Religion Quotes

101 Religion Quotes: Largest Library With Amazing Collections





I believe the purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts. – Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, c.1996


There’s something in every atheist, itching to believe, and something in every believer, itching to doubt. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966


Clouds and darkness are round most men and it is the preacher’s business to let the sunlight in. A congregation needs nothing so much as sun. – Charles Edward Jefferson, “Thy Speech Bewrayeth Thee,” Quiet Hints to Growing Preachers in My Study, 1901


Esther, set free from her household duties, attended church (where her own tired soul could pour out all its heart-sick sorrow to listening Ears). – K. Douglas King, “The Story of a Week,” in Merry England, February 1894


Religion enables us to ignore nothingness and get on with the jobs of life. – John Updike, Self-Consciousness, 1989


A religion without the element of mystery would not be a religion at all. – Edwin Lewis


It is doubtless true that religion has been the world’s psychiatrist throughout the centuries. – Karl Menninger


I was reading this really interesting article in the American Psychiatric Journal…. research shows that going to church actually boosts your immune system, decreases your blood pressure, and reduces stress. It’s kind of like an antioxidant from God. – Bones, “The Repo Man in the Septic Tank,” original airdate 2014 March 17th, spoken by the character Seeley Booth, writing credits M.Peterson, H.Hanson, and K.Reichs


This is the true spirit of insolent dogmatism: We have proved to the satisfaction of every honest man, that we are right, and that you are wrong; and therefore, if you are not convinced, it must be owing to your own perversity. When a man’s shot is exhausted, he will try to terrify his adversary by firing off powder. – Julius Charles Hare, The Mission of the Comforter and Other Sermons, With Notes, 1846


Debating theological niceties is fine, and even useful, but if it distracts us from the Greatest Commandments, then we’re doing something wrong. – David C. Hill, ***Dave Does the Blog (


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Religion is the metaphysics of the masses. – Arthur Schopenhauer


All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays. – Cathy Ladman


No religion is a true religion that does not make men tingle to their finger tips with a sense of infinite hazard. – William Ernest Hocking


The church is the great lost and found department. – Robert Short


I speak not of men’s creeds—they rest between
Man and his Maker.
– Lord Byron, Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage


By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me. The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green. The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet. – Thomas Merton


[I]n all sincerity she began her search, and with pathetic patience waited for an answer. She read many books, some wise, some vague, some full of superstition, all unsatisfactory to one who wanted a living God. She went to many churches, studied many creeds, and watched their fruits as well as she could; but still remained unsatisfied…. There was too much machinery, too many walls, laws, and penalties between the Father and his children. Too much fear, too little love… too little faith in the instincts of the soul which turns to God as flowers to the sun. Too much idle strife about names and creeds; too little knowledge of the natural religion which has no name but godliness, whose creed is boundless and benignant as the sunshine, whose faith is as the tender trust of little children in their mother’s love. – Louisa May Alcott, “Through the Mist,” Work: A Story of Experience, 1873


God made so many different kinds of people. Why would he allow only one way to serve him? – Martin Buber


All religions must be tolerated… for… every man must get to heaven his own way. – Frederick the Great


People don’t come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God. – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. – Dalai Lama


Say and do what you like, religion is always religion. The rich, perhaps, can get along without it, but it is necessary for people like us…. When one is unhappy… it is the only thing that will soothe you. Only that, and love. – Octave Mirbeau, The Diary of a Chambermaid, 1900, translated from the French by Benjamin R. Tucker


Religion — an intellectual colouring book for adults. – Dr. Idel


Our true religious life begins when we discover that there is an Inner Light, not infallible but invaluable, which “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Then we have something to steer by; and it is chiefly this, and not an anchor, that we need. The human soul, like any other noble vessel, was not built to be anchored, but to sail. An anchorage may, indeed, be at times a temporary need, in order to make some special repairs, or to take fresh cargo in; yet the natural destiny of both ship and soul is not the harbor, but the ocean; to cut with even keel the vast and beautiful expanse; to pass from island to island… or, best of all, steering close to the wind, to extract motive power from the greatest obstacles. Men must forget the eternity through which they have yet to sail, when they talk of anchoring here upon this bank and shoal of time. It would be a tragedy to see the shipping of the world whitening the seas no more, and idly riding at anchor in… ports; but it would be more tragic to see a world of souls fascinated into a fatal repose and renouncing their destiny of motion. And as with individuals, so with communities. – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “The Sympathy of Religions,” an address delivered at Horticultural Hall, Boston, 1870 February 6th  [Quoted: Edward Burrough, “Truth,” essay to John Bunion and the Independants, 1656. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


