newsweek magazine

So, how come there are no talking snakes nowadays? […} Because you are not righteous enough to hear them talk.

― Raoul Newton

Think about the bio‐mass involved [with the Biblical flood]. What happened to all the corpses? Sharks, for one.

― Raoul Newton

When we make mistakes they call it evil. When God makes mistakes they call it Nature!

― Jack Nicholson, in The Witches of Eastwick

It is the creationists who blasphemously are claiming that God is cheating us in a stupid way.

― J.W. Nienhuys

A second possible thing that creationists might look for is some kind of instrument that will detect darkness. It is my conclusion, based on [scripture] that darkness is a positive thing.

― Richard Niessen, Professor, Christian Heritage College

Little prigs and three‐quarter madmen may have the conceit that the laws of nature are constantly broken for their sakes.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

You who hate the Jews so, why did you adopt their religion?

― Friedrich Nietzsche, addressing anti‐semitic Christians

I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity, the one great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, petty—I call it the one mortal blemish of mankind.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Belief means not wanting to know what is true.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Anti‐Christ

Though I drew this conclusion, now it draws me.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Thus Spake Zarathustra

The belief that the world as it ought to be is, really exists, is a belief of the unproductive who do not desire to create a world as it ought to be. It is a measure of the degree of strength of will to what extent one can do without meaning in things, to what extent one can endure to live in a meaningless world because one organizes a small part of it oneself. All the beauty and sublimity we have bestowed upon… imaginary things I will reclaim as the property and product of man… with what regal liberality he has lavished gifts upon things so as to impoverish himself and make himself feel wretched!

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Will to Power

God is a gross answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers—at bottom merely a gross prohibition for us: you shall not think!

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Ecce Homo

The advent of the Christian God, as the maximum god attained so far, was…accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on Earth. Presuming we gradually enter upon the reverse course, there is no small probability that with the irresistible decline of faith in the Christian god, there is now a considerable decline in mankind’s feeling of guilt; indeed, the prospect cannot be dismissed that the complete and definitive victory of Atheism might free mankind of this whole feeling of guilty indebtedness towards its origin… Atheism and a kind of second innocence belong together.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Genealogy of Morals

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Have you noticed there are no interesting people in heaven?—Just a hint to the girls as to where they can find their salvation.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Will to Power

Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Gay Science

One is not free to become a Christian. One must be sick enough for it.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

For let us not underestimate the Christian: the Christian, false to point of innocence, is far above the ape—regarding Christians, a well‐known theory of descent becomes a mere compliment.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

The evangel died on the cross. What has been called evangel from that moment was actually the opposite of that which he had lived: ill tidings, a dysangel.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

This indictment of Christianity I will write on all walls, wherever there are walls—I have letters to make even the blind see.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

One does well to put on gloves when reading the New Testament. The proximity of so much uncleanliness almost forces one to do this.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

However un‐Christian this may sound, I am not even predisposed against myself.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Assuming that he believes at all, the everday Christian is a pitiful figure, a man who really cannot count up to three, and who besides, precisely because of his mental incompetence, would not deserve such a punishment as Christianity promises him.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Human, All too Human

Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Twilight of the Idols, What the Germans Lack

The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of all freedom, all price, all self‐confidence of spirit; it is at the same time subjection, self‐derision, and self‐mutilation…

― Friedrich Nietzsche

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Daybreak

Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains… But it can put mountains where there are none.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Human, All Too Human, 1879

What a theologian feels as true, must be false: one has therein almost a criterion of truth.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Anti‐Christ

War to the death against depravity—depravity is Christianity.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

It is regrettable that a Dostoyevski did not live near this most interesting of all decadents—I mean someone who would have known how to sense the very stirring charm of such a mixture of the sublime, the sickly, and the childlike.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, Jesus Christ

The god on the cross is a curse on life, a signpost to seek redemption from life; Dionysus cut to pieces is a promise of life: it will be eternally reborn and return again from destruction.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

…it is all over with priests and gods when man becomes scientific. Moral: science is the forbidden as such—it alone is forbidden. Science is the first sin, seed of all sin, the original sin. This alone is morality. Thou shalt not know—the rest follows.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Anti‐Christ

It was the sick and dying who despised the body and the earth and invented the things of heaven and the redeeming drops of blood: but even these sweet and dismal poisons they took from the body and the earth!

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Thus Spake Zarathustra

Who is more godless than I, that I may rejoice in his teachings?

― Friedrich Nietzsche

The noble soul has reverence for itself.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Your soul will be dead even before your body: fear nothing further.

― Nietzsche, in Also Sprach Zarathustra

Is man one of God’s blunders, or is God one of man’s blunders?

― Friedrich Nietzsche

… an absurd problem came to the surface: How COULD God permit that [crucifixion of Jesus Christ]!…the deranged reason of the little community found quite a frightfully absurd answer: God gave his Son for forgiveness, as a SACRIFICE…The SACRIFICE FOR GUILT, and just in its most repugnant and barbarous form—the sacrifice of the innocent for the sins of the guilty! What horrifying heathenism!

― Friedrich Nietzsche

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Only under two suppositions does prayer—that custom of earlier ages that has not yet completely died out—make any sense: it would have to be possible to induce or convert the divinity to a certain course of action, and the person praying would himself have to know best what he needed, what was truly desirable for him. Both presuppositions, assumed true and established by custom in all other religions, are however denied precisely by Christianity; if it nonetheless adheres to prayer in the face of its belief in an omniscient and all‐provident rationality in God which renders prayer at bottom senseless and, indeed, blasphemous—in this it once again demonstrates its admirable serpent cunning; for a clear commandment Thou Shalt Not Pray would have led Christians into unchristianity through boredom.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Wanderer and his Shadow

Christianity has done it’s utmost to close the circle and declare even doubt to be a sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature—is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on it’s origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Daybreak

Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine.

― Friedrich Nietzsche. in Thus Spake Zarathustra

Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and these sinners died with him. To sin against the earth is now the most dreadful thing, and to esteem the entrails of the unknowable higher than the meaning of the earth.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Thus Spake Zarathustra

For the old gods, after all, things came to an end long ago; and verily, they had a good gay godlike end. They did not end in a twilight, though this lie is told. Instead: one day they laughed themselves to death. That happened when the most godless word issued from one of the gods themselves—the word: There is one god. Thou shalt have no other god before me! An old grimbeard of a god, a jealous one, thus forgot himself. And then all the gods laughed and rocked on their chairs and cried, Is not just this godlike that there are gods but no God? He that has ears to hear, let him hear!

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Thus Spake Zarathustra

Everywhere the voice of those who preach death is heard; and the earth if full of those to whom one must preach death. Or, eternal life—‐that is the same to me, if only they pass away quickly.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Thus Spake Zarathustra

Christianity came into existence in order to lighten the heart; but now it has to burden the heart first, in order to lighten it afterward. Consequently it will perish.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Human, All Too Human

An agreeable opinion is accepted as true: this is the proof by pleasure (or, as the church says, the proof by strength), that all religions are so proud of, whereas they ought to be ashamed. If the belief did not make us happy, it would not be believed: how little must it then be worth!

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Human, All Too Human

Thus a certain false psychology, a certain kind of fantasy in interpreting motives and experiences, is the necessary prerequisite for becoming a Christian and experiencing the need for redemption. With the insight into this aberration of reason and imagination, one ceases to be a Christian.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

One should not go into church if one wants to breathe pure air.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

The last Christian died on the cross.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

There is not enough religion in the world to destroy the world’s religions.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Man is the cruelest animal. At tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions he has so far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for himself, behold, that was his very heaven.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes.Whither is God? he cried; I will tell you. WE HAVE KILLED HIM—you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, foreward, in all direction? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light candles in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

The certain prospect of death could sweeten every life with a precious and fragrant drop of levity—and now you strange apothecary souls have turned it into an ill‐tasting drop of poison that makes the whole of life repulsive.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in 75 Aphorisms

Christianity makes suffering contagious.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

A certain sense of cruelty towards oneself and others is Christian; hatred of those who think differently; the will to persecute. Mortal hostility against the masters of the earth, against the noble, that is also Christian. Hatred of mind, of pride, courage, freedom, libertinage of mind, is Christian; hatred of the sense, of the joy of the senses, of joy in general is Christian.

― Friedrich Nietzsche

But in the end one also has to understand that the needs that religion has satisfied and philosophy is now supposed to satisfy are not immutable; they can be weakened and exterminated. Consider, for example, that Christian distress of mind that comes from sighing over ones inner depravity and care for ones salvation—all concepts originating in nothing but errors of reason and deserving, not satisfaction, but obliteration.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Human, all too Human

At the deathbed of Christianity.—Really unreflective people are now inwardly without Christianity, and the more moderate and reflective people of the intellectual middle class now possess only an adapted, that is to say marvelously simplified Christianity. A god who in his love arranges everything in a manner that in the end will be best for us; a god who gives to us and takes from us our virtue and our happiness, so that as a whole all is meet and fit and there is no reason for us to take life sadly, let alone exclaim against it; in short, resignation and modest demands elevated to godhead—that is the best and most vital thing that still remains of Christianity. But one should notice that Christianity has thus crossed over into a gentle moralism: it is not so much God, freedom and immortality that have remained, as benevolence and decency of disposition, and the belief that in the whole universe too benevolence and decency of disposition prevail: it is the euthanasia of Christianity.

― Friedrich Nietzsche, in Daybreak


he sewed his eyes shut because he is afraid to see

he tries to tell me what i put inside of me

he’s got the answers to ease my curiosity

he dreamed a god up and called it christianity

your god is dead and no one cares

if there is a hell i will see you there

he flexed his muscles to keep his flock of sheep in line

he made a virus that would kill off the swine

his perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain

demands devotion atrocities done in his name

your god is dead and no one cares

drowning in his own hypocrisy

and if there is a hell i will see you there

burning with your god in humility

will you die for this?

― Nine Inch Nails, in The Downward Spiral

The whole point of Christianity is that everyone in the world, from Charles Manson to Mother Teresa, deserves to go to hell.

― Sean P. Ningen

As a literary monument the Bible is of much later origin than the Vedas; as a work of literary value it is surpassed by everything written in the last two thousand years by authors even of the second rank, and to compare it seriously with the productions of Homer, Sophocles, Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe would require a fantacized mind that had entirely lost its power of judgment. Its conception of the universe is childish, and its morality revolting, as revealed in the malicious vengeance attributed to God in the OT and in the New, the parable of the laborers of the eleventh hour and the episodes of Mary Magdelene and the woman taken in adultery.

― Max Nordau

We profess our faith in a Supreme Being on our coins marked In God we trust. It seems more appropriate to me to recognize the Deity in our spiritual dedication to the flag, the symbol of our God‐given freedom. Our belief in God highlights one of the fundamental differences between us and the Communists.

― Rep. Charles G. Oakman, Congressional Record, Appendix, p. A2527

Whoever did this (burn down the Margaret Sanger Center) is a hero. I think they are heroes. The Bible commands us to rescue those being dragged to death.

― Nancy O’Brien, Co‐Director Project Jericho, 2/23/87

The tolerance of liberty can be maintained until complete federal and state control by Catholics has been accomplished.

― Bishop O’Connor, Pittsburgh

I do believe in the separation of church and state, but I don’t believe in the separation of God and the state. God has a special place in his plan for our nation. And as the Senate goes, so goes the nation.

― Rev. Lloyd Ogilvie, official Chaplain to the U.S. Senate, who receives a salary at taxpayer expense for religious services

Marriage Ceremony: An incredible metaphysical sham of watching God and the law being dragged into the affairs of your family.

― O. C. Ogilvie

Why doesn’t God behave in such a way as to be worthy of worship?

― Barry O’Grady

Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea.

― Madelyn Murray O’Hair

The church doctrines of obedience to authority, repentance, fear of punishment, self‐abnegation, acceptance of outer direction rather than inner assurance, elevation of faith over reason, and intolerance make institutionalized religion an ideal instrument of social constraint. In an unconstitutional partnership with the state, the church can impose the most irresistible, if covert, controls conceivable.

― Madelyn Murray O’Hair, in Freedom under Siege

No god ever gave any man anything, nor ever answered any prayer at any time—nor ever will.

― Madelyn Murray O’Hair, in An Atheist Epic

Atheists are now here to stay. We are ready to take over the culture and move it ahead for the benefit of all mankind. Religion has ever been anti‐human, anti‐woman, anti‐life, anti‐peace, anti‐reason, and anti‐science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education, and science to take over.

― Madelyn Murray O’Hair, in Atheists: The Last Minority

YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define their life‐style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now—here on earth—for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellowman can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellowman rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be build instead of a church An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother’s keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsibile persons, that the job is here and the time is now.

― Madelyn Murray O’Hair, preamble to Murray v. Curlett

It is in the temporal affairs of mankind, not in the delusions of religious faiths, that man’s actual well being and happiness on this earth is attainable.

― Culbert L. Olson, Secularism and Social Progress. 1961

Religion often gets credit for curing rascals when old age is the real medicine.

― Austin O’Malley

Burn the libraries, for their value is in this one book (the Koran).

― Omar I, 2nd Caliph, at the capture of Alexandria

Your sweet little book is a bizarre collection of out‐of‐context quotations, misquotations, misleading quotations, non sequiturs, errors of fact and just about every other dirty intellectual trick known to man.

― Tim O’Neill, on the JW’s anti‐evolution book

Whether or not the statement is analytically true is not as important as the fact that it is a priori true and hence transcendentally true.

― Charles Onstott on alt.atheism

There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors.

― J. Robert Oppenheimer, Life, 10 October 1949

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.

― J. Robert Oppenheimer, Life, 10 October 1949

Making fun of born‐again christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.

― P.J. O’Rourke

If you keep your mind sufficiently open, people will throw a lot of rubbish into it.

― William A. Orton

Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proven innocent.

― George Orwell

Recently I was reading somewhere or other [about] an Italian curio‐dealer who attempted to sell a 17th century crucifix to J.P. Morgan. [I]nside it was concealed a stiletto. What a perfect symbol of the Christian religion.

― George Orwell

In theory it is still possible to be an orthodox religious believer without being intellectually crippled…; but it is far from easy, and in practice books by orthodox believers usually show the same cramped, blinkered outlook as books by orthodox Stalinists or others who are mentally unfree. The […] Christian churches still demand assent to doctrines which no one seriously believes in. The most obvious case is the immortality of the soul.

― George Orwell

Here we are, we’re alone in the universe, there’s no God, it just seems that it all began by something as simple as sunlight striking on a piece of rock. And here we are. We’ve only got ourselves. Somehow, we’ve just got to make a go of it. We’ve only ourselves.

― Jean, The Entertainer John Osborne (b. 1929) British playwright

Why can’t the Jews and Arabs just sit down together and settle this like good Christians?

― Overheard in Congressional debate

No doubt a sizeable majority of Americans believe in the concept of a Creator or, at least, are not opposed to the concept and see nothing wrong with teaching school children about the idea.

The application and content of First Amendment principles are not determined by public opinion polls or by a majority vote. Whether the proponents of Act 590 constitute the majority or the minority is quite irrelevant under a constitutional system of government.

No group, no matter how large or small, may use the organs of government, of which the public schools are the most conspicuous and influential, to foist its religious beliefs on others.

― U.S. District Court Judge William R. Overton, overturning Arkansas Act 590, requiring public schools to teach Creation Science

It is convenient that there be gods, and, as it is convenient, let us believe there are.

― Ovid, Ars Amatoria

My reason taught me that I could not have made one of my own qualities—they were forced upon me by Nature; that my language, religion, and habits were forced upon me by Society; and that I was entirely the child of Nature and Society; that Nature gave the qualities and Society directed them. Thus was I forced, through seeing the error of their foundation, to abandon all belief in every religion which had been taught by man.

― Robert Owen (1771‐1858)

Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot be true, I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind trained from infancy to believe in error.

― Robert Owen, 19th century reformer

Of course, we cannot guarantee our Bibles against normal wear or abuse.

― Oxford University Press

Any Latter‐day Saint who denounces or opposes, whether actively or otherwise, any plan or doctrine advocated by the prophets, seers, and revelators of the Church is cultivating the spirit of apostasy. Lucifer…wins a great victory when he can get members of the Church to speak against their leaders and to do their own thinking… When our leaders speak, the thinking had been done. When they propose a plan—it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy.

― Mormon Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Improvement Era, June 1945, pg. 354

I was feeling sorry for you and thinking I was doing my Christian duty by making love to you.

― Republican Bob Packwood, quoted from his diary, speaking to someone other than his wife

All countries censored books; Protestant authorities labored to keep papist works from the eyes of the faithful… …In the Catholic world, with the trend toward centralization under the pope, a special importance attached to the list published by the bishop of Rome, the papal Index of Prohibited Books. Only with special permission, granted to reliable persons for special study, could Catholics read books listed on the Index, on which most of the significant works written in Europe since the Reformation have been included.

― A History of the Modern World, R.R. Palmer,p. 90

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.

― Dorothy Parker

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction

― Blaise Pascal, in Pensees

A pleasant justice, that, which a river or a mountain limits. Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, may be heresy on the other!

― Blaise Pascal, in Pensees

If I have to resurrect you, I’ll resurrect you, whether you like it or not!

― Saint Paul, in The Last Temptation of Christ

A tendency to drastically underestimate the frequency of coincidence is a prime characteristic of innumerates, who generally accord great significance to correspondences of all sorts while attributing too little significance to quite conclusive but less flashy statistical evidence.

― John Allen Paulos, mathematics professor, in Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences

God as traditionally defined is a systematic contradiction of every valid metaphysical principle. The point is wider than just the Judeo‐Christian concept of God. No argument will get you from this world to a supernatural world. No reason will lead you to a world contradicting this one. No method of inference will enable you to leap from existence to a super‐existence.

― Leonard Peikoff, in The Philosophy of Objectivism

Every argument for God and every attribute ascribed to Him rests on a false metaphysical premise. None can survive for amoment on a correct metaphysics… Existence exists, and only existence exists. Existence is a primary; it is uncreated, indestructible, eternal. So if you are to postulate something beyond existence—some supernatural realm—you must do it openly denying reason, dispensing with definitions, proofs, arguments, and saying flatly, To Hell with argument, I have faith. That, of course, is a willful rejection of reason. Objectivism advocates reason as man’s sole means of knowledge, and therefore, for the reasons I have already given, is atheist. It denies any supernatural dimension presented as a contradiction of nature, of existence. This applies not only to God, but also to every variant of the supernatural ever advocated or to be advocated. In other words, we accept reality, and thats all.

― Leonard Peikoff, in The Philosophy of Objectivism

Can God perform miracles? A miracle does not mean merely the unusual. If a woman gives birth to twins, that is unusual; if she were to give birth to elephants, that would be a miracle. A miracle is an action not possible to the entities involved by their nature; it would be a violation of identity.

― Leonard Peikoff, in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

Perhaps there was an organization in Phineas’ day known as the NAACP. (National Association for the Advancement of Canaanite People) who took exception with this teaching of segregation. Perhaps there were pulpits proclaiming a more tolerant and socially accepted view and government agency crusading for affirmative action. We really do not know; but we do know from the Bible story in Numbers chapter 25 that the Israel people began to disobey God’s law, accept integration, cultural exchange and a type of interracial marriage, and thus were struck collectively by a plague. Phineas was the man who courageously fought against the racial treason even to the point of bloodshed, and he too was honored by God.

