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

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

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

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

Religion is the metaphysics of the masses.  ~Arthur Schopenhauer

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

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

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

I speak not of men's creeds - they rest between
Man and his Maker.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

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

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

This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.  ~Dalai Lama

People don't come to church for preachments, of course, but to daydream about God.  ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

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

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

If I were personally to define religion, I would say that it is a bandage that man has invented to protect a soul made bloody by circumstances.  ~Theodore Dreiser, 1941

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

All men have need of the gods.  ~Homer

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

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

Businesses may come and go, but religion will last forever, for in no other endeavor does the consumer blame himself for product failure.  ~Harvard Lamphoon, "Doon" (paraphrase)

Follow Descartes!  Do not give up the religion of your youth until you get a better one.  ~Martin H. Fischer

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

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

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

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

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

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

Christianity is not being destroyed by the confusions and concussions of the time; it is being discovered.  ~Hugh E. Brown

A faith of convenience is a hollow faith.  ~M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy, "A Holy Mess," 1982

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

I considered atheism, but there weren't enough holidays.  ~Author Unknown

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

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

Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.  ~John Morley

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

How orderly philosophical is the landscape, are all the inhabitants of this World!  It is the creation of a god who "ever plays the geometer."  ~Aldous Huxley, "Music at Night"

Man is a Religious Animal.  He is the only Religious Animal.  He is the only animal that has the True Religion - several of them.  He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight.  He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.  ~Mark Twain

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

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

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

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

You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.  ~Anne Lamott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Were the purportings of the Bible to be a revelation false, it would still be the truest book that was ever written.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

If a man would follow, today, the teachings of the Old Testament, he would be a criminal.  If he would follow strictly the teachings of the New, he would be insane.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

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

If triangles had a God, He'd have three sides.  ~Old Yiddish Proverb

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

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

I contend that we are both atheists.  I just believe in one fewer god than you do.  When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.  ~Stephen Roberts

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

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

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

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

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

I didn't know I had a quarrel with him.  ~Henry Thoreau in answer to the question, "Have you made your peace with God?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.  Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God.  ~Albert Einstein

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

There were honest people long before there were Christians and there are, God be praised, still honest people where there are no Christians.  It could therefore easily be possible that people are Christians because true Christianity corresponds to what they would have been even if Christianity did not exist.  ~G.C. Lichtenberg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles?  ~John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson, 20 June 1815

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

Moral:  a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.  ~Donald Morgan

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

How many observe Christ's birthday! How few his precepts!
O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1757

Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it.  ~C.C. Colton

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

Religion is a pill best swallowed without chewing.  ~Author Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is a concept by which we measure our pain.  ~John Lennon

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

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

On religious issues there can be little or no compromise.  There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs.  There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being.  But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly.  The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.  They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 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.  ~Barry Goldwater

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

Why should we take advice on sex from the pope?  If he knows anything about it, he shouldn't.  ~George Bernard Shaw

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

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

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

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

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

Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains.... But it can put mountains where there are none.  ~Friedrich Nietzche, Human, All Too Human, 1879

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.  ~H.L. Mencken

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

The Bible is literature, not dogma.  ~George Santayana

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

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

Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent didn't have a leg to stand on.  ~Author Unknown

The wages of sin are death, but after they take the taxes out, it's more like a tired feeling, really.  ~Paula Poundstone

To all things clergic
I am allergic
~Alexander Woolcott, attributed

No sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus.  ~G.B. Shaw, Androcles and the Lion, 1912

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

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

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

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

In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.  ~Mark Twain

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

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

God - but a word invoked to explain the world.  ~Prat de Lamartine

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

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

Men rarely (if ever) manage to dream up a god superior to themselves.  Most gods have the manners and morals of a spoiled child.  ~Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long

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

When a man really believes that it is necessary to do a certain thing to be happy forever, or that a certain belief is necessary to ensure eternal joy, there is in that man no spirit of concession.  He divides the whole world into saints and sinners, into believers and unbelievers, into God's sheep and Devil's goats, into people who will be glorified and people who are damned.  ~Robert Ingersoll, Some Reasons Why

