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httpjoke - A collection of jokes and stories circulating among offices on E-Mail as "Internet" folk humor. This is humor for your imagination; do not try these pranks at home.

The attitudes towards courtship, ethnic groups, gender differences, personalities, politics, products, and religion are not necessarily those of the authors, the contributors, or this web site. This is a humor page. All of us are the subjects of some jokes. I hope this collection can be a central repository. It may also help reduce the duplication we currently receive in our daily E-Mail.

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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]

God has infinite wisdom, goodness and power; he created the universe; his duration is eternal, a parte ante and a parte post. His presence is as extensive as space. What is space? An infinite spherical vacuum. He created this speck of dirt and the human species for his glory; and with deliberate design of making nine-tenths of our species miserable for ever for his glory. This is the doctrine of Christian theologians, in general, ten to one. Now, my friend, can prophecies or miracles convince you or me that infinite benevolence, wisdom, and power, created, and preserves for a time innumerable millions, to make them miserable forever, for his own glory? Wretch! What is his glory? Is he ambitious? Does he want promotion? Is he vain, tickled with adulation, exulting and triumphing in his power and the sweetness of his vengeance? Pardon me, my Maker, for these awful questions. My answer to them is always ready. _I believe no such things_. My adoration of the author of the universe is too profound and too sincere. The love of God and his creation-delight, joy, triumph, exultation in my own existance- though but an atom, a molecule organique in the universe- are my religion. [John Adams, in a latter to Jefferson, Sept. 14, 1813, from Christianity and the Constitution: The Founding faith of our Fathers John Eidsmoe ISBN: 0-8010-3444-2]


Treaty signed at Tripoli November 4, 1796, and at Algiers January 3, 1797. Senate advice and consent to ratification June 7, 1797. Ratified by the President of the United States June 10, 1797 Entered into force June 10, 1797 Proclaimed by the President of the United States June 10, 1797.


As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, -- as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-- and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties thaat no pretext arising from religous opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries. [John Adams, 1797-05-27, Article 11, Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the US and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary. Treaties and Other International Acts of America, ed. Hunter Miller]

This is my religion . . . joy and exaltation in my own existence . . . so go ahead and snarl . . . bite . . . howl, you Calvinistic divines and all you who say I am no Christian. I say you are not Christian. [John Adams, in _Toward the Mystery_]

[In regard to the Trinity]; Tom, had you and I been 40 days with Moses, and beheld the great God, and even if God himself had tried to tell us that three was one . . . and one equals three, you and I would never have believed it. We would never fall victims to such lies. [John Adams, letter to Thomas Jefferson]

Indeed, Mr. Jefferson, what could be invented to debase the ancient Christianism, which Greeks, Romans, Hebrews and Christian factions, above all the Catholics, have not fraudulently imposed upon the public? Miracles after miracles have rolled down in torrents, wave succeeding wave in the Catholic church, from the Council of Nicea, and long before, to this day. [John Adams, to Jefferson, 3 December 1813]


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

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. - - anonymous

. . . once a person admits to not believing in God, this raises the question of whether or not that person believes in America . . . - - [Chief spokesman for National office of the Boy Scouts]

No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God. - - George Bush

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. - - Original wording to the pledge of allegiance - the way it should be!

I don't care if it rains or freezes,
'long as I' got my plastic Jesus,
sittin' on the dashboard of my car;
It makes no difference if we hit a bump,  
-he's held on by a suction cup,  
sittin' on the dashboard of my car.
I can even go a hund'rd miles-an-hour,
as long as I've got that dee-vine power,
sittin' on the dashboard of my car.
[Plastic Jesus, circa 1969, 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.

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

The only mortals who ever entered Barad-dur and came back unharmed in body and soul were a pair of Iluvatar's Witnesses. Only days after their visit Sauron realized that the Minas Tirith he had bought from them was only a pamphlet.

Archeologists near mount Sinai have discovered what is believed to be a missing page from the Bible and is believed to read 'To my darling Candy. All characters portrayed within this book are fictitous and any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental'.

Power corrupts;
Absolute power corrupts absolutely;
God is all-powerful.
Draw your own conclusions

FAITH - An attitude fostered by individuals in high places in order to ensure the subservience of those in their charge.

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

nullifidian n. & a. (Person) having no religious faith or belief, [f. med. L nullifidius fr L nullus none + fides faith; see IAN]

freethinker n. A person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief.

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

A society without religion is like a crazed psychopath without a loaded .45

Fundamentalism means never having to say I'm wrong.

Christianity: The understanding that God is the name we give to the answer (which we do not know) to the question, Why is there anything at all? - and that Christ is the self-expression of God; the view that - against the appearances - we are loved in the universe.

Faith is to the human what sand is to the ostrich

Try new Post Jesus (tm) breakfast cereal! Chock full of bland, tasteless little bread wafers made from 100% Jesus for that full-body of Christ taste. Goes great with a little red wine.

Wouldn't it be funny if Elvis came back instead of Jesus?

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

May theists be shaved with Ockham's Razor!

Two hands working do more than a thousand clasped in prayer

Why does the Vatican have lightning rods?

Some have for fundies then evangelists passed Turned preachers next and proved plain fools at last.

If Jesus loves me, why doesn't he ever send me flowers?

It's your god.
They're your rules.
*You* go to hell.

I once believed in god. I got better.

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

The fool says in his heart, There is no God. The Wise Man Says it to the World.

