True irreverence is disrespect for another man's god.
However many holy words you read, how many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act upon them?
The humble knowledge of thyself is a surer way to God than the deepest search after science.
Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs. This is the principle behind lotteries, dating, and religion.
Religion is the hospital of the souls that the world has wounded.
Religion is doing.
What hath God wrought.
Religion is applied mythology.
Religions get lost as people do.
All roads that lead to God are good.
Religion is the opiate of the masses.
God, please save me from your followers!
Religion is love; in no case is it logic.
Religion's in the heart, not in the knee.
Religion is the metaphysics of the masses.
We are not accountable for the sins of Adam.
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.
Impiety, n.: Your irreverence toward my deity.
Old religious factions are volcanoes burnt out.
Pound notes are the best religion in the world.
Religions are such stuff as dreams are made of.
Science surpasses the old miracles of mythology.
Religion without humanity is a poor human stuff.
Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst.
Religion is a fashionable substitute for Belief.
The garb of religion is the best cloak for power.
Religion ... is a man's total reaction upon life.
The desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.
I'm not religious, but I like God and he likes me.
Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought.
Every religion is good that teaches man to be good.
Religion is the most malevolent of all mind viruses.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Who says I am not under the special protection of God?
A man's religion is the chief fact with regard to him.
Every age thinks it is perfect, especially in religion.
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity.
A man without religion is like a horse without a bridle.
We all have the same God, we just serve him differently.
I hold that religion and faith are two different things.
Persecution is a bad and indirect way to plant religion.
A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.
Religion to me has always been the wound, not the bandage.
To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.
Religion has not civilized man, man has civilized religion.
True religion is the life we lead, not the creed we profess.
I believe in God, but I'm not too clear on the other details.
Religion is the best Armor in the World, but the worst Cloak.
What is religion, you might ask. It's a technology of living.
Religion is the love of life in the consciousness of impotence.
Heresies are experiments in man's unsatisfied search for truth.
Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines.
Religion is what the individual does with his own solitariness.
A dogma will thrive in soil where the truth could not get root.
Religion is the reaction of human nature to its search for God.
God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun, proper or improper.
It is the test of a good religion whether you can joke about it.
Study the teachings of the great sages of all sects impartially.
Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.
No one can say Christianity has failed. It has never been tried.
Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion.
Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
It must in candor be said that his religion sat upon him lightly.
Compassion in the highest degree is the divinest form of religion.
I daresay anything can be made holy by being sincerely worshipped.
Sex and religion are closer to each other than either might prefer.
Savage religion is something not so much thought out as danced out.
Religion is as effectually destroyed by bigotry as by indifference.
Religions are like farts. Yours is good, but everyone else's stinks.
Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom: Christianity is the wisdom of love.
There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.
Religion is the frozen thought of men out of which they build temples.
All religions are therapies for the sorrows and disorders of the soul.
Christianity is one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread.
Those who make religion their god will not have God for their religion.
A religion without the element of mystery would not be a religion at all.
To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs.
The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide.
It takes moral courage to grieve; it takes religious courage to be joyful.
One's religion is whatever he is most interested in, and yours is Success.
Being an Episcopalian interferes neither with my business nor my religion.
Religion enables us to ignore nothingness and get on with the jobs of life.
Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.
Greater love hath no man than to attend the Episcopal Church with his wife.
Mothers and dads that take their children to church never get into trouble.
It is in our lives, and not from our words, that our religion must be read.
A religion can no more afford to degrade its Devil than to degrade its God.
Spiritual rebirth is the key to the aspirations of all the higher religions.
I count religion but a childish toy, And hold there is no sin but ignorance.
Religion is always a citadel of hope, which is built on the edge of despair.
I'm Catholic and I can't commit suicide, but I plan to drink myself to death.
On the sixth day God created man. On the seventh day, man returned the favour.
Most people's religion is what they want to believe, not what they do believe.
And if you equate God's judgment with your judgment, you have a wrong religion.
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
Religion often gets credit for curing rascals when old age is the real medicine.
We use religion like a trolley-car—we ride on it only while it is going our way.
There is in every village a torch—the teacher; and an extinguisher—the clergyman.
All religions are the same: religion is basically guilt, with different holidays.
The effect of the consolations of religion may be compared to that of a narcotic.
It is an old habit with theologians to beat the living with the bones of the dead.
Religion is different from everything else; because in religion seeking is finding.