― Pastor Pete Peters, in THE BIBLE: Handbook For Survivalists, Racists, Tax Protestors, Militants And Right‐Wing Extremists, Scriptures For America, La Porte

Thixotropy—the property that lets toothpaste ooze when squeezed out of its tube and yet not drip off the toothbrush—may explain a centuries‐old miracle. Blood, once congealed, tends to stay that way. But when religious leaders handle a vial believed to contain the blood of St. Januarius, the dark brown substance begins to flow. Periodic demonstrations of this effect have drawn crowds to Naples since 1389, notes Luigi Garlaschelli, an organic chemist at the University of Pavia in Italy. In the Oct. 10 [issue of] Nature, Garlaschelli and two other Italian researchers propose that medieval alchemists could have created a thixotropic substance that looked like blood by mixing water and salt with a mineral called molysite. Thixotropic materials exist as gels until a mechanical stress—such as picking up or tilting their containers—makes them flow. To explore this possibility, Garlaschelli searched through the scientific literature and discovered that about 70 years ago, researchers demonstrated thixotropy in an iron hydroxide alloy. He reproduced their work by mixing a ferric chloride compound with calcium carbonate in water, then separating out the iron hydroxide that formed. By adding salt to a solution of this alloy, he created a dark brown gel. It looks exactly like the samples in Naples, he told Science News. All of these materials were available five centuries ago, including ferric chloride, found near Mt. Vesuvius in the form of molysite, he says.

― Ivars Peterson, Science News 140(15):229, 12 October 1991

An attempt to give credibility to Hebrew mythology by making people believe that the the world’s foremost biologists, paleontologists, and geologists are a bunch of incompetent nincompoops.

― Ron Peterson, on creation science

It is fear that first brought gods into the world.

― Petronius Arbiter, Satyricon

I was walking across a bridge one day, and i saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said stop! don’t do it! Why shouldn’t I? he said. I said, Well, there’s so much to live for! He said, Like what? I said, Well…are you religious or atheist? He said, Religious. I said, Me too! Are you christian or buddhist? He said, Christian. I said, Me too! Are you catholic or protestant? He said, Protestant. I said, Me too! Are you episcopalian or baptist? He said, Baptist! I said, Wow! Me too! Are you baptist church of god or baptist church of the lord? He said, Baptist church of god! I said, Me too! Are you original baptist church of god, or are you reformed baptist church of god? He said, Reformed baptist church of god! I said, Me too! Are you reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915? He said, Reformed baptist church of god, reformation of 1915! I said, Die, heretic scum, and pushed him off.

― Emo Phillips

Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics.

― Wendell Phillips, Speech, 7 November 1860

The community which does not protect its humblest and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves. If there is anything in the universe that can’t stand discussion, let it crack.

― Wendell Phillips (1811‐1884), American abolitionist, speech, 1863

Religions are like farts. Yours is good, but everyone else’s stinks.

― Picket Fences, the series

…Then anyone who leaves behind him a written manual, and likewise anyone who receives it, in the belief that such writing will be clear and certain, must be exceedingly simple‐minded…

― Plato, in Phaedrus

He was a wise man who invented God.

― Plato

I pledge allegiance to my flag

and to the republic for which it stands,

one nation, indivisible,

with liberty and justice for all.

― Pledge of Allegiance, the original version

The creationists have this creator who is evil, who is small‐minded, who is malevolent, and who is not very bright and can’t even get his science right. Creationists have made their creator in their own image, in my view.

― Prof. Ian Plimer, The Skeptic, Vol 13, No 2

Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.

― Pliny to Trajan about the Christians, 111 AD

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

― Edgar Allan Poe

Not only might one‐quarter to one‐half of the weight be lost in planing, whereas with iron only a minute fraction was lost in this way, but half of the weight of timber in a wooden ship was wasted, its only use being to hold the other half in position. Even so, a wooden ship had great stresses as a structure. The absolute limit of its length was 300 feet, and it was liable to hogging and sagging in addition to being unable to withstand the local strain of the screw propeller

― The British Shipbuilding Industry, 1870‐1914, pp. 13‐14, by Sidney Pollard and Paul Robertson, as cited by Robert Moore in The Impossible Voyage of Noah’s Ark, on the physical impossibility of Noah’s 450 foot‐long wooden ark

Since the masses of the people are inconsistent, full of unruly desires, passionate, and reckless of consequences, they must be filled with fears to keep them in order. The ancients did well, therefore, to invent gods, and the belief in punishment after death.

― Polybius (204?‐122? B.C.)

We are convinced the masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and the other primates beyond serious dispute.

― Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Suffer for sex…

Crucifixions for everyone…

A baby a year ’til you drop…

― The Pope

The worst of madmen is a saint run mad.

― Alexander Pope

It was once proposed that all religions persuasions should be free and their worship publicly exercised. We Catholics have rejected this article as contrary to Roman Catholic canon law.

― Pope Pius VII, 1808

The state (the U.S. Constitution) has not the right to leave every man free to profess and embrace whatever religion he may desire.

― Pope Pius IX

Let Catholic writers take care when defending the cause of the proletariat and the poor not to use language calculated to inspire among the people aversion to the upper classes of society.

― Pope Pius X, letter to the bishops of Italy, 18 December 1903

One Galileo in two thousand years is enough.

― Pope Pius XII

Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.

― Karl Reimund Popper

Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.

― Karl Reimund Popper

The things you are liable to read in the Bible, they ain’t necessarily so.

― Porgy and Bess

The act of bellringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.

― Ezra Pound

The year is 2001. Half the population hs been converted to faith in Jesus Christ, and the Christian churches rule the world. Though this seems implausible, more than two hundred Christian missionary organizations are scheming to bring it about—as a birthday present for Jesus. The battle lines are being drawn for the conflict of the century.

― Skip Porteous, Christian Activism Intensifies as 2001 Approaches, Free Inquiry magazine

Try this, she said, it can’t hurt. A simple experiment, and who knows? It might mean a lot to you in the future. She handed me a pocket Bible, which she carried at all times. Open it randomly to a passage and read what’s written here. I don’t know how I managed, but I kept sober as I read the passage chance had sent me. Does it mean something to you? I nodded gravely, and handed the passage to Todd. He had to leave the room to keep from bursting. Exodus 22, xviv: Whosoever copulateth with a beast shall be put to death.

― Richard Powers, in The Gold Bug Variations

The world is in need of less religion and more common sense.

― Llewelyn Powys, Celsus and Origen

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

― Terry Pratchett, in Diggers

The merest accident of microgeography meant that the first man to hear the voice of (the God) Om, and who gave Om his view of humans, was a shepherd and not a goatherd. They have quite different ways of looking at the world, and the whole of history might have been different. For sheep are stupid and have to be driven. But goats are intelligent and need to be led.

― Terry Pratchett, in Small Gods

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffeable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [ie., everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch‐dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won’t tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.

― Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, in Good Omens

If I get hit or run over by a truck

It’s not His fault, it’s just my own bad luck

― Pray‐TV

The Madonnas will be returning to a post office near you next year. …Thanks in part to pressure from President Clinton, the Postal Service on Wednesday reversed its decision to abandon the popular Madonna and Child stamp series in 1995. That action, disclosed last week, had upset religious groups, members of Congress and the president.

― Press Democrat, 24 November 1994

Putting a different spin on Flag Day, a 7‐year‐old atheist Wednesday urged public‐school students to refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance until the words under God are excised. […] When kids are forced to say, under God, it makes them think that atheists are bad people, Ricky Sherman said at a news conference, reading a statement he wrote on composition paper in large block letters. […] Atheists are good people, he said. We just know that God is make‐believe.

― Press Democrat, 15 June 1989 (AP)

I think the Zapruder film was arranged [by] Jesus, so that this particular terrible head wound would be seen by the whole word for over 3 decades.

― John Prewett

I predict/prophecy in Jesus name that: John F. Kennedy will publicly reappear, amaze the world, and is in fact the beast of the Revelation.

― John Prewett

An engineering professor is treating her husband, a loan officer, to dinner for finally giving in to her pleas to shave off the scraggly beard he grew on vacation. His favorite restaurant is a casual place where they both feel comfortable in slacks and cotton/polyester‐blend golf shirts. But, as always, she wears the gold and pearl pendant he gave her the day her divorce decree was final. They’re laughing over their menus because they know he always ends up diving into a giant plate of ribs but she won’t be talked into anything more fattening than shrimp.

Quiz: How many biblical prohibitions are they violating?

Well, wives are supposed to be submissive to their husbands (I Peter 3:1). And all women are forbidden to teach men (I Timothy 2:12), wear gold or pearls (I Timothy 2:9) or dress in clothing that pertains to a man (Deuteronomy 22:5). Shellfish and pork are definitely out (Leviticus 11:7, 10) as are usury (Deuteronomy 23:19), shaving (Leviticus 19:27) and clothes of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19). And since the Bible rarely recognizes divorce, they’re committing adultery, which carries the rather harsh penalty of death by stoning (Deuteronomy 22:22). So why are they having such a good time? Probably because they wouldn’t think of worrying about rules that seem absurd, anachronistic or—at best—unrealistic. Yet this same modern‐day couple could easily be among the millions of Americans who never hesitate to lean on the Bible to justify their own anti‐gay attitudes.

Deb Price, in And Say Hi To Joyce

Most of it is crap, but in every pile of crap is a gem of stupidity that will have you on the floor in laughter.

― Preacher

The best defense against Christianity is a good Christian Education

― Psycho Dave

I’m willing to bet that when we finally discover the root causes for most sexual problems facing people today, that Christianity will top the list.

― Psycho Dave

Christianity faces no greater enemy than the age of information.

― Psycho Dave

Might there have been fewer crimes in the name of Jesus, and more mercy in the name of Judas Iscariot?

― Thomas Pynchon

There was no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of pure chance…

― Thomas Pynchon, in Gravity’s Rainbow

Once a ruler becomes religious, it [becomes] impossible for you to debate with him. Once someone rules in the name of religion, your lives become hell.

― Colonel Moammar Qaddafi, at the General People’s Congress in Tripoli in October, 1989

I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Saviour,

for whose Kingdom it stands, one Saviour, crucified, risen,

and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe.

― Dan Quayle

Religions tend to disappear with man’s good fortune.

― Raymond Queneau, in A Model History

The future war is between the religious and the materialists. Collaboration between religious governments in support of outlawing abortion is a fine beginning for the conception of collaboration in other fields.

― Mohammed Hashemi Rafsanjani, 1994

Jesus was a crackpot.

― Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, San Francisco Chronicle 12/17/85

Ask youself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves—or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.

― Ayn Rand

In that world, you’ll be able to rise in the morning with the spirit you had known in your childhood: that spirit of eagerness, adventure and certainty which comes from dealing with a rational universe.

― Ayn Rand

The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man’s power to conceive—a definition that invalidates man’s consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence… Man’s mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God… Man’s standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man’s power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith…The purpose of man’s life…is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question.

― Ayn Rand, in For the New Intellectual

…if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking… the alleged short‐cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short‐circuit destroying the mind.

― Ayn Rand, in Atlas Shrugged

Playboy: Has no religion, in your estimation, ever offered anything of constructive value to human life?

Ayn Rand: Qua religion, no—in the sense of blind belief, belief unsupported by, or contrary to, the facts of reality and the conclusions of reason. Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man’s life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very—how should I say it?—dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith.

― Ayn Rand

If you get caught at some crucial point and somebody tells you that your doctrine doesn’t make sense—you’re ready for him. You tell him there’s something above sense. That here he must not try to think, he must feel. He must believe. Suspend reason and you can play it deuces wild.

― Ayn Rand, in The Fountainhead

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.

This god, this one word: I.

Ayn Rand, in Anthem

I know another preacher who, along with his church, prayed that the LORD would help a pot of noodles last through a social dinner, not only did they last, not only did several take home a container full of noodles, but the containers always stayed full. Finally, they had to throw them out, after thanking the LORD of course.

― Jerry Randall

To recognize that nature has neither a preference for our species nor a bias against it takes only a little courage

― James Randi, in The Faith Healers

To make sure that my blasphemy is thoroughly expressed, I hereby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a basic superstition, that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s), that devils, demons, angels and saints are myths, that there is no life after death, heaven nor hell, that the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur, and that the Holy Ghost is a comic‐book character worthy of laughter and derision. I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take place—not to mention the ethnic cleansing presently being performed by Christians in our world—and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women.

― James Randi, challenging blasphemy laws in several US states

I honesty believe that in my lifetime we will see a country once again governed by Christians…and Christian values. What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one state at a time.

― Ralph Reed

We’ve learned how to move under radar in the cover of the night with shrubbery strapped to our helmets,

― Ralph Reed

They call them extremists. We have our own names. We call them senators, congressman, governors, mayors, state legislators

― Ralph Reed

I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don’t know it’s over until you’re in a body bag. You don’t know until election night.

― Ralph Reed

The old faiths light their candles all about,

but burly Truth comes by and puts them out.

― Lizette Reese

The wall of separation between church and state is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned.

― Chief Justice William Rehnquist

…full sexual consciousness and a natural regulation of sexual life mean the end of mystical feelings of any kind, that, in other words, natural sexuality is the deadly enemy of mystical religion. The church, by making the fight over sexuality the center of its dogmas and of its influence over the masses, confirms this concept.

― Wilhelm Reich

The name of Christ has caused more persecutions, wars, and miseries than any other name has caused.

― John E. Remsburg, The Christ(1910)

No miracle has ever taken place under conditions which science can accept. Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur only in times and in countries in which miracles are believed in, and in the presence of persons who are disposed to believe them.

― Ernest Renan, 1863

I don’t know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn’t.

― Jules Renard

I DO want your money, because god wants your money!

― Reverend Larry, in Repo Man

He’s the type of guy that has to talk to God because nobody else will listen to him.

― Rick Reynolds

I believe to this day what I believed when I was eight—science.

― Rick Reynolds

I might have become a Catholic if the Church were a little hipper. Like if the host were fudge, I’d be there for that. Body of Christ, with or without nuts.

― Rick Reynolds

God is dead and no one cares. If there is a hell, I’ll see you there.

― Trent Reznor

Incest is a voluntary act on the woman’s part.

― Charles Rice, Professor of Law, Notre Dame University, in a pamphlet published by the American Life League

And all the good you’ve done will soon be swept away,

You’ve begun to matter more than the things you say

― Andrew Lloyd Weber, in Jesus Christ Superstar

There are ten commandments, right? Well, it’s like an exam. You get eight out of ten, you’re just about top of the class.

― Mordecai Richler

In 1127, the Norse farmers of Greenland sent the King of Norway a live polar bear. He sent them back a bishop. By 1500, the only people living in Greenland were the Inuit seal hunters. All that remained of the Norse settlements were the ruins of their churches.

Faced with a sudden cooling of the climate, the Norse people were more concerned with building churches and providing for bishops than changing their way of life to take account of the harsher climate. While they continued to graze their cattle on increasingly poor land, the Inuit remained flexible and adjusted their life style to suit the shifting conditions.

Rigid cultures caught out by climate change

In the Middle East, the Bronze Age people of Canaan—the ancient region between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean that roughly corresponds to Israel—also failed to adapt to the drying out of their lands around 2200 BC(E). In their case, says Arlene Rosen of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, it was their beliefs that were their undoing. In Canaan, people believed that environmental disasters were caused by a deity unhappy with the people, she says. Like the Mayans, the Canaanites could have coped with the new conditions by introducing new irrigation systems for their crops.

Instead, they attributed the shift in climate to the wrath of the gods, built more temples and prayed for better times. Within a short time, the cities and towns were abandoned and the people became nomadic hearders.

Rigid cultures caught out by climate change

a sense of humor, properly developed,

is superior to any religion so far devised

― Tom Robbins, in Jitterbug Perfume

We care not about rights. We spread our beliefs according to what our God tells us to. Simple as that. We don’t struggle for rights.

― Christopher N. Roberts

…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.

― Stephen F. Roberts

At the time of its Founding, the United States seemed to be an infertile ground for religion. Many of the nation’s leaders—include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin—were not Christians, did not accept the authority of the Bible, and were hostile to organized religion. The attitude of the general public was one of apathy: in 1776, only 5 percent of the population were participating members of churches.

― Ian Robertson, in Sociology

The best argument for the use of the name Agnostic is simply that the word Atheist has been so long covered with all manner of ignorant calumny, that it is expedient to use a new term, which though in some respects faulty, has a fair start, and will in time have a recognized meaning. The case so stated is reasonable; but there is a per contra that whatever the motive with which the name is used, it is now tacked to half a dozen conflicting forms of doctrine, varying loosely between Theism and Pantheism. The name of Atheism escapes that drawback. Its unpopularity has saved it from a half‐hearted and half‐minded patronage.

― John M. Robertson

The theory that religion is not only hostile to magic but quite separate from it is as fallacious as the distinction between religion and superstition.

― J.M. Robertson, in Pagan Christs

I think the sky is blue because it’s a shift from black through purple to blue, and it has to do with where the light is. You know, the farther we get into darkness, and there’s a shifting of color of light into the blueness, and I think as you go farther and farther away from the reflected light we have from the sun or the light that’s bouncing off this earth, uh, the darker it gets… I think if you look at the color scale, you start at black, move it through purple, move it on out, it’s the shifting of color. We mentioned before about the stars singing, and that’s one of the effects of the shifting of colors.

― Pat Robertson, on a telecast of the 700 Club

… A socialist, anti‐family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.

― Pat Robertson, on feminism

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that sanctifies the separation of church and state.

― Pat Robertson

God showed me…that he was going to bless the Christian Coalition beyond our wildest expectations. Before the year 2000, the Christian Coalition will be the most powerful organization in America. We’ll be back in 1993. We’ll be back in 1994. We’ll be back in 1995… We’ll be back until we win it all.

― Pat Robertson

The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self‐government by Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non‐Christian and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society.

― Pat Robertson

Many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many were homosexuals—the two things seem to go together.

― Pat Robertson

It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal‐biased media and the homosexuals who want to destroy all Christians.

― Pat Robertson

Before the year 2000, the Christian Coalition will be the most powerful organization in America.

― Pat Robertson

Modern experience has shown that usury inevitably leads to subservience. And God did not want his that for his people but rather intend for them to rule… He directed very fifty years years that all debt would be cancelled, all property be redistributed, and the cycle begin again… Not withstanding the sneers of many in the banking community, it may be that God’s way is the only one open to us—a year of jubillee to straighten us out.

― Pat Robertson, in The Secret Kingdom

I have known few homosexuals who did not practice their tendencies. Such people are sinning against God and will lead to the ultimate destruction of the family and our nation. I am unalterably opposed to such things, and will do everything I can to restrict the freedom of these people to spread their contagious infection to the youth of this nation.

― Pat Robertson

I know one man who was impotent who gave AIDS to his wife and the only thing they did was kiss.

― Pat Robertson

You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.

― Pat Robertson

They have kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of church and state. There is no such thing in the Constitution. It’s a lie of the left, and we’re not going to take it anymore.

― Pat Robertson

[The separation of church and state] was never in the Constitution, however much the liberals laugh at me for saying it, they know good and well it was never in the Constitution! Such language only appeared in the constitution of the communist Soviet Union

― Pat Robertson

The wars of extermination have given a lot of people trouble unless they know what was going on. The people in the land of Palestine were very wicked. They were given over to idolatry; they sacrificed their children; they had all kinds of abominable sex practices; they were having sex, apparently, with animals; they were having sex men with men, and women with women; they were committing adultery, fornication; they were worshipping idols, offering their children up; and they were forsaking God. God told the Israelites to kill them all—men, women and children, to destroy them. And that seems to be a terrible thing to do. Is it? Or isn’t it? Well, let us assume there were 2,000 of them, or 10,000 of them living in the land, or whatever number there was of them. I don’t have the exact number. Pick a number. God said, Kill them all.

Well, that would seem hard, wouldn’t it? That would be 10,000 people who would probably go to Hell. But, if they stayed and reproduced, in 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 100 more years, they could conceivably be—10,000 would go to a 100,000—100,000 could conceivably go to a million. And then, there would be a million people who would have to spend eternity in Hell! And it’s far more merciful to take away a few than to see in the future a 100 years down the road, and say, Well, I have to take away a million people that would forever be apart from God, because the abomination was there like a contagium. God saw that there was no cure for it. It wasn’t going to change; their hearts weren’t going to change; and all they would do is cause trouble for the Israelites, and pull the Israelites away from God, and prevent the truth of God from reaching the Earth. So, God, in love, took away a small number that he might not have to take away a large number.