And yet, if we are not bound by the past, neither are we to discard it…. We are to learn how, out of the past, to evolve an instrumentation useful for to‑day. So in theology. I meet men who want to wipe off from the page of history all the creeds that ever were constructed…. If I could think that for nineteen centuries thoughtful, earnest, devout men had been wrestling with the great problems of human life, wondering who God is and how He rules this world, and what we are and what we are here for and what lies in the future, and that in all these centuries they had found out nothing, I should give it up and be an agnostic. The creeds of the future must grow out of the creeds of the past. But a creed is not a rock to which your ship is anchored, while it swings back and forth in the tide and the barnacles gather on its bottom. The creed is a seed planted and out of that is to grow a nobler and better creed. No new theology is worth having which cuts asunder from the past. And no theology is worth having which remains identical with the creeds of the past. The theology that is not a growing theology is a dead theology. Life grows…. Take the experience of the past, and make it minister to the wisdom and the grace—aye, and I dare to say the glory—of the future. – Lyman Abbott, “Out of the Past,” sermon preached in Appleton Chapel, Harvard College, Sunday evening, March 26, 1899


Most men’s anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady that neither of them care for. – George Savile, Marquess de Halifax


Most sermons sound to me like commercials — but I can’t make out whether God is the Sponsor or the Product. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966


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. – Theodore Dreiser, 1941


I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


All men have need of the gods. – Homer


There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it. – George Bernard Shaw


Looking at these points of unity, we might say there is but one religion under many forms, whose essential creed is the Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of Man,—disguised by corruptions, symbolized by mythologies, ennobled by virtues, degraded by vices, but still the same. – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “The Sympathy of Religions,” an address delivered at Horticultural Hall, Boston, 1870 February 6th


Every Christian wears for his principal jewel a thorn plucked from the crown of more than eighteen hundred years ago. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), “The Bible and Religion,” Sparks from the Philosopher’s Stone, 1882


Philosophy is the love of wisdom: Christianity is the wisdom of love. – Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


True prophets sometimes, false prophets always, have fanatical adherents. – Marie Dubsky, Freifrau von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916), translated by Mrs Annis Lee Wister, 1882


I’m afraid I never shall get religion, for all that’s offered me seems so poor, so narrow, or so hard that I cannot take it for my stay. A God of wrath I cannot love; a God that must be propitiated, adorned, and adored like an idol I cannot respect; and a God who can be blinded to men’s iniquities through the week by a little beating of the breast and bowing down on the seventh day, I cannot serve. I want a Father to whom I can go with all my sins and sorrows, all my hopes and joys, as freely and fearlessly as I used to go to my human father, sure of help and sympathy and love. Shall I ever find Him? – Louisa May Alcott, “Through the Mist,” Work: A Story of Experience, 1873


Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful. – Seneca the Younger


I believe in God, in science, in Sunday supper. I don’t believe in rules that tell me how I should live. – CSI, “Alter Boys,” 2001, written by Ann Donahue [S2, E6, Gil Grissom]


No man treats a motor car as foolishly as he treats another human being. When the car will not go, he does not attribute its annoying behavior to sin, he does not say, “You are a wicked motorcar, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.” He attempts to find out what is wrong and set it right. – Bertrand Russell, Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?


My religious position: I think that God could do a lot better, and I’m willing to give Him the chance. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966


Religion often gets credit for curing rascals when old age is the real medicine. – Austin O’Malley


If there were no God, there would be no Atheists. – G.K. Chesterton


Religion is speculation pretending to be revelation. – Dr. Idel


[R]eligion cannot be given or bought, but must grow as trees grow, needing frost and snow, rain and wind to strengthen it before it is deep-rooted in the soul. – Louisa May Alcott, “Through the Mist,” Work: A Story of Experience, 1873


The whole point of Christianity is that everyone in the world, from Charles Manson to Mother Teresa, deserves to go to hell. – Sean Ningen


Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair. – G.K. Chesterton


It is our happiness to live in a time when all religions are at last outgrowing their mythologies, and emancipated men are stretching out their hands to share together “the luxury of a religion that does not degrade.” … Unveil these darkened windows, but remove also these darkening walls; the temple itself is but a lingering shadow of that gloom. Instead of its coarse and stifling incense, give us God’s pure air… – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “The Sympathy of Religions,” an address delivered at Horticultural Hall, Boston, 1870 February 6th  [Quoted: Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The earth moves, and the mind opens. I am glad to believe society contains a class of humble souls who enjoy the luxury of a religion that does not degrade…”, speech at the second annual meeting of the Free Religious Association, at Tremont Temple, 1869 May 28th —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