Religion is what happens when I crack open the window to my soul and God rushes in.
Religion is like music, one must have an ear for it. Some people have none at all.
To be religious is to have a life that flows with the presence of the extraordinary.
Religion is a fire which example keeps alive, and which goes out if not communicated.
All religions must be tolerated ... for ... every man must get to heaven his own way.
If God's got anything better than sex to offer, he's certainly keeping it to himself.
No creed can be stretched to the size of truth; no church can be made as large as man.
It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion.
Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically.
While there is almost no religion operating in race relations, there is plenty of God.
A religious awakening which does not awaken the sleeper to love has roused him in vain.
Religions die when they are proved to be true. Science is the record of dead religions.
Art and Religion are, then, two roads by which men escape from circumstance to ecstasy.
Follow Descartes! Do not give up the religion of your youth until you get a better one.
The value of persistent prayer is not that He will hear us but that we finally hear him.
Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?
America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to agnostics for Christmas.
We have just Religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.
God made so many different kinds of people. Why would he allow only one way to serve him?
Some people would have us love, or rather obey God, chiefly because he outbids the devil.
I would no more quarrel with a man because of his religion than I would because of his art.
Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.
Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
The language of religion is divisive partly because it tries to state what cannot be stated.
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.
That is the religious experience: the astonishment of meeting someone who is waiting for you.
The great god Ra, whose shrine once covered acres, is filler now for crossword puzzle makers.
Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.
The myths about Hades and the gods, though they are pure invention, help to make men virtuous.
To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy.
It is doubtless true that religion has been the world's psychiatrist throughout the centuries.
All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.
Generally speaking, the errors of religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.
I was wondering today what the religion of the country is—and all I could come up with was sex.
With all your science can you tell how it is, and whence it is, that light comes into the soul?
Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to the garage makes you a car.
Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.
There are sectors within the religions that are so prescriptive that they forget the human side.
Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it.
Men will wrangle for religion, write for it, fight for it, die for it; anything but live for it.
Our rabbi once said, "God always answers our prayers, it's just that sometimes the answer is no."
Americans rightly think their patriotism is a sort of religion strengthened by practical service.
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
He was of the faith chiefly in the sense that the church he currently did not attend was Catholic.
Where it is a duty to worship the sun it is pretty sure to be a crime to examine the laws of heat.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.
It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author— and not to learn it better.
The trouble with born-again Christians is that they are an even bigger pain the second time around.
Religion cannot object to science on moral grounds. The history of religious intolerance forbids it.
Be good, keep your feet dry, your eyes open, your heart at peace and your soul in the joy of Christ.
Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.
Excessive concern with religion seems to me a last resort for people who have been exhausted by life.
Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.
I like to browse in occult bookshops if for no other reason than to refresh my commitment to science.
Religions are intermittently too interesting, wise, and consoling to be abandoned to believers' alone.
It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.
My religious position: I think that God could do a lot better, and I'm willing to give Him the chance.
What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace.
Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child cannot be a true system.
People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them.
Most sermons sound to me like commercials—but I can't make out whether God is the Sponsor or the Product.
The imaginary flowers of religion adorn man's chains. Man must throw off the flowers and also the chains.
Most men's anger about religion is as if two men should quarrel for a lady that neither of them care for.
Christianity is not being destroyed by the confusions and concussions of the time; it is being discovered.
There's something in every atheist, itching to believe, and something in every believer, itching to doubt.
Infidel: In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.
An infinite God ought to be able to protect Himself, without going in partnership with State Legislatures.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.
What has been the effect of religious coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.
I'm one of those cliff-hanging Catholics. I don't believe in God, but I do believe that Mary was his mother.
Nobody can have the consolations of religion or philosophy unless he has first experienced their desolations.
According to science, the universe began as a swirl of gas that, as it cooled, spun off the Ten Commandments.
The task of organized religion is not to prove that God was in the first century, but that he is in the 20th.
As a set of cognitive beliefs, religion is a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.
In some awful, strange, paradoxical way, atheists tend to take religion more seriously than the practitioners.
Religion is really an art form and a struggle to find value and meaning amid the ghastly tragedy of human life.
Most reformers wore rubber boots and stood on glass when God sent a current of Commonsense through the Universe.
When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.
Gullibility and credulity are considered undesirable qualities in every department of human life—except religion.
Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science, as the strangled snakes besides that of Hercules.