Pat Robertson, rationalizing genocide committed by the early Israelites

When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. What do you mean? the media challenged me. You’re not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo‐Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims? My simple answer is, Yes, they are.

― Pat Robertson

These are actually chunks of lung itself being coughed up. I don’t understand exactly what it is, but God has healed you right now. Amen.

― Pat Robertson, during a faith healing session

They said God was on high and he controlled the world and therefore we must pray against Satan. Well, if God controls the world, he controls Satan. For me, religion was full of misstatements and reaches of logic that I just couldn’t agree with.

― Gene Roddenberry

I’ve always thought that, if we did not have supernatural explanations for all the things we might not understand right away, this is the way we would be, like the people on that planet. [ST:TNG Who Watches the Watchers] I was born into a supernatural world in which all my people—my family—usually said That is because God willed it, or gave other supernatural explanations for whatever happened. When you confront those statements on their own, they just don’t make sense. They are clearly wrong. You need a certain amount of proof to accept anything, and that proof was not forthcoming to support those statements.

― Gene Roddenberry

We must question the story logic of having an all‐knowing all‐powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes.

― Gene Roddenberry

I was driving home early Sunday morning, through Bakersfield

Listening to gospel music on the public radio station

When the preacher said You’ll always have the Lord by your side.

I was so pleased to be informed of this

That I ran twenty red lights in his honor.

Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord.

― The Rolling Stones, in Faraway Eyes

A long acquaintance with the literature of the Witnesses leads one to the conclusion that they live in the intellectual twilight zone… Whenever their literature strays onto the fields of philosophy, academic theology, science or any severe mental discipline their ideas at best mirror popular misconceptions, at worst they are completely nonsensical.

― Alan Rogerson, in Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1969

Every man is free to adopt and profess any religion, which, under the guidance of reason, he believes to be true.

― Rome’s Syllabus of Condemned Opinions

Those of us who believe in the right of any human being to belong to whatever church he sees fit, and to worship God in his own way, cannot be accused of prejudice when we do not want to see public education connected with religious control of the schools, which are paid for by taxpayers’ money.

― Eleanor Roosevelt

Spiritual leadership should remain spiritual leadership and the temporal power should not become too important in any church.

― Eleanor Roosevelt

Indifference to religion, due to thought, strengthens character,

― W.T. Root, Prof. of Psychology at Univ. of Pittsburg, after examining 1,916 prisoners

It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so.

― Ernestine Rose

Jesus was a Jew, yes, but only on his mother’s side.

― Stanley Ralph Ross

Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions and you are a conqueror. Kill all and you are God.

― Jean Rostand

But I am mistaken in speaking of a Christian republic; the terms are mutually exclusive. Christianity preaches only servitude and dependence. Its spirit is so favorable to tyranny that it always profits such a regime. True Christians are made to be slaves, and they know it and do not mind; this short life counts for too little in their eyes.

― Jean Jacques Rousseau, in The Social Contract

If Christ does not appear to meet his 144,000 faithful shortly after midnight on February 6th or 7th, it means that my calculations, based on the Bible, must be revised.

― Margaret Rowen

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,

Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,

Lift not thy hands to It for help

Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

Omar Khayyam, in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Why do you think you’re God? Because when I pray, I find I’m talking to myself.

― from The Ruling Class

They say there are strangers, who threaten us

In our immigrants and infidels

They say there is strangeness, too dangerous

In our theatres and bookstore shelves

Those who know what’s best for us—

Must rise and save us from ourselves

Quick to judge…Quick to anger…Slow to understand…

Ignorance and prejudice and fear [all] Walk hand in hand.

― Rush

Faith is cold as ice—

Why are little ones born only to suffer

For the want of immunity

Or a bowl of rice?

Well, who would hold a price

On the heads of the innocent children

If there’s some immortal power

To control the dice?

― Rush, in Roll The Bones

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;

I will choose a path that’s clear—I will choose Free Will.

― Rush, in Free Will

I don’t believe in destiny or the guiding hand of fate,

I don’t believe in forever or love as a mystical state,

I don’t believe in the stars or the planets or angels watching from above,

But I believe there’s a ghost of a chance we can find someone to love

and make it last

― Rush, in Ghost of a Chance

[My] mind is not for rent to any god or government

― Rush, in Tom Sawyer

To put it as simply as possible: I am not a Muslim. […] I do not accept the charge of apostacy, because I have never in my adult life affirmed any belief, and what one has not affirmed one can not be said to have apostasized from. The Islam I know states clearly that there can be no coercion in matters of religion. The many Muslims I respect would be horrified by the idea that they belong to their faith purely by virtue of birth, and that a person who freely chose not to be a Muslim could therefore be put to death.

― Salman Rushdie, in In Good Faith

God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my fifteenth year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith. […] and afterwards, to prove my new‐found atheism, I bought myself a rather tasteless ham sandwich, and so partook for the first time of the forbidden flesh of the swine. No thunderbolt arrived to strike me down. […] From that day to this I have thought of myself as a wholly secular person.

― Salman Rushdie, in In God We Trust

I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in.

― Salman Rushdie

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas—uncertainty, progress, change—into crimes.

― Salman Rushdie

To respect Louis Farrakhan, we must understand, is simply to agree with him… If dissent is now also to be thought of as a form of dissing, then we have indeed succumbed to the thought police.

― Salman Rushdie

If I were asked for a one‐sentence soundbite on religion, I would say I was against it.

― Salman Rushdie

God in His law requires the death penalty for homosexuals.

― R.J. Rushdoony

Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life.

― R.J. Rushdoony, in Thy Kingdom Come

The state is a bankrupt institution. The only alternative to this bankrupt humanistic system is a God‐centered government.

― R.J. Rushdoony, in The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism In America, ADL

Christianity is completely and radically anti‐democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristrocracy.

― R.J. Rushdoony, in The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism In America, ADL

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do.

― Bertrand Russell

William James used to preach the will to believe. For my part, I should wish to preach the will to doubt. […] What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite.

― Bertrand Russell, in Skeptical Essays, 1928

I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

― Bertrand Russell

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no reason whatsoever for supposing it to be true.

― Bertrand Russell

If you think that your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument, rather then by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based on faith, you will realize that argument is useless and will therefore result to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting and distorting the minds of the young in what is called education.

― Bertrand Russell

There is something feeble and a little contemptable about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not real, he becomes furious when they are disputed.

― Bertrand Russell, in Human Society in Ethics and Politics

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines.

― Bertrand Russell

He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating the wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often.

― Bertrand Russell, in Why I Am Not a Christian

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.

― Bertrand Russell

What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the likeness of the believer.

― Bertrand Russell

There has been a rumor in recent years to the effect that I have become less opposed to religious orthodoxy than I formerly was. This rumor is totally without foundation. I think all the great religions of the world—Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Communism—both untrue and harmful.

― Bertrand Russell

I think that in philosophical strictness at the level where one doubts the existence of material objects and holds that the world may have existed for only five minutes, I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptic orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely.

― Bertrand Russell

We may define faith as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions.

― Bertrand Russell

The conquering of fear is the beginning of wisdom

― Bertrand Russell

The splendour of human life, I feel sure, is greater to those who are not dazzled by the divine radiance.

― Bertrand Russell

People are zealous for a cause when they are not quite positive that it is true.

― Bertrand Russell

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown, and partly the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing—fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand‐in‐hand

― Bertrand Russell

… when people begin to philosophize they seem to think it necessary to make themselves artificially stupid.

― Bertrand Russell, in Theory of Knowledge

To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true.

― Bertrand Russell, in The Prospects of Industrial Civilization

Science tells us what we can know but what we can know is little and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive of many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty in the presence of vivid hopes and fears is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales.

― Bertrand Russell

I was told that the Chinese said that they would would bury me by the Western lake and build a shrine to my memory. I have some slight regret that this did not happen, as I might have become a god, which would have been very chic for an atheist.

― Bertrand Russell, in his Autobiography

The question of the truth of a religion is one thing, but the question of its usefullness is another. I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.

― Bertrand Russell, in Why I Am Not A Christian, 1957

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

― Bertrand Russell

At the age of eighteen… I read Mill’s Autobiography, where I found a sentence to the effect that his father taught him that the question Who made me? cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question Who made God?. This led me to abandon the First Cause argument, and to become an atheist. Throughout the long period of religious doubt, I had been rendered very unhappy by the gradual loss of belief, but when the process was completed, I found to my surprise that I was quite glad to be done with the whole subject.

― Bertrand Russell, in his Autobiography

I wish to propose for the reader’s favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. I must of course admit that if such an opinion became common it would completely transform our social life and our political system; since both are at present faultless, this must weigh against it.

― Bertrand Russell, in Sceptical Essays

The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours.

― Bertrand Russell

Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; no fire, no heroism, no intensity of though and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave.

― Bertrand Russell, in Why I Am Not a Christian

I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.

― Bertrand Russell

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed.

― Bertrand Russell

I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian God may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them. The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible.

― Bertrand Russell, in A History of Western Philosophy, 1945

We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world—its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it.

― Bertrand Russell, in Why I Am Not a Christian

Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.

― Bertrand Russell, in Why I Am Not a Christian

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic.

― Bertrand Russell, in Unpopular Essays

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty.

― Bertrand Russell, in Unpopular Essays

The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.

― Bertrand Russell

It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.

― Bertrand Russell

The deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914.

― Charles Taze Russell, American religious leader and founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Studies in the Scripture, Volume 3, 1910 edition

The deliverance of the saints must take place some time after 1914.

― Charles Taze Russell, American religious leader and founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Studies in the Scripture, Volume 3, 1923 edition

Our Father or Mother, who are either in heaven, nirvana, Mecca or Salt Lake City, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, providing thy will is that America is always the big winner over foreign heathen. Give us this day our daily white bread, black bread, Italian bread, Jewish rye, English muffins, or tacos, and a quarter‐pounder with cheese and large fries to go. And lead us not into temptation, or into school buses that take us to neighborhoods where the kids are different. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, especially for people who still use words like thine.

― Mark Russell, humorist

Christian soldiers armed with virtue—

hearts afire with blind obsession,

cannot see the difference ’twixt

compassion and oppression.

Sabbat, in The Clerical Conspiracy

It requires only two things to win credit for a miracle: a mountebank and a number of silly women.

― Marquis de Sade

…Anything beyond the limits and grasp of the human mind is either illusion or futility; and because your god having to be one or the other of the 2, in the 1st instance I should be mad to believe in him, and in the 2nd a fool.

― Marquis de Sade

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

― Carl Sagan

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. it is simply too painful to acknowledge—even to ourselves—that we’ve been so credulous. (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.)

― Carl Sagan, in The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we don’t practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us—and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.

― Carl Sagan, in The Fine Art of Baloney Detection

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.

― Carl Sagan, in The Burden Of Skepticism

In science it often happens that scientists say, You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken, and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

― Carl Sagan

The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.

― Carl Sagan

You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.

― Carl Sagan

You see, the religious people—most of them—really think this planet is an experiment. That’s what their beliefs come down to. Some god or other is always fixing and poking, messing around with tradesmen’s wives, giving tablets on mountains, commanding you to mutilate your children, telling people what words they can say and what words they can’t say, making people feel guilty about enjoying themselves, and like that. Why can’t the gods let well enough alone? All this intervention speaks of incompetence. If God didn’t want Lot’s wife to look back, why didn’t he make her obedient, so she’d do what her husband told her? Or if he hadn’t made Lot such a shithead, maybe she would have listened to him more. If God is omnipotent and omniscient, why didn’t he start the universe out in the first place so it would come out the way he wants? Why’s he constantly repairing and complaining? No, there’s one thing the Bible makes clear: The biblical God is a sloppy manufacturer. He’s not good at design, he’s not good at execution. He’d be out of business if there was any competition.

― Sol Hadden, in Contact by Carl Sagan

It was a Christian university dedicated to the Christian education of Christians, and this purpose still dominated the campus. It was there like a dense fog shrouding low‐lying land on still summer mornings—never a real hindrance to progress but frequently a nuisance to vision. It seemed to be heaviest around the Administration Building.

― Ferrol Sams, The Whisper Of The River

The New York Times reports that evangelist Pat Robertson, who will announce in two weeks whether he will run for the presidency, claims he can pray away bad weather. …Robertson said in a recent interview that his prayers to keep Hurricane Gloria away from Virginia Beach last June had been successful, which was extremely important because I felt, interestingly enough, that if I couldn’t move a hurricane, I could hardly move a nation. …Robertson said that if the hurricane had come ashore, he would have seen it as a sign from above to abandon his presidential ambitions.

― Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 September 1986

Bound by a common theology and the spreading sensation that their number is great and their time and leader have come, the Rev. Pat Robertson’s fellow Pentecostal and charismatic evangelists are stirring to his still‐unannounced quest for the Republican nomination for the presidency. …Robertson is the founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and a regular commentator on its 700 Club.…It is a quickening that the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who is supporting Vice President George Bush, said was the beginning of a mighty army.…No preacher has ever tried to summon this latent religious army to his own political cause. …In the last two weeks, however, Robertson has persuaded two evangelists, [Jimmy] Swaggert of Louisiana and Oral Roberts of Oklahoma, both of whom are Pentacostals, to give him emotional public endorsements. The evangelist Rex Humbard sat on stage with him at Constitution Hall in Washington last week, and the camera picked him out as Robertson announced to a national audience on a satellite telecast that 3 million signatures on a petition would persuade him to declare for the nomination. Evangelist Jim Bakker of North Carolina, in response to a reporter’s inquiry, gave a mild reply: I would have no problems standing with him. My feeling is that our viewers would welcome his candidacy. […] Robertson, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, is a charismatic. Unlike other evangelicals who also believe that the Bible is true and that one must be reborn to experience salvation, Pentecostal churches such as the Assemblies of God and charismatic Christians of any denomination share an additional theology. It is a belief in the gifts of the spirit, the abilities to heal and work other miracles through faith, to speak in tongues, to discern the will of God.

― Dudley Clendinen

Television preacher Pat Robertson, who plans to officially announce his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination next month, said he would not tolerate atheists in his administration, Time magazine reported yesterday. …Although Robertson firmly denied a quote attributed to him that only born‐again Christians and Jews should hold government jobs, he told Time that nonbelievers would have no place in his administration if he were elected.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 21 September 1987

The Washington newsletter Roll Call reports that a 1981 tape of candidate Pat Robertson, who used to be an evangelical faith healer, has been distributed to several political reporters. The tape shows Robertson at a 1981 faith healing session in Philadelphia, claiming to cure members of the audience of cancer, hemorrhoids and bad teeth. Later, he shouts that God has just fixed a hernia.

― Leah Garchik

Republican presidential hopeful Pat Robertson said yesterday that a quarter of America’s autoworkers use illegal drugs, contributing to declining productivity. The remark was criticized by a labor leader as stupid.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 4 November 1987

Republican presidential candidate Pat Robertson, a former TV evangelist, once said he believed only devout Christians and Jews were qualified to lead the government, the New York Times reported yesterday. Robertson also maintained that government is subservient to the will of God and that democracy is next best to government controlled by God, the newspaper said… The Times story cited several articles written by Robertson in which he said God had spoken to him, directed his actions or heeded his prayer to steer away a hurricane. The article also said Robertson had a conversation with Satan in 1960 at the time of his religious conversion. I heard Satan say, Jesus is playing you for a sucker, Robertson.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 28 December 1987

Pat Robertson, who once claimed to have diverted a hurricane from its path, yesterday had his presidential campaign disrupted by a second‐rate snowstorm. A dark‐horse contender for the Republican nomination, Robertson was forced to cancel several stops on a scheduled 18‐city barnstorming tour of southern Iowa when weather grounded the helicopter he had planned to use.

― Jerry Roberts

Now that he did so well in Iowa, The Reverend Pat Robertson doesn’t want to be called a former television evangelist anymore. He told NBC’s Tom Brokaw in no uncertain terms that such a slur was the height of religious bigotry. And he’s right. Who’d want their sister to marry a television evangelist? But how shall we ace newsmen describe him instead? I’ve given the matter a great deal of thought, and I think the fairest to all concerned is former hemorrhoid healer. This refers, of course, to the former hemorrhoid healer’s celebrated, videotaped sermon to his congregation back in 1981, when he cried: Satan has gone! God has just healed somebody! A hernia has been healed! Several people are being healed of hemorrhoids and varicose veins! People with flat feet! God is doing just great things to you!Former hurricane deflector struck me as macho, and most voters would probably like a president who could deflect hurricanes. But Hurricane Gloria, which he deflected back in 1985 to save his broadcasting station in Virginia Beach, slammed into Long Island and Boston instead, doing $320 million worth of damage.

― Arthur Hoppe

Allegations by U.S. presidential candidate Pat Robertson that the Soviet Union has placed nuclear missiles in Cuba are wild fantasy, the official Soviet news agency Tass said yesterday. Of course it is up to the Americans themselves to decide who will be the next occupant of the White House. But in this case we are dealing with problems concerning international security, concerning all, Tass said. That is why Robertson’s wild fantasy gives rise to a legitimate question: How is it that such an irresponsible politician could at all become a candidate for the presidency in such a country as the United States?

― San Francisco Chronicle, 17 February 1988

It’s all very well to say [Pat Robertson] can’t be nominated or elected, though even that remains to be seen. What does it say, meanwhile, about the American people and the system by which they choose their leaders, that a former faith healer, a man who boasted that his religious appeals could change the course of hurricanes, should have become perhaps a decisive factor in the presidential nomination of a major party?

― Tom Wicker

According to a story in the New Republic magazine, Pat Robertson paid former football star Roosevelt Grier a $3,000 honorarium for appearing at a rally in a Brooklyn ghetto to express his support for the candidate. …He introduced the candidate as Pat Robinson. …The magazine also reported that Robertson paid singer and Christian Pat Boone $5,000 for his endorsement.

― Leah Garchik

Nearly 25 percent of the nation’s 1,411 television stations now have full‐time religious programming, according to the 1989 Directory of Religious Broadcasting. That reflects a 30 percent jump over 1988. This doesn’t count the three religious television networks, including Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network, or the hundreds of stations that carry some religious programming. Of the nation’s 10,546 radio stations, 1,485 or 14 percent, are Christian stations—a 7 percent increase over 1988. Dwarfing the impact of U.S. radio stations is the worldwide network of evangelical ministries that preaches to Third World countries via shortwave radio. From high in the Andes mountains in Quito, Ecuador, HCJB World Radio—which stands for Heralding Christ Jesus’ Blessings—uses its combined 1‐million‐watt shortwave power of several transmitter stations to broadcast 24 hours a day to 80 percent of the globe.

― Annie Nakao

Houston. The Rev. Pat Robertson may have lost his political battle for the presidential nomination four years ago, but he’s won some impressive victories at the onset of this week’s Republican convention here. The party platform contains some of the most conservative language in modern history about abortion, education and homosexuality, and Robertson’s Christian Coalition had a lot to do with that. In 1988, Robertson could only muster about 200 delegates and had almost no influence on the platform. The number of Coalition members among delegates this year has risen to about 750, out of a total of 2,210 delegates.