Christ died for my sins, descended into Hell, and rose again On the third day, in accordance with the Scriptures... And all I got was this lousy t-shirt.

If a member of McDonalds' staff was God: OK, one Universe. Uh, you want fries with that?

Bumper sticker seen: Geez if you believe in Honkus.


WARNING: To prevent the risk of insanity, do not open the bible's cover. No user understandable material inside. Please refer counseling to qualified mental health personnel.


Garbage In -- Gospel Out

A clash of doctrine is not a disaster - it is an opportunity.

Every absurdity has a champion to defend it.

Vique's Law: A man without a religion is like a fish without a bicycle.

Man created God in his own image.

God did not create the world in 7 days. He screwed around for 6 days and then pulled an all-nighter.

Jesus loves the Ku Klux Klanners,
Jesus loves the KKK,
Pointy hats and flowing robes,
Burning crosses, homophobes!
Jesus loves the Klanners of the world!

Moses: the self-proclaimed meekest of all men even though he allegedly spoke face to face with God and gave us the so-called Ten Commandments (though they aren't really ten in number); the man who wrote (or edited) the account of his own death and burial; the man who -- according to himself -- was God's spokesperson in the same way that Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, -- and a parcel of others -- claim to speak for God.

In Ottawa the xians put up an abortion stills a beating heart poster outside the local abortion clinic. Someone wrote over it: A christian with a gun stills a beating heart.

Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject -- otherwise there's no need for faith.

A slippery day in the Bible: When Balam went through Jerusalem on his ass.

Theology: The study of elaborate verbal disguises for non-ideas.

God: The Immutable Chameleon; whenever the need is felt by one of his followers, He obligingly recreates himself to suit the occasion.

The mind of the fundamentalist is like the pupil of the eye: the more light you pour on it, the more it will contract.

You are digging for the answers, Until your fingers bleed, To satisfy the hunger, To satiate the need. They feed you on the guilt, To keep you humble and low, Some man and myth they made up, A thousand years ago.

Q: Jesus was renowned for his ability to heal. What was the one affliction that proved too malignant for his cure?
A: Christianity

Jesus loves you all, and can't wait to control you like a small household pet

Religion is the work of the Devil

Never make a god of your religion

You Go Yahweh - and I'll go Mine!

God hated the world so much that he sent his only son so that whoever does not believe in him will perish and be denied eternal life.

Belief in heaven is impossible in the absence of a greedy desire for it.

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


Goofy and Mickey are going to burn in eternal Hellfire for sharing an insurance policy!. Details this Sunday at you local Southern Baptist Church. Witch burning and pot luck supper to follow the services.


Belief in heaven is very difficult without a greedy desire for it: All scams need a hook.

Humanity sees its reflection in the mirrors that surround it, and thus gratified, calls this image perfect, good, merciful, omniscient, omnipresent, holy, just, and above all, love. So enchanted are these hairless apes with this, that they invent a special word for it: 'God'.

We preach peace, forgiveness, tolerance and love. We practice vengeance, persecution, hatred and domination. My personal beliefs are supported and validated by my convictions. Oh, and never forget .... my religion is truth, yours is a lie. [Religion, paraphrased (unknown)]

If, as they say, God spanked this town
For being much too frisky,
Why did He burn His churches down
And save Hotaling's Whiskey?
[Poem on 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, in which
   the city's largest whiskey distillery was left unscathed]

If god doesn't like the way I live, Let him tell me, not you. [As seen on a button]

When the philosopher's argument becomes tedious, complicated, and opaque, it is usually a sign that he is attempting to prove as true to the intellect what is plainly false to common sense. [Edward Abbey (from Voice Crying in the Wilderness)]

The missionaries go forth to Christianize the savages-- as if the savages weren't dangerous enough already. [Edward Abbey]

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

Belief in the supernatural reflects a failure of the imagination. [Edward Abbey]

The world holds two classes of men -- intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence. [Abu'l-Ala-Al-Ma'arri (973-1057; Syrian poet)]

Who made who? [AC/DC]

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That unalterable rule applies both to God and man. [John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton (Lord Acton) in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 5,1887]

Thought is one of the manifestations of human energy, and among the earlier and simpler phases of thought, two stand conspicuous -- Fear and Greed. Fear, which, by stimulating the imagination, creates a belief in an invisible world, and ultimately develops a priesthood; and Greed, which dissipates energy in war and trade. [Brooks Adams (1848-1927), The Law of Civilization and Decay]

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

If Atheism is a religion, then health is a disease! [Clark Adams]

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

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

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

A spokesman for the Lyon Group, producers of _Barney and Friends_, denied that Barney is an instrument of Satan. [the Advocate, spring 1994]

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

Religions change; beer and wine remain [Harvey Allen]

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

Had I been present at the creation of the world, I would have proposed some improvements. [Alfonso X (Alfonso the Wise; 1226-1284; King of Castile)]

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

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

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

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

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

To YOU I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition. [Woody Allen]

As the poet said, Only God can make a tree -- probably because it's so hard to figure out how to get the bark on. [Woody Allen]

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

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

We face the nineties with a Court that relegates First Amendment rights to the level of any law, a Justice Department quite willing to establish first- and second-class citizenship determined by religious belief....a Christian arrogance and exclusivism reminiscent of earlier centures of religious persecution. [Robert S. Alley, Christian Exclusivism and Second-Class Citizenship Free Inquiry]