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

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

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

The third major characteristic of God - "infinitude" - is the catchall, the universal modifier of Christian theology.  God is not merely a being; he is infinite being.  God is not merely good; he is infinite goodness.  God is not merely wise; he is infinite wisdom.  And so on down the list.  God is exaggeration run amuck.  ~George H. Smith, Atheism:  The Case Against God

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

[The true Indian] sees no need for setting apart one day in seven as a holy day, because to him all days are God's days.  The first American mingled with his pride a singular humility.  Spiritual arrogance was foreign to his nature and teaching.  ~Ohiyesa of the Santee Sioux (Charles Alexander Eastman)

On the sixth day God created man.  On the seventh day, man returned the favor.  ~Author Unknown

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

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

God is innocent.  Noah built in a flood plain.  ~Author Unknown

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

Nowhere is there an account or portrait of Christ laughing... he is always stern, serious and as gloomy as a prison guard.  Never does one see him laughing until tears appear in his eyes like the roly-poly squint-eyed Buddha guffawing with arms upraised.  ~Author Unknown

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

Christendom has done away with Christianity without being quite aware of it.  ~Soren Kierkegaard, Time, 16 December 1946

Christian fundamentalism:  the doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.  ~Andrew Lias

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

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

Christian, n.:  one who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor.  ~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

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

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

If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel.  Until then, let us stand erect.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872

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

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

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

Religion supports nobody.  It has to be supported.  It produces no wheat, no corn; it ploughs no land; it fells no forests.  It is a perpetual mendicant.  It lives on the labors of others, and then has the arrogance to pretend that it supports the giver.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

Christianity is not a religion; it's an industry.  ~Author Unknown

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

In an early class, one of the students asked me if I believed in God.  I replied, 'I don't think so.'  And then proceeded to wail on the theme, using material from this column of some weeks ago, in which I observed the perpetuation of insanity on this planet through the mediums of Arabs-vs-Jews, Catholics-vs-Protestants, Southern Baptists-vs-Everyone.  I said I felt if 'God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he them,' (Genesis 2:27, King James's italics, not mine) then we were God.  And when Man (my capitalization, not King James's) in his most creative, his most loving, his most gentle and most human, then he is most God-like.  The student said he would pray for my immortal soul.  He also asked for my address, so he could send me some literature on the subject of God.  I thanked him politely and told him I'd gotten all the literature I could handle on the subject from a certain Thomas Aquinas.  ~Harlan Ellison

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

I think I'll believe in Gosh instead of God.  If you don't believe in Gosh too, you'll be darned to heck.  ~Author Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Church tax exemption means that we all drop our money in the collection boxes, whether we go to church or not and whether we are interested in the church or not.  It is systematic and complete robbery, from which none of us escapes.  ~E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life

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

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

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.  ~Author Unknown

Instead of being born again, why not just grow up?  ~Author Unknown

A Christian is a man who feels
Repentance on a Sunday
For what he did on Saturday
And is going to do on Monday.
~Thomas Russell Ybarra, The Christian

A great deal of what passes for current Christianity consists in denouncing other people's vices and faults.  ~Henry H. Williams

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

The idea of an incarnation of God is absurd:  why should the human race think itself so superior to bees, ants, and elephants as to be put in this unique relation to its maker?... Christians are like a council of frogs in a marsh or a synod of worms on a dung-hill croaking and squeaking "for our sakes was the world created."  ~Julian the Apostate

Jesus saves... passes to Moses... shoots... scores!  ~Author Unknown

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

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

To hear many religious people talk, one would think God created the torso, head, legs and arms, but the devil slapped on the genitals.  ~Don Schrader

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

God tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  If this was the only way they could understand the difference between good and evil, how could they have known that it was wrong to disobey God and eat the fruit?  ~Laurie Lynn

A converted cannibal is one who, on Friday, eats only fishermen.  ~Emily Lotney

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

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

People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.  ~Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"

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

If God doesn't like the way I live, let him tell me, not you.  ~Author Unknown

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

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

Inspiration:  a peculiar effect of divine flatulence emitted by the Holy Spirit which hisses into the ears of a few chosen of God.  ~Voltaire

A theologian is a person who uses the word 'God' to hide his ignorance.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