A faith of convenience is a hollow faith. – MAS*H, “A Holy Mess,” original airdate 1982 February 1st, written by Larry Gelbart, Elias Davis, Richard Hooker, Ring Lardner Jr, David Pollock, and W.C. Heinz, spoken by the character Father Mulcahy


The churches must learn humility as well as teach it. – George Bernard Shaw, St. Joan


I know not your decree to keep the Sabbath day holy. Go tell it to the brook. It will chortle at your implied desecration of the other six. – Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Life, 1912


I considered atheism, but there weren’t enough holidays. – Author Unknown


A religion can no more afford to degrade its Devil than to degrade its God. – Havelock Ellis


This is a little 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


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


In church, sacred music would make believers of us all — but preachers can be counted on to restore the balance. – Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960


Man is a Religious Animal. He 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. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven. – Mark Twain


Traveler: “God has been mighty good to your fields, Mr. Farmer.”
Farmer: “You should have seen how he treated them when I wasn’t around.”
– Author Unknown


I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence. – Doug McLeod


I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. – Joe Mullally


According to science, the universe began as a swirl of gas that, as it cooled, spun off the Ten Commandments. – Robert Brault,


Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism. – William James


God — of course — is not real. He is just an idea, an illusion. But here is the troubling question: Is such an illusion essential to the success of the tribe? Is the competitive universe a place where a rational tribe must always succumb to one driven by a blind — but determined — collective insanity? – Dr. Idel Dreimer,


But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most? – Mark Twain


Religion is the sign of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of soul-less conditions. It is the opium of the people. – Karl Marx, “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right,” 1884


I believe in God, I just don’t trust anyone who works for him. – Author unknown, from a stand-up comedy routine on television


There are three religious truths: 1) Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. 2) Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith. 3) Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters. – Author Unknown


Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom. – Author Unknown


Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. – Author Unknown


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


It is fear that first brought gods into the world. – Gaius Petronius Arbiter, Satyricon


If triangles had a God, He’d have three sides. – Old Yiddish Proverb


The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself. – Richard Burton


Religion is a fashionable substitute for Belief. – Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891


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 Roberts


I’m not religious, but I like God and he likes me. – Tony Kushner, Angels in America


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


No creed can be stretched to the size of truth; no church can be made as large as man. – Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous. – David Hume, Treatise of Human Nature, 1739


In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty. – Thomas Jefferson


I didn’t know I had a quarrel with him. – Henry Thoreau in answer to the question, “Have you made your peace with God?”


In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners. – Jonathon Miller


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


It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. – Thomas Jefferson


Who can resist a religious doctrine that allows you to sin against your neighbor and apologize to a forgiving third party? – Robert Brault,


Mankind have banned the Divinity from their presence; they have relegated him to a sanctuary; the walls of the temple restrict his view; he does not exist outside of it. – Diderot, Pensées philosophiques, 1746


If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is, “Probably because of something you did.” – Jack Handey, “Deep Thoughts”


When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out. – Frank Sinatra


There is no odor so bad as that which arises from goodness tainted. It is human, it is divine, carrion. If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life… – Henry David Thoreau, Walden


That which has remained in the heart of man after his unhappy fall is for him a religion. He attaches himself to those fragments, which are at least those of truth. He lovingly preserves these remnants of his ancient opulence. He seats himself weepingly on these ruins; he will not have them taken from him. Perhaps he knows that such ruins are the cornerstone of the colossal edifice which shall one day arch high above his consoled race its lofty and tutelary dome. Whosoever insults these ruins insults man’s wretchedness, despoils his indigence. Humanity cannot afford to hold cheap the feeble beliefs that remain to it; it pronounces an anathema on the hand that would fain outrage those fragments, and heap up fresh ruins amongst those that already exist. – Alexandre Vinet (1797–1847)


A religion is simply that element of tribalism which refers to origins. It creates cohesion by encouraging a shared mythic belief not vulnerable to rational analysis. It is nothing more nor less than tribal propaganda which claims the mantle of divine sanction, and postures with a halo of theistic infallibility. – Dr. Idel Dreimer


I love theists. It’s theism I can’t stand. – Rich Lane, 2010  [à la Charles M. Schulz —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


My religiosity consists in a humble admiration 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


Religion is being locked in and you can’t get out; atheism, the other side of the door. – Terri Guillemets


Some people would have us love, or rather obey God, chiefly because he outbids the devil. – Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