Imagine encouraging [a child] to participate in such 'twisted' rituals and worshiping of tortuous crucifixes and such like this from birth. No wonder we have so many hateful and sadistic people in our society. [Brent Allsop 10-27-95 (news:alt.atheism)]

Immaculate deceptions going on every day, still you follow the clowns who give the circus away [The Almighty]

I acted alone on God's orders. [Yigal Amir, assassin of Yitzak Rabin, Israeli PM]

Father says bow your head, Like the Good Book says.
I think the Good Book is missing some pages... [Tori Amos]

This whole Christian theology thing is that god came down to experience life through his son. Well, how's he experiencing life if he doesn't get laid? Give me a break. And why would he not get laid, as he created the apparatus in the first place? [Tori Amos, interview in _Vox_, May, 1994, by Steve Maline]

I got enough guilt to start my own religion [Tori Amos]

Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god but a great rock and the sun a hot rock. [Anaxagorus, ca. 475 BC]

No, no, no -- you don't argue with concepts. You have to claim Dogma, and therefore leave no room for rational thought. [Kevin J. Anderson, _Flashback_]

People whose history and future were threatened each day by extinction considered that it was only by divine intervention that they were able to live at all. I find it interesting that the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human being become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of respectability at a commensurate speed. [Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, p. 101]

Every man thinks God is on his side. The rich and powerful know he is. [Jean Anouilh]

Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent didn't have a leg to stand on. [Anonymous]

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

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

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

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

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

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

What you should say to outsiders that a Christian has neither more nor less rights in our Association than an atheist. When our platform becomes too narrow for people of all creeds and of no creeds, I myself shall not stand upon it [Susan B. Anthony, _Susan B. Anthony: a Biography_, by Kathleen Barry, New York University Press, 1988, p.310]

To no form of religion is woman indebted for one impulse of freedom... [Susan B. Anthony]

Stating the 'The Constitution guarantess that government may not coerce anyone to support or participate in religious exercises,' the court held the First Amendment is violated by including clerical members who offer prayer as part of an official school graduation ceremony, even though attendance was supposedly voluntary. The court concluding that attendance was in a real sense obligatory with the students indiced to conform. [Lee v. Weisman (1992, U S) 120 L Ed 2d 467, 112 S Ct 2649, from the 1996 pocket part for the book Modern Constitutional Law, Vol. I: The Individual And The Government, by Chester J. Antieau]

...our constitutional tradition, from the Declaration of Independence and the first inaugural address of Washington... down to the present day, has, with a few aberrations, see Church of Holy Trinity v. United States, 143 U.S. 457, 12 S.Ct. 511, 36 L.Ed. 226 (1892), ruled out of order government-sponsored endorsement of religion--even when no legal coercion is present, and indeed even when no ersatz, peer-pressure psycho-coercion is present--where the endorsement is sectarian, in the sense of specifying details upon which men and women who believe in a benevolent, omnipotent Creator and Ruler of the world are known to differ (for example, the divinity of Christ). [Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, _Lee v. Weisman_, 505 U.S. 577, 641 (1992)]

The temperature of Heaven can be rather accurately computed. Our authority is Isaiah 30:26, Moreover, the light of the Moon shall be as the light of the Sun and the light of the Sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days. Thus Heaven receives from the Moon as much radiation as we do from the Sun, and in addition 7*7 (49) times as much as the Earth does from the Sun, or 50 times in all. The light we receive from the Moon is one 1/10,000 of the light we receive from the Sun, so we can ignore that ... The radiation falling on Heaven will heat it to the point where the heat lost by radiation is just equal to the heat received by radiation, i.e., Heaven loses 50 times as much heat as the Earth by radiation. Using the Stefan-Boltzmann law for radiation, (H/E) temperature of the earth (-300K), gives H as 798K (525C). The exact temperature of Hell cannot be computed ... [However] Revelations 21:8 says But the fearful, and unbelieving ... shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone. A lake of molten brimstone means that its temperature must be at or below the boiling point, 444.6C. We have, then, that Heaven, at 525C is hotter than Hell at 445C. [From Applied Optics vol. 11, A14, 1972]

Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches. [Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Summa Theologica]

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. [Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Summa Theologica]

If forgers and malefactors are put to death by the secular power, there is much more reason for excommunicating and even putting to death one convicted of heresy. [Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Summa Theologica]

As regards the individual nature, woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power of the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex; while the production of a woman comes from defect in the active power.... [Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica,Q92, art. 1, Reply Obj. 1]

I suggest that the anthropomorphic god-idea is not a harmless infirmity of human thought, but a very noxious fallacy, which is largely responsible for the calamities the world is at present enduring [William Archer, _Theology and War_]

'Theocracy' has always been the synonym for a bleak and narrow, if not a fierce and blood-stained tyranny. [William Archer (1667-1735)]

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

A God who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a God who interfered with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If God is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all- knowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that rejects such a God is amply justified. [Karen Armstrong, _A History of God_, pg. 383, speaking on Paul Tillich]

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

All the biblical miracles will at last disappear with the progress of science. [Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)]

Miracles do not happen. [Matthew Arnold, Literature and Dogma, last words of preface to 1883 edition]

We are only fabulous beasts, after all. [John Ashbery]

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

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

Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly and warn the people of Canada... [Isaac Asimov, Canadian Atheists Newsletter, 1994]