― Carl Irving

The entertainment company headed by religious broadcaster Pat Robertson agreed yesterday to buy Dorothy Hamill’s Ice Capades, the skating road show rescued last year by the Olympic gold medalist. International Family Entertainment Inc., which owns the Family Channel cable network, declined to disclose how much it paid for the show and related assets owned by the figure skater and her husband, physician Kenneth Forsythe. The deal expands International Family’s interests in live entertainment while providing a new source of material for programs that can be shown on broadcast or cable television here or abroad and on home video. International Family launched a live entertainment division last year with its purchase of three theaters in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where it produces live musical variety shows. This agreement will add another facet to our company’s philosophy of supplying high‐quality, family‐oriented entertainment and programming to America and the world, said Tim Robertson, chief executive and president. His father Pat is chairman of International Family Entertainment.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 9 June 1994

Rescue teams battled yesterday to answer the desperate screams of mud‐caked survivors of a volcano that killed as many as 20,000 people. …A man stood buried up to his neck by mud and water, his legs pinned down by a body four feet below the surface. …Another man, his foot crushed by rubble, lay for more than 24 hours on top of the bodies of his three children—but he survived along with his pregnant wife. It was a miracle, Jose Martinez, a 49‐year‐old truck driver, said from his hospital bed in Bogota. For those of us who survived, it was a miracle.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 16 November 1985

Father Junipero Serra moved closer to sainthood when a miracle attributed to the Spanish friar was confirmed by Pope John Paul II yesterday. …The miracle was reported by a Franciscan nun, Sister Bonafice Dyrda, who said she was cured in 1960 of a skin disease, diagnosed as lupus, after praying to Serra. …A group of Indians held a two‐day prayer vigil in Carmel to protest the pope’s visit to Serra’s grave at Carmel Mission. The group charged that Serra set the policies for the Spanish priests and soldiers that led to the death of 80 percent of the local Indian population.

― Michael McCabe, San Francisco Chronicle

[Don Novello as Father Guido Sarducci] talked about Father Junipero Serra’s qualifications for sainthood: They say he cured a nun’s lupus. A miracle. Now I’m not a doctor, but I know lupus goes into remission. It’s not always fatal. Have Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder play ping‐pong together. That’s a miracle.

― Mick LaSalle

Colfax, Placer County. Yesterday’s crowd of pilgrims, some of whom arrived at midnight, saw a blue‐gray light form over the right shoulder of a five‐foot statue of Jesus near the altar of the 40‐year‐old Catholic church. For some, the shimmering light that turned green‐pink bore the shape of a shawl covering a woman’s head and shoulders. Sometimes the image was sharp; other times it was fuzzy. The eerie image appeared about 9:30 a.m., as it has every day since Thanksgiving, and remained for about an hour. At one point, a second light gold in color and resembling the shape of a crown or halo briefly appeared directly above the first image. At the moment the gold light appeared, many people in the line outside said they spotted a rainbow over the church. Inside the 200‐seat church, pilgrims gasped, prayed, wept and stared at the image. …According to James Phelps, a physics professor at Sacramento State University, the image is a phenomenon caused by natural light refracting through a stained‐glass window and then bouncing off a light fixture and onto the wall. There’s nothing exotic, nothing esoteric about it, said the optics expert, who observed the image at the request of a local newspaper.

― Martin Halstuk

Colfax. A bishop joined throngs of people packing a Placer County church to see a shining image on the wall that devout Catholics claim is an apparition of the Virgin Mary. …It could be the image of the Blessed Mary in a silhouette pose, Bishop Francis Quinn of the Sacramento Diocese said Tuesday. …The image has been appearing for about an hour each morning since Thanksgiving, bringing throngs of the devout and curious to the 40‐year‐old church along Interstate 80 northeast of Auburn. …Some viewers say the image, which also resembles the profile of a rabbit head, could be a reflection from a stained glass window. …For those who believe, no explanation is necessary, Quinn said. And for those who not believe, no explanation is possible.

― Press Democrat, 6 December 1990

Colfax. The day before the shining apparition that some believe represents the Virgin Mary began appearing at St. Dominic’s church, the hanging light fixtures in the sanctuary were stabilized with wire—perhaps setting the stage for a reflection that could create the image. …It might explain it, said parishioner Edmund Mick Molloy, whose father Ed Molloy is the parish coordinator. …Molloy said the work was done Wednesday afternoon just before Thanksgiving. …So on Thanksgiving morning we have this reflection, Molloy said.

― Press Democrat, 7 December 1990

Colfax, Placer County. A mysterious light on a church wall that many believed was a divinely inspired image of the Virgin Mary did not appear yesterday amid heavy clouds, seeming to confirm the theory it was merely sunlight shining through stained‐glass window. …When the image failed to appear at its customary time, however, the worshipers trooped out, some in dismay. …Church officials had been considering an investigation to determine whether the appearance of the image, which looked like the outline of the top half of a figure, was a miracle.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 11 December 1990

McDonald’s has announced plans to open a restaurant at Lourdes, the French grotto that Catholics believe is a site of miraculous healing. The fastfood restaurant will open in November or December. The grotto of Lourdes, visited by 5.5 million people a year, is said to be where St. Bernardette had a vision of the Virgin Mary in the middle of the 19th century.

― Leah Garchik

A mystery dating from medieval times—the ability of the reputed clotted blood of a saint to turn liquid when handled in a religious ceremony—may be just ordinary chemistry, researchers say. The scientists say they created a dark brown gel that turns easily to liquid when disturbed and then thickens back into a gel. Such a mixture may be in the vial that is said to hold the blood of St. Januarius, also called San Gennaro, in the Roman Catholic cathedral of Naples, Italy, the researchers propose in today’s issue of the journal Nature. In a ceremony performed since the 14th century, the hermetically sealed, four‐inch glass container is repeatedly turned upside down. Many Neapolitans believe that good luck will come if the vial’s contents liquefy, but that disasters such as earthquakes may await if the contents remain solid. …The gel was made with substances available in the 14th century, including table salt, water, calcium carbonate and ferric chloride hydrate, the researchers wrote.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 10 October 1991

A boy missing for 15 hours in a partly flooded cave where six others drowned was pulled out of the cave alive Saturday, providing a moment of light in the relentless gloom of the Midwest flood. …It was God that was with him and brought him back, said his grandmother. The bodies of a 21‐year‐old female school counselor and another 12‐year‐old boy were discovered in the cave, raising the total number of victims in the tragedy to six.

― Bob Burgdorfer

I think the thing to remember, though, the next time you hear someone who is really certain that he is on the side of the angels, is that the idea of angels was created by human beings, who are famous for being frequently untrustworthy and occasionally crazy.

― Jon Carroll

Watsonville. In this sleepy farm town where thousands are still feeling the effects of the devastating Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, people take their signs of hope where they can find them. …About a month ago, an elderly woman praying in a shaded grove at Pinto Lake County Park found one in the bark of a tree. …An estimated 4,000 people have flocked every day this week to see what many claim is the outline of the Virgin of Guadalupe on the limb of an oak tree, and park officials have cordoned off part of the tree because pilgrims are carving gashes and dents in it to take bark home as souvenirs. …She is said to appear on the Watsonville tree as the outline of a cloaked woman. Some visitors claim they see two other Virgins on the same tree. Skeptics see little more than a garden‐variety growth on an unremarkable oak.

― Dan Turner

Chalma, Mexico. At least 41 Indian pilgrims, most of them elderly women and children, were trampled to death yesterday in a crush of worshipers heading through a narrow marketplace to church for this town’s Ash Wednesday celebration. …Chalma, about 35 miles southwest of Mexico City, is famous for its gold‐trimmed church and the Father of Chalma image of Christ that is said to perform miracles.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 14 February 1991

Dozens of motorists on Memorial Drive say they have seen Jesus shrouded in pasta and tomato sauce on a pizza chain’s billboard. …The billboard overlooks a Jiffy Lube and a Texaco gas station in DeKalb County, Ga. …According to those who say they see it, the face, with deep‐set eyes, beard and crown of thorns, is on a billboard advertising Pizza Hut spaghetti. It shows a forkful of steaming, hot spaghetti and the words Spaghetti Junction.

…Austin Kelly Advertising Inc., which handles the Pizza Hut account locally, used a stock photograph from the food chain, the agency said. …Nowak, who expressed surprise that people have been seeing the image, said Pizza Hut had used the photograph before, and that she had a difficult time seeing anything unusual in the spaghetti. …I’m looking at it right now, she said. Unless Jesus looks like a Muppet…

San Francisco Chronicle, 24 May 1991

With the Virgin Mary’s image appearing in churches and auto parts stores all over the country this holiday season, it was bound to happen. Now Dan Quayle has turned up in the bathroom sink of Horschmeyer’s Philly Cheesesteak Parlor in El Cerrito. …The eerie manifestation was first spotted last Tuesday by Elvira Banks, 35, the establishment’s pickled tomato slicer. I recognized him right away, Miss Banks, a past president of the El Cerrito Dan Quayle Fan Club, told reporters. …The mysterious image in the sink bowl looks like a large brown stain. It surrounds the drain, which Miss Banks insists is the vice president’s mouth opened in a call to all Americans to support the president in the current Middle East crisis. …So far, there has been no scientific explanation of the phenomenon. The closest anyone has come was the admission by janitor Foggy Phelps that he had poured a cup of the parlor’s coffee in the sink the night before the image was first seen. I guess I forgot to rinse it down, he said.

― Arthur Hoppe

The Roman Catholic Church announced yesterday that the Shroud of Turin, venerated by millions of Christians over the centuries as the burial cloth of Jesus, cannot be authentic because new scientific tests show that it dates from the Middle Ages. …Nevertheless, Catholics were encouraged to continue their veneration of the shroud as a pictorial image of Christ, still capable of performing miracles, even though it cannot be accepted as a genuine historic relic, and no one knows how the image was produced. …At a news conference yesterday, the shroud’s custodian, Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero, revealed that radiocarbon tests conducted independently by three laboratories this year have concluded that the shroud cloth was created between 1260 and 1390. …The shroud’s authenticity has been debated since it was first put on display in the mid‐14th century. …In the Middle Ages, many objects appeared in Europe that were said to be the shroud of Jesus, fragments of his cross or other relics, but most were discarded as fakes long ago, and few others maintain a devoted following as does the Shroud of Turin. …The shroud, which belongs to the pope, has been kept for the last 410 years at the Cathedral of Turin, where it lies folded inside a silver casket. It is rarely put on public display. …An estimated 3 million visitors came to see it when it was last exhibited in 1978.

― Roberto Suro

Progreso, Texas. Hundreds of people a day have visited an auto parts store to view what they believe is the Virgin Mary’s image on a bathroom floor. … The image—varying shades of gray that store owner Reynaldo Trevino said were once one color—appeared December 3 on the cement floor of the shower stall in the rear of his Progreso Auto Supply. …Some days more than 1,000 visit. About 100 per hour stopped at the store Tuesday morning. …Some knelt to pray by the shower stall, next to a toilet. Others made the sign of the cross or touched the image they saw. …They see the Virgin’s image in the varying shades of gray cement.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 20 December 1990

Louisiana’s creationism law, which requires creationism to be taught wherever the theory of evolution is explained, is unconstitutional, a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled yesterday… The act’s intended effect is to discredit evolution by counterbalancing its teaching at every turn with the teaching of creationism, a religious belief, the U.S. Court of Appeals said.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 9 July 1985

Seventy‐two American winners of the Nobel Prize in science urged the Supreme Court yesterday to strike down a Louisiana law requiring public schools teaching evolution to also teach creationism. …Creation‐science is linked closely to a literal interpretation of the biblical book of Genesis, teaching that Earth and most of its life forms came into existence suddenly about 6000 years ago. …The case before the high court is Edwards v. Aguillard,85‐1513.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 19 August 1986

More than half the college students polled in three states, including California, said they are creationists who believe that God created Adam and Eve, while about one‐third believe in aliens, Big Foot and the lost city of Atlantis. …The poll results, released yesterday by Texas researchers, also indicated that students who believe in creationism are less likely to read books, tend to be more politically conservative and have a lower grade‐point average than students who dispute that God created Earth in six days. …Last fall, about 1000 students attending colleges in Texas, Connecticut and California filled out detailed questionnaire on their beliefs. …In Texas, 71 percent of students said they believe in the story of Adam and Eve, while 51 percent in Connecticut and 47 percent in California said they believed in the biblical first couple. An average of 44 percent of the students in the three states said the story of Noah’s Ark is true. About one‐third of all the students surveyed believed that Big Foot, a hairy man‐like creature reputed to live in the mountains of northwest America, actually exists. An equal number believed in the lost city of Atlantis, a legendary island of advanced civilization that supposedly sank into the ocean. Thirty percent of the students responding to the survey said aliens from outer space visited Earth in ancient times. Overall, 37 percent said they believed in ghosts, and 39 percent said it is possible to communicate with the dead.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 3 November 1986

On a June day nearly 300 years ago, two young women were hanged in Salem village, and by the end of the summer, colonists had executed 13 women and seven men convicted of being witches.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 13 April 1988

A woman suspected of being a witch was dragged from her hut, tied to a tree and then axed to death by her neighbors in an eastern India village, police said yesterday. Sonamoni Kisku was killed Sunday by Ganesh Soren and his brother, Meghraj, in Goaljoi, about 155 miles northwest of Calcutta, police said. …It was the latest in several killings of women suspected of being witches in the predominantly tribal region of the state.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 26 April 1989

Now the religious right is joining the war against children, saying Halloween is a satanic plot. A Costa Mesa Christian group, Citizens for Excellence in Education, says the witch’s broomstick is a phallic symbol of pagan worship. Yet another reason not to clean the house. The group says a spiritual battle is raging on this night as covens of witches and other pagan religions call forth their demon spirits. Even kids know demons are make‐believe. It’s unreal adults you have to worry about.

― Rob Morse

[The U.S. Supreme Court] Declined, without comment, to hear a challenge to the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Religious groups challenged the establishment of diplomatic relations, saying the ties would violate the First Amendment’s requirements for separation of church and state. American Baptist Churches vs. Reagan, 86‐113, said that religious groups did not have legal standing to try to block the administration’s decision.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 21 October 1986

Manila. Cardinal Jaime Sin yesterday ordered Roman Catholics who vote in next month’s Philippine national elections to reject Communists and candidates who advocate divorce or abortion. …Sin, who distributed copies of the letter at a press conference, insisted that church and state are separate in the Philippines.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 23 April 1987

President Bush, saying faith has fostered democratic change around the world, told the National Religious Broadcasters yesterday that one cannot be America’s president without a belief in God.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 30 January 1990

Exhausted, dehydrated, yet spiritually uplifted, some 350,000 Catholic pilgrims packed themselves onto a hot and dusty field yesterday to say good‐by to Pope John Paul II. …More than 10,000 people were treated at field hospitals for mostly minor problems. Leading the list of maladies were dehydration, severe asthma, altitude‐caused dizziness, and twisted ankles suffered by pilgrims tripped up by prairie‐dog holes. …The 73‐year‐old pontiff made two visits to the site by Marine helicopter.

― Don Lattin

Montgomery, Alabama. A white Republican state senator running for Congress wrote a speech in which he argued that slavery is justified by the Bible and was good for African Americans. …People who are bitter and hateful about slavery are obviously bitter and hateful against God and his word, because they reject what God says and embrace what mere humans say concerning slavery, Charles Davidson wrote.

― San Francisco Chronicle, 10 May 1996

People who are bitter and hateful about slavery are obviously bitter and hateful against God and his word, because they reject what God says and embrace what mere humans say concerning slavery. This humanistic thinking is what the abolitionists embraced.

― Sen. Charles Davidson, citing biblical defenses of slavery

Yekaterinburg, Russia. Three‐quarters of a century after Czar Nicholas II and his family were executed by Bolsheviks in this Ural Mountain city, people are flocking to the site of the killings, drawn by reports of miraculous cures… A drive is under way to build an imposing cathedral in an empty field near the execution site, where a second cross and a small wooden chapel already have been constructed.

― James P. Gallagher

Phnom Penh. A Texas evangelist fled Cambodia on Saturday [26 November] after a mob, angry over his failure to perform faith‐healing miracles, rioted outside his hotel. …Only the arrival of 20 armed police on Friday night kept the crowd from storming the luxury Hotel Cambodiana, where the Rev. Mike Evans and his entourage were staying after arriving for a scheduled five‐day visit here Wednesday. …The preacher’s appearance had been heralded on radio and television stations. Blind eyes will open, the paralyzed will walk, promised the promotional announcements. Thousands of Cambodians, including sick, blind and paralyzed people from remote areas, came to the capital to attend his meetings. …Evans, 47, is pastor of Church on the Move in Euless, Texas, and is head of Mike Evans Ministries Inc., a Euless‐based group that organizes Christian crusades in developing countries and inner‐city neighborhoods. Evans sought unsuccessfully in 1987 to replace Jim Bakker as host of the PTL, a popular televised ministry, after Bakker was involved in a sex scandal.

― San Francisco Examiner, 27 November 1994

Two recent surveys rate the United States at the top among Western nations in belief in God and at the bottom among six major countries in school kids’ understanding of science and math. This could be dismissed as chance, but it shouldn’t be. While our economic competitors’ schools are teaching students advanced math and science, many of our schools are wasting energy debating whether to teach evolution or creationism, which maintains that God created the universe over a six‐day period about 6,000 years ago.

― Bill Mandel

Walnut Creek. The movement to grant California families credit toward private tuition just got some unexpected support—a coven of witches who plan to open their own school if the program passes. …Proponents say a school based on their religion is as valid as any church school.

― San Francisco Examiner, 18 July 1993

Jesus was mentioned in Josephus’s Antiquities of the Jews… The Jewish historian certainly knew something about Jesus, and there is a paragraph on him in the Antiquities. But Josephus’s works were preserved by Christian scribes, who could not resist the temptation to revise the text and thus make Josephus proclaim that Jesus was the Messiah; that he taught the truth; and that after death he was restored to life. Failing a fluke discovery, we shall never know what Josephus actually wrote.

― E.P. Sanders, in The Historical Figure of Jesus, ISBN 0713990597

A Christian Reconstructionist is a Dominionist. He takes seriously the Bible’s commands to the godly to take dominion in the earth. This is the goal of the gospel and the Great Commission. The Christian Reconstructionist believes the earth and all its fullness is the Lord’s: that every area dominated by sin must be reconstructed in terms of the Bible. This includes, first, the individual; second, the family; third, the church; and fourth, the wider society, including the state.

― Rev. Andrew Sandlin, in The Creed of Christian Reconstruction

Against the State, against the Church, against the silence of the medical profession, against the whole machinery of dead institutions of the past, the woman of to‐day arises.

― Margaret Sanger, in Shall We Break This Law?

My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image to be servants of their human interests.

― George Santayana

The true contrast between science and myth is more nearly touched when we say that science alone is capable of verification.

― George Santayana, in The Life of Reason

The Bible is a wonderful source of inspiration for those who don’t understand it.

― George Santayana

People who feel themselves to be exiles in this world are mightily inclined to believe themselves citizens of another.

― George Santayana

One real world is enough.

― George Santayana

Each religion, so dear to those whose life it sanctifies, and fulfilling so necessary a function in the society that has adopted it, necessarily contradicts every other religion, and probably contradicts itself.

― George Santayana, in Reason in Religion

What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak.

― George Santayana, in Reason in Religion

For Shakespeare, in the matter of religion, the choice lay between Christianity and nothing. He chose nothing.

― George Santayana, in The Absence of Religion in Shakespeare

The fact of having been born is a bad augury for immortality.

― George Santayana, in The Life of Reason

Couples who are not childless by choice are of course not culpable. But something is wrong if a couple refuses to have children without a very good reason.

― Bishop Santer, addressing the Birmingham Diocesan Synod

Shelley was familiar with tyranny and intolerance. In 1811, while yet an undergraduate, he’d had the The Necessity of Atheism published at Worthing in Sussex. It appeared for sale in the bookshop window of Munday and Slater’s for just twenty minutes. The brevity of the sale was due, unfortunately, not to an exhaustion of the edition, but the appearance upon the scene of a clerical wowser yclept John Walker. The good Rev., strolling by the bookstore, saw the essay upon display, and exhibiting correct Christian indignation, upbraided the two miserable sinners. The pamphlets were removed and burned in true Hitlerian fashion—except for one that Slater kept, and which is the surviving copy.

