Article 10846 of alt.atheism: Subject: Alt.atheism Fortune Cookie file 1/5 Sender: news@nc

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Article 10846 of alt.atheism: Newsgroups: alt.atheism Path: mantis!pipex!uunet!olivea!!taco!aiken From: (Wayne NMI Aiken) Subject: Alt.atheism Fortune Cookie file 1/5 Message-ID: <> Sender: (USENET News System) Organization: NCSU X-Newsreader: TIN [version 1.2 PL1] Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1993 05:04:08 GMT Lines: 612 *** ATHEISM/FREETHOUGHT fortune cookie file *** *** Version: 1.1 *** Date: December 12, 1993 *** Send updates/additions to: Wayne Aiken ( *** The following is an extensive list of quotes, comments, messages, and other memorable passages of interest to atheists, most of which have been previously used in .signature lines. The first segment is the general quotes file; the second section is quotes from the U.S. founders. For more quotes from the founders, as well as extensive documentation and commentary, get "Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church" by Ed and Michael Buckner. This compendium is an excellent reference for debating zealots who claim that this is a "Christian Nation", all of Founding Fathers were twice borns, and other nonsense. For info on "Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church", write to: Ed Buckner Atlanta Freethought Society P.O. Box 1975 or P.O. Box 2385 Smyrna, GA 30081-1975 Stone Mountain, GA 30086-2385 Also recommended is the Biblical Satanic Verses list by Oleg Kiselev, for an extensive list of noteworthy bible verses and quotes. ****************************************************************************** General Quotes ****************************************************************************** "I don't care if it rains or freezes, "Long as I got my plastic Jesus, "Riding on the dashboard of my car. "I can go a hundred miles an hour, "Long as I got that deevine power, "Up there with my fuzzy pair of dice." [Sign-on song of disk jockey Don Imis] ------- Frisbeetarianism, n.: The belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck. ------- God is real, unless declared integer. ------- God is love Love is blind Ray Charles is blind Therefore, Ray Charles is God ------- Hindu speaking to a "Born again" christian: "Of course I am born again. And again and again and again." ------- A preacher's wife proofread his Sunday sermon and wrote next to one paragraph: "Weak point--shout loud". ------- If God is perfect, why did He create discontinuous functions? ------- Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. ------- "Never join a religion that has a water slide." ------- "...but when you come to Heritage USA, remember to bring your Bible and your VISA card - because the Bible is the Holy Truth, and God doesn't take American Express." ------- At a recent PTL convention, the hotel reported that over 80% of the conventionites watched at least one x-rated movie on the hotel's ppv cable... ------- "There are no saints, only unrecognized villains." ------- "For god so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever would believe in him would believe in anything." ------- "He's a born-again Christian. The trouble is, he suffered brain damage during rebirth." ------- "I don't mind those who are born again, just as long as they don't think that they get twice as many rights." ------- And Jesus said unto them, "And whom do you say that I am?" They replied,"You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground of our being, the ontological foundation of the context of our very selfhood revealed." And Jesus replied, "What? ------- "The only difference between God and Adolf Hitler is that God is more proficient at genocide." ------- : #... : # :#####: # : # : ...# : ------- "Jesus died to take our wibbles away, so now we can go to zonk." _______ Humanity's first sin was faith; the first virtue was doubt. ------- Why be born again, when you can just grow up? ------- What a f iend we have in Jesus! ------- Blasphemy is a blast for me. ------- If you ask the wrong questions you get answers like '42' or 'God'. ------- Keep Christ out of Christmas ------- "Who made who?" [AC/DC] ------- "If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!" [Clark Adams] ------- "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] ------- "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." ------- "...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'sso hard to figure out how to get the bark on." [Woody Allen] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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?" " don't know." [Tammy Fae Bakker] ------- "God has been replaced, as he has all over the West, with respectability and air conditioning." [Imamu Amiri Baraka, "Home", 1966] ------- "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"] ------- "Dear God. We paid for all this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing." [Bart Simpson saying grace] ------- "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] ------- "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"] ------- "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 Bellarmine 1615, during the trial of Galileo] ------- "[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"] ------- "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] ------- 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, "Collected Works" (1912)] ------- 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, 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, 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] ------- "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, "The Abolition of Work"] ------- "The Bible doesn't forbid suicide. It's Catholic directive, intended to slow down their loss of martyrs." [Ellen Blackstone] ------- "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 & numerous senses could perceive. And particularly they studied the genius of each city & country, placing it under its mental deity; Till a system was formed, which some took advantage of, & 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, from "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, from "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, from "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? / england's [William Blake, from "Songs of Experience"] ------- "There is a God, but He drinks" [Blore] ------- "Gilles de Rais supposedly sodimized, 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_ p.9-10] ------- "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 word heretic ought to be a term of honour..." [Charles Bradlaugh] ------- "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] ------- "As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children." [Anita Bryant, 1977] ------- "The idea that a good god would send people to a burning hell is utterly damnable to me. The ravings of insanity!" [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] ------- "Why