Ah! what a divine religion might be found out, if charity were really made the principle of it, instead of faith.
Religion, which may in most of its forms be defined as the belief that the gods are on the side of the Government.
Religion is a paramount contributor to human misery. It is not merely the opium of the masses, it is the cyanide.
Such religion as there can be in modern life, every individual will have to salvage from the churches for himself.
No religion is a true religion that does not make men tingle to their finger tips with a sense of infinite hazard.
The finest fruit of serious learning should be the ability to speak the word God without reserve or embarrassment.
A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.
One cannot erect, on the basis of a motive that exists only for a very few, an obligation that shall apply to everyone.
A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism.
Religion, like water, may be free, but when they pipe it to you, you've got to help pay for the piping. And the piper!
I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it.
Without cultural sanction, most or all our religious beliefs and rituals would fall into the domain of mental disturbance.
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.
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?
Health is the state about which Medicine has nothing to say; Sanctity is the state about which Theology has nothing to say.
It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
I find the nicest and best people generally profess no religion at all, but are ready to like the best men of all religions.
To me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle.
And what would our ideas of God, of religion, be like if they had come to us through the minds of women? Ever think of that?
Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains ... But it can put mountains where there are none.
Prayer gives a man the opportunity of getting to know a gentleman he hardly ever meets. I do not mean his maker, but himself.
When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.
Religion is a form of nourishment. It is difficult to appreciate the flavor and food-value of something one has never eaten.
Not everybody feels religion in the same way. Some it's in their mouth, but some it's like a hope in their blood, their bones.
But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?
Inspiration: a peculiar effect of divine flatulence emitted by the Holy Spirit which hisses into the ears of a few chosen of God.
God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
CIRCUMSCRIPTION As Pastor X steps out of bed he slips a neat disguise on: that halo round his priestly head is really his horizon.
God bless the Methodist Church — bless all the churches — and blessed be God, Who, in this our great trial, giveth us the churches.
Religion is probably, after sex, the second oldest resource with which human beings have available to them for blowing their minds.
In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination.
Every great religion is, in truth, a concentration of great ideas, capable, as all ideas are, of infinite expansion and adaptation.
With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil, that takes religion.
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.
Christ does not save us by acting a parable of divine love; he acts the parable of divine love by saving us. That is the Christian faith.
Spirituality is recognizing the divine light that is within us all. It doesn't belong to any particular religion; it belongs to everyone.
The act of bell ringing is symbolic of all proselytizing religions. It implies the pointless interference with the quiet of other people.
Businesses may come and go, but religion will last forever, for in no other endeavour does the consumer blame himself for product failure.
Religion is, as it were, the calm bottom of the sea at its deepest point, which remains calm however high the waves on the surface may be.
Rivers, ponds, lakes, and streams—they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do—they all contain truths.
Scriptures: the sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based.
[The yarmulke] is an indication that one recognizes that there is something above you. It says, "Above my intellect is a sign of godliness."
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Religions are different roads converging to the same point. What does it matter that we take different roads, so long as we reach the same goal?
Real religion is a way of life, not a white cloak to be wrapped around us on the Sabbath and then cast aside into the six-day closet of unconcern.
Religion is the sob of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the Opium of the People.
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.
My faith is whatever makes me feel good about being alive. If your religion doesn't make you feel good to be alive, what the hell is the point of it?
I think different religions are different doors to the same house. Sometimes I think the house exists, and sometimes I don't. It's the great mystery.
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.
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 masses.
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.
It is as impossible for man to demonstrate the existence of God as it would be for even Sherlock Holmes to demonstrate the existence of Arthur Conan Doyle.
So long as religion is only faith and outward form, and the religious function is not experienced in our own souls, nothing of any importance has happened.
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.
We're all entitled to our opinions and religious beliefs, but we are not entitled to make shit up and then use the shit we made up to oppress other people.
Religion is hard work. Its insights are not self-evident and have to be cultivated in the same way as an appreciation of art, music, or poetry must be developed.
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.
For while religion prescribes brotherly love in the relations among the individuals and groups, the actual spectacle more resembles a battlefield than an orchestra.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can't divorce religious belief and public service I've never detected any conflict between God's will and my political duty. If you violate one, you violate the other.
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?
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.
Science and religion, religion and science, put it as I may, they are two sides of the same glass, through which we see darkly until these two, focusing together, reveal the truth.