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


I refuse to be labeled immoral merely because I am godless. – Peter Walker


What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak. – George Santayana, Reason in Religion


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


“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


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


A man without religion is like a horse without a bridle. – Latin Proverb


There seems to be a terrible misunderstanding on the part of a great many people to the effect that when you cease to believe you may cease to behave. – Louis Kronenberger


All religion is bunk; it may be helpful bunk, comforting bunk, or, in some cases, necessary bunk. It is still bunk, nonetheless. – Dr. Idel Dreimer


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, letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1815 June 20th


Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens. – Michel de Montaigne, translated


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. – Donald Morgan


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


How many observe Christ’s Birth‑day! How few his Precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than commandments. – Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)


Is it not strange that men are so glad to fight for religion and so reluctant to liveaccording to its precepts? – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799)  [Mix of translations: R.J. Hollingdale and Steven Tester —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it. – C.C. Colton (1780–1832)


To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely. – Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinthes, 1962


A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion. – Francis Bacon, Essays: Of Atheism, 1625


Impiety, n.: Your irreverence toward my deity. – Ambrose Bierce


There is a story, which is fairly well known, about when the missionaries came to Africa. They had the Bible and we, the natives, had the land. They said “Let us pray,” and we dutifully shut our eyes. When we opened them, why, they now had the land and we had the Bible. – Desmond M. Tutu, “Religious Human Rights and the Bible”


A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes. – James Feibleman, Understanding Philosophy, 1973


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


Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. – Ambrose Bierce


An Inuit hunter asked the local missionary priest: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?” “No,” said the priest, “not if you did not know.” “Then why,” asked the Inuit earnestly, “did you tell me?” – Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek


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


The faith that stands on authority is not faith. – Ralph Waldo Emerson


All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. – Edgar Allen Poe


On religious issues 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 one hundred 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. – Barry Goldwater


Belief in God is but a whistling in the dark; harmless enough, perhaps — until it is wedded to the notion that all should carry the same tune. – Dr. Idel Dreimer


People who rely most on God rely least on themselves. – Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


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


Each religion, by the help of more or less myth which it takes more or less seriously, proposes some method of fortifying the human soul and enabling it to make its peace with its destiny. – George Santayana


The world is not a prison house but a kind of spiritual kindergarten where millions of bewildered infants are trying to spell God with the wrong blocks. – Edwin Arlington Robinson


The idea that Gods and religions represent — merely —human theories and suppositions about reality — satisfies the detached intellect, but does not feed, apparently, a deep emotional hunger. Is it too much to suggest that an early infantile illusion — a perception of parental perfection, power, and benevolence — is mirrored in the yearning for “God?” The need for that illusion persists: “God” provides a comforting, caressing circularity — a womb of benevolent certainty to replace that which has been lost. – Dr. Idel Dreimer


Fanaticism is the offspring of false zeal and superstition, the father of intolerance and persecution; it disqualifies a man for the duties of this life; it is the fire of an over-heated mind; it is religion caricatured… once wedded to some dear falsehood, it hugs it to the last. – Proverbs by William Hardcastle Browne, 1900


To crush out fanaticism and revere the infinite, such is the law. Let us not confine ourselves to falling prostrate beneath the tree of creation and contemplating its vast ramifications full of stars. We have a duty to perform, to cultivate the human soul, to defend mystery against miracle, to adore the incomprehensible and to reject the absurd; to admit nothing that is inexplicable excepting what is necessary, to purify faith and obliterate superstition from the face of religion, to remove the vermin from the garden of God. – Victor Hugo


It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity. – Abraham Lincoln, quoted in What Great Men Think Of Religion by Ira Cardiff


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, Human, All Too Human, 1879


Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it. – George Bernard Shaw


The Bible is literature, not dogma. – George Santayana


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


Religion is just superstition wearing a better suit of clothes. – Dr. Idel


Sunday school: a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents. – H.L. Mencken


I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew that a bottle of Port would do that. If you want religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity. I am certain there must be a patent American article on the market which will suit you far better, but I can’t give any advice on it. – C.S. Lewis


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


To all things clergic
I am allergic
– Alexander Woollcott, attributed


No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus. – G.B. Shaw


We cast our gauntlet at the dogmatic theologians who would enslave both history and science… – H.P. Blavatsky, Preface to Part II of Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology, 1877


What has been the effect of religious coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. – Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785


‘Tis not to go to church to-day,
To look devout, and seem to pray,
And ere to-morrow’s sun go down,
Be dealing scandal through the town.
Not every sanctimonious face,
Denotes the certain reign of grace;
A phiz, that seems to scowl at sin,
Oft veils hypocrisy within.
‘Tis not to mark out duty’s walk,
Or of our own good deeds to talk;
And then to practice secret crime,
And to misspend and waste our time.
‘Tis not for sects or creeds to fight,
And call our zeal the rule of right;
When all we wish is, at the best,
To see our church excel the rest…
It grieves to hear an ill report,
And scorns with human woes to sport;
Of others’ deeds it speaks no ill,
But tells of good or else is still…
– Reginald Heber (1783–1826), “Religion! What Is It?”