has a religious turn of mind always a tendancy to narrow and harden the heart?" [Robert Burns] ------- "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] ------- "The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself" [Sir Richard F. Burton] ------- "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, "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." [Republican Presidential Nominee George Bush] ------- "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] ------- "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, Roman poet 87-54 BC] ------- "A one sentence definition of mythology? "Mythology" is what we call someone else's religion." [Joseph Campbell] ------- "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"] ------- "The whole of religion has been one uniform curse to the human race..." [Richard Carlile, "As to God"] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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,"_Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind_] ------- "Kill them all. God will select those who should go to heaven and those who should go to hell." [Abbot Arnold de Citeaux, 1205] ------- "All religions united with government are more or less inimical to liberty. All separated from government are compatible with liberty." [Henry Clay] ------- "It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to believe anything upon insufficient evidence." [W. K. Clifford] ------- "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] ------- "If religion cannot restrain evil, it cannot claim effective power for good." [Morris Cohen] ------- "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, _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] ------- "I am a prophet sent by God to declare the destruction of the United States because of abortion." [Michael Courtney] ------- "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] ------- "It may be that our role on this planet is not to worship God, but to create him." [Arthur C. Clarke] ------- "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. " [Pres. Bill Clinton] ------- "There are no atheists in the foxholes." [William Thomas Cummings, 1942] ------- "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] ------- "On the ordinary view of each species having been independently created, we gain no scientific explanation..." [Charles Darwin] ------- "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, in only in the form of a meme with high survival value, or infective power, in the environment provided by human culture." [Richard Dawkins, "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, "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, "The Selfish Gene"] ------- 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! ["Religious Vomit", Dead Kennedys (from "In God We Trust, Inc.", Alternative Tentacles VIRUS 5)] ------- "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"] ------- "...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] ------- "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, "Blasphemous Rumours" (from "Some Great Reward", Mute CDSTUMM19)] ------- When Yahweh your god has settled you in the land you're about to occupy, and driven out many infidels before'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] ------- "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away". [Philip K. Dick] ------- "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)] ------- "Do not put your trust in such trinkets of deceit!" [Dracula, on the crucifix] ------- "If God were suddenly condemned to live the life which he has inflicted upon men, He would kill himself." [Alexander Dumas] ------- "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] ------- "All Bibles are man-made." [Thomas Edison] ------- "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"] ------- "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." [Albert Einstein] ------- "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] ------- "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,_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,_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; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear and punishment and hope of reward after death." [Albert Einstein] ------- "I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it." [Albert Einstein] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "When belief in a god dies, the god dies" [Harlan Ellison] ------- "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)] ------- "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." [Senator Sam Ervin] ------- "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, "Hecuba"] ------- "(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." [Jerry Falwell] ------- "We've literally been inundated since the election [with evangelicals] saying please, please, please crank up the Moral Majority again." [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!" [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 see the day country we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!" [Rev. Jerry Falwell, on vouchers.] ------- "What good is a beautiful church that serves the spiritual needs to someone sleeping on a steam grate?" [James Felder] ------- "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, _Folklore In The Old Testament_] ------- "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] ------- "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 Blasphers?" in Flowers of Freethought] ------- "Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever." [Sigmund Freud, letter to Charles Singer] ------- "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: The Future of an Illusion] ------- "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." [From One Tin Soldier] ------- "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, "Woman, Church and State"] ------- "Do not allow the Church or State to govern your thought or dictate your judgement." [Matilda Joslyn Gage] ------- "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] ------- "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_] ------- "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] ------- "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, _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 unnatural, that too is natural." [Goethe] ------- "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." [Senator Barry Goldwater] ------- "I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell's ass." [Senator Barry Goldwater] ------- "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] ------- "I think when a person has been found guilty of rape he should be castrated. That would stop him pretty quick." [Billy Graham, 1974] ------- "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] ------- "Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought." [Graham Greene, 1981] ------- "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, "Science and Life: Essays of a Rationalist"] ------- "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 have seen continuously at work in human progress- have accomplished the very things for which religion claims the credit." [E. Haldeman-Julius, "The Outline of Bunk"] ------- "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] ------- "I have been looking for god for fifty years and I think if he had existed I should have discovered him." [Thomas Hardy] ------- "God is, as it were, the sewer into which all contradictions flow" [G.W.F. Hegel,Lectures on the History of Philosophy] ------- "God will forgive me; thats his business." [Heinrich Heine] ------- "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." [Robert A. 