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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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We're fighting against humanism, we're fighting against liberalism... we are fighting against all the systems of Satan that are destroying our nation today...our battle is with Satan himself. [Jerry Falwell]

The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews. [Rev. Jerry Falwell]

Our goal has been achieved. The Religious Right is solidly in place, and religious conservatives in America are now in for the duration. [Jerry Falwell]

We've literally been inundated since the election [with evangelicals] saying please, please, please crank up the Moral Majority again. [Jerry Falwell]

..If we are going to save America and evangelize the world, we cannot accommodate secular philosophies that are diametrically opposed to Christian truth...We need to pull out all the stops to recruit and train 25 million Americans to become informed pro-moral activists whose voices can be heard in the halls of Congress.
I am convinced that America can be turned around if we will all get serious about the Master's business. It may be late, but it is never too late to do what is right. We need an old-fashioned, God-honoring, Christ-exalting revival to turn American back to God. America can be saved!
[Jerry Falwell, in the _Moral Majority Report_, September 1984.]

I feel most ministers who claim they've heard God's voice are eating too much pizza before they go to bed at night, and it's really an intestinal disorder, not a revelation. [Rev. Jerry Falwell]

I hope I live to see the day, when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be! [Rev. Jerry Falwell, America Can Be Saved, (1979)]

I listen to feminists and all these radical gals -- most of them are failures. They've blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men -- that's their problem. [Reverend Jerry Falwell]

The decline in American pride, patriotism, and piety can be directly attributed to the extensive reading of so-called 'science fiction' by our young people. This poisonous rot about creatures not of God's making, societies of 'aliens' without a good Christian among them, and raw sex between unhuman beings with three heads and God alone knows what sort of reproductive apparatus keeps our young people from realizing the true will of God. [Jerry Falwell, Can Our Young People Find God in the Pages of Trashy Magazines? No, Of Course Not! Reader's Digest, Aug. 1985: 142-157]

Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America. [Jerry Falwell]

AIDS is the wrath of a just God against homosexuals. To oppose it would be like an Israelite jumping in the Red Sea to save one of Pharoah's chariotters. [Jerry Falwell]

If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being. [Jerry Falwell]

I believe that the people of Israel are the chosen people of God. [Jerry Falwell, interview on Cable News Network, 21 Nov 1982]

If god wanted people to believe in him, why'd he invent logic then? [David Feherty, PGA Tour golfer]

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

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

What good is a beautiful church that serves the spiritual needs to someone sleeping on a steam grate? [James Felder]

Real religion should be something that liberates men. But churches don't want free men who can think for themself and find their own divinity within. When a religion becomes organized it is no longer a religious experience but only superstition and estrangement. [Federico Fellini, c.1981 60 Minutes interview by Harry Reasoner]

We will not, therefore, lose our time praying to an imaginary god for things which our own exertions alone can procure. [Francisco Ferrer]

[My] purpose...is is to transform theologians into anthropologists, lovers of God into lovers of man, candidates for the next world into students of this world ... I negate the fantastic hypocracy of theology and religion only in order to affirm the true nature of man. [Feuerbach]

You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here... I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me. [Richard P. Feynman]

The greatest achievement ever made in the cause of human progress is the total and final separation of church and state. If we have nothing else to boast of, we could lay claim with justice that the first among the nations we of this country made it an article of organic law that the relations between man and his maker were a private concern, into which other men have no right to intrude. To measure the stride thus made for the Emancipation of the race, we have only to look back over the centuries that have gone before us, and recall the dreadful persecutions in the name of religion that have filled the world. [David Dudley Field (1805-1894) in describing 'American Progress in Jurisprudence,' as quoted in Anson Phelps Stokes, Church And State In The United States Vol I, p. 37]

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

Atheism is the world of reality, it is reason, it is freedom. Atheism is human concern, and intellectual honesty to a degree that the religious mind cannot begin to understand. And yet it is more than this. Atheism is not an old religion, it is not a new and coming religion, in fact it is not, and never has been, a religion at all. The definition of Atheism is magnificent in its simplicity: Atheism is merely the bed-rock of sanity in a world of madness. [Atheism: An Affirmative View, by Emmett F. Fields]

Prayers never bring anything... They may bring solace to the sap, the bigot, the ignorant, the aboriginal, and the lazy - but to the enlightened it is the same as asking Santa Claus to bring you something for Xmas [W. C. Fields]

I'm looking for loopholes. [W.C. Fields, when caught reading the Bible]

A world where most men prefer sex with little children to sex with grown women, mostly allegedly Christian parents secretly engage in bloody Satanic rituals and every third person has suffered anal, genital and other harassments by demonic dwarfs from outer space makes as much sense - and just as little sense - as a world where the universe is ruled by the ghost of a crucified Jew and George Bush had rational reasons (which no one can now remember) for bombing Iraq again two days before leaving the White House. [Prof. T.F.X. Finnegan, Trinity College, Dublin]

It remains one of the most baffling yet affecting phenomena in modern religious life: A beam of light or a spot of dirt in an otherwise ordinary place is perceived as the image of the Virgin Mary, and suddenly thousands of pilgrims descend on the site, turning it into a makeshift shrine. ...In previous years, it has been a vision in the sky, a glint off a car bumper, a face in a tortilla, a tear on an icon. ...But while church leaders are often loath to debunk a visionary experience, not wanting to damage the faith of thousands, they are also leery of letting such events get out of hand. If someone who claims to have communicated with the divine begins spreading teachings that are contrary to church dogma, bishops have not hesitated to step in. [David Firestone, Newsday, Press Democrat, 23 December 1990]

I see them on the corner Big black Bible in hand
Shoutin' at the people to hear the word of the Lord,
and it's this:
You're just a filthy sinner-man! You can't save yourself, 
but -- Jesus can! 
And then you too can be an angel with a sword -- 
Smite the unrighteous! Make Jesus your goal, 
Sell him your soul, Go throw your mind down the nearest hole.
And the Lord Christ Jesus will Save you from the Devil and Sin,
The Lord Marx Lenin will Save you from the Chairman of the Board,
The Lord Smack Needle will Save you from the pains of life -- 
But who will come and save you from your Lord?
[Leslie Fish, Trinity]

We warn the North that every one of the leading abolitionists is agitating the negro slavery question merely as a means to attain their ulterior ends... a surrender to Socialism and Communism -- to no private property, no church, no law; to free love, free lands, free women and free children. [George Fitzhugh, 1857]

Once upon a time two explorers came upon a clearing in the jungle. In the clearing were growing many flowers and many weeds. One explorer says, Some gardener must tend this plot. The other disagrees, There is no gardener. So, they pitch their tents and set a watch. No gardener.... So they set up a barbed wire fence. They electrify it. They patrol it with bloodhounds... But no shrieks even suggest that some intruder intruder has received a shock. No movements of the wire ever betray an invisible climber. The bloodhounds never give cry. Yet still the Believer is not convinced. But there is a gardener, invisible, intangible, insensible to electric shocks, a gardener who has no scent and makes no sound, a gardener who comes secretly to look after the garden which he loves. At last the Skeptic despairs, But what remains of your original assertion? Just how does what you call an invisible, intangible, eternally elusive gardener differ from an imaginary gardener or even no gardener at all? [Anthony Flew]

Religion...can exercise a severe crippling and inhibiting effect upon the human mind, by fostering irrational anxiety and guilt, and by hampering the free play of the intellect. [Dr J C Flugel]

The Santa myth is one of the most effective means ever devised for intimidating children, eroding their self- esteem, twisting their behavior, warping their values, and slowing their development of critical thinking skills. [Tom Flynn, _The Trouble with Christmas_]

Most humans feel what Paul Kurtz has called the transcendent temptation, the emotional drive to festoon the universe with large-scale meaning.... Secular humanists suspect there is something more gloriously human about *resisting* the religious impulse; about accepting the cold truth, even if that truth is only that the universe is as indifferent to us as we are to it; about facing the existential vacuum in all its horrible majesty; and constructing a life of compassion and exuberance on its brink without relying on the dubious shelter of faith. [Tom Flynn, The Difference a Word Makes,Free Inquiry]

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

Atheists are often charged with blasphemy, but it is a crime they cannot commit... When the Atheist examines, denouces, or satirises the gods, he is not dealing with persons but with ideas. He is incapable of insulting God, for he does not admit the existence of any such being... We attack not a person but a belief, not a being but an idea, not a fact but a fancy. [G.W. Foote, Who are the Blasphemers? in Flowers of Freethought]

There are two things in the world that can never get together- religion & common sense. [George W. Foote]

The exoteric, state-organised section of the Christian Church persecuted and stamped out the esoteric section, destroying every trace of its literature... in striving to eradicate... gnosis from human history. [Dion Fortune, The Mystical Qabalah]

Whatever sympathy I feel towards religions, whatever admiration for some of their adherents, whatever historical or biological necessity I see in them, whatever metaphorical truth, I cannot accept them as credible explanations of reality; and they are incredible to me in proportion to the degree that they require my belief in positive human attributes and intervenient powers in their divinities. [John Fowles, _The Aristos_]

The absurdity of a religious practice may be clearly demonstrated without lessening the numbers of people who indulge in it. [Anatole France]

If 50 million people believe a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing [Anatole France]

[God explaining the doctrine of free will.] In order not to impair human liberty, I will be ignorant of what I know, I will thicken upon my eyes the veils I have pierced, and in my blind clear-sightedness I will let myself be surprised by what I have foreseen. [Anatole France]

Religion has done love a great service by making it a sin. [Anatole France]

The impotence of God is infinite. [Anatole France]

One of the sponsors of the creche was asked about his interest in viewing it while it stood on Scarsdale's Boniface Circle during the christmas season. To my surprise as the questioner, it turned out the he never bothered to go look at the creche at all, let alone to admire or draw inspiration from it. But on reflection, it should not have been so surprising. The creche was not there for him to see or to appreciate for its intrinsic spiritual value in his religious universe. it was there for others, who professed other religions or none, so that the clout of his religious group should be made manifest- above all to any in the sharply divided village who would have preferred that it not be there. [_Faith And Freedom, Religious Liberty In America_, Marvin E. Frankel, retired Federal Judge, p. 61]

Certainly the affirmative pursuit of one's convictions about the ultimate mystery of the universe and man's relation to it is placed beyond the reach of law. Government may not interfere with organized or individual expressions of belief or disbelief. Propagation of belief -- or even of disbelief -- in the supernatural is protected, whether in church or chapel, mosque or synagogue, tabernacle or meeting-house. [Felix Frankfurter, U.S. Supreme Court justice, majority decision, Minersville School District v. Gobitis, 310 U.S. 586, 1940]

In modern Europe, as in ancient Greece, it would seem that even inanimate objects have sometimes been punished for their misdeeds. After the revocation of the edict of Nantes, in 1685, the Protestant chapel at La Rochelle was condemned to be demolished, but the bell, perhaps out of regard for its value, was spared. However, to expiate the crime of having rung heretics to prayers, it was sentenced to be first whipped, and then buried and disinterred, by way of symbolizing its new birth at passing into Catholic hands. Thereafter it was catechized, and obliged to recant and promise that it would never again relapse into sin. Having made this ample and honourable amends, the bell was reconciled, baptized, and given, or rather sold, to the parish of St. Bartholomew. But when the governer sent in the bill for the bell to the parish authorities, they declined to settle it, alleging that the bell, as a recent convert to Catholicism, desired to take advantage of the law lately passed by the king, which allowed all new converts a delay of three years in paying their debts. [Sir James G. Frazer, _Folklore In The Old Testament_]

Neither in my private life nor in my writings, have I ever made a secret of being an out-and-out unbeliever. [Sigmund Freud, letter to Charles Singer]

The more the fruits of knowledge become accessible to men, the more widespread is the decline of religious belief. [Sigmund Freud]

When a man has once brought himself to accept uncritically all the absurdities that religious doctrines put before him and even to overlook the contradictions between them, we need not be greatly suprised at the weakness of his intellect [Sigmund Freud: The Future of an Illusion]

Religion is comparable to a childhood neurosis. [Sigmund Freud, Future of an Illusion]

Civilization has little to fear from educated people and brain-workers. In them the replacement of religious motives for civilized behaviours by other, secular motives, would proceed unobtrusively... [Sigmund Freud, 1927]

\Religious ideas have sprung from the same need as all the other achievements of culture: from the necessity for defending itself against the crushing supremacy of nature. [Sigmund Freud: The Future of an Illusion 1927, p.34]

While the different religions wrangle with one another as to which of them is in possesion of the truth, In our view the truth of religion may be altogether disregarded...if one attempts to assign religion it's place in mans evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity. [Sigmund Freud]

A great deal is already gained with the first step: the humanization of nature. Impersonal forces and destinies cannot be approached... if everywhere in nature there are Beings around us of a kind that we know in our own society.... we can apply the same methods against these violent supermen outside that we employ in our own society; we can try to adjure them, to appease them, to bribe them, and, by so influencing them, we may rob them of a part of their power [Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion]

No, our science is no illusion. But an illusion it would be to suppose that what science cannot give us we can get elsewhere. [Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion]

If one attempts to assign to religion its place in man's evolution, it seems not so much to be a lasting acquisition, as a parallel to the neurosis which the civilized individual must pass through on his way from childhood to maturity. [Sigmund Freud, Moses and Monotheism]

Demons do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity of man. [Sigmund Freud, New York Times Magazine, 6 May 1956]

At the bottom God is nothing more than an exalted father. [Sigmund Freud]

It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be. [Sigmund Freud]

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend Do it in the name of heaven - you can justify it in the end. [From One Tin Soldier]

I turned to speak to God/About the world's despair;/But to make bad matters worse/I found God wasn't there. [Robert Frost (1874-1963)]

The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example. [Rev. R. Furman, D.D., Baptist, of South Carolina]

The careful student of history will discover that Christianity has been of very little value in advancing civilization, but has done a great deal toward retarding it. [Matilda Joslyn Gage, Woman, Church and State]

Do not allow the Church or State to govern your thought or dictate your judgment. [Matilda Joslyn Gage]

Throughout this protracted & disgraceful assault on American womanhood the clergy baptized each new insult and act of injustice in the name of the Christian religion... [Matilda Joslyn Gage]

Those who are enslaved to their sects are not merely devoid of all sound knowledge, but they will never even stop to learn. [Galen]

I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect had intended for us to forgo their use. [Galileo]

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. [Galileo Galilei]

They know that it is human nature to take up causes whereby a man may oppress his neighbor, no matter how unjustly. ... Hence they have had no trouble in finding men who would preach the damnability and heresy of the new doctrine from the very pulpit... [Galileo Galilei, 1615]

The doctrine that the earth is neither the center of the universe nor immovable, but moves even with a daily rotation, is absurd, and both philosophically and theologically false, and at the least an error of faith. [Catholic Church's decision against Galileo Galilei]

I think that in the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments, and demonstrations. [Galileo Galilei, The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies]

To command the professors of astronomy to confute their own observations is to enjoin an impossibility, for it is to command them not to see what they do see, and not to understand what they do understand, and to find what they do not discover. [Galileo Galilei, The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies]

It vexes me when they would constrain science by the authority of the Scriptures, and yet do not consider themselves bound to answer reason and experiment. [Galileo Galilei, The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies]

It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved. [Galileo Galilei, The Authority of Scripture in Philosophical Controversies]

Having been admonished by this Holy Office [the Inquisition] entirely to abandon the false opinion that the Sun was the center of the universe and immovable, and that the Earth was not the center of the same and that it moved... I abjure with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, I curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and generally all and every error and sect contrary to the Holy Catholic Church. [Galileo Galilei, Recantation, 22 June 1633]

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

I could prove God statistically. [George Gallup]

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind, and a step that travels unlimited roads. [John Galt, in Ayn Rand's _Atlas Shrugged_]

I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians, Your christians are so unlike your christ [Mahatma Gandhi]

The most fatal blow to progress is slavery of the intellect. The most sacred right of humanity is the right to think, and next to the right to think is the right to express that thought without fear. [Helen H. Gardner, _Men, Women and Gods_]

One of my less pleasant chores when I was young was to read the Bible from one end to the other. Reading the Bible straight through is at least 70 percent discipline, like learning Latin. But the good parts are, of course, simply amazing. God is an extremely uneven writer, but when He's good, nobody can touch Him. [John Gardner, NYT Book Review, Jan 1983]

Let me confess at once that I find something profoundly impious, almost blasphemous, about setting limits of any sort on the power of God to bring things about in any manner he chooses. If God creates a world of particles and waves, dancing in obedience to mathematical and physical laws, who are we to say that he cannot make use of those laws to cover the surface of a small planet with living creatures? A god whose creation is so imperfect that he must be continually adjusting it to make it work properly seems to me a god of relatively low order, hardly worthy of any worship. [Martin Gardner, _The Ambidextrous Universe_ pg.136]

The divorce between church and state ought to be absolute. It ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no church property anywhere, in any state, or in any nation, should be exempt from taxation, for if you exempt the church property of any church organization, to that extent you impose tax upon the whole community. [US Pres. James A. Garfield, address to Congress]

Man created God, not God, man [Guiseppi Garibaldi]

The priest is the personification of falsehood. [Guiseppi Garibaldi]

...the only right a sodomite has in a Chrisian Theocracy is the right to die. [Dan Gentry, of Christian Research]

All in all, I can't say I believe in god. If, in fact, I ever find out that he does indeed exist, I think I'll stay away from him, because if he's responsible for half the things he gets credit for, he's got to be one mean son of a bitch. [Peter Gether, _A Cat Abroad_, pp. 89-90]

The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity; the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of a military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion; and the soldiers' pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. [Edward Gibbons, _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_]

The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true; by the philosopher as equally false; and by the magistrate as equally useful. [Edward Gibbons]

Of the three Popes, John the Twenty-third was the first victim; he fled and was brought back a prisoner; the most scandalous charges were suppressed; the Vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest. [Gibbons, _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_]

The Roman Catholic motto is ourselves alone for fellow Roman Catholics. We must defeat all heretics (non-Roman Catholics) at the ballot box. The holy father states that negative tactics are fatal. The demands of the holy father (the pope) are that the public services should be 100% Roman Catholic soon. Care must be taken that no suspicion may be raised when Roman Catholics are secretly given more government jobs than Protestants, Jews, and other heretics. [Australian Archbishop Gilroy, 1940]

The activities engaged in by the Christian Coalition...were a vital part of why we had a revolution at the polls on November 8, 1994. [Newt Gingrich]

The notion of religious liberty is that you cannot be forced to participate in a religious ceremony that's not of your choosing simply because you're out-voted. [Ira Glasser, Exec. Dir.of ACLU, 1995]

The unnatural, that too is natural. [Goethe]

The happy do not believe in miracles. [Goethe]

Vaccination is a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made with Noah after the flood.... Vaccination never saved human life. It does not prevent smallpox. [_The Golden Age_, (predecessor to _Awake!_), Feb. 4, 1931 (Jehovah's Witnesses)]

Religion is a superstition that originated in man's mental ability to solve natural phenomena. The Church is an organized institution that has always been a stumbling block to progress. [Emma Goldman, What I Believe]

However, on religious issures there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in A, B,C, and D. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism. [Senator Barry Goldwater]

I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell's ass. [Senator Barry Goldwater]

If there is a God, atheism must strike Him as less of an insult than religion. [Edmond and Jules de Goncourt]

'God works in many ways his wonders to perform.' But He's not a skillful mechanic. A man drives over a cliff and 'by a miracle' he only breaks his back. It would be more divine if he were a better driver and stayed on the road. [Paul Goodman]

i don't think evolution should be taught as a fact but as a theory that some people believe in. i don't really know about this though, i haven't thought about it really but there's no way it should be taught as the truth. [Mark Goodwin, on talk.origins, 10/17/1994]

What we have here is religious bigotry, and it represents the same insidious type of exclusion that I experienced growing up black in Dixie. [Morgan State prof. Stefan Goodwin, on religious convocation ceremonies, Washington Post, August 17, 1994]

I believe in serving God and trying to understand and obey God's will for our lives. Cynics may wave the idea away, saying God is a myth, useful in providing comfort to the ignorant and in keeping them obedient. I know in my heart - beyond all arguing and beyond any doubt - that the cynics are wrong. [Vice Pres. Al Gore's commencement address at Harvard, 1994]

Creation science has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false. What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectual heritage -- good teaching -- than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise? [Stephen Jay Gould, The Skeptical Inquirer]

The argument that the literal story of Genesis can qualify as science collapses on three major grounds: the creationists' need to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's history into the biblical span of a few thousand years; their unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all fossils are products of Noah's flood; and their reliance upon distortion, misquote, half-quote, and citation out of context to characterize the ideas of their opponents. [Stephen Jay Gould, The Verdict on Creationism, The Skeptical Inquirer, Winter 87/88, pg. 186]

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

When people learn no tools of judgment and merely follow their hopes, the seeds of political manipulation are sown. [Stephen Jay Gould]

God is not all that exists. God is all that does not exist. [Remy de Gourmont (1858-1915) French novelist, critic, philosopher]

I think when a person has been found guilty of rape he should be castrated. That would stop him pretty quick. [Billy Graham, 1974]

Nobody ever told us you had to be religious. [Nancy Grambo, whose son Buzz Grambo was kicked out of the BSA Southern Maryland Troop 427, for his lack of religious belief]

Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church and the private schools, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separated. [Ulysses S. Grant, speech to the Army of the Tennessee, Des Moines,Iowa, 1875]

I would suggest the taxation of all property equally whether church or corporation. [Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)]

Christs soldiers fight best on their knees [Brig. General Green, ACMTC]

It is the position of some theists that their right to freedom OF religion is abridged when they are not allowed to violate the Rationalists right to freedom FROM religion. [James T. Green, jgreen@trumpet.calpoly.edu]

Heresy is only another word for freedom of thought. [Graham Greene, 1981]

Faith is the antithesis of proof. [NY State Supreme Court Justice Edward J. Greenfield, 1995]

This is not an attack on the First Amendment rights of people who believe in faith healing. We just don't believe the First Amendment allows them to inflict their views upon their children and let them die from such things as infections, when one quick trip to a doctor would cure the problem. Children should not have to die to uphold the religious beliefs of their parents. [Scott Greenwood, Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD)]

When you arrive in a city, summon the bishops, clergy and people, and preach a solemn sermon on faith; then select certain men of good repute to help you in trying the heretics and suspects denounced before your tribunal. All who on examination are found guilty or suspected of heresy must promise to absolutely obey the commands of the Church. If they refuse, you must prosecute them. [Pope Gregory I, order to the Dominicans on their duties in the Inquisition, 1231]

I don't care anything about the separation of church and state [Rev. Ron Griffin, pres. of Detroit Urban League, on Gov. Engler's plan to use churches to deliver state services. Oct 18, 1995, Detroit Free Press, article by Dawson Bell]

In fact, if Christ himself stood in my way, I, like Nietzsche, would not hesitate to squish him like a worm. [Che Guevara]

When the temptation to masturbate is strong, yell Stop! to those thoughts as loudly as you can in your mind. Then recite a portion of the Bible or sing a hymn. [Mormon _Guide to Self-Control_]

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

School vouchers as proposed by Reagan and Bush do not represent free market competition. The reason is fairly simple. The source of the money is not the consumers. The vouchers are paid for by tax dollars. School vouchers are an attempt to breach the separation of church and state by allowing individuals who are not constrained by the prohibition against Congress passing laws respecting religion to spend tax dollars for the benefit of the religion of their choice.
I have no objection to parents sending their children to the school of their choice. The problem with public funding of schools is that it is an inherently collectivist system. The restraints that have been placed on what public schools must teach and what they are prohibited from teaching protect us to a limited extend from the full magnitude of the damage that they have the potential to do if used as a propaganda tool.
I have never granted that anyone else rightfully has the freedom to choose how my money will be spent. The only difference between that and slavery is that the masters do not have the authority to beat, sell, or kill me if I choose not to work. Send your children to schools that brainwash them any way that you wish. But do not insist on paying for it with money taken from me by taxation. [D. Dale Gulledge (ddg@cci.com)]

It is probably safe to say that since the late 1960s, nearly every major religious group in the country has tried to get some offending TV material altered or banned. So has every racial minority group and almost every important national-ethnic group. [Max Gunther, in _TV Guide_ article, February 9, 1974]

We must conduct research and then accept the results. If they don't stand up to experimentation, Buddha's own words must be rejected. [Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, _Time_ April 11, 1988]

I believe that at every level of society--familial, tribal, national and international--the key to a happier and more succesful world is the growth of compassion. We do not need to become religious, nor do we need to believe in an ideology. All that is necessary is for each of us to develop our good human qualities. I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness. It is the practice of compassion. [Tenzin Gyatso, The XIVth Dalai Lama]

As soon as you are willing to discard observational data because it conflicts with religion, you are giving up any hope of ever really understanding the universe. As soon as you pick religion as the touchstone of reality, then we have to start discussing how one can demonstrate the correctness of one religion over another when different *