The act of bellringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people. – Ezra Pound


Take no alarm, dear reader, at the sound of the word Religion, for I have not the least idea of conducting you into some dark, subterranean cathedral where the air is oppressive and unnatural, but would lead you right out under heaven’s sunny dome, where the joyous gospel of nature and inspiration are breathed into the soul….
This cosmical religion, broad as the world and reaching out to the infinite, as far transcends the man-made creeds that run counter to nature’s laws, as the sky transcends all cathedrals that lift up their puny spires beneath it. I have aimed to lead my dear struggling human brothers and sisters into the vestibule of the Temple of Life where are joys forevermore, and where the radiant soul of things begins to appear.
– Edwin D. Babbitt, Religion as Revealed by the Material and Spiritual Universe, 1881


Let the church aspire to something more than a spire. – James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897


In general, the churches, visited by me often on weekdays… bore for me the same relation to God that billboards did to Coca-Cola; they promoted thirst without quenching it. – John Updike, A Month of Sundays, 1975


Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand. – 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


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


Religion has not civilized man, man has civilized religion. – Robert Green Ingersoll


God — but a word invoked to explain the world. – Prat de Lamartine


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


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


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, Notebooks of Lazarus Long


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


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, Some Reasons Why


Religions are like farts. Yours is good, but everyone else’s stinks. – Picket Fences


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 squeezing one’s eyes shut and wailing “Does not!” – Author Unknown


We are not accountable for the sins of Adam. – Robert G. Ingersoll


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


We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart. – H.L. Mencken


Whenever, in the course of the daily hunt, the hunter comes upon a scene that is strikingly beautiful, or sublime—a black thundercloud with the rainbow’s glowing arch above the mountain, a white waterfall in the heart of a green gorge, a vast prairie tinged with the blood-red of the sunset—he pauses for an instant in the attitude of worship. He sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, because to him all days are God’s days. – Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman, 1858–1939), Santee Sioux, quoted in Nerburn & Mengelkoch, Native American Wisdom, 1991


For the skeptic there remains only one consolation: if there should be such a thing as superhuman law, it is administered with subhuman efficiency. – Eric Ambler


A Law which cannot know divorce
From the God-purpose it enfolds.
Never to be repealed, it holds
Eternally effective force.
A truth for endless time enscrolled,
Results of His disprizèd laws,
Effects, as sternly following cause,
Were Cosmos back to Chaos rolled.
– Henry Bedlow (1821–1914), War and Worship; A Poem, Convictions Based on Recollections of the Revolts of 1848, 1902


To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs. – Ghose Aurobindo


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. – Author Unknown


The total absence of humor from the Bible is one of the most singular things in all literature. – Alfred North Whitehead


Christendom has done away with Christianity without being quite aware of it. – Søren Kierkegaard, Time, 1946 December 16th


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


Organized Christianity has probably done more to retard the ideals that were its founders’ than any other agency in the world. – Richard Le Gallienne


I prefer to think of them as the Ten Suggestions. – Author Unknown


Christian, n.: one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary


If we are going to teach ‘creation science’ as an alternative to evolution, then we should also teach the stork theory as an alternative to biological reproduction. – Judith Hayes, In God We Trust: But Which One?


God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh. – Voltaire


It is impossible to believe that the same God who permitted His own son to die a bachelor regards celibacy as an actual sin. – H.L. Mencken


God is innocent. Noah built in a flood plain. – Author unknown


On the other hand, the Bible contains much that is relevant today, like Noah taking forty days to find a place to park. – Curtis McDougall


The biblical account of Noah’s Ark and the Flood is perhaps the most implausible story for fundamentalists to defend. Where, for example, while loading his ark, did Noah find penguins and polar bears in Palestine? – Judith Hayes


Jesus accepts you the way you are, but loves you too much to leave you that way. – Lee Venden


An infinite God ought to be able to protect Himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures. – Robert Ingersoll, quoted in Ingersoll the Magnificent