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, from "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, "Notesbooks of Lazarus Long"] ------- "Of all the strange "crimes" human beings have legislated out of nothing, "blasphemy" is the most amazing - with "obscenity" and "indecent exposure" fighting it out for second and third place." [Robert Heinlein, "Notesbooks of Lazarus Long"] ------- "One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." [Robert Heinlein, "Notesbooks 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, "Notesbooks 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, "Notesbooks of Lazarus Long"] ------- "I'm an atheist, and that's *it*. I belive 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] ------- "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] ------- "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." [Adolph 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, August 21, 1939] ------- "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." [Adolph Hitler, quoted in Lucy Komisar, The New Feminism] ------- "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"] ------- "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] ------- " 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] ------- "...And malt does more than Milton can To justify God's ways to man" [A. E. Housman] ------- "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, 1954] ------- "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"] ------- "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] ------- A fools 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." [Huxley] ------- " 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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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, "Individuality"] ------- "With soap, baptism is a good thing." [Robert G. Ingersoll] ------- " argue with a man who has renouced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead." [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p.127] ------- "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." ["The Ghosts", Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p.260] ------- "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, defeinding 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 teachins 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 demand a new miracle, and we demand it now. Let the church furnish at least one, or forever after 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] ------- "Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism." [William James (1842-1910) American philosopher and psychologist] ------- "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] ------- "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." ["Aztec", by Gary Jennings] ------- "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword." [Jesus, Matthew 10:34] ------- "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"] ------- "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] ------- "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] (Teruillian was one of the founders of the Catholic Church). ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- Xtian (at crucifixion): " 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, 0:0] ------- "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] ------- "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, host of "The American Atheist Hour"] ------- "...your belief in God is merely an escape from your monotonous, stupid and cruel life." [Krishnamurti] ------- "If the liberties of the American people are ever destroyed, they will fall by the hands of the clergy." [General Marquis De Lafayette (1789)] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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, "The Politics of Ecstasy"] ------- "There once was a time when all people beleived in God and the church ruled. This time was called the Dark Ages." [Richard Lederer, _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] ------- "To hell with the U.S. Constitution." [Father Bernard Leeming, from America Magazine, 7/23/63] ------- "Imagine there's no heaven. It's easy if you try. No hell below us, Above us, only sky..." [John Lennon, "Imagine"] ------- "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 the same as atheism. [Pope Leo XIII, "Imortale Dei"] ------- "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, "Mere_Xtianity"] ------- "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"] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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"] ------- "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"] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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, Vermunft." (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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "It is necessary for men to be deceived in religion." [Marcus Terentius Varro] ------- "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 heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." [Karl Marx] ------- "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] ------- "The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike." [Delo McKown] ------- "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] ------- "Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable." [H. L. 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." [H. L. Mencken, 1930] ------- "Perhaps the most revolting character that the United States ever produced was the Christian business man." [H.L. Mencken] ------- "Puritanism- The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy." [H.L. 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." [H. L. 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." [H.L. Mencken] ------- "Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration- courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth." [H.L. Mencken, "Autobiographical Notes" (1925)] ------- "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." [H.L. Mencken] ------- "Christian theology is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is opposed to every other form of rational thinking." [H. L. 