― Joseph Sapere

GARCIN: Open the door! Open, blast you! I’ll endure anything, your red‐hot tongs and molten lead, your racks and prongs and garrotes—all your fiendish gadgets, everything that burns and flays and tears—I’ll put up with any torture you impose. Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.

― Jean‐Paul Sartre, in No Exit

God is dead. Let us not understand by this that he does not exist or even that he no longer exists. He is dead. He spoke to us and is silent. We no longer have anything but his cadaver. Perhaps he slipped out of the world, somewhere else like the soul of a dead man. Perhaps he was only a dream…God is dead.

― Jean‐Paul Sartre

This (Aum sect Tokyo nerve gas attack) was done not by people with a political ideal but by a lunatic religious group whose idea of a happy death is mass suicide.

― Atsuyuki Sassas, Japanese expert on terrorism

I stand forth to challenge the wisdom of the world; to interrogate the laws of man and of God! I request reasons for your golden rule and ask the why and wherefore of your ten commands. Before none of your printed idols do I bend in acquiescence, and he who saith thou shalt to me is my mortal foe!

― Infernal Diatribe I:3‐5, Satanic Bible

Whatever alleged truth is proven by results to be but an empty fiction, let it be unceremoniously flung into the outer darkness, among the dead gods, dead empires, dead philosophies, and other useless lumber and wreckage!

― Infernal Diatribe II:12, Satanic Bible

Anti‐abortionists believe that life begins at the moment you agree with them.

― Saturday Night Live

HUMANISM: an exaltation of freedom, but one limited by our need to exercise it as an integral part of nature and society.

― John Ralston Saul

A healthy nature needs no God or immortality.

― Johann Schiller

It’s very healthy for a young girl to be deterred from promiscuity by fear of contracting a painful, incurable disease, or cervical cancer, or sterility, or the likelihood of giving birth to a dead, blind, or brain‐damage baby even ten years later when she may be happily married.

― Phyllis Schlafly

We are starting a movement in the state legislatures…to forbid the installation of clinics that dispense contraceptives.

― Phyllis Schlafly

Women have babies and men provide the support. If you don’t like the way we’re made you’ve got to take it up with God.

― Phyllis Schlafly

Sex education classes are like in‐home sales parties for abortions.

― Phyllis Schlafly

Many years ago Christian pioneers had to fight savage Indians. Today missionaries of these former cultures are being sent via the public schools to heathenize our children.

― The Eagle Forum

If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color.

― Mark Schnitzius

The initial word does not lie within the province of the theologian, but of the historian and the psychologist.

― Hugh J. Schonfield, in The Passover Plot

Theism is incompatible with the responsibility of a moral being because in theism responsibility always falls back on the Creator of that being…If our will is free it is also original being, and vice versa.

― Arthur Schopenhauer

Temples and churches, pagodas and mosques, in all lands and in all ages, in splendour and vastness, testify to the metaphysical need of man, which, strong and ineradicable, follows close upon his physical need. Certainly whoever is satirically inclined might add that this metaphysical need is a modest fellow who is content with poor fare. It sometimes allows itself to be satisfied with clumsy fables and insipid tales. If only imprinted early enough, they are for a man adequate explanations of his existence and supports of his morality. Consider, for example, the Koran. This wretched book was sufficient to found a religion of the world, to satisfy the metaphysical need of innumerable millions of men for twelve hundred years, to become the foundation of their morality, and of no small contempt for death, and also to inspire them to bloody wars and most extended conquests. We find in it the saddest and the poorest form of Theism. Much may be lost through translation; but I have not been able to discover one single valuable thought in it. Such things show that metaphysical capacity does not go hand in hand with the metaphysical need. Yet it will appear that in the early ages of the present surface of the earth this was not the case, and that those who stood considerably nearer than we do to the beginning of the human race and the source of organic nature, had also both greater energy of the intuitive faculty of knowledge, and a truer disposition of mind, so that they were capable of a purer, more direct comprehension of the inner being of nature, and were thus in a position to satify the metaphysical need in a more worthy manner. Thus originated in the primitive ancestors of the Brahmans, the Rishis, the almost superhuman conceptions which were afterwards set down in the Upanishads of the Vedas.

― Arthur Schopenhauer, in World as Will and Idea

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.

― Arthur Schopenhauer

There is no absurdity so obvious that it cannot be firmly planted in the human head if you only begin to impose it before the age of five, by constantly repeating it with an air of great solemnity.

― Arthur Schopenhauer

Aristotle once said, Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth. So we say, The Bible is dear, but dearer still is truth.

― J. Frank Schulman, in UU pamphlet UU views of the Bible

Without cultural sanction, most or all our religious beliefs and rituals would fall into the domain of mental disturbance

― John F. Schumaker, Corruption of Reality, Unified Theory of Religion, Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the life of Jesus. The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the ethic of the kingdom of God, who founded the kingdom of God upon earth, and died to give his work its final consecration, never had any existence. His image has not been destroyed from without, it has fallen to pieces, cleft and disintegrated by the concrete historical problems which come to the surface one after another… He is a figure designed by rationalism, endowed with life by liberalism, and clothed by modern theology in a historical garb.

― Albert Schweitzer, in The Quest for the Historical Jesus

It is, therefore, our unequivocal conclusion that creationism, with its accounts of the origin of life by supernatural means, is not science.

― Science and Creationism, National Academy Press

If you’re looking for a little background reading on scientific creationism, it’s best not to take the word scientific too seriously. A three‐year database search of 4,000 scientific publications—focusing on the names of people associated with the Institute for Creation Research and on phrases and keywords such as creationism—didn’t turn up a single paper. A follow‐up study of 68 journals found that only 18 of 135,000 total manuscript submissions concerned scientific creationism, and all 18 were rejected. Reasons cited included flawed arguments, ramblings, and a high‐school theme quality.

― Science 85 6(7):11, September 1985

Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.

― George Seaton

..that freedom of the press is one of the greatest evils threatening modern society. Freedom of the press was universally one of the most pernicious of the evils of the day.

― Cardinal Pedro Segura, NY Herald Tribune, 12/5/52

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

― Seneca the Younger (4? B.C.–65 A.D.)

Same religion that saves—Damns You

― Sepultura

To kill a man is not to defend a doctrine, but to kill a man.

― Michael Servetus

Preachers in pulpits talked about what a great message is in the book. No matter what you do, somebody always imputes meaning into your books.

― Dr. Seuss (Theodore Seuss Geisel), 1904‐1991

What is really happening is that the religious right, as usual, wants to force their will upon the world. It’s been happening since Christianity spawned the Crusades and as long as we as a species cling to our monotheistic tenets then it will never ever stop. Anyone with an iota of intelligence understands that a mandated moment of silence is a moment when the religionist can say to the rest of the world, Look at me. I’m praying to my god. Maybe you should be praying also.

― SgtCyber

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope? If he knows anything about it, he shouldn’t!

― George Bernard Shaw

I see little divinity about them or you. You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies. Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!

― George Bernard Shaw, in The Devil’s Disciple

All religions begin with a revolt against morality, and perish when morality conquers them.

― George Bernard Shaw

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.

― George Bernard Shaw

There are scores of thousands of human insects who are ready at a moment’s notice to reveal the Will of God on every possible subject.

― George Bernard Shaw

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

― George Bernard Shaw

Common people do not pray, my lord: they only beg.

― George Bernard Shaw

No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition then Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.

― George Bernard Shaw

It is not disbelief that is dangerous to our society; it is belief.

― George Bernard Shaw

Beware of the man whose God is in the skies.

― George Bernard Shaw

What God hath joined together no man shall put asunder: God will take care of that.

― George Bernard Shaw

All great truths begin as blasphemies.

― George Bernard Shaw, in Annajanska

Martyrdom is the only way in which a person with no ability can become great.

― George Bernard Shaw

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.

― George Bernard Shaw

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support.

― Fulton Sheen

The same means that have supported every other popular belief, have supported Christianity. War, imprisonment, assassination, and falsehood: deeds of unexampled and incomparable atrocity have made it what it is.

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, in Notes to Queen Mab

Christianity inculcates the necessity of supplicating the Deity. Prayer may be considered under two points of view; as an endeavor to change the intentions of God, or as a formal testimony of our obedience. But the former case supposes that the caprices of a limited intelligence can occasionally instruct the Creator of the world how to regulate the universe; and the latter, a certain degree of servility analogous to the loyalty demanded by earthly tyrants. Obedience indeed is only the pitiful and cowardly egotism of him who thinks that he can do something better than reason.

― Percy Bysshe Shelley, in Notes to Queen Mab

They say one day He’ll liquidate

His holdings up on high,

I say it’s all speculation.

― Michelle Shocked, in God is a Real Estate Developer

There are in fact so many strong biblical, doctrinal, and logical arguments against the existence of a literal hell that this question naturally arises: Why do the churches teach it and why do people often believe it?…The churches tend to believe that fear, rather than love conquers all.

― Robert Short, Methodist clergyman, U.S. Catholic magazine, April 1980 pp. 37‐40

Too much thinking can give people diabetes. It is not sugar that causes diabetes, it’s thinking. We can cure diabetes. After realization. And this new thing AIDS. After realization we can cure that too.

― Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, yet another Eastern mystic

I do not consider it a sign of divine love to consign to hell people who live good lives but make an honest mistake in belief

― Moshe Shulman

The central problem of Christianity is: if the Messiah has come, why is the world so evil? For Judaism, the problem is: if the world is so evil, why does the Messiah not come?

― Seymour Siegel

The dropping of context—deliberately and deceitfully—by Creationist spokesmen is part of their game of fraud in the use of quotations from scientists. And it works (rhetorically, for the kinds of audience in front of which they use it) when the readers do NOT have the basic background in critical reading…

― Michael Siemon

The extracts from Holy Writ unequivocally assert the right of property in slaves.

― Rev. E.D. Simms, professor, Randolph‐Macon College

Faith is an island in the setting sun, But proof is the bottom line for everyone.

― Proof, Paul Simon

The separation of church and state is a socialist myth perpetrated by the ACLU.

― Robert Simonds, head of Citizens for Excellence, group which took over Vista CA school board

Dear God. We paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.

― Bart Simpson, saying grace, in The Simpsons

I was at Bible camp, learning how to be more judgmental.

― Mrs. Flanders, in The Simpsons

If the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn’t, it’s that girls should stick to GIRLS sports, such as hot oil wrestling, foxy boxing, and such and such.

― Homer Simpson, in The Simpsons

Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder

― Homer Simpson’s version of Pascal’s Wager, in The Simpsons

I put out these milk and cookies as a sacrifice. If Thou wishest me to eat them, please give me a sign by doing absolutely nothing. MMMMmmmm…

― Homer Simpson, in The Simpsons

Marge, have you ever actually sat down and read this thing? Technically, we’re not even allowed to go to the bathroom.

― Priest, in The Simpsons

Prayer has no place in the public schools, just like facts have no place in organized religion.

― School Superintendent, in The Simpsons

Most of the dogmatic religions have exhibited a perverse talent for taking the wrong side on the most important concepts in the material universe, from the structure of the solar system to the origin of man.

― George Gaylord Simpson

If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a chance of being a prophet.

― Isaac Bashevis Singer

God knows everybody needs a hand in their decisions.

Some of us are not so sure.

― Sisters of Mercy, in Something fast

Poor David Hume is dying fast, but with more real cheerfulness and good humour and with more real resignation to the necessary course of things, than any Whining Christian ever dyed with pretended resignation to the will of God.

― Adam Smith, on the death of David Hume. In the published version of Smith’s introductory letter to Hume’s autobiography, these words are tempered to exclude the Whining Christian.

Atheism, therefore, is the absence of theistic belief. One who does not believe in the existence of a god or supernatural being is properly designated as an atheist. Atheism is sometimes defined as the belief that there is no God of any kind, or the claim that a god cannot exist. While these are categories of atheism, they do not exhaust the meaning of atheism—and are somewhat misleading with respect to the basic nature of atheism. Atheism, in its basic form, is not a belief: it is the absence of belief. An atheist is not primarily a person who believes that a god does not exist, rather he does not believe in the existence of a god.

― George H. Smith, in Atheism: The Case Against God

Reason is not one tool of thought among many, it is the entire toolbox. To advocate that reason be discarded in some circumstances is to advocate that thinking be discarded—which leaves one in the position of attempting to do a job after throwing away the required instrument.

― George H. Smith, in Atheism: The Case Against God

Few theologians would care to pursue their research to its logical conclusion and finally assert, as did Thomas Paine, that the biblical account of Jesus has every mark of fraud and imposition stamped upon the face of it.

― George H. Smith, in Atheism: The Case Against God

… why have those countries with a strong Church‐State alliance displayed such an eagerness to enforce religious dogmas and eliminate dissent through the power of the state. Why has Christianity refused, whenever possible, to allow its beliefs to compete in a free marketplace of ideas? The answer is obvious and revealing. Christianity is peddling an inferior product, one that cannot withstand critical investigation. Unable to compete favorably with other theories, it has sought to gain a monopoly through a state franchise, which means: through the use of force.

― George H. Smith, in Atheism: The Case Against God

I am arguing that faith as such, faith as an alleged method of aquiring knowledge, is totally invalid and as a consequence, all propositions of faith, because they lack rational demonstration, must conflict with reason.

― George H. Smith, in Atheism: The Case Against God

The third major characteristic of God—infinitude—is the catchall, the universal modifier of Christian theology. God is not merely a being; he is infinite being. God is not merely good; he is infinite goodness. God is not merely wise; he is infinite wisdom. And so on down the list. God is exaggeration run amuck

― George H. Smith, in Atheism: The Case Against God

A nation can assume that the addition of the words under God to its pledge of allegiance gives evidence that its citizens actually believe in God whereas all it really proves is that they believe in believing in God.

― Huston Smith, in The Religions of Man

If I had been the Virgin Mary, I would have said No.

― Margaret Stevie Smith

Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine.

― Patti Smith

We need a new cosmology. New Gods. New Sacraments. Another drink.

― Patti Smith

The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well‐kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor keep the fasts.

― Sydney Smith

Religion: just say no.

― Tim Smith

Is it just me, or does anyone else read bible humpers every time someone writes bible thumpers?

― Joel M. Snyder

Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side.

― Han Solo, in Star Wars by George Lucas

His heart shall be torn from his living bosom and thrown in his face, after which his head is to be taken off and exposed on the church steeple in his native village. His body is to be cut into four pieces and a quarter fastened upon different towers of the City of Alkamaar.

― Diedrich Sonoy, Lutheran governer in Holland, on the Catholic Nanning Koppezoon, who was tortured for refusing to convert

Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds.

― Susan Sontag

Madison observed in criticizing religious presidential proclamations, the practice of sponsoring religious messages tends, over time, to narrow the recommendation to the standard of the predominant sect.—Madison’s Detached Memoranda, 3 Wm. & Mary Q. 534, 561 (E. Fleet ed. 1946)

― Justice Souter, concurring opinion in Lee v. Weisman

The sweep [of the Establishment Clause] is broad enough that Madison himself characterized congressional provisions for legislative and military chaplains as unconstitutional establishments.—Madison’s Detached Memoranda, 558‐559

― Justice Souter, concurring opinion in Lee v. Weisman

It needs but to glance over the world and to contemplate the doings of Christians everywhere to be amazed at the ineffectiveness of current theology. Or it needs only to look back over past centuries and the iniquities alike of populace, nobles, kings, and popes to perceive an almost incomprehensible futility of the beliefs everywhere held and perpetually insisted upon.

― Herbert Spencer, in Facts and Comments

Most studies show that conventional religion is not an effective force for moral behavior or against criminal activity.

― Bernard Spilka, Ralph Hood, and Richard Gorsuch, in The Psychology of Religion

I call him free who is led solely by reason.

― Spinoza

As nature preserves a fixed and immutable order; it must clearly follow that miracles are only intelligible as a relation to human opinions, and merely mean events of which the natural cause cannot be explained by a reference to any ordinary occurrence, either by us, or at any rate, by the writer and narrator of the miracle.

― Benedict Spinoza, Ethica ordine geometrica demonstrata

Unlike Descartes, however, he regarded mind and body (or ideas and the physical universe) as merely different aspects of a single substance, which he called alternately God and Nature, God being Nature in its fullness. This pantheism was considered blasphemous by the religious and political authorities of his day.

The Concise Columbia Encyclopedia, Second Edition, 1989, on Spinoza’s beliefs

One might be asked How can you prove that a god does not exist? One can only reply that it is scarcely necessary to disprove what has never been proved.

― David A. Spitz

Like my parents, I have never been a regular church member or churchgoer. It doesn’t seem plausible to me that there is the kind of God who watches over human affairs, listens to prayers, and tries to guide people to follow His precepts—there is just too much misery and cruelty for that. On the other hand, I respect and envy the people who get inspiration from their religions.

― Benjamin Spock

The best way to lose all is to cling with desperation to that which cannot possibly be sustained literally. Literalistic Christians will learn that a God or a faith system that has to be defended daily is finally no God or faith system at all. They will learn that any god who can be killed ought to be killed. Ultimately they will discover that all their claims to represent the historical, traditional, or biblical truth of Christianity cannot stop the advance of knowledge that will render every historic claim for a literal religious system questionable at best, null and void at worst.

― Bishop John Shelby Spong, Episcopal (Anglican) Bishop of Newark, NY, in Resurrection: Myth or Reality? pg. 22

Integrity and honesty, not objectivity and certainty, are the highest virtues to which the theological enterprise can aspire. From this perspective, all human claims to possess objectivity, certainty, or infallibility are revealed as nothing but the weak and pitiable pleas of frantically insecure people who seek to live in a illusion because reality has proved to be too difficult. Papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy are the two ecclesiastical versions of this human idolatry. Both papal infallibility and biblical inerrancy require widespread and unchallenged ignorance to sustain their claims to power. Both are doomed as viable alternatives for the long‐range future of anyone.

― Bishop John Shelby Spong, Episcopal (Anglican) Bishop of Newark, NY, in Resurrection: Myth or Reality? pg. 99

They amuse themselves by playing an irrelevant ecclesiastical game called Let’s Pretend. Let’s pretend that we possess the objective truth of God in our inerrant Scriptures or in our infallible pronouncements or in our unbroken apostolic traditions.

― Bishop John Shelby Spong, Episcopal (Anglican) Bishop of Newark, NY, in Resurrection: Myth or Reality? pg. 100

I know it isn’t the fetus’s fault, but the mother shouldn’t have had an abortion if she didn’t want the baby to go to hell.

― Jim Staal, net.fundie.idiot

The religious superstitions of women perpetuate their bondage more than all other adverse influences.

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The whole tone of Church teaching in regard to women is, to the last degree, contemptuous and degrading.

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Bible and the Church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women’s emancipation.

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The Bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgment seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a condition of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependant on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire.

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

The memory of my own suffering has prevented me from ever shadowing one young soul with the superstitions of the Christian religion.

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in Eighty Years and More

The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in Eighty Years and More

The bible teaches that woman brought sin and death into the world, that she precipitated the fall of the race, that she was arraigned before the judgement seat of Heaven, tried, condemned and sentenced. Marriage for her was to be a condition of bondage, maternity a period of suffering and anguish, and in silence and subjection, she was to play the role of a dependent on man’s bounty for all her material wants, and for all the information she might desire…Here is the Bible position of woman briefly summed up.

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton

All through the centuries scholars and scientists have been imprisoned, tortured and burned alive for some discovery which seemed to conflict with a petty text of Scripture. Surely the immutable laws of the universe can teach more impressive and exalted lessons than the holy books of all the religions on earth.

― Elizabeth Cady Stanton, in The Woman’s Bible, Part 2

The cosmos is interesting rather than perfect, and everything is not part of some greater plan, nor is all necessarily under control.

― Starhawk

Primus in orbe deos facit timor.

― Caecilius Statius (220‐168 B.C.), Thebais

St. Augustine found lying among the clergy so prevalent that he wrote two books (De Mendacio in 395 A.D. and Contra Mendacium in 420 A.D.), urging that it stop.