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


Christianity is not a religion; it’s an industry. – Author unknown


It is an old habit with theologians to beat the living with the bones of the dead. – Robert G. Ingersoll


Such religion is Churchianity; it is not Christianity. Christianity means the religion where Christ is all; Churchianity, the religion where the Church is all. – John Cumming, “Salvation,” sermon preached before the Queen, 1850 September 22nd


We might remind the reader that the definition of the Godhead quoted by “Senex” from the First Article of the Church, is pure Buddhism. “Christianity” is only a corrupted form of Buddhism; degenerated to suit the mental plane of the barbarians through whom it was transmitted to us. Read “Christ and Buddha” and this will appear more clearly. – “Notes and Comments,” in The Medium and Daybreak: A Weekly Journal Devoted to the History, Phenomena, Philosophy, and Teachings of Spiritualism, 1882 August 4th


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


I think I’ll believe in Gosh instead of God. If you don’t believe in Gosh too, you’ll be darned to heck. – Author unknown


Devout believers are safeguarded in a high degree against the risk of certain neurotic illnesses; their acceptance of the universal neurosis spares them the task of constructing a personal one. – Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion


The Church has its problems, but the older I get, the more comfort I find there. – Bono


He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him. – George Orwell


God is dead: but considering the state Man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown. – Friedrich Nietzsche


None of us can boast about the morality of our ancestors. The records do not show that Adam and Eve were married. – Ed Howe


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


Religion is faith in anything other than ourselves. – Terri Guillemets, “Illusions,” 1997


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. – George Bernard Shaw


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, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life


Man makes himself, and he only makes himself completely in proportion as he desacralizes 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


You can never tell the sinner from the Christian. They drink the same drinks and smoke the same cigars. – Aimee Semple McPherson


Instead of being born again, why not just grow up? – Author unknown


A great deal of what passes for current Christianity consists in denouncing other people’s vices and faults. – Henry Williams (Bishop of Carlisle), c.1928


The point is, could God pass an examination in Theology? – Malcolm Muggeridge


Atheism is not a philosophy; it is not even a view of the world; it is simply an admission of the obvious. In fact, “atheism” is a term that should not even exist. No one ever needs to identify himself as a “non-astrologer” or a “non-alchemist.” …Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs. – Sam Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, 2006


God is theory; the universe is practice. – Dr. Idel Dreimer


I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
long as I got my plastic Jesus,
sittin’ on the dashboard of my car;
It makes no difference if we hit a bump,
he’s held on by a suction cup,
sittin’ on the dashboard of my car.
I can even go a hund’rd miles-an-hour,
as long as I’ve got that dee-vine power,
sittin’ on the dashboard of my car.
– Don Imis


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


Give a man a fish, and you’ll feed him for a day; give him a religion, and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish. – Author Unknown


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


Where there are gaps in knowledge, religion tends to seep in. – Dr. Idel


Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams — they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do — they all contain truths. – Muhammad Ali


To say that different races worship different Gods, is like saying that they are warmed by different suns. The names differ, but the sun is the same… – Thomas Wentworth Higginson, “The Sympathy of Religions,” an address delivered at Horticultural Hall, Boston, 1870 February 6th


But master-stroke of that shrewd guild,
With which to make mankind its slave,
From cradled childhood to the grave;
In lies of its invention drilled.
Deluded man has been misled
To his dishonor, shame and ruth,
By yielding faith to bold untruth:
A Mythos misinterpreted.
Man has not fallen! but progressed
Through vast sequential-cells of life;
Through æons of zoetic strife,
Till as a Christ He stood confessed.
– Henry Bedlow (1821–1914), War and Worship; A Poem, Convictions Based on Recollections of the Revolts of 1848, 1902


A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain — then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system? – Robert A. Heinlein


Religion: a cultural glue of mythic tradition… – Dr. Idel Dreimer,


I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment to science. – Heinz Pagels, The Dreams of Reason


I believe in God, but I’m not too clear on the other details. – Bill Veeck


[S]even days before the end of the year [we] worship the pine tree, as did our neolithic forebears. – Bergen Evans, “Adam’s Navel,” The Natural History of Nonsense, 1946