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." [H.L. Mencken, Minority Report, 1956] ------- "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. [H. L. 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] ------- "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 (1806-1873) British philosopher] ------- "Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof" [Ashley Montague] ------- "...I was suddenly inspired to describe the Judeo-Christian god as a penis which has been endowed with comsic significance." [Soledad de Montalvo] ------- "No kingdom has shed more blood than the kingdom of Christ." [Montiesque] ------- "So you're a god, eh? Very nice, very nice. But, you still don't have a reservation..." [Monty Python] ------- "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] ------- "When science and the Bible differ, science has obviously misinterpreted its data." [Henry Morris, Head of Institute for Creation Research] ------- "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, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth, San Diego, Creation-Life Publishers, 1972] ------- "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, ICR President] ------- "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, ICR] ------- "Pass the pub that wrecks your body And the church, all they want is your money" [Morrisey] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich." [Napoleon] ------- "Jesus said, 'Love your neighbors.' Well, I do love them. I love to kill them." ["Nasty Nick," Croatian Policeman] ------- "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, pg. 23] ------- "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." [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] ------- "Faith: not *wanting* to know what is true." [Friedrich Nietzsche] ------- "Though I drew this conclusion, now it draws me." [Friedrich Nietzsche, 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, from 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!" [Nietzsche, 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 in- debtedness towards its origin... Atheism and a kind of second innocence belong together." [Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Genealogy of Morals] ------- "A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything." [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." [Nietzche, "The Will to Power"] ------- "Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial." [Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science: 126] ------- "One is *not* free to become a Christian. One must be sick enough for it." [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." [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*." [Nietzsche] ------- "This indictment of Christianity I will write on all walls, wherever there are walls--I have letters to make even the blind see." [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." [Fredrich 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." [Nietzsche, "Human, All too Human"] ------- "Suffer for sex.... Crucifixions for everyone... A baby a year 'til you drop..." [The "Pope", 11/12/89 Pro-Choice Rally in DC] ------- "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 Jerjicho, 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] ------- "Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." [Madelyn 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." [Madalyn O'Hair, "Freedom under Siege"] ------- "No god ever gave any man anything, nor ever answered any prayer at any time -nor ever will." [Madelyn O'Hair, "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." [Madalyn O'Hair, "Atheists: The Last Minority"] ------- "Making fun of born-again christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope." [P.J. O'Rourke] ------- Marriage Ceremony: An incredible metaphysical sham of watching God and the law being dragged into the affairs of your family. [O. C. Ogilvie] ------- "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] ------- "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." [Orwell] ------- "Why can't the Jews and Arabs just sit down together and settle this like good Christians?" [Overheard in Congressional debate] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics." [Wendell Phillips, Speech, 7 November 1860] ------- "If I have to resurrect you, I'll resurrect you, whether you like it or not!" [Paul to Jesus, _The_Last_Temptation_of_Christ_] ------- "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, Vol13,No2.] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "The world is in need of less religion and more common sense." [Llewelyn Powys, "Celsus and Origen"] ------- "Might there have been fewer crimes in the name of Jesus, and more mercy in the name of Judas Iscariot?" [Thomas Pynchon] ------- "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] ------- "Religions tend to disappear with man's good fortune." [Raymond Queneau, "A Model History"] ------- "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] ------- "To recognize that nature has neither a preference for our species nor a bias against it takes only a little courage" [James Randi] ------- "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 staste at a time." [Ralph Reed, Executive Director of the Christian Coalition] ------- "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] ------- "The name of Christ has caused more persecutions, wars, and miseries than any other name has caused." [John E. Remsburg, The Christ(1910)] ------- "I DO want your money, because god wants your money!" [Reverend Jimmy, from _Repo_Man_] ------- "He's the type of guy that has to talk to God because nobody else will listen to him." [Atheist comedian Rick Reynolds] ------- "I believe to this day what I believed when I was eight -- science." [Rick Reynolds] ------- "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] ------- "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"] ------- "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, _Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses_, 1969, p. 116] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- 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, "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, "Free Will"] ------- "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 Good Faith", 1990] ------- "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 God We Trust", 1985] ------- "I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in." [Salman Rushdie, on David Frost show] ------- "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, _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] ------- "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, "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, 1957] ------- "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] ------- "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, "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, "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, 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, 1987 CSICOP keynote address] ------- "Against the State, against the Church, against the silence of the medical profession, against the whole machinery of dead instutitions of the past, the woman of to-day arises." [Margaret Sanger, "Shall We Break This Law?", The Birth Control Review, vol. 1 no. 1, Feb. 1917] ------- "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] ------- "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, from "No Exit"] ------- "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] ------- "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, 1984] ------- "..