Religion is like the fashion; one man wears his doublet slashed, another laced, another plain; but every man has a doublet: so every man has a religion. We differ about the trimming.
What has occurred over the course of the last few centuries is a growing (but by no means universal or certain) recognition that science gets the job done, while religion makes excuses.
God, give me grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things which should be changed, and the Wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.
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.
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.
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.
It may be said that religion is the chef d'oeuvre of the art of training, because it trains people in the way that shall think: and, as is well known, you cannot begin the process too early.
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.
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.
Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.
The word "religion" beautifully defines itself, of course. It translates "to bind" from the Latin—"re" means back and "ligare" means to tie up. All religions are straightjackets, jackets for the straight.
[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.
Using the phrase ancestor-worship in its broadest sense as comprehending all worship of the dead, be they of the same blood or not, we reach the conclusion that ancestor-worship is the root of every religion.
I have learned that human existence is essentially tragic. It is only the love of God, disclosed and enacted in Christ, that redeems the human tragedy and makes it tolerable. No, more than tolerable. Wonderful.
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 judgement and action.
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.
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 circumstance, an envelope to pocket him from the unescapable and unstable illimitable.
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?'
At the Harvest Festival in church, the area behind the pulpit was piled high with tins of fruit for the old-age pensioners. We had collected the tinned fruit from door to door. Most of it came from old-age pensioners.
It has often been said, very truly, that religion is the thing that makes the ordinary man feel extraordinary; it is an equally important truth that religion is the thing that makes the extraordinary man feel ordinary.
The quarrels of theologians and philosophers have not been about religion, but about philosophy; and philosophers not unfrequently seem to entertain the same feeling toward theologians that sportsmen cherish toward poachers.
My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.
He who enters religion does not make profession to be perfect, but he professes to endeavor to attain perfection; even as he who enters the schools does not profess to have knowledge, but to study in order to acquire knowledge.
To sum up: 1. The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute. 2. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. 3. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.
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.
The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion, that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.
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.
Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively. But don't come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.
In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind, old men as guides.
[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.
Religions tend to be hostile and divisive among themselves, while the sciences are necessarily allies—indicating there may be more of a religious core of unity in scientific investigation of the truth than in the religious exhortation of piety.
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 labours of others, and then has the arrogance to pretend that it supports the giver.
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?
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.
A man gradually formulates his religion, be it what it may. A man has no religion who has not slowly and painfully gathered one together, adding to it, shaping it; and one's religion is never complete and final, it seems, but must always be undergoing modification.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
There are some forms of religion that must make God weep. There are some forms of religion that are bad, just as there's bad cooking or bad art or bad sex, you have bad religion too. Religion that has concentrated on egotism, that's concentrated on belligerence rather than compassion.
Religion, if we follow the intention of human thought and language, is ethics heightened, enkindled, lit up by feeling; the passage from morality is made, when to morality is applied emotion, And the true meaning of religion is thus not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.
The most stupendous system of organized robbery known has been that of the church towards woman, a robbery that has not only taken her self-respect but all rights of person; the fruits of her own industry; her opportunities of education; the exercise of her judgment, her own conscience, her own will.
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.
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 behaviour to sin, he does not say, 'You are a wicked motor car, and I shall not give you any more petrol until you go.' He attempts to find out what is wrong and set it right.
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.
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.
The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.
In regard to this great book [the Bible], I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
All religions were one, maintained the Sufi saints, merely different manifestations of the same divine reality. What was important was not the empty ritual of the mosque or temple, but to understand that divinity can best be reached through the gateway of the human heart—that we all have Paradise within us, if we know where to look.
[The reason that] Orientals are better and wiser in sex and love is a manifestation of the same spirit that produced the Zen garden. Their religion is a much kinder religion than ours; it honors the forefathers, their gods are not mean-spirited, nasty, gimlet-eyed gods who'll give you a bolt of lightning in the ass if you masturbate.
Science tries to answer the question: "How?" How do cells act in the body? How do you design an airplane that will fly faster than sound? How is a molecule of insulin constructed? Religion, by contrast, tries to answer the question: "Why?" Why was man created? Why ought I to tell the truth? Why must there be sorrow or pain or death?
Science cannot answer the deepest questions. As soon as you ask why there is something instead of nothing, you have gone beyond science. I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is the explanation for the miracle of existence —why there is something instead of nothing.
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 neighbour 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.
That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular....I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion.
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.
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.
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.
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.