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

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

Religion seems to have a way of making people abandon logic.  ~Amanda Baxter

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

You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion.  Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly.  It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough.  ~Aldous Huxley

Christianity tells people to repent and promises them forgiveness.  It therefore has nothing (as far as I know) to say to people who do not know they have done anything to repent of and who do not feel that they need forgiveness.  ~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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

The Cross is a gibbet - rather an odd thing to make use of as a talisman against bad luck, if that is how we regard it.  Or is it, instead, a cynical reminder that Virtue usually gets pilloried whenever it makes one of its occasional appearances in this world?  ~Denis Johnston, The Brazen Horn

God has always resembled his creators.  He hated and loved what they hated and loved and he was invariably found on the side of those in power.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll

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

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

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

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

The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs.  ~Bill Maher

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

The observances of the church concerning feasts and fasts are tolerably well-kept, since the rich keep the feasts and the poor keep the fasts.  ~Sydney Smith

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

The imaginary flowers of religion adorn man's chains.  Man must throw off the flowers and also the chains.  ~Karl Marx, The Wisdom of Karl Marx

Strange...a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!  ~Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger

It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author - and not to learn it better.  ~Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But I was not, to use the theological phrase, receptive.  The great obstacle to the influx of grace was my own perfect happiness, and it is well known that God takes no thought for the happy, any more than He does for birds and puppies, perhaps realizing they have no need of Him and mercifully letting them alone.  ~John Glassco, Memoirs of Montparnasse, 1970

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

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

It is the position of some theists that their right to freedom OF religion is abridged when they are not allowed to violate the rationalists' right to freedom FROM religion.  ~James T. Green

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

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

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

Faith is never identical with piety.  ~Karl Barth

I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off.  So I ran over and said 'Stop!  don't do it!'  'Why shouldn't I?'  he said.  I said, 'Well, there's so much to live for!'  He said, 'Like what?'  I said, 'Well...are you religious or atheist?'  He said, 'Religious.'  I said, 'Me too!  Are you Christian or  Buddhist?'  He said, 'Christian.'  I said, 'Me too!  Are you Catholic or Protestant?'  He said, 'Protestant.'  I said, 'Me too!  Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?'  He said, 'Baptist!'  I said, 'Wow!  Me too!  Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?'  He said, 'Baptist church of god!'  I said, 'Me too!  Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?'  He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god!'  I said, 'Me too!  Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?'  He said, 'Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!'  I said, 'Die, heretic scum,' and pushed him off.  ~Emo Phillips

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

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

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

The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous.  But if by 'God' one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God.  This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity.  ~Carl Sagan

If I had been the Virgin Mary, I would have said "No."  ~Margaret "Stevie" Smith

Give the church a place in the Constitution, let her touch once more the sword of power, and the priceless fruit of all ages will turn to ashes on the lips of men.  ~Robert G. Ingersoll, Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1

He talked about Father Junipero Serra's qualifications for sainthood:  they say he cured a nun's lupus.  A miracle.  Now I'm not a doctor, but I know lupus goes into remission.  It's not always fatal.  Have Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder play ping-pong together.  That's a miracle.  ~Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 February 1989

The last Christian died on the cross.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

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

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

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

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

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

God wanted to have a holiday, so He asked St. Peter for suggestions on where to go.  "Why not go to Jupiter?"  asked St.  Peter.  "No, too much gravity, too much stomping around," said God.  "Well, how about Mercury?"  "No, it's too hot there."  "Okay," said St. Peter, "what about Earth?"  "No," said God, "They're such horrible gossips.  When I was there 2000 years ago, I had an affair with a Jewish woman, and they're still talking about it."  ~Author Unknown

The Virgin Mary was an unwed teenage mother.  ~Author Unknown

The Christian Right is neither.  ~Author Unknown

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

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

"There are no atheists in foxholes" isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes.  ~James Morrow

Without cultural sanction, most or all our religious beliefs and rituals would fall into the domain of mental disturbance.  ~John F. Schumaker, Corruption of Reality, Unified Theory of Religion, Hypnosis and Psychotherapy

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

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

It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil.  If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.  ~Helen Keller

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

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

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


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