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] ------- "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!" [Shaw, "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] ------- "An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support." [Fulton Sheen (1895-1979)] ------- "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, notes to "Queen Mab"] ------- "They say one day He'll liquidate His holdings up on high, I say it's all speculation. [Michelle Shocked "God is a Real Estate Developer"] ------- "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] ------- "Faith is an island in the setting sun, But proof is the bottom line for everyone." ["Proof", Paul Simon] ------- "*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 Smith] ------- "Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no substitute for a good blaster at your side." [Han Solo] ------- "Is it just me, or does anyone else read `bible humpers' every time someone writes `bible thumpers?' [Joel M. Snyder] ------- "I call him free who is led solely by reason." [Spinoza] ------- "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 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 judgement 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] ------- "By the year 2000 we will, I hope, raise our children to believe in human potential, not God..." [Gloria Steinem, Saturday Review of Education, March 1973] ------- "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] ------- "God's only excuse is that he does not exist." [Stendhal] ------- "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, "Essays on Freethinking and Plainspeaking" (1905)] ------- "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, "An agnostic's Apology", Fortnightly Review, 1876] ------- "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?"] ------- "Obviously, a man's judgement 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] ------- "The minister of the Gospel is really the yardstick by which the nation measures its morals." [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." [Jimmy Swaggart, 5/20/88] ------- "We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another." [Swift] ------- "If you talk to God, you're praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia." [Thomas Szasz] ------- "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] ------- "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 Imagine- Christless Christmastime! Replaced by... "Jesus Claus"? [Gerald Tholen] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "The Bible is "a mass of fables and traditions, mere mythology." [Mark Twain, "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, "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." ["Mark Twain and the Three R's, by Maxwell Geismar, p.109] ------- "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, "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] ------- "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)] ------- "Infidels have been among the most indefatigable workers in every reform." [B.F. Underwood, "Freethought Judged by Its Fruits" (1876)] ------- "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 J. Ussher, dating the creation] ------- "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 (April 25, 1993)] ------- "Nothing is more depressing and more illogical than agressive Christianity." [Gerald Vann] ------- "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] ------- "If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him." [Voltaire, "ptres, XCVI"] ------- "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] ------- " 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." ["Cat's Cradle", by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.] ------- "I refuse to be labeled immoral merely because I am godless." [Peter Walker on alt.atheism] ------- "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, from The Final Cut (Pink Floyd)] ------- "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 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] ------- "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] ------- "[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.] ------- "A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it." [Oscar Wilde] ------- "Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions." [The Oscariana of Oscar Fingall O'Flaherty Will Wilde [1856-1900] for George Bernard Shaw] ------- "If that man in the PTL is such a healer, why can't he make his wife's hairdo go down?" [Robin Williams] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "Who speaks of liberty while the human mind is in chains?" [Francis Wright, speech, Cincinnati, 1828] ------- "Dear 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's you.....Dear God. [XTC] ------- 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. ["When The Lie's So Big" Frank Zappa, "Broadway The Hard Way"] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "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] ------- "Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western religion, Rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western science." [Gary Zukav, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters"] ------- ****************************************************************************** Quotes from the U.S. Founding Fathers ****************************************************************************** "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, letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816] ------- "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, letter to Thomas Jefferson] ------- "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, letter to John Taylor] ------- "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, letter to John Taylor] ------- "As to Jesus of Nazareth...I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity." [Benjamin Franklin] ------- "Lighthouses are more helpful than churches." [Benjamin Franklin] ------- "When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself so that its professors are obliged to call for the help of the civil power, 'tis a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." [Ben Franklin] ------- "The nearest I can make it out, 'Love your Enemies' means, 'Hate your Friends'." [Benjamin Franklin] ------- "I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did." [Benjamin Franklin, letter to his father, 1738] ------- "I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it." [Benjamin Franklin from "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion", Nov. 20, 1728] ------- "I wish it (Christianity) were more productive of good works ... I mean real good works ... not holy-day keeping, sermon-hearing ... or making long prayers, filled with flatteries and compliments despised by wise men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity." [Benjamin Franklin, Works, Vol. VII, p. 75] ------- "If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both here (England) and in New England." [Benjamin Franklin] ------- "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "...difference of opinion is advantageous in religion. The several sects perform the office of a common censor over each other. Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth." [Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on Virginia"] ------- "Let us, then, fellow citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of a bitter and bloody persecutions." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "...let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it". [Thomas Jefferson, 1st inaugural address, March 4, 1801] ------- "They [preachers] dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight and scowl on the fatal harbinger announcing the subversions of the duperies on which they live." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State." [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association] ------- "In every country and in every age the priest has been hostile to liberty; he is always in allegiance to the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection of his own." [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio Spofford, 1814] ------- "... I am not afraid of priests. They have tried upon me all their various batteries of pious whining, hypocritical canting, lying and slandering. I have contemplated their order from the Magi of the East to the Saints of the West and I have found no difference of character, but of more or less caution, in proportion to their information or ignorance on whom their interested duperies were to be played off. Their sway in New England is indeed formidable. No mind beyond mediocrity dares there to develop itself." [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio Spofford, 1816] ------- "Do not be frightened from this enquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no god, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its' exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe that there is a god, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, and that he approves of you, will be a vast additional incitement." [Thomas Jefferson, on advising a nephew on a critical examination of the Bible] ------- "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But 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] ------- "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot.... they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purpose." [Thomas Jefferson, to Horatio Spafford, March 17, 1814] ------- "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with soveriegn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State." [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Danbury Baptist Association, CT. "The Complete Jefferson" by Saul K. Padover, pp 518-519] ------- "Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 10, 1787] ------- "It is too late in the day for men of sincerity to pretend they believe in the Platonic mysticisms that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one. But this constitutes the craft, the power and the profit of the priests." [Thomas Jefferson, to John Adams, 1803] ------- "But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State." [Thomas Jefferson, to S. Kercheval, 1810] ------- "History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose." [Thomas Jefferson, to Baron von Humboldt, 1813] ------- "On the dogmas of religion, as distinguished from moral principles, all mankind, from the beginning of the world to this day, have been quarreling, fighting, burning and torturing one another, for abstractions unintelligible to themselves and to all others, and absolutely beyond the comprehension of the human mind." [Thomas Jefferson, to Carey, 1816] ------- "But the greatest of all reformers of the depraved religion of his own country, was Jesus of Nazareth. Abstracting what is really his from the rubbish in which it is buried, easily distinguished by its lustre from the dross of his biographers, and as separable from that as the diamond from the dunghill, we have the outlines of a system of the most sublime morality which has ever fallen from the lips of man. The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent morality, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, invented by ultra-Christian sects (The immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of the Hierarchy, etc.) is a most desirable object." [Thomas Jefferson, to W. Short, Oct. 31, 1819] ------- "It is not to be understood that I am with him (Jesus Christ) in all his doctrines. I am a Materialist; he takes the side of Spiritualism; he preaches the efficacy of repentence toward forgiveness of sin; I require a counterpoise of good works to redeem it. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others, again, of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being. I separate, therefore, the gold from the dross; restore him to the former, and leave the latter to the stupidity of some, the roguery of others of his disciples. Of this band of dupes and imposters, Paul was the great Coryphaeus, and the first corruptor of the doctrines of Jesus." [Thomas Jefferson, to W. Short, 1820] ------- "The office of reformer of the superstitions of a nation, is ever more dangerous. Jesus had to work on the perilous confines of reason and religion; and a step to the right or left might place him within the grasp of the priests of the superstition, a bloodthirsty race, as cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel. That Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God, physically speaking, I have been convinced by the writings of men more learned than myself in that lore." [Thomas Jefferson, to Story, Aug. 4, 1820] ------- "All persons shall have full and free liberty of religious opinion; nor shall any be compelled to frequent or maintain any religious institution." [Thomas Jefferson, 1776] ------- "The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man. But compare with these the demoralizing dogmas of Calvin: 1. That there are three Gods. 2. That good works, or the love of our neighbor, is nothing. 