There is no War on Christmas. It is imaginary. What there is, though, are more people who are saying such evil and oppressive things as — gasp — Happy Holidays! And Season’s Greetings. Oh, the horror! There is no demand that people stop saying Merry Christmas — far from it. What people are doing, is being inclusive. There is no grand conspiracy to stop people from saying Merry Christmas. If you want to say it, be my guest. But please don’t think, arrogantly, that it’s the only thing the season is about.
There is no War on Christmas. It’s imaginary. It’s scaremongering. It’s along the lines of “Gay marriage will destroy America” and “Intelligent Design is a valid alternative to science.” Just more far-right-wing rhetoric.
If you celebrate Christmas, then Merry Christmas. If you celebrate Hanukkah, then Happy Hanukkah. If Kwanzaa is your thing, then Happy Kwanzaa. If you want to celebrate Festivus, hell, be my guest — Festivus for the rest of us. Fine by me. You want to celebrate Saturnalia? That’s cool, retro is always fun. But in the meantime, rather than guess the religion of the person I’m saying it to, I’ll just say this: Happy Holidays!
– Rob Dalton, “The Imaginary War on Christmas,” The First Church of Free Speech (because other churches have commandments prohibiting this kind of thing), 2005


Merry Christmas v. Happy Holidays… Why be exclusive when you can be inclusive? – S.A. Sachs


People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them. – Dave Barry


Thousands have gone to heaven who never read one page of the Bible. – Francis A. Baker


If God doesn’t like the way I live, let him tell me, not you. – Author unknown


No rage is equal to the rage of a contented right-thinking man when he is confronted in the marketplace by an idea which belongs in the pulpit. – Thurman W. Arnold


Those people who tell me that I’m going to hell while they are going to heaven somehow make me very glad that we’re going to separate destinations. – Martin Terman


The myths about Hades and the gods, though they are pure invention, help to make men virtuous. – Diodorus Siculus, c. 20 BC


The Bible may be the truth but it’s not the whole truth and nothing but the truth. – Samuel Butler


Religion seems to have a way of making people abandon logic. – Amanda Baxter, 1998


As to belief in God, definition is critical. If you say that God is the universe, I, too, believe in God, for I have sensory experience of the universe. If you say God is an initiating force beyond the universe, I say that is an interesting but rather unhelpful speculation. If you think God has a “human” mind, and a benignly meddlesome preoccupation with the human race, or particular individuals, I say you are a victim of wishful thinking in the absence of evidence. If you go further, and govern your behaviour on what you imagine to be God’s wishes and intentions, I must pity you as a fool, or fear you as a lunatic. – Dr. Idel Dreimer,


So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence. – Bertrand Russell


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


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, Mere Christianity


One cannot erect, on the basis of a motive that exists only for a very few, an obligation that shall apply to everyone. – Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion


Some cling to religion as the infallible source of morality; in fact, religions — which are created by societies — encapsulate the moral values already established and inherent in those societies. The appeal to religious values is simply an appeal to tradition dressed up as divinity. – Dr. Idel Dreimer,


A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism. – Donald Morgan


On the sixth day God created man. On the seventh day, man returned the favor. – Author unknown


If God has created us in His image, we have more than returned the compliment. – Voltaire


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God is named the Creator. Yet it is he who is created. – Terri Guillemets, “The Irony Gates of Religion,” 1994  [Later, I found this — from earlier: “‘Do men make their own gods? Yes, but they are not gods!’ The prophet can reason as follows: ‘Can he who is not God make a god?’ That is, ‘Can he who is created be the Creator?’ No one can give, as the proverb has it, what he has not got. And there is in man no divine power. We indeed see that this is our condition. There is nothing more frail and perishable. As man, then, is all vanity and has in him nothing of substance, can he create a god for himself? This is the prophet’s argument. It is drawn from what is absurd, in order that men might at last acknowledge not only their presumption but their monstrous madness.” – John Calvin (1509–1564), Commentaries on the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah and the Lamentations, translated from the Latin by John Owen, 1851. Referencing Jeremiah 16:20. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


If the complexity of the universe demands, as explanation, an intelligent creator — then, by the same reasoning — so does the intelligent creator. – Dr. Idel Dreimer,


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


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. – Robert G. Ingersoll


How Gods reflect their creators! The Gods of primitive, ignorant, and vulnerable societies seem immediate, arbitrary, and cruel — requiring significant appeasement and sacrifice in return for a mitigation of their fury. In modern societies — more knowledgeable and self-sufficient — God is more like an elderly benevolent uncle living in a distant city; in the right mood, he might be good for a new red bicycle, or a crucial, reassuring win for the home team. – Dr. Idel Dreimer,


[A]ll deities reside in the human breast. – William Blake, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”


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 ownimage, in the image of God created he them,’ (Genesis 2:27, King James’s italics, not mine) then we were God. And when Man (my capitalization, not King James’s) 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


I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. – Frederick Douglass, escaped slave