― Gordon Stein, in A Second Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism

By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God…

― Gloria Steinem

It is an incredible con job when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations with all their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous.

― Gloria Steinem

In the realm of science, all attempts to find any evidence of supernatural beings, of metaphysical conceptions, as God, immortality, infinity, etc., thus have failed, and if we are honest, we must confess that in science there exists no God, no immortality, no soul or mind as distinct from the body.

― Charles P. Steinmetz, American inventor and engineer, American Freeman, July 1941

God’s only excuse is that he does not exist.

― Stendhal

All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.

― Stendhal

The popes, like Jesus, are conceived by their mothers through the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost. All popes are a certain species of man‐gods, for the purpose of being the better able to conduct the functions of mediator between God and mankind. All powers in Heaven, as well as on earth, are given to them.

― Pope Stephanus V, 9th century

If atheism is to be used to express the state of mind in which God is identified with the unknowable, and theology is pronounced to be a collection of meaningless words about unintelligible chimeras, then I have no doubt, and I think few people doubt, that atheists are as plentiful as blackberries…

― Leslie Stephen

The truth cannot be asserted without denouncing the falsehood.

― Leslie Stephen

The division between faith and reason is a half‐measure, till it is frankly admitted that faith has to do with fiction, and reason with fact.

― Leslie Stephen, in Essays on Freethinking and Plainspeaking

Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits that unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant? Is it not a spectacle to make the angels laugh? We are a company of ignorant beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only by incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by falling into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe the ultimate origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures to declare that we don’t know the map of the universe as well as the map of our infintesimal parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that he will be damned to all eternity for his faithlessness…

― Leslie Stephen, in An agnostic’s Apology

Y.T. is supposed to be on her way to a Reverend Wayne’s Pearly Gates franchise. If she screws up this delivery, that means she’s double‐crossing God, who may or may not exist, and in any case who is capable of forgiveness. The Mafia definitely exists and hews to a higher standard of obedience.

― Neal Stephenson, in Snow Crash

Here’s what happens when you die—you sit in a box and get eaten by worms. I guarantee you that nothing cool happens when you die.

― Howard Stern

In addition, the New York Supreme Court, in a well known case (Miami Military Institute v Leff 129 Misc. 481, 220 N.Y.S. 799, 810) said of the principle of religious freedom that it, has always been regarded by the American people as the very heart of its national life. This would be difficult to maintain in a democracy without constitutional separation of church and state.

― Anson Phelps Stokes, in Church And State In The United States, Vol I

The world is proof that God is a committee.

― Bob Stokes

For those of us who have not believed, it is not expected to be very jolly.

― David Stoll, Fishers of Men or Founders of Empire?

The remaining part of the clause declares. that no religious test shall ever be required, as a qualification to any office or public trust, under the United States. This clause is not introduced merely for the purpose of satisfying the scruples of many respectable persons, who feel an invincible repugnance to any religious tests, or affirmation. It had a higher object; to cut off for ever every pretence of any alliance between church and state in the national government.

― Joseph Story, in Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Vol. III

The great mass of women and common people cannot be induced by mere force of reason to devote themselves to piety, virtue, and honesty. Superstition must therefore be employed, and even this is insufficient without the aid of the marvelous and the horrible.

― Strabo of Amasia, geographer and contemporary of the Roman Emperor Augustus

Thank you, but I’m afraid I can’t accept your compliment. You see, I’m an atheist, so if I’m also God, that would mean that I don’t believe in myself, and at this point in my life, I don’t need the added insecurity.

― J. Michael Straczynski, upon being told that he was God

Would raise a glass of champagne, but I don’t drink… won’t thank the great Mojo since I’m an atheist. But there’s always chocolate.

― J. Michael Straczynski

There’s no more proof for the existence of God than there is for the existence of the Easter Bunny. That’s right. The Easter Fucking Bunny.

― Stryder

Obviously, a man’s judgment cannot be better than the information on which he has based it. Give him the truth and he may still go wrong when he has the chance to be right, but give him no news or present him only with distorted and incomplete data, with ignorant, sloppy or biased reporting, with propaganda and deliberate falsehoods, and you destroy his whole reasoning processes, and make him something less than a man.

― Arthur Hays Sulzberger

Note to self: religion creepy.

― Buffy Anne Summers, in Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Joss Whedon

She manifested an entire want of instruction as to the nature and effect of an oath, of all religious training, and utter ignorance of the existence of a Supreme Being, the rewarder of truth and avenger of falsehoods.

― Supreme Court of Alabama, 1882, disqualifying an 11‐year old girls’s testimony at her rape trial. The rapist went free.

The man who has the harihood to avow that he does not believe in a God, shows a recklessness of moral character and utter want of moral responsibility, such as very little entitles him to be heard or believed in a court of justice in a country designated as Christian.

― Supreme Court of Tennessee, 1871

There is no such source and cause of strife, quarrel, fights, malignant opposition, persecution, and war, and all evil in the state, as religion. Let it once enter our civil affairs, our government would soon be destroyed. Let it once enter our common schools, they would be destroyed.

― Supreme Court of Wisconsin, Weiss v. District Board, March 18, 189

The Amendment’s purpose was not to strike merely at the official establishent of a single sect, creed, or religion, outlawing only a formal relation such as had prevailed in England and some of the colonies…It was to create a complete and permanent separation of the spheres of religious activity and civil authority by comprehensively forbidding every form of public aid or support for religion.

― Supreme court, Everson case

The Establishment Clause, unlike the Free Exercise Clause, does not depend upon any showing of direct governmental compulsion and is violated by the enactment of laws which establish an official religion whether those laws operate directly to coerce nonobserving individuals or not.

― U.S. Supreme Court, Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)

Neither the fact that the prayer is denominationally neutral nor the fact that its observance on the part of the students is voluntary can serve to free it from the limitations of the Establishment Clause.

― U.S. Supreme Court, Engle v. Vitale (1962)

We agree [that the State’s use of the Regents’ prayer in its public school system breaches the constitutional wall of separation between Church and State] since we think that the constitutional prohibition against laws respecting an establishment of religion must at least mean that in this country it is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers for any group of the American people to recite as a part of a religious program carried on by government.

― U.S. Supreme Court, Engel v. Vitale

Lemon v. Kurtzman, is not only that government may not be overtly hostile to religion, but also that it may not place its prestige, coercive authority, or resources behind a single religious faith or behind religious belief in general, compelling nonadherents to support the practices or proselytizing of favored religious organizations and conveying the message that those who do not contribute gladly are less than full members of the community.

― U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Monthly v. Bullock

The minister of the Gospel is really the yardstick by which the nation measures its morals.

― Rev. Jimmy Swaggart

Evolution is a bankrupt speculative philosophy, not a scientific fact. Only a spiritually bankrupt society could ever believe it. …Only atheists could accept this Satanic theory.

― Rev. Jimmy Swaggart

If I do not return to the pulpit this weekend, millions of people will go to hell.

― Rev. Jimmy Swaggart

Sex education classes in our public schools are promoting incest.

― Rev. Jimmy Swaggart, self‐described pornography addict

I turn on my television set. I see a young lady who goes under the guise of being a Christian, known all over the nation, dressed in skin‐tight leather pants, shaking and wiggling her hips to the beat and rhythm of the music as the strobe lights beat their patterns across the stage and the band plays the contemporary rock sound which cannot be differentiated from songs by the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, or anyone else. And you may try to tell me this is of God and that it is leading people to Christ, but I know better.

― Jimmy Swaggart, self‐described pornography addict, in Two points of view: Christian rock and roll.

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

― Jonathan Swift

If you talk to God, you’re praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia.

― Thomas Szasz

Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.

― Thomas Szasz

A woman is a pitcher full of filth with it’s mouth full of blood, yet all run after her

― Talmud, Shabbath 152

At the birth of a boy all are joyful, but at the birth of a girl all are sad

― Talmud, Niddah 31

What I conclude is that religion has nothing to do with experience or reason but with deep and irrational needs.

― Richard Taylor, Will Secularism Survive?, Free Inquiry

Where are you homosexuals going to go when we win?

― Kevin Tebedo, Exec. Dir. of religious‐right CFV

There can be no peaceful coexistence with homosexuals

― Kevin Tebedo, Exec. Dir. of CFV

In the end all your knees will bow to Jesus Christ whether you want to or not.

― Kevin Tebedo, Director of Colorado for Family Values to an audience composed of various religions (Citizens Project Newsletter, August 1993

Section 49‐6‐1012. No teacher or administrator in a local education agency shall teach the theory of evolution except as a scientific theory. Any teacher or administrator teaching such theory as fact commits insubordination, as defined in Section 49‐5‐5 01(s)(6), and shall be dismissed or suspended as provided in Section 49‐5‐511.

― Tennessee Bill HB2972 (House), SB 3229 (Senate), introducted by Tennesse Rep. Zene Whitson, considered by the House Education Committee, and the K‐12 Subcommittee of the Senate Education Committee, on February 21, 1996

There lives more faith in honest doubt,

Believe me, than in half the creeds.

― Tennyson

Those people who tell me that I’m going to hell while while they are going to heaven somehow make me very glad that we’re going to separate destinations.

― Martin Terman

I don’t think Christians should use birth control. You consummate your marriage as often as you like and if you have babies, you have babies.

― Randall Terry, one of the people behind the current campaign to blockade health clinics and publicly harass and humiliate women

Let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good… If a Christian voted for Clinton, he sinned against God. It’s that simple… Our goal is a Christian Nation… we have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want Pluralism. We want theocracy. Theocracy means God rules. I’ve got a hot flash. God rules.

― Randall Terry, Head of Operation Rescue, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Aug 15, 1993

We will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it.

― Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, at the Aug 8, 1995 U.S. Taxpayers Alliance Banquet in Washington DC, talking about doctors who perform abortions and volunteer escorts

Intolerance is a beautiful thing… There are people that are politically correct that want to say the cardinal sin of the hour is intolerance and I think that is a bunch of junk.

― Randall Terry, Operation Rescue

The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed because men must needs be ashamed of it. And the Son of God dies; it by all means to be believed, because it is absurd. And He was buried, and rose again; the fact is certain, because it is impossible.

― Tertullian, in The Ante‐Nicene Fathers

You are the devil’s gateway; you are the unsealer of that forbidden tree; you are the first deserter of the divine law; you are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man.

― Tertullian, De Culta Feminarum 1.1, on women

A tack points heavenward when it causes the most mischief. It has many human imitations.

― Texas Siftings

No one would have remembered the good Samaritan if he’d only had good intentions. He had money as well.

― Margaret Thatcher

Man always deceives himself when he abandons experience to follow imaginary systems. He is the work of Nature. He exists in Nature. He is submitted to her laws. He cannot deliver himself from them. He cannot step beyond them even in thought.

― Paul‐Henri Thiry, Baron d’Holbach, The System of Nature

The weirdest way to fantasize

While frigid Solstice thaws


Christless Christmastime!

Replaced by…

Jesus Claus?

― Gerald Tholen

There may be Gods, but they care not what men do.

― Henry David Thoreau

I did not see why the schoolmaster should be taxed to support the priest, and not the priest the schoolmaster.

― Henry David Thoreau, in On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.

― James Thurber

A miracle was not in our development plan, but this Madonna thing will go well with our new water amusement park.

― Pietro Tidei, Mayor of Civitavecchia (1995), from a news story in the Ottawa Citizen

Christian doctrine was shredded to pieces by biblical scholars in the 18th and 19th centuries, but the information didn’t get out to the bulk of people beyond the academic world. With the Information Age, this will all change.

― Farrell Till, in The Skeptical Review

If God were not a necessary Being of Himself, He might also seem to be made for the use and benefit of men.

― John Tillotson, Sermon

Appointed. The Rev. Lloyd John Ogilvie, 64, Presbyterian minister, to the post of Chaplain of the U.S. Senate. Currently senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, California, Ogilvie is also host of a daily radio show and a weekly TV program, Let God Love You. His new job will pay $115,700 a year in taxpayer dollars.

― Time magazine, 6 February 1995

Legitimate truth is the product of evidence, not of our willingness to believe.

― #11 Timotheus

Here and there in the midst of American society you meet with men full of a fanatical and almost wild spirtualism, which hardly exists in Europe. From time to time strange sects arise which endeavor to strike out extraordinary paths to eternal happiness. Religious insanity is very common in the United States.

― Alexis de Tocqueville

whatsoever person or persons withing this Province…shall from henceforth blaspheme God…or shall deny our Saviour Jesus to be the Sonne of God, or shall deny the Holy Trinity, the Father, Sonne and Holy Ghost, or the Godhead of any of the said Three persons of the Trinity or the Unity of the Godhead…shall be punished with death and confiscation or forfeiture of all his or her lands…

― Maryland’s Tolerance Act, often hailed as the first law for religious freedom in the colonies

I believe Christ was a man like ourselves; to look upon him as God would seem to me the greatest of sacrileges

― Leo Tolstoy

Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless.

― Leo Tolstoy, in On Life and Essays on Religion

Why is it when we talk to God, we’re said to be praying—but when God talks to us, we’re schizophrenic?

― Lily Tomlin

If God is our Father (you thought), then Satan must be our Cousin. Why didn’t anyone else understand these important things?

― Tool

You are going to see again the child about which you read in the Terrible Judgment, that it was condemned to hell. See! it is a pitiful sight. The little child is in this red hot oven. Hear the fire! It beats its head against the roof of the oven. It stamps its little feet on the floor. You can see on the face of this little child what you see on the faces of all in hell—despair, desperate and horrible… This child committed very bad mortal sins, knowing well the harm of what it was doing, and knowing that hell would be the punishment. God was very good to this child. Very likely God saw that this child would get worse and worse, and would never repent, and so it would have to be punished much more in hell. So God, in His mercy, called it out of the world in its early childhood.

― from Tracts for Spiritual Reading, an officially approved Catholic Children’s book. In his Approbation, William Meagher, Vicar‐General of Dublin, states I have carefully read over this Little Volume for Children and have found nothing whatever in it contrary to the doctrines of the Holy Faith; but on the contrary, a great deal to charm, instruct and edify the youthful classes for whose benefit it has been written.

More ominously, some antiabortion activists have vandalized and even bombed abortion facilities. There has been a remarkable, although not‐much‐remarked‐upon, rise in the incidence of such antiabortion violence. Since 1977 extremists in the United States have bombed or set fire to at least 117 clinics and threatened 250 others. They have invaded some 231 clinics and vandalized 224 others.

― Laurence H. Tribe, in Abortion

Do you want real TRUTH in capital letters? Then search yourself for why you believe the things you do. Don’t be afraid to analyze why your religion gives you the high it does. Answer yourself this question: Is TRUTH important enough for me to give up my religion if that is required? Until you answer yes to this you are not being honest with yourself.

― Dave Trissel

That’s the problem with believing in a supernatural being. Trying to determine what he wants.

― Councellor Troi, ST:TNG

I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.

― Lao Tse

It is your god‐given right to destroy any man or woman calling themselves doctors who willingly slaughter innocent children.

― Keith Tucci

In the beginning Man created God; and

in the image of Man created he him.

― Jethro Tull, in Aqualung

Whatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: Great God, grant that twice two be not four.

― Ivan Turgenev (1818‐1883) Russian novelist, writer

To me, faith is not better because it is atheistic rather than theistic. I am an atheist because of a lack of faith, not because of a different faith.

― Russell Turpin

Many, many Christians claim a personal relationship with Jesus. I do not know whether this helps their bowling scores.

― Russell Turpin

God, we know you are in charge, but why don’t you make it slightly more obvious?

― Archbishop Desmond Tutu, address to students at at West Point

Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.

― Mark Twain

Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven

― Mark Twain

If Christ were here now there is one thing he would not be—a Christian.

― Mark Twain, in Notebook

The Bible is a mass of fables and traditions, mere mythology.

― Mark Twain, in Mark Twain and the Bible

If there is a God, he is a malign thug.

― Mark Twain

There is one notable thing about our Christianity: bad, bloody, merciless, money‐grabbing and predatory as it is—in our country particularly, and in all other Christian countries in a somewhat modified degree—it is still a hundred times better than the Christianity of the Bible, with its prodigious crime—the invention of Hell. Measured by our Christianity of to‐day, bad as it is, hypocritical as it is, empty and hollow as it is, neither the Deity nor His Son is a Christian, nor qualified for that moderately high place. Ours is a terrible religion. The fleets of the world could swim in spacious comfort in the innocent blood it has spilt.

― Mark Twain, in Reflections on Religion

There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one—the pulpit. It yielded last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession—at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery texts [in the Bible] remained; the practice changed; that was all.

― Maxwell Geismar, in Mark Twain and the Three R’s

O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it…

― Mark Twain, in The War Prayer

One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed it—they also believed the world was flat.

― Mark Twain

It ain’t the parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.

― Mark Twain

It is by the fortune of God that, in this country, we have three benefits: freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and the wisdom never to use either.

― Mark Twain

It is best to read the weather forcast before praying for rain.

― Mark Twain

The Christian Bible is a drug store. It’s contents have remained the same but the medical practice continues. For 1,800 years these changes were slight—scarcely noticeable… The dull and ignorant physician day and night, and all the days and all the nights, drenched his patient with vast and hideous doses of the most repulsive drugs to be found in the store’s stock… He kept him religion sick for eighteen centuries, and allowed him not a well day during all that time.

― Maxwell Geismar, in Mark Twain and the Three R’s

These people’s God has shown them by a million acts that he respects none of the Bible’s statues. He breaks every one of them himself, adultery and all.

― Maxwell Geismar, in Mark Twain and the Three R’s

There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remains.

― Maxwell Geismar, in Mark Twain and the Three R’s

Man is a Religious Animal. Man is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion—several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.

― Mark Twain, in Letters from the Earth

Our Bible reveals to us the character of our god with minute and remorseless exactness… It is perhaps the most damnatory biography that exists in print anywhere. It makes Nero an angel of light and leading by contrast

― Mark Twain, in Reflections on Religion

I bring you this stately matron named Christendom, returning bedraggled, besmirched, and dishonored from pirate raids in Kiao‐Chow, Manchuria, South Africa, and the Phillipines, with her soul full of meanness, her pocket full of boodle, and her mouth full of pious hypocrisies. Give her soap and a towel, but hide the looking‐glass.

― Mark Twain

During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry.

― Mark Twain, in Europe and Elsewhere

There is no other life; life itself is only a vision and a dream for nothing exists but space and you. If there was an all‐powerful God, he would have made all good, and no bad.

― Mark Twain, in Mark Twain in Eruption

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

― Mark Twain

Religion consists in a set of things which the average man thinks he believes and wishes he was certain of.

― Mark Twain

Strange…a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!

― Mark Twain

In religion and politics, people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second‐hand, and without examination.

― Mark Twain

Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race—the individual’s distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety’s or comfort’s sake, to stand well in his neighbor’s eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions.

― Mark Twain, in The Mysterious Stranger

If I wanted a loving father, a faithful husband, an honorable neighbor, and a just citizen, I would seek him among the band of Atheists.

― John Tyndall, presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1874)

If it is nothingness that awaits us, let us make an injustice of it; let us fight against destiny, even though without hope of victory.

― Miguel de Unamuno

The skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.

― Miguel de Unamuno

Infidels have been among the most indefatigable workers in every reform.

― B.F. Underwood, in Freethought Judged by Its Fruits

God had to kill himself to appease himself, so that he wouldn’t have to roast us (his beloved creations) alive for all eternity, except that he didn’t really die.

― Unknown

Life is not a miracle. It is a natural phenomenon, and can be expected to appear wherever there is a planet whose conditions duplicate those of the earth.

― Harold Urey

Which beginning of time according to our Chronologie, fell upon the entrance of the night preceding the twenty third day of Octob. in the year of the Julian Calender, 710.