3. That faith is every thing, and the more incomprehensible the proposition, the more merit the faith. 4. That reason in religion is of unlawful use. 5. That God, from the beginning, elected certain individuals to be saved, and certain others to be damned; and that no crimes of the former can damn them; no virtues of the latter save." [Thomas Jefferson, to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822]z ------- "Creeds have been the bane of the Christian church ... made of Christendom a slaughter-house." [Thomas Jefferson, to Benjamin Waterhouse, Jun. 26, 1822] ------- "The truth is, that the greatest enemies of the doctrine of Jesus are those, calling themselves the expositors of them, who have perverted them to the structure of a system of fancy absolutely incomprehensible, and without any foundation in his genuine words. And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors." [Thomas Jefferson, to John Adams, Apr. 11, 1823] ------- "The metaphysical insanities of Athanasius, of Loyola, and of Calvin, are, to my understanding, mere lapses into polytheism, differing from paganism only by being more unintelligible." [Thomas Jefferson, to Jared Sparks, 1820] ------- " man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. " [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "..our civil rights have no dependance on our religious opinions, any more than our opinions in physics or geometry" [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "It is error alone that needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself." [TJ, Notes on Virginia, 1782] ------- "...If we did a good act merely from the love of God and a belief that is pleasing to him, whence arises the morality of the Atheist? It is idle to say, as some do, that no such thing exists. We have the same evidence of the fact as of most of those we act on, to wit: their own affirmations, and their reasonings in support of them. I have observed, indeed, generally that while in Protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in Catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D'Alembert, D'Holbach, Condorcet are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than love of God." [Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Law, June 13, 1814] ------- "He is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong." [Thomas Jefferson] ------- "And I have no doubt that every new example will succeed, as every past one has done, in showing that religion and Govt (sic) will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together." [James Madison, letter to Edward Livingston, 1822] ------- "[I]t may not be easy, in every possible case, to trace the line of separation between the rights of religion and the Civil authority with such distinctness as to avoid collisions and doubts on unessential points. The tendency to unsurpastion on one side or the other, or to a corrupting coalition or alliance between them, will be best guarded agst. by an entire abstinence of the Gov't from interfence in any way whatsoever, beyond the necessity of preserving public order, and protecting each sect agst. trespasses on its legal rights by others." [James Madison, "James Madison on Religious Liberty", edited by Robert S. Alley, ISBN 0-8975-298-X. pp. 237-238] ------- "What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not." [James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785] ------- "Experience witnesseth that ecclesiastical establishments, instead of maintaining the purity and efficacy of religion, have had a contrary operation. During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry and persecution." [James Madison, "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785] ------- "It was the Universal opinion of the Century preceding the last, that Civil Government could not stand without the prop of a religious establishment; and that the Christian religion itself, would perish if not supported by the legal provision for its clergy. The experience of Virginia conspiciously corroboates the disproof of both opinions. The Civil Government, tho' bereft of everything like an associatd hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability and performs its functions with complete success; whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the TOTAL SEPARATION OF THE CHURCH FROM THE STATE." [James Madison, as quoted in Robert L. Maddox: Separation of Church and State; Guarantor of Religious Freeedom] ------- "The New Testament, they tell us, is founded upon the prophecies of the Old; if so, it must follow the fate of its foundation.'' [Thomas Paine] ------- "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst." [Thomas Paine] ------- "I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church." [Thomas Paine] ------- "It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe." [Thomas Paine] ------- "I put the following work under your protection. It contains my opinion upon religion. You will do me the justice to remember, that I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it. The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall." [Thomas Paine, "Age of Reason"] ------- "The story of Jesus Christ appearing after he was dead is the story of an apparition, such as timid imaginations can always create in vision, and credulity believe. Stories of this kind had been told of the assassination of Julius Caesar..." [Thomas Paine] ------- "The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion." [Thomas Paine] ------- "The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed." [The Theological Works of Thomas Paine] ------- "Every phrase and cirsumstance are marked with the barbarous hand of superstitious torture, and forced into meanings it was impossible they could have. The head of every chapter, and the top of every page, are blazoned with the names of Christ and the Church, that the unwary reader might suck in the error before he began to read." [The Age of Reason, p.131] ------- "Accustom a people to believe that priests, or any other class of men can forgive sins, and you will have sins in abundance." [The Theological Works of Thomas Paine, p.207] ------- "All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit." [Thomas Paine] ------- "The adulterous connection between church and state." [Thomas Paine, _The Age of Reason_] ------- "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 consistant 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 mankind." [Thomas Paine] ------- "Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true." [Thomas Paine] ------- "Persecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law." [Thomas Paine] ------- "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" [Treaty of Tripoli, 1797] ------- -- Holy Temple of Mass $ >>> <<< $ "My used underwear Consumption! $ $ is legal tender in PO Box 30904 $ BBS: (919) 954-5028 $ 28 countries!" Raleigh, NC 27622 $ Warning: I hoard pennies. $ --"Bob"


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