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

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

As it happens, Josephus, who mentions John the Baptist, does not mention Jesus. There is, to be sure, a paragraph in his history of the Jews which is devoted to Jesus, but it interrupts the flow of the discourse and seems suspiciously like an afterthought. Scholars generally believe this to have been an insertion by some early Christian editor who, scandalized that Joesphus should talk of the period without mentioning the Messiah, felt the insertion to be a pious act. [Isaac Asimov, Asimov's Guide To The Bible ISBN 0-517-34582-X]

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

My aim is to argue that the universe can come into existence without intervention, and that there is no need to invoke the idea of a Supreme Being in one of its numerous manifestations. [Peter William Atkins, preface to The Creation]

Someone with a fresh mind, one not conditioned by upbringing and environment, would doubtless look at science and the powerful reductionism that it inspires as overwhelmingly the better mode of understanding the world, and would doubtless scorn religion as sentimental wishful thinking. Would not that same uncluttered mind also see the attempts to reconcile science and religion by disparaging the reduction of the complex to the simple as attempts guided by muddle-headed sentiment and intellectually dishonest emotion? [P.W. Atkins, The Limitless Power of Science essay in Nature's Imagination, John Cornwell, ed.; 1995 Oxford University Press, p.123]

Religion closes off the central questions of existence by attempting to dissuade us from further enquiry by asserting that we cannot ever hope to comprehend. We are, religion asserts, simply too puny. Through fear of being shown to be vacuous, religion denies the awesome power of human comprehension. It seeks to thwart, by encouraging awe in things unseen, the disclosure of the emptiness of faith. Religion, in contrast to science, deploys the repugnant view that the world is too big for our understanding. Science, in contrast to religion, opens up the great questions of being to rational discussion, to discussion with the prospect of resolution and elucidation. Science, above all, respects the power of the human intellect. Science is the apotheosis of the intellect and the consummation of the Rennaissance. Science respects more deeply the potential of humanity than religion ever can. [P.W. Atkins, The Limitless Power of Science essay in Nature's Imagination, John Cornwell, ed.; 1995 Oxford University Press, p.125]

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

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

I feel that nothing so casts down the manly mind from it's height as the fondling of women and those bodily contacts which belong to the married state. [St. Augustine, De Trinitate 7.7]

All diseases of Christians are to be ascribed to demons; chiefly do they torment freshly-baptized Christians, yea, even the guiltless new-born infants. [Saint Augustine (354-430)]

It is indeed better (as no one ever could deny) that men should be led to worship God by teaching, than that they should be driven to it by fear of punishment or pain; but it does not follow that because the former course produces the better men, therefore those who do not yield to it should be neglected. For many have found advantage (as we have proved, and are daily proving by actual experiment), in being first compelled by fear or pain, so that they might afterwards be influenced by teaching, or might follow out in act what they had already learned in word. [St. Augustine, Treatise on the Correction of the Donatists (417), p.214]

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

God loves all his children, by gum. That don't mean he won't incinerate some. Can't you feel those hot flames licking you... [Austin Lounge Lizards, Jesus Loves Me]

A prevalent fallacy is the assumption that a proof of an after-life would also be a proof of the existence of a deity. This is far from being the case. If - as I hold -there is no good reason to believe that a god either created or presides over this world, there is equally no good reason to believe that a god created or presides over the next world, on the unlikely supposition that such a thing exists. [Sir A.J. Ayer, in the Sunday Telegraph, Aug. 28, 1988, pg. 5]

Religious Cult: The church down the street from yours. [_B.C._ cartoon, 30 April 1994]

The earth is flat, and anyone who disputes this claim is an atheist who deserves to be punished. [Muslim religious edict, 1993 Sheik Abdel-Aziz Ibn Baaz Supreme religious authority, Saudi Arabia]

For they heard that command of our Creator, if they truly listened to His instructions to be responsible stewards, then their entire framework of human rationalizations for tearing apart Act comes to naught [U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt, using religious arguments to defend the 1973 Endangered Species Act from conservatives who wish to limit or abolish it]

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

Hey brother christian with your high and mighty errand, You're actions speak so loud I can't hear a word you're saying... [Bad Religion]

I don't know what stopped Jesus Christ from turning every hungry stone into bread, And I don't remember hearing how Moses reacted when the innocent first born sons lay dead, Well I guess God was a bit more demonstrative back when he flamboyantly parted the sea, Now everybody's praying, Don't prey on me. [Bad Religion, Don't Pray on Me, on the Recipe for Hate album]

And I want to conquer the world, Give all the idiots a brand new religion... [Bad Religion]

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

...Jesus was almost certainly not 'of Nazareth'. An overwhelming body of evidence indicates that Nazareth did not exist in biblical times. The town is unlikely to have appeared before the third century. [Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln, _The Messianic Legacy_]

It's not listed in the Bible, but my spiritual gift, my specific calling from God, is to be a television talk-show host. [James Bakker]

I wake up every morning and I wish I were dead, and so does Jim. [Tammy Fae Bakker]

...and now we're down to our last $37,000.
But just last week you said you were down to your last $50,000, what happened to $13,000 since then?
Uh...um...I don't know. [Tammy Fae Bakker]

A Boss in Heavan is the best excuse for a boss on earth, therefore If God did exist, he would have to be abolished. [Mikhail Bakunin (1814-1876) Russian anarchist, atheist author, and founder of Nihilism]