― Bishop James Ussher, dating the creation

The world was created on 22d October, 4004 B.C. at 6 o’clock in the evening.

― Bishop James Ussher, in Annals of the World: 1650‐1654

The [Christian] supremacists who lead the anti‐gay crusade are wrong morally. They are wrong because justice is moral, and prejudice is evil; because truth is moral and the lie of the closet is the real sin; because the claim of morality is a subtle sort of subterfuge, a strategem which hides the real aim which is much more secular. The supremacists don’t care about morality, they care about power. They care about social control. And their goal, my friends, is the reconstruction of American Democracy into American Theocracy.

― Urvashi Vaid

God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.

― Paul Valery

I can very well do without God both in my life and in my painting, but I cannot, suffering as I am, do without something which is greater than I, which is my life—the power to create.

― Vincent van Gogh

Nothing is more depressing and more illogical than agressive Christianity.

― Gerald Vann

We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed: that the Roman pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of pastor and doctor of all Christians, by virtue of his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, by the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, is possessed of that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer willed that his Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith and morals; and that therefore such definitions of the Roman pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church.

― Vatican Council, 24 April 1870

Mine is not a celestial state

with idle hymns of praise

― Eddie Vedder, in Angel

There is no tyrrany so cruel, no yoke so intolerable as priestcraft when invested with temporal power.

― Venner

The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death.

― Gore Vidal

I’m a born‐again atheist.

― Gore Vidal

Once people get hung up on theology, they’ve lost sanity forever. More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world.

― Gore Vidal

I want the man bearing the cross to be its only victim.

― Eugene Vintras

Article I Section 16 FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION; NO ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION. That religion or the duty which we owe to our creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not be force or violence; and therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love, and charity towards each other. No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his argument to maintain their opinions in matters of religion, and the same shall in nowise diminish, enlarge, or effect their civil capacities. And the General Assembly shall not prescribe any religious test whatever, or confer any particular privileges or advantages on any sect or denomination, or pass any law requiring or authorizing any religious society, or the people of any district within this Commonwealth, to levy on themselves or other, any tax for the erection or repair of any house of public worship, or for the support of any church or ministry, but it shall be left free to every person to select his religious instructor, and to make for his support such a private contract as he shall please.

― Current Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Some two‐and‐a‐half‐thousand years after its debut in Western culture, materialism stands in the final decade of the twentieth century as a complete and well‐defined philosophy in many respects. Its core assumption that there is no reality other than the material order exhibiting itself in what exists around and within us distinguishes it from competing philosophies today just as sharply as it did for Lucretius. The notion of supernatural or immaterial states of being that are alien to nature seems just as incoherent to materialists in the 1990s as it did to d’Holbach, who first worked out materialism’s atheistic implications. The conviction not just that the laws of nature are knowable but that human science is capable, at least in principle, of knowing them is no less central now than it was for Buechner. And the assumption that all thought and feeling, human and otherwise, is a material process is still as key an element in materialism as it has been for the mind‐brain reductionists of the twentieth century. In these four and many related ways, the materialist vision is what it has always been: the clearest and most consistent effort to comprehend and demystify nature and humanity’s place in it that human intelligence has ever made.

― Richard C. Vitzthum, in Materialism: An Affirmative History and Definition

The tiny inscription fragments from Dan, chiseled more than a hundred years after the alleged event, are presently the nearest there is to written evidence of the existence of the great King David and the even greater King Solomon. If I might borrow a popular phrase, Professor Rainey and his highly professional colleagues in academe are ignoring the 800‐pound gorilla in the corner, which is the fact that thousands of tenth‐century B.C.E. ostraca and artifacts have been found confirming the existence of minor neighboring kingdoms that were contemporary with David and Solomon, but there is nothing, not one potshard, not a scrap, to confirm the greatness of the founders of the United Monarchy.

― Peter Vokac

To Believe without evidence and demonstration is an act of ignorance and folly.

― Volney

God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.

― Voltaire

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

― Voltaire

A clergyman is one who feels himself called upon to live without working at the expense of the rascals who work to live.

― Voltaire

What is tolerance?—it is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly—that is the first law of nature.

― Voltaire

It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.

― Voltaire

Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer.

(If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.)

― Voltaire

Since the whole affair had become one of religion, the vanquished were of course exterminated.

― Voltaire

If God made us in His image we have certianly returned the compliment.

― Voltaire

I have only made but one prayer in my life: O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it.

― Voltaire

When he that speaks, and he to whom he speaks, neither of them understand what is meant, that is metaphysics.

― Voltaire

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue.

― Voltaire

You will notice that in all disputes between Christians since the birth of the Church, Rome has always favored the doctrine which most completely subjugated the human mind and annihilated reason.

― Voltaire

Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense.

― Voltaire, in Philosophical Dictionary

True greatness consists in the use of a powerful understanding to enlighten oneself and others.

― Voltaire

God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.

― Voltaire

What can we say to a man who tells you that he would rather obey God than men, and that therefore he is sure to go to heaven for butchering you? Even the law is impotent against these attacks of rage; it is like reading a court decree to a raving maniac. These fellows are certain that the holy spirit with which they are filled is above the law, that their enthusiasm is the only law that they must obey.

― Voltaire

The first priest was the first rogue who met the first fool.

― Voltaire

It is demonstrated, [Pangloss] said, that things cannot be otherwise: for, since everything was made for a purpose, everything is necessarily for the best purpose. Note that noses were made to wear spectacles; we therefore have spectacles. Legs were clearly devised to wear breeches, and we have breeches. Stones were created to be hewn and made into castles; [the Baron Thunder‐Ten‐Tronkh] therefore has a very beautiful castle…

― Voltaire, in Candide

As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities.

― Voltaire

Hell: A cooking stove which heats the sacerdotal sauce‐pan here below. It was founded on behalf of our priests, to the end that the latter may never be wanting in good cheer.

― Voltaire

Holy Scripture: A book sent down from heaven… Holy Scriptures contain all that a Christian should know and believe, provided he adds to it a million or so commentaries.

― Voltaire

Moses: A prophet inspired of God who gave him a holy and righteous law, which he was obliged to change later on, seeing that it had become worthless… He was the meekest of men, as he himself tells us.

― Voltaire

Inspiration: A peculiar effect of divine flatulence emitted by the Holy Spirit which hisses into the ears of a few chosen of God…

― Voltaire

There are no sects in geometry.

― Voltaire, in Philosophical Dictionary

Superstition, born of paganism and adopted by Judaism, invested the Christian Church from earliest times. All the fathers of the Church, without exception, believed in the power of magic. The Church always condemned magic, but she always believed in it: she did not excommunicate sorcerers as madmen who were mistaken, but as men who were really in communication with the devil.

― Voltaire, in Philosophical Dictionary

The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost their power of reasoning.

― Voltaire, in Philosophical Dictionary

To succeed in chaining the multitude, you must seem to wear the same fetters.

― Voltaire, in Philosophical Dictionary

God created sex. Priests created marriage.

― Voltaire

Superstition sets the whole world in flames; philosophy quenches them.

― Voltaire

…so long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrranize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.

― Voltarine de Cleyre

Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying.

― Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

I once knew an Episcopalian lady in Newport, Rhode Island, who asked me to design and build a doghouse for her Great Dane. The lady claimed to understand God and His Ways of Working perfectly. She could not understand why anyone should be puzzled about what had been or about what was going to be.

And yet, when I showed her a blueprint of the doghouse I proposed to build, she said to me, I’m sorry, but I never could read one of those things.

Give it to your husband or your minister to pass on to God, I said, and, when God finds a minute, I’m sure he’ll explain this doghouse of mine in a way that even you can understand.

She fired me. I shall never forget her. She believed that God liked people in sailboats much better than He liked people in motorboats. She could not bear to look at a worm. When she saw a worm, she screamed.

She was a fool, and so am I, and so is anyone who thinks he sees what God is Doing.

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., in Cat’s Cradle

What the Gospels actually said was: don’t kill anyone until you are absolutely sure they aren’t well connected

― Kurt Vonnegurt, in Slaughterhouse 5

Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk.

― Tom Waits

What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears.

― Alice Walker, in The Temple of My Familiar

The cross everywhere is a dagger in the heart of liberty.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A miracle is not an explanation of what we cannot comprehend.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A dogma will thrive in soil where the truth could not get root.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The feet of progress have always been shod by doubt.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The man who accepts the faith of Calvin is miserable in proportion to the extent he carries it out.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Whatever tends to prolong the existence of ignorance or to prevent the recognition of knowledge is dangerous to the well‐being of the human race.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

History shows that there is nothing so easy to enslave and nothing so hard to emancipate as ignorance, hence it becomes the double enemy of civilization. By its servility it is the prey of tyranny, and by its credulity it is the foe of enlightenment.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

We are then to conclude that Christianity is held only by the ignorant.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

There is greater argument in one fact than in all the creeds.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

It is easier to believe that a man is honest who says the Bible is the word of God than to believe that he is bright.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

But it is neither as God nor as a man that Jesus must be regarded, but as a myth. No such person ever lived either as a human or divine existence. He is simply a creature of fancy, the fruit of the imagination. He is a character of the brain, the creation of religious genius.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

There is no justifiable Christianity in this age.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A dogma is the hand of the dead on the throat of the living.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If man had no knowledge except what he has got out of the Bible he would not know enough to make a shoe.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The minister must take his pious grasp off of the throat of Sunday.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Civilization has come about by going to school more than to church.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Christianity is a black spot on the page of civilization.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The church is a bank that is continually receiving deposits but never pays a dividend.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

When a minister says that God will help you, ask him to put up the collateral.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The church spends thousands of dollars to save a dogma, where it spends a cent to find a truth.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Christianity is like a slow clock—always being moved ahead.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

No church has all the truth, and no school either. So‐called religion merely shows where the search after truth ended. But truth is the infinite reality,, and it will always be for man to find.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The day of the Bible is passed. Books have taken its place.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Better be late to church Sunday morning than late at home Saturday night.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

No creed can be stretched to the size of truth; no church can be made as large as man.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If God exists, what objection can he have to saying so?

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

We must condemn christianity, not christians; strike the church, but spare the heart.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Piety could do nothing better than imitate morality.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

God never helps those who need the help of men and women.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

No man ever knew Providence to interpose when his neighbor’s hens are scratching up his garden.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Priests will pardon thieves but not philosophers.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Priest and God have formed some of the worst combinations in history.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Too long has this world been at the feet of the priest. Man is never in that position for his own benefit, but for the benefit of the priest.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Where the cross has been planted only superstitions have grown.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Religion is no more the parent of morality than an incubator is the mother of a chicken.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Prayer is begging from a pauper.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The egg of prayer never yet became a chicken.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Prayer is like a pump in an empty well, it makes lots of noise, but brings no water.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A great many people who worship Jesus would not let him come at the back door.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Prayer is a hook that never caught any fish. It is a gun that never brought down any game.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

No man ever got an answer to prayer that he could show to another person.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

People who rely most on God rely least on themselves.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The original sin was not in eating of the forbidden fruit, but in planting the tree that bore the fruit.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The people who boast the loudest of carrying their cross are never around when man cries for help.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The beating of humanity’s heart cannot be felt by placing the finger on the church’s pulse.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

What a queer thing is Christian salvation! Believing in firemen will not save a burning house; believing in doctors will not make one well, but believing in a savior saves men. Fudge!

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

To build one house for man is better than to build a dozen houses to God.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Hell is where cowards have sent heroes.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The cross people carry to‐day is made of gold or set with diamonds.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The character of God would stand vastly higher in human estimation if he had visited the garden in which he had placed the first human pair and picked up the serpent and cast him over the garden wall before he had a chance to tempt Eve, instead of waiting until the mischief was done, and then cursing the whole lot for what he might so easily have prevented.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

It is plain enough that men and women care for God. This is too apparent to be disputed, unless men and women are hypocrites. What is not so plain is that God cares for men and women.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A man cannot be happy who believes in hell, any more than he can sweeten his coffee with a pickle.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The church wants us to believe that God will go out of his way to strike a blasphemer and work a week to save the soul of a murderer.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A theologian is a person who uses the word God to hide his ignorance.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

No man ever yet tore down his altar and found a God behind it.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Trying to find God is a good deal like looking for money one has lost in a dream.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

We could believe in God if he shortened the road for the lame, led the blind or fed the starving.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

It has been discovered that the man who was lost in thought was not a church member.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

We do not say that another world is not worth a single thought, but rather that this world is worth all our thoughts, and needs them.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The money man gives to get him into heaven is what he ought to use to improve the earth.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The Unitarian walks with a cane, the Congregationalist, Methodist, Presbyterian and Baptist go with crutches, the Episcopalian has to be pushed about in an invalid’s chair, while the Roman Catholic crawls on his hands and knees and is led around with a ring in his nose by a priest.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The man who wants to be an angel is never in a hurry to begin.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The man who gets on his knees has not learned the right use of his legs.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The dogma of the divinity of Jesus should have died on the cross, when the man of Nazareth gave up the ghost.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Adam may not have been so perfect after the ’fall, but he was not so big a fool.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

An organization that requires the suppression of facts and the discouragement of knowledge in order to maintain its supremacy, is the relic of a tyranny which our free age and our free thought are in duty bound to remove from the earth.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The trouble with divine revelation is that we do not know who did the business.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A person has not much excuse for living who can make no better use of life than passing it in a nunnery.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The doctrine of salvation by faith is a libel on justice and has done more to undermine the virtue of the world than vice itself.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The doubter is the safe man; the man who can be depended upon. He does not build upon a foundation of guesswork, and the structure he erects will stand. Let us not fear doubt, but rather fear to have falsehood passed for truth.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

It takes the shingles from the widow’s cottage to put paint on the house of God.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A church that sets up a religious faith as more essential than purity, than kindness, charity or goodness, is a dangerous institution.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Don’t put too much faith in the man who wants to know the distance to the nearest church before he has written his name in the hotel register.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

It is a waste of words to talk about God and what he knows and what he does. No man knows that God does anything, that God knows anything, or that there is a God.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Blessings on the man who first dared to doubt.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Every kiss of love imprinted by a mother’s lips on the face of her babe gives the lie to the Christian doctrine of total depravity, and every gift which the heart of pity lays in the hand of misfortune brands this doctrine as false and a libel on our human nature.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The thirty‐nine articles of orthodoxy are only the ashes of the mind.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

There is as much perfumery in petroleum as there is righteousness in orthodoxy. Its dead theology and make‐believe piety have no value only to the priest. Orthodoxy survives only by right of possession. Turn it out of the churches and it would never re‐enter them. The church to‐day is a hospital for sick dogmas. Every Christian doctrine is a cripple; not one can walk or stand alone. Orthodoxy has put a false valuation on things. It calls a man good who goes to church, offers a prayer in public and accepts the Bible as the word of God; it calls a man bad who stays at home and enjoys himself with his family on Sunday, who eats without asking God to bless his food, and who does not expect to go to heaven on the vicarious railroad.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

When religion comes in at the door common sense goes out at the window.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The churches erected in the name of God will ere long be tombstones to his, memory.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Churches do not stand for moral influence. Not a Christian minister preaches salvation by good behavior. What a poor business Roman Catholicism would do among men if it advertised to save only those who were temperate, upright, intelligent and moral.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If a person can join the salvation army corps and still be respected by his fellow‐beings, he ought to be at liberty to enlist in the ranks of reason and common sense and not forfeit respect.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

God has done nothing for men and women except to scare them out of their wits.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Our duty to the god of christianity is to bury him.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If the factory pays taxes and the church does not, it follows that the church will some day own the factory.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

When christian ministers stand up in their pulpits and say Let us pray, if they would sometimes vary the invitation and say: Let us laugh, they would do their congregations more good.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The convent is opposed to all that is sacred in human nature.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

God cannot be put into the national Constitution without putting liberty out of it.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

We do not want holy books, but true ones; not sacred writings, but sensible writings.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Do not thank God for what man does.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The Bible upon which Christianity is founded does not say what Christianity is, what a Christian is, nor what we must do in order to be a Christian.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If you can forgive the man who wronged you, the neighbor who slandered you and help the poor about you, you need not be particular about making any professions of righteousness.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The true man walks the earth as the stars walk the heavens, grandly obedient to those laws which are implanted in his nature.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

You cannot stuff your minds with the lives of saints and grow good on the stuffing.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Some persons are remembered solely for their virtues and others solely for their faults. This is why we have a Jesus and a Judas.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

When men are hungry roast mutton is better than the lamb that taketh away wrath.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

We should scorn the person who would be mean enough to allow his fellow‐being to be punished for his deeds. Yet we have a religion in our midst that is founded on this kind of meanness.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Where are the sons of gods that loved the daughters of men?

Where are the nymphs, the goddesses of the winds and waters?

Where are the gnomes that lived inside the earth?

Where are the goblins that used to play tricks on mortals?

Where are the fairies that could blight or bless the human heart?

Where are the ghosts that haunted this globe?

Where are the witches that flew in and out of the homes of men?

Where is the devil that once roamed over the earth?

Where are they? Gone with the ignorance that believed in them.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

No man was ever yet canonized for minding his own business.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

What has God revealed to man that has ever helped him get a living?

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If we do not need to worship God six days in the week why do we need to worship him on the seventh?

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If there were no ministers and no priests, how long would there be any churches?

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The truths which God revealed have been overthrown by the truths which man has discovered.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

People used to think that to mix religion with business spoiled the religion, now they think it spoils the business.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Unless some people change their habits before they die, there will be a lot of dirty angels in the next world, if there is any next world.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

There may be lots of Providence in the world, but no man seems to know just where it can be found.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

It is necessary to distinguish between the virtue and the vice of obedience.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The power that conquers men to‐day must be the power of enlightened opinion.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Lots of men who would not associate with infidels for fear of contaminating their characters are not yet out of jail.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

God’s name is not considered good at the banks.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

To depend upon God is like holding on to the tail‐end of nothing.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

When the church teaches that confession is good for the soul, it teaches false doctrine; it is only good for the church.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

We are told that all things are possible with God, and yet God cannot boil an egg in cold water.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Laying up treasures in heaven never kept a man out of the poor‐house.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The reason that revelation is always made to the simple is that the wise could not be imposed upon.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

There is no sadder grief than that which lies at the bottom of a life that has been wrecked through deception.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

There is no authority that can be quoted against a man but the authority of some other man.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Nine times out of ten the man who declares that God is tender to the sparrow that falls is not the man to buy a winter’s coal for a poor widow.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The more mystery is encouraged, the more deceit can impose upon the human mind.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

If wisdom and diamonds grew on the same tree we could soon tell how much men loved wisdom.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Many persons who claim that they are clothed with righteousness do not seem to have got very good fits.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

It rains on the just and the unjust, but rarely just enough on either.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A great many men believe in providence until they get caught in a railroad accident.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Treasures well used on earth will help the world more than treasures laid up in heaven.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

The foolish and cruel notion that a wife is to obey her husband has sent more women to the grave than to the courts for a divorce.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Honesty is never seen sitting astride the fence.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

A handsome bonnet covers a multitude of sins.

― Lemuel K. Washburn, in Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

Let Bhagwans be Bhagwans.

― Washington Post

The blood in any person is in reality the person himself. …poisons due to personal living, eating and drinking habits…The poisons that produce the impulse to commit suicide, murder, or steal are in the blood. Moral insanity, sexual perversions, repression, inferiority complexes, petty crimes—these often follow in the wake of blood transfusion.

― Watchtower 9/15/61

I thank God I was raised Catholic, so sex will always be dirty.

― John Waters

By the cold and religious we were taken in hand—shown how to feel good; and told to feel bad.

― Roger Waters, in The Final Cut

Today, the theory of evolution is an accepted fact for everyone but a fundamentalist minority, whose objections are based not on reasoning but on doctrinaire adherence to religious principles.

― James Watson

Christian piety makes a strange image of the object of its devotion, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Him. The bearded moralist with the stern, kind, and vaguely hurt look in his eyes. The man with the lantern, knocking at the heart’s door. Come along, now, boys! Enough of this horsing around! It’s time you and I had a very serious talk. Christ Jesus our Lord. Jeez‐us. Jeez‐you. The Zen Buddhists say, Wash out your mouth every time you say Buddha! The new life for Christianity begins just as soon as someone can get up in church and say, Wash out your mouth every time you say Jesus!

― Alan Watts

We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand.

― James Watt

My responsibility is to follow the Scriptures which call upon us to occupy the land until Jesus returns.

― James Watt, in The Washington Post, 24 May 1981

The violence of some anti‐abortionists was an ongoing problem. On October 10, 1985, security was tightened at the Supreme Court after Justice Blackmun received a death threat; the day before, an anti‐abortion protester had disrupted court proceedings. Anyone who has ever attended a Supreme Court hearing knows one doesn’t even whisper, much less interrupt the Court. On December 4, the FBI released figures on terrorism, but these did not include data on abortion clinic bombings, as they were supposedly not attributable to organized groups. Abortion clinics were increasingly the targets of acts of vandalism, death threats to employees, telephoned bomb threats, and other forms of harassment. On Christmas Day, three clinics were bombed in Pensacola, Florida, and on New Year’s Day, 1986, a Washington, D.C., clinic was bombed. The Christmas bomber, who was later arrested, said his actions had been a Christmas present for Jesus.

― Sarah Weddington, in A Question of Choice

The United States is not a Christian nation. It is a great nation with Christians, among others, in it. But our greatness is based on the fact that there is no official religion.

― Sen. Lowell Weicker

When you know the LORD you have no need for masturbation.

― Brice Wellington, net.fundie.idiot

There’s lots will take things as they are—fat and stupid; and lots will be worried by a sort of feeling that it’s all wrong, and that they ought to be doing something. Now whenever things are that a lot of people feel they ought to be doing something, the weak, and those who go weak with a lot of complicated thinking, always make for a sort of do‐nothing religion, very pious and superior, and submit to persecution and the will of the Lord. Very likely you’ve seen the same thing. It’s energy in a gale of funk, and turned clean inside out. These cages will be full of psalms and hymns and piety. And those of a less simple sort will work in a bit of—what is it?—eroticism.

― H. G. Wells, from The War of the Worlds

I think that it stands for everything most hostile to the mental emancipation and stimulation of mankind. It is the completest, most highly organized system of prejudices and antagonism in existence. Everywhere in the world there are ignorance and prejudice, but the greatest complex of these, with the most extensive prestige and the most intimate entanglement with traditional institutions, is the Roman Catholic Church. It presents many faces to the world, but everywhere it is systematic in its fight against freedom.

― H.G. Wells

Moral indignation—jealousy with a halo.

― H.G. Wells

As with the Christian religion, the worst argument for socialism is its adherents.

― H.G. Wells

I do not believe I have any immortality. The greatest evil in the world today is the Christian religion.

― H.G. Wells

If BSA intends to issue invitations to children in public schools, they ought to Be Prepared to abide by the admissions standards of public schools and stop discriminating on the basis of religious belief.

― Elliot Welsh, on BSA’s denial of his nonreligious son

For almost three centuries, from the late 1400s on, the best minds of church and state were hard at work ferreting out evidence against men and women accused of making pacts with the Devil, holding diabolic councils and diabolic orgies, using charms and spells and wax figures to kill kings, shipwreck fleets, blast crops and subvert the whole order of Christendom. There are no definitive figures because so many records have been lost, but certainly tens of thousands of people confessed, usually after prolonged torture, to acts of witchcraft and were hanged or drowned or burned alive. During the Spanish Inquisition alone, 100 persons might be burned as witches in a day. By the end of the 17th century, belief in the existence of witchcraft was fading among educated people, and with it went a fading in belief in the existence of witches.

― Robert Wernick, Don’t look now—but all those plotters might be hiding under your bed, Smithsonian 24(12):108, March 1994

Giving up witchcraft is, in effect, giving up the Bible.

― John Wesley (1703‐1791) English theologian, evangelist, Journal (1768)

Increasing knowledge lessens the sphere of the supernatural…

― Edward A. Westermarck, in The Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas

The main doctrine of a fanatic’s creed is that his enemies are the enemies of God.

― Andrew White

Christianity exceeds all other faiths in its power to deform and finally invert the mental process.

― Ida White

[W]e shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man.

― Lynn White, Jr., The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis, Science V. 155 No. 3767 (10 March 1967), pp. 1203‐1207.

The total absence of humour in the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature

― Alfred North Whitehead

Religion is the last refuge of human savagery.

― Alfred North Whitehead

Why do born‐again people so often make you wish they’d never been born the first time?

― Katherine Whitehorn

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.

― Oscar Wilde

When I think of all the harm the Bible has done, I despair of ever writing anything to equal it.

― Oscar Wilde

When the gods wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.

― Oscar Wilde

Truth in matters of religion, is simply opinion that has survived.

― Oscar Wilde

Missionaries are going to reform the world whether it wants to or not.

― Oscar Wilde

I think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.

― Oscar Wilde

Religion is the fashionable substitute for belief.

― Oscar Wilde

Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.

― Oscar Wilde, in The Oscariana

Recruits! Before the altar and the servant of God you have given me your oath of allegiance… You have sworn fidelity to me, you are the children of my guard, you are my soldiers, you have surrendered yourself to me, body and soul. // Only one enemy can exist for you—my enemy. With the present Socialist machinations, it may happen that I shall order you to shoot down your own relatives, your brothers, or even your parents—which God forbid—and then you are bound in duty implicitly to obey my orders.

― German Kaiser Wilhelm II, speech, 1891

Remember, the German people are the chosen of God. On me the German Emperor, the spirit of God has descended. I am His sword, His weapon, and His vice‐regent.

― Kaiser Wilhelm II, 4 August 1914

If that man in the PTL is such a healer, why can’t he make his wife’s hairdo go down?

― Robin Williams

We cannot hope for a society in which formal organized religion dies out. But we can stop behaving as if it was worthy of our collective respect.

― A. N. Wilson, Against Religion

Since theological propositions are scientifically meaningless, those of us of pragmatic disposition simply won’t buy such dubious merchandise. […] Maybe—remotely—there might be something in such promotions, as there might be something in the talking dogs and the stocks in Arabian tapioca mines that W.C. Fields once sold in his comedies, but we suspect that we recognize a con game in operation. At least, we want to hear the dog talk or see the tapioca ore before we buy into such deals.

― Robert Anton Wilson

The devil is only a convenient myth invented by the real malefactors of our world.

― Robert Anton Wilson

When the people stare at the sky and dream of blessedness, or when they quiver with fear for hell after death, their eyes get blinded so they can’t see their own right of primogeniture.

― Gerrard Winstanley

I draw my warrant from the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to hold the slave in bondage.

― Rev. Thomas Witherspoon, Presbyterian, of Alabama

A cult is a religion with no political power

― Tom Wolfe

It is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the exercise of it’s own reason.

― Mary Wollstonecraft

The man hates superstition

But he believes in God

I think that’s inconsistent

I think that’s really odd

When you believe in things

that you don’t understand

then you suffer

Superstition ain’t the way

― Stevie Wonder, in Superstition

[I]n 1776 perhaps 15 percent of all colonists were regular churchgoers.

― Forrest G. Woods, in The Arrogance of Faith: Christianity and Race in America from the Colonial Era to the Twentieth Century, Knopf, 1990

In the year before the schism, 25,000 communicants owned 208,000 slaves—over 9 percent of the total slave population—and 1,200 Methodist clergymen were themselves slaveholders. If anyone needed a barometer to measure the southern Methodist’s official commitment to bondage he had only to consider the fact that every minister elevated to the rank of bishop in the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, between 1846 and the Civil War was a slaveholder

― Forrest G. Woods, in The Arrogance of Faith: Christianity and Race in America from the Colonial Era to the Twentieth Century, Knopf, 1990

[Fundamentalists] never wonder why, if herpes is sent by god to scourge adulterers, whooping cough and measles weren’t purposely created to lambaste children.

― Fred Woodworth

If he [god] is wise, why did he not compose a coherent account of what he wanted mankind to do? No, the Bible is not such an account; nobody can agree in what it says. The very god who, according to those who believe in him, made every last electron spin in its orbit everywhere throughout the universe, still cannot write a clear, unmistakable volume of instructions to human beings who are supposed to follow his wishes, Instead, he allegedly gives us the Bible or Koran, or some other jumble of ridiculous and ancient superstitions…

― Fred Woodworth

Who speaks of liberty while the human mind is in chains?

― Francis Wright

I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.

― Frank Lloyd Wright

If God dropped acid, would he see people?

― Steven Wright

God must hate common people, because he made them so common.

― Philip Wylie

Homer and Hesiod have ascribed to the gods all things that are a shame and a disgrace among mortals, stealing and adulteries and deceivings on one another. …Mortals deem that gods are begotten as they are, and have clothes like theirs, and force, and form…yes, and if oxen and horses or lions had hands, and could paint with their hands, and produce works of art as men do, horses would paint forms of gods like horses, and oxen like oxen, and make their bodies in the image of their several kinds…The Ethiopians make their gods black and snub‐nosed; the Thracians say theirs have blue eyes and red hair.

― Xenophanes, 500BC

ear God, sorry to disturb you but, I feel that I should be heard loud and clear. We all need a big reduction in the amount of tears… Can you see them fighting in the street, cause they can’t get enough to eat, Dear God, I won’t believe in you, I can’t believe in you… I won’t believe in Heaven and Hell, no saints, no sinners, no devil as well, no pearly gates, no thorny crown, you’re always lettin’ us humans down. If there’s just one thing I won’t believe in…it’s you…Dear God.


The church of matches anoints in ignorance with gasoline,

The church of matches grows fat by breathing in the smoke of dreams

It’s quite obscene

― XTC, in Books are Burning

Fundamentalists are like the fir trees in German forests: they cannot stand alone, and are only stable when crowded together, branches locked with those of their brothers. That is why we must always fear them, because they will always hate us for our individualism.

― Brent Yaciw

Atheism is a requirement for a complete human being. Religion is a crutch that is shackled to you, one you never really needed in the first place, but were convinced by others that you couldn’t live without. Once you discover it’s only an illusion, that it’s not even a real crutch, you discard it gladly.

― Brent Yaciw,

Xianity HAD to invent hell. The smarter Jews of the time were beginning to figure out what it would be like to spend eternity with religious fanatics, and the Xians needed to invent someplace worse. They failed.

― Brent Yaciw

A Christian is a man who feels repentance on Sunday for what he did on Saturday, and what he is going to do on Monday.

― Thomas Ybarra

We are god because only we can create his existence within our minds.

― Yello

We didn’t send you to Washington to make intelligent decisions. We sent you to represent us.

― Kent York, Baptist minister to US Rep. Bill Sarpalius

Another possible danger is that in presenting the gospel to the lost and in defending God’s truth we ourselves will seem to be false. It is time for Christian people to recognize that the defense of this modern, young‐Earth, Flood‐geology creationism is simply not truthful. It is simply not in accord with the facts that God has given. Creationism must be abandoned by Christians before harm is done. The persistent attempt of the creationist movement to get their points of view established in educational institutions can only bring harm to the Christian cause. Can we seriously expect non‐Christian educational leaders to develop a respect for Christianity if we insist on teaching the brand of science that creationism brings with it? Will not the forcing of modern creationism on the public simply lend credence to the idea already entertained by so many intellectual leaders that Christianity, at least in its modern form, is sheer anti‐intellectual obscurantism? I fear that it will.

― Davis Young, in Christianity and the Age of the Earth

What is much more likely to undermine Christian faith is the dogmatic and persistent effort of creationists to present their theory before the public, Christian and non‐Christian, as in accord with Scripture and nature, especially when the evidence to the contrary has been presented again and again by competent Christian Scientists.

― Davis A. Young, in Creation and the Flood

The Jews are a frightened people. Nineteen centuries of Christian love have broken down their nerves.

― Israel Zangwill

Let us start a new religion with one commandment, Enjoy thyself.

― Israel Zangwill

People, wake up

Figure it out

Religious fanatics

Around and about

The Court House, The State House, The Congress, The White House

Criminal saints

With a Heavenly Mission—A nation enraptured

By pure superstition.

Frank Zappa, in When The Lie’s So Big

It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we’re dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side.

― Frank Zappa

America was founded by the refuse of the religious fanatics of England, these undesirable elements that came over on the Mayflower. Ignorant, religious fanatics who land here, abuse the Indians, and then go to bed with a board down the middle, you know, the bundling board, so they don’t have sex. That’s how we got started.

― Frank Zappa

No, I don’t think people really give a shit about that [meeting one’s maker] unless they’re completely bamboozled by religious superstition—to live your life in planning for this good time you’re going to have in the sky.

― Frank Zappa

The whole foundation of Christianity is based on the idea that intellectualism is the work of the Devil. Remember the apple on the tree? O.K., it was the Tree of Knowledge. You eat this apple, you’re going to be as smart as God. We can’t have that.

― Frank Zappa

So, when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, if you go for all these fairy tales, that evil woman convinced the man to eat the apple, but the apple came from the Tree of Knowledge. And the punishment that was then handed down, the woman gets to bleed and the guy’s got to go to work, is the result of a man desiring, because his woman suggested that it would be a good idea, that he get all the knowledge that was supposedly the property and domain of God. So, that right away sets up Christianity as an anti‐intellectual religion. You never want to be that smart. If you’re a woman, it’s going to be running down your leg, and if you’re a guy, you’re going to be in the salt mines for the rest of your life. So, just be a dumb fuck and you’ll all go to heaven. That’s the subtext of Christianity.

― Frank Zappa

I don’t want to see any religious people in public office because they’re working for another boss.

― Frank Zappa

…They tried to make me go to Catholic school, too. I lasted a very short time. When the penguin came after me with a ruler, I was out of there.

― Frank Zappa

I still went to church regularly, though, until I was eighteen years old. Then suddenly, the light bulb went on over my head. All the mindless mobidity and discipline was pretty sick—bleeding this, painful that and no meat on Friday. What is this shit?

― Frank Zappa

The language and concepts contained herein are guaranteed not to cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business.

― Frank Zappa

The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own.

― Frank Zappa

Those Jesus freaks, well they’re friendly but,

the shit they believe has got their minds all shut.

― Frank Zappa, in The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: keep him or her as far away from a church as you can.

― Frank Zappa

Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

― Madrak, in Creatures of Light and Darkness, by Roger Zelazny

The four points of the compass are logic, knowledge, wisdom, and the unknown. Some do bow in that final direction. Others advance upon it. To bow before the one is to lose sight of the three. I may submit to the unknown, but never to the unknowable.

― Roger Zelazny, in Lord of Light

To believe that consciousness can survive the wreck of the brain is like believing that 70 mph can survive the wreck of the car.

― Frank Zindler

Many men go into the ministry not only for the power trip involved, but also so that they will never have to be interrupted or contradicted.

― Frank Zindler, in Dial An Atheist, 1990

Jesus loves the little zygotes

All the zygotes in the world

Jesus gives them birth defects

Missing fingers, crooked necks

Jesus loves the little zygotes of the world

― Frank Zindler

Well, why did the Puritans come to this country? a teacher asked his history class. To worship in their own way and to make other people do the same was the reply.

― Frank Zindler

Among mammals, a virgin birth (parthenogenesis) can only produce female offspring, for chromosomal reasons. Messiahs are mammals. Therefore, Jesus was… On the other hand, among turkeys, the chromosomal situation is such that all products of virgin birth are males. So if Jesus was a male, he might also have been… (Zindler’s own punctuations)

― Frank Zindler

Throughout the early Christian period, every great calamity—famine, earthquake, and plague—led to mass conversions, another indirect influence by which epidemic diseases contributed to the destruction of classical civilization. Christianity owes a formidable debt to bubonic plague and to smallpox, no less than to earthquake and volcanic eruptions.

― Hans Zinsser, in Rats, Lice and History, 1934

The questions of immortality of the soul and freedom of the will, though they have called forth libraries of controversial literature, continue to appear not only utterly beyond any possibility of satisfactory proof but, instead, trivial in being so definitely personal, once the principle of an all‐pervading and ordering force is accepted. And the conception of a God so constituted that we are, as individuals, of direct concern to Him appears both presumptuous—considering our individual insignificance in the scheme as a whole—and unnecessary for that feeling of helpless reverence in face of the universal order which is the essence of religious experience. Moreover, paleontologically considered, one would have to assume that such a personal God existed long before the evolution of man. Why did He wait so long to create man? asked Diderot. Yet reward, punishment, immortality of the soul in the theological sense, could have no meaning whatever until there had developed creatures possessing a nervous organization capable of abstract thinking and of spiritual suffering. One cannot imagine such a God occupied through millions of years, up to the Pleistocene, with personal supervision, reward and punishment, of amoebae, clams, fish, dinosaurs, and sabre‐toothed tigers; then, suddenly, adjusting His own systems and purposes to the capacities of the man‐ape He had allowed to develop.

― Hans Zinsser, in As I Remember Him

If the lord had meant us to have faith, he’d have given us lobotomies.

― Zlatko

Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion, Rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science.

― Gary Zukav, in The Dancing Wu Li Masters

The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.

― John Adams

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?

― John Adams

As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?

― John Adams

I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved—the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!

― John Adams

What havoc has been made of books through every century of the Christian era? Where are fifty gospels, condemned as spurious by the bull of Pope Gelasius? Where are the forty wagon‐loads of Hebrew manuscripts burned in France, by order of another pope, because suspected of heresy? Remember the index expurgatorius, the inquisition, the stake, the axe, the halter and the guillotine.

― John Adams

The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning. And ever since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate A FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooish brutality, is patiently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded. But touch a solemn truth in collision with a dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand, and fly into your face and eyes.

― John Adams

God has infinite wisdom, goodness and power; he created the universe; his duration is eternal, a parte ante and a parte post. His presence is as extensive as space. What is space? An infinite spherical vacuum. He created this speck of dirt and the human species for his glory; and with deliberate design of making nine‐tenths of our species miserable for ever for his glory. This is the doctrine of Christian theologians, in general, ten to one. Now, my friend, can prophecies or miracles convince you or me that infinite benevolence, wisdom, and power, created, and preserves for a time innumerable millions, to make them miserable forever, for his own glory? Wretch! What is his glory? Is he ambitious? Does he want promotion? Is he vain, tickled with adulation, exulting and triumphing in his power and the sweetness of his vengeance? Pardon me, my Maker, for these awful questions. My answer to them is always ready. I believe no such things. My adoration of the author of the universe is too profound and too sincere. The love of God and his creation‐delight, joy, triumph, exultation in my own existance—though but an atom, a molecule organique in the universe—are my religion.

― John Adams

This is my religion…joy and exaltation in my own existence…so go ahead and snarl…bite…howl, you Calvinistic divines and all you who say I am no Christian. I say you are not Christian.

― John Adams, in Toward the Mystery

Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses, and beheld the great God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that three was one…and one equals three, You and I would never have believed it. We would never fall victims to such lies.

― John Adams

Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents, wave succeeding wave in the Catholic church, from the Council of Nicea, and long before, to this day.

― John Adams

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize humankind.

― Thomas Paine

The Christian god can easily be pictured as virtually the same god as the many ancient gods of past civilizations. The Christian god is a three headed monster; cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three headed beast‐like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.

― Thomas Jefferson

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

― Karl Marx

I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.

― Bertrand Russell

To be an atheist requires strength of mind and goodness of heart found in not one of a thousand.

― Samuel Coleridge

I do not believe in God because I do not believe in the Tooth Fairy.

― Clarence Darrow

Kirkko ei lupaa yrityksille ikuista elämää, toisin kuin ihmisille.

― Esa Ylikoski, Nokian yhteisövero‐osuudesta puhuttaessa