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


Its Christianity has stood
As if with human misery charmed,
And, with its cruel tenets armed,
Proclaimed the wickedness of Good;
And shed more blood, wrought more distress,
Than all its cognate pagan creeds
Combined, and sown its thorny seeds,
Brambling the earth with wretchedness.
– Henry Bedlow (1821–1914), War and Worship; A Poem, Convictions Based on Recollections of the Revolts of 1848, 1902


Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. – Pascal, Pensees, 1670


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


A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism. – Carl Sagan


The imaginary flowers of religion adorn man’s chains. Man must throw off the flowers and also the chains. – Karl Marx


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, “Faraway Eyes”


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, The Mysterious Stranger


It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author — and not to learn it better. – Nietzsche


Nature wants us to enjoy life to the full and die without giving it a second thought; Christianity wants the opposite. – Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, Les Cahiers


On passing a revivalist tabernacle — The call of Christ requires no neon sign. – Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


There is in every village a torch — the teacher; and an extinguisher — the clergyman. – Victor Hugo


Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion. – Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


Most people’s religion is what they want to believe, not what they do believe. – Luther Burbank, Why I Am an Infidel


I have never resisted the lord in my life, and I never will. But I’m not so hungry for dialogue with him that I have to make up his part as well as my own. – Orson Scott Card


No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. – George Bernard Shaw


This doctrine of the material efficacy of prayer reduces the Creator to a cosmic bellhop of a not very bright or reliable kind. – Herbert J. Muller


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


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 fromreligion. – James T. Green


A dogma will thrive in soil where the truth could not get root. – Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


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


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


Faith is never identical with piety. – Karl Barth


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


Jesus picked up twelve men from the bottom ranks of business and forged them into an organization that conquered the world. – Bruce Barton


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 problem with fundamentalists insisting on a literal interpretation of the Bible is that the meaning of words change. A prime example is “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” A rod was a stick used by shepherds to guide their sheep to go in the desired direction. Shepherds did not use it to beat their sheep. The proper translation of the saying is “Give your child guidance, or they will go astray.” It does not mean “Beat the [$h¡t] out of your child or he will become rotten” as many fundamentalist parents seem to believe. – Author unknown


Most reformers wore rubber boots and stood on glass when God sent a current of Commonsense through the Universe. – Elbert Hubbard


All men have heard of the Mormon Bible, but few except the “elect” have seen it, or, at least, taken the trouble to read it. I brought away a copy from Salt Lake. The book is a curiosity to me, it is such a pretentious affair, and yet so “slow,” so sleepy; such an insipid mess of inspiration. It is chloroform in print. If Joseph Smith composed this book, the act was a miracle—keeping awake while he did it was, at any rate…. The book seems to be merely a prosy detail of imaginary history, with the Old Testament for a model; followed by a tedious plagiarism of the New Testament…. Whenever he found his speech growing too modern—which was about every sentence or two—he ladled in a few such Scriptural phrases as… “it came to pass,” etc., and made things satisfactory again. “And it came to pass” was his pet. If he had left that out, his Bible would have been only a pamphlet. – Mark Twain, Roughing It


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


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


The last Christian died on the cross. – Friedrich Nietzsche


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


If the sole reason why you must not kill your neighbour is because God has forbidden it and will severely punish you for it in this or the next life — then, when you learn that there is no God and that you need not fear His punishment, you will certainly kill your neighbour without hesitation, and you can only be prevented from doing so by mundane force. Thus either these dangerous masses must be held down most severely and kept most carefully away from any chance of intellectual awakening, or else the relationship between civilization and religion must undergo a fundamental revision. – Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion


Everyday people are straying away from the church and going back to God. – Lennie Bruce, The Essential Lennie Bruce, 1972


If Jesus had been killed twenty years ago, Catholic school children would be wearing little electric chairs around their necks instead of crosses. – Lenny Bruce


Puritanism: the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. – H.L. Mencken


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.” – Author unknown


The Virgin Mary was an unwed teenage mother. – Author unknown


The Christian Right is neither. – Author unknown


It will be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible. – George W. Foote


[Creation science is] an attempt to give credibility to Hebrew mythology by making people believe that the world’s foremost biologists, paleontologists, and geologists are a bunch of incompetent nincompoops. – Ron Peterson


Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. – Author Unknown


“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes. – James Morrow


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


We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. – Jonathan Swift, 1711


We are punished by our sins, not for them. – Elbert Hubbard


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


As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools. – Author Unknown


Humor distorts nothing, and only false gods are laughed off their earthly pedestals. – Agnes Repplier, Points of View


It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it. – G.K. Chesterton

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