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

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

But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free-thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge. [Bakunin, _God and the State_ (1874)]

...the Bible as we have it contains elements that are scientifically incorrect or even morally repugnant. No amount of explaining away can convince us that such passages are the product of Divine Wisdom. [Bernard J. Bamberger, _The Story of Judaism_]

Reason shapes the future, but superstition infects the present. [Iain M Banks]

God has been replaced, as he has all over the West, with respectability and air conditioning. [Imamu Amiri Baraka, Home, 1966]

If there were a god, there would be no need for religion. If there were not a god, there would be no need for religion. [Ron Barrier, Rbargodnow@aol.com]

There is no such thing as a god. If such a creature existed, belief would be rendered unnecessary, and the entire system of organized religion would collapse. [Ron Barrier, Rbargodnow@aol.com]

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it Christmas and went to church; the Jews called it Hanukka and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say Merry Christmas! or Happy Hanukka! or (to the atheists) Look out for the wall! [Dave Barry, Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide]

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

Pretty rowdy behavior for Jesus. He'd get a buzz off the beer and go squealing out of the parking lot. [Bartender in Waco, TX]

There should be absolutely no 'Separation of Church and State' in America. [David Barton, president of Wallbuilders and a close ally of the Christian Coalition, 1994 Anti-Defamation League Report]

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

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

We are engaged in a social, political, and cultural war. There's a lot of talk in America about pluralism. But the bottom line is somebody's values will prevail. And the winner gets the right to teach our children what to believe. [Gary Bauer, religious-right Family Research Council]

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

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

Christianity is the enemy of liberty & civilization [August Bebel]

We aim in the domain of politics at republicanism; in the domain of economics at socialism; in the domain of what is today called religion, at atheism. [August Bebel, Summary of Views]

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

There was never such a gigantic lie told as the fable of the Garden of Eden. [Henry Ward Beecher, early American preacher, from What Great Men Think Of Religion by Ira Cardiff]

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

To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin. [Cardinal Bellarmino 1615, during the trial of Galileo]

To affirm that the Sun ... is at the centre of the universe and only rotates on its axis without going from east to west, is a very dangerous attitude and one calculated not only to arouse all Scholastic philosophers and theologians but also to injure our holy faith by contradicting the Scriptures [Cardinal Bellarmino, 17th Century Church Master Collegio Romano, who imprisoned and tortured Galileo for his astronomical works]

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

Faith - the ability to believe the ridiculous for the sublime. [Rich Bennett]

Miracles happen to those who believe in them. Otherwise why does not the Virgin Mary appear to Lamaists, Mohammedans, or Hindus who have never heard of her. [Bernard Berenson (1865-1959)]

For what is it but an exquisite and priceless chance of salvation due to God alone, that the omnipotent should deign to summon to His service, as though they were innocent, murderers, ravishers, adulterers, perjurers, and those guilty of every crime? [St. Bernard, appeal for recruits for the Second Crusade, quoted by Brooks Adams, _The Law of Civilization and Decay_ (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1943), p. 144]

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

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

For centuries the leaders of Christian thought spoke of women as a necessary evil, and the greatest saints of the Church are those who despise women the most. [The Freethinker's Textbook Part II - Christianity, 1876, Annie Besant]

While it cannot be proved retrospectively that any experience of possession, conversion, revelation, or divine ecstasy was merely an epileptic discharge, we must ask how one differentiates real transcendence from neuropathies that produce the same extreme realness, profundity, ineffability, and sense of cosmic unity. When accounts of sudden religious conversions in TLEs [temporal-lobe epileptics] are laid alongside the epiphanous revelations of the religious tradition, the parallels are striking. The same is true of the recent spate of alleged UFO abductees. Parsimony alone argues against invoking spirits, demons, or extraterrestrials when natural causes will suffice. [Barry L. Beyerstein, Neuropathology and the Legacy of Spiritual Possession, The Skeptical Inquirer, Vol. XII, No. 3, pg. 255]

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose. [Bhagavad Gita [The Lord's Song] (250 B.C.-A.D. 250)]

If you love god, burn a church [Jello Biafra]

See god? That is the easiest thing in the world. He always appears to me in the bottom of the tenth glass of beer... and sometimes as a beautiful, young, female nude. [theologian Franz Bibfeldt on the reality of visions]

Saint: A dead sinner revised and edited. [Ambrose Bierce]

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

Religions are conclusions for which the facts of nature supply no major premises. [Ambrose Bierce, 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, 1911]

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, 1911]

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel. [Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911]

Infidel: In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does. [Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), American author]

Ocean: A body of water occupying 2/3 of a world made for man -- who has no gills. [Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911]

Some heathens whose Idol was greatly weatherworn threw it into a river, and erecting a new one, engaged in public worship at its base.
'What is this all about?' inquired the New Idol.
'Father of Joy and Gore,' said the High Priest, 'be patient and I will instruct you in the doctrines and rites of our holy religion.'
A year later, after a course of study in theology, the Idol asked to be thrown into the river, declaring himself an atheist.
'Do not let that trouble you,' said the High Priest -- 'so am I.'

[Ambrose Bierce, Two Sceptics, Fantastic Fables]

Heaven: A place where the wicked cease from troubling you with talk of their personal affairs, and the good listen with attention while you expound on yours. [Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) American author]

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

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. [First Amendment, Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution]

Religion is a means of exploitation employed by the strong against the weak; religion is a cloak of ambition, injustice and vice. [Georges Bizet, letter to Edmond Galabert, 1866]

Never before have I encountered such corrupt and foul-minded perversity! Have you ever considered a career in the Church? [Black Adder II]

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

The establishment of religion clause of the First Amendment means at least this: neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. [U.S. Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, Majority opinion Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947)]

No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or nonattendance. [U.S. Supreme Court justice Hugo Black, Majority opinion Everson v. Board of Education 330 U.S. 1 (1947)]

No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. [Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)]

Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.' [Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947)]

The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach. [Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, majority opinion in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947), last words]

The manifest object of the men who framed the institutions of this country, was to have a _State without religion_, and a _Church without politics_ -- that is to say, they meant that one should never be used as an engine for any purpose of the other, and that no man's rights in one should be tested by his opinions about the other. As the Church takes no note of men's political differences, so the State looks with equal eye on all the modes of religious faith. ... Our fathers seem to have been perfectly sincere in their belief that the members of the Church would be more patriotic, and the citizens of the State more religious, by keeping their respective functions entirely separate. [Chief Justice of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jeremiah S. Black, from a 1856 speech on religious liberty]

The Bible doesn't forbid suicide. It's Catholic directive, intended to slow down their loss of martyrs. [Ellen Blackstone]

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds. [Edmund Blake (1729-1797)]

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

The ancient poets animated all objects with Gods or Geniuses, calling them by the names and adorning them with the properties of woods, rivers, mountains, lakes, cities, nations, and whatever their enlarged & 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]

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]
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]
Prisons are built with stones of Law,
Brothels with bricks of Religion.
[William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell]

Anti-intellectualism among millenarians and Bible Literalists is a recurrent phenomenon, but no other religious movement in America ever has been as programatically set against its intellect as are Jehovah's Witnesses. The Fundamentalist majority wing of the Southern Baptist Convention are devotees of pure reason compared to Jehovah's Witnesses. [Harold Bloom, The American Religion, pg. 162]

Though there are a number of rather savage apocalyptic scenarios current among American Fundamentalists, I am aware of none quite so inhumane as the Jehovah's Witnesses' accounts of the End of our Time. There is something peculiarly childish in these Watchtower yearnings: the remind me of why very small children cannot be left alone with wounded and suffering household pets. [Harold Bloom, The American Religion, pg. 169-170]

There is a God, but He drinks [Blore]

Gilles de Rais supposedly sodomized, mutilated, and murdered more than 700 children. At his trial he told of his usual procedure of sexually assaulting boys, cutting open their chests and burying his face in their lungs, and opening their abdomens and handling their intestines. He also confessed to necrophilia with the dismembered bodies and to attempted intercourse with a fetus he cut out of a pregnant woman. At his trial de Rais REPENTED, and the bishop of Nantes WAS FORCED TO RECEIVE HIM BACK INTO THE CHURCH. [_Bodies_Under_Siege_ p.9-10]

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

All religions have been made by men. [Napoleon Bonaparte, letter to Gaspard Gourgaud, 28 January 1817]

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

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

Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. [Napoleon Bonaparte]

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

Religion divides us, while it is our human characteristics that bind us to each other. [Sir Hermann Bondi, interview in Free Inquiry magazine]

'Believing' cannot tip the scales in making a historical judgment about whether something really happened. I can choose to believe that George Washington threw a silver dollar across the Rappahannock, but my believing that he did it has nothing to do with whether or not he really did to it. So also with the story of Jesus walking on the water: Believing that he did it has nothing to do with whether he really did do it. 'Belief' cannot be the basis for historical conclusion; it has no direct relevance. [Faith and Scholarship by Marcus J. Borg August, 1993 issue of _Bible Review_]

Interpreting the Bible: All reading of Scripture (including a literalist approach) involves subjective interpretation. For example, to read the stories of Jesus' birth as literal historical accounts involves an act of interpretation just as much as reading them as symbolic narratives (namely, it involves a decision to read them literally). The recognition that all interpretations are subjective does not, however, mean that all are equally good. About any interpretation, one may ask (or be asked), what have you got to go on? Why do you read it that way? [Faith and Scholarship by Marcus J. Borg August, 1993 issue of _Bible Review_]

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

Pray, and all your sins are hooked upon the sky. Pray, and the heathen lie will disappear. Prayers, they hide the saddest views, Believing the strangest things, Loving the alien. [David Bowie]

The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God. [Boy Scouts of America, statement on membership form]

The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship... [Boy Scouts of America policy, 1970]

...Any organization could profit from a 10-year-old member with enough strength of character to refuse to swear falsely. [New York Times editorial, 12/12/93, on the Boy Scouts' refusing membership to Mark Welsh, who would not sign a religious oath]

The word heretic ought to be a term of honour... [Charles Bradlaugh]

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

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

Oh great, but not necessarily superior, being who dwells beyond this plane of existence and who is accessible only through prayer, meditation, or crystals, we salute you without thereby acknowledging that you are entitled to greater respect than that accorded any other endangered species. We hope to pass through your plane of existence at some point on our psychic journey to the same exalted status as marine mammals or even snail darters. Moreover, to the extent your design for the universe coincides with the U.S. Constitution and includes low-cost access to cable, we ask you to provide us our minimum daily requirement of essential vitamins and nutrients consistent with FDA guidelines, and when judging us be duly mindful or our status as victim, which providesfull justification for what might appear on superficial examination to befelonious. In the same vein, we will endeavor to excuse and forgive those whohave transgressed against us, with the possible exception of our parents, teachers, policemen and clergy about whom we have just resurrected disturbing memories. We ask all this in the name of your prophet ----------. [Here on alternating weeks substitute names drawn from the consensus of the class. Some suggestions for early in the year: L. Ron Hubbard, Ayatollah Khomeini, Jimmy Carter, Patricia Ireland, Mike Wallace.] [John F. Bramfeld, a lawyer in Urbana, Ill., as printed in Wall Street Journal Pg A-18 Thurs, Jan 12, 1995, contemplating what would happen to school prayer after it was filtered through the apparatus of politically correct educrats.]

The world presents enough problems if you believe it to be a world of law and order; do not add to them by believing it to be a world of miracles. [U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis]

In any culture, subculture, or family in which belief is valued above thought, and self-surrender is valued above self-expression, and conformity is valued above integrity, those who preserve their self-esteem are likely to be heroic exceptions. [Nathaniel Branden, _The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem_, Bantam Books, (New York, 1994), p. 296]

Everything that is doddering, squint-eyed, infamous, sullying, and grotesque is contained for me in this single word: God. [Andre Breton (1896-1966)]

No myth of miraculous creation is so marvelous as the face of man's evolution. [Robert Briffault (1876-1948) Rational Education,1930]

To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy. David Brooks, The Necessity of Atheism]

There is no stopping the world's tendency to throw off imposed restraints, the religious authority that is based on the ignorance of the many, the political authority that is based on the knowledge of the few. [Van Wyck Brooks, The Nation, 14 August 1954]

I hope you don't like my posts...that is the intent! [Brother Orchid, demonstrating how to be christian]

The pursuit of happiness belongs to us, but we must climb around or over the church to get it. [Heywood Broun (1888-1939)]

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

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

Morality becomes hypocrisy if it means accepting mothers suffering or dying in connection with unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions--and unwanted children living in misery. [Gro Harlem Brundtland, at the Cairo population conference]

It is proof of a base and low mind for one to wish to think with the masses or majority, merely because the majority is the majority. Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people. [Giordano Bruno (1548-burned at the stake,1600)]

A pious man is one who would be an atheist if the king were. [Jean de La Bruy re (1645-1696)]

If we have to give up either religion or education,o we should give up education.o [William Jennings Bryan]

All the ills from which America suffers can be traced to theo teaching of evolution.o [William Jennings Bryan]

If the Bible had said that Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it. [William Jennings Bryan]

The parents have a right to say that no teacher paid by their money shallo rob their children of faith in God and send them back to their homeso skeptical, or infidels, or agnostics, or atheists. [William Jennings Bryan, testifying at the Scopes trial, July 16, 1925]

As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children. [Anita Bryant, 1977]

An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support. [John Buchan (1875-1940) British author, statesman]

Who are beneficiaries of the Court's protection? Members of various minorities including criminals, atheists, homosexuals, flag burners, illegal immigrants (including terrorists), convicts, and pornographers. [US Presidential candidate Pat Buchahan, Address to the Heritage Foundation, January 29, 1996]

And how can we ever again succeed in educating children to become moral men and women if, in America's public schools, we consciously deny them all religious instruction, and deny them access to that primary source of morality, God's own word. The Bible is the one book from which they are expressly not allowed to be taught. [US Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, The City and The Crusade, Commencement Address for Christendom College, May 6, 1996]

What's the Christian-bashing all about? Simple- a struggle for the soul of America is under way, a struggle to determine whose views, values, beliefs and standards will serve as the basis of law. [US Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, Washington Times, June 15, 1995]

In a GQ profile of Pat Buchanan, journalist John Judis asks the presidential candidate his views about teaching creationism in school. 'Look, my view is, I believe God created heaven and earth,' said Buchanan. 'I think this: What ought to be taught as fact is what is known as fact. I don't believe it is demonstrably true that we have descended from apes. I don't believe it. I do not believe all that. [Leah Garchik, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 November 1995]

Our culture is superior. Our culture is superior because our religion is Christianity and that is the truth that makes men free. [US Presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, speech to the Christian Coalition, Sept. 1993, as reported in ADL Report, 1994]

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

Be born anywhere, little embryo novelist, but do not be born under the shadow of a great creed, not under the burden of original sin, not under the doom of Salvation. [Pearl S. Buck, Advice to Unborn Novelists]

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

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

...And when you discern yourselves: these things are profitable, these things are not blameworthy, these things are praised by the wise; these things, when performed and undertaken are conducive to good fortune and happiness, indeed do you then accept them. [G. Buddha, from the Anguttara Nikaya]

Jesus Christ: A common exclamation indicating surprise, disgust, anger or bewilderment. [Chaz Bufe, The American Heretic's Dictionary]

Religion, religion. Oh, there's a fine line between Saturday night and Sunday morning... Where's the church, who took the steeple, Religion's in the hands of some crazy ass people, Television preachers with bad hair and dimples, The God's honest truth is, it's not that simple. [Fruitcakes, Jimmy Buffett]

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

Armies of Bible scholars and theologians have for centuries found respected employment devising artful explanations of the Bible often not really meaning what it says. [J.S. Bullion, Jr., U.S. freethinker, writer]

The attack on the peasant economy was accompanied by a fierce campaign against the Orthodox Church, the center of traditional peasant culture, which was seen by the Stalinist leadership as one of the main obstacles to collectivization. [Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, ISBN 0-394-58601-8), p. 264, in the chapter Stalin's Revolution, showing that Stalin's motivation for destroying churches was because of their threat to his political plans and not communistic atheism]

Of greater significance was the reconciliation with the Russian Orthodox Church, the traditional bastion of Russian nationalism and the tsarist regime, which now became associated with the cult of Stalin and resumed its role as a state church. [Alan Bullock, Hitler and Stalin: Parallel Lives (Alfred A. Knopf, 1992, ISBN 0-394-58601-8), chapter, Stalin's New Order, pp 906-907, on Stalin's wartime reconciliation with the church, showing that the the atheism of the communist party had nothing to do with the treatment accorded religions or the religious during Stalin's regime]

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

The idea that a good God would send people to a burning Hell is utterly damnable to me. The ravings of insanity! Superstition gone to seed! I don't want to have anything to do with such a God. No avenging Jewish God, no satanic devil, no fiery hell is of any interest to me. [Luther Burbank, address to Science League of San Francisco, Dec. 1924]

All my work in the field of science and research has come through a change in my earlier opinions on religion. Growth is the law of life. Orthodoxy is the death of scientific effort. [Luther Burbank, from Burbank the Infidel by Joseph Lewis]

Do not feed children on maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion; give them nature. [Luther Burbank]

The language of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment is at best opaque, particularly when compared with other portions of the Amendment. Its authors did not simply prohibit the establishment of a state church or a state religion, an area history shows they regarded as very important and fraught with great dangers. Instead they commanded that there should be no law respecting an establishment of religion. A law respecting the proscribed result, that is, the establishment of religion, is not always easily identifiable as one violative of the Clause. A given law might not establish a state religion but nevertheless be one respecting that end in the sense of being a step that could lead to such establishment and hence offend the First Amendment. [Chief Justice Warren Burger, writing for the majority in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 1971]

It is hard to say whether the doctors of law or divinity have made the greater advances in the lucrative business of mystery. [Edmund Burke, A Vindication of Natural Society, 1757]

The popular notion that witches were burned is quite false. In fact, no witches were burned at any time in Salem or anywhere else in America. Nor were witches by any means all women; in fact, they were not all even human beings. Two dogs were actually put to death in Salem for 'witchcraft.' The means of execution in all cases, including the unfortunate dogs, was by hanging, with one exception: an old man named Giles Corey. ...Corey's death was by 'pressing'; heavy stones were placed upon his chest in an attempt to force him to plead [he protected his kin by refusing to plead either way]. ...Nor was the witchcraft hysteria confined to Salem; Andover, Massachusetts, was caught up in it before the affair had run its course, and at least one witch was found in Maine. Salem was not, as a matter of fact, even the first to hang a witch. An old woman in Boston had confessed to witchcraft and been hanged in 1688, four years before the first execution in Salem. [Tom Burnam, The Dictionary of Misinformation, 1975]

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

Science has done more for the development of western civilization in one hundred years than Christianity did in eighteen hundred years. [John Burroughs (1837-1921) American naturalist, _The Light of Day_]

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

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

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself [Sir Richard F. Burton]

There is no Heaven, there is no Hell; These are the dreams of baby minds; Tools of the wily Fetisheer, To fright the fools his cunning blinds. [Richard Francis Burton, The Kasidah]

One religion is as true as another. [Robert Burton (1577-1640), The Anatomy of Melancholy]

It is a common saying that thought is free. A man can never be hindered from thinking whatever he chooses so long as he conceals what he thinks. The working of his mind is limited only by the bounds of his experience and the power of his imagination. But this natural liberty of private thinking is of little value. It is unsatisfactory and even painful to the thinker himself, if he is not permitted to communicate his thoughts to others, and it is obviously of no value to his neighbors. Moreover it is extremely difficult to hide thoughts that have any power over the mind. If a man's thinking leads him to call in question ideas and customs which regulate the behaviour of those about him, to reject the beliefs which they hold, to see better ways of life than those they follow, it is almost impossible for him, if he is convinced of the truth of his own reasoning, not to betray by silence, chance words, or general attitude that he is different from them and does not share their opinions. Some have preferred, like Socrates, some would prefer today, to face death rather than conceal their thoughts. Thus freedom of thought, in any valuable sense, includes freedom of speech. [J.B. Bury, A History of Freedom of Thought, 1913]

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]

God is usually on the side of big squadrons and against little ones. [Roger de Bussy-Rabutin]

People in general are equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced. [Samuel Butler (1835-1902), English author. Samuel Butler's Notebooks (1951, p. 310)]

God: The word that comes after go-cart. [Samuel Butler (1835-1902), English author]

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

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

Not only were a good many of the revolutionary leaders more deist than Christian, the acutal number of church members was rather small. Perhaps as few as five percent of the populace were church members in 1776 [Lynn R. Buzzard, Exec Dir of Christian Legal Society, as quoted in _They Haven't Got a Prayer_, Elgin IL: David C. Cook, 1982, p. 81]

I fear your Lordship has been reading religious publications of the sensational and morbid type. [Donn Byrne, Tale of the Gypsy Horse]

I do not believe in revealed religion -- I will have nothing to do with your immortality; we are miserable enough in this life, without speculating on another....- [Lord Byron (1778-1824), Letter to Rev. Francis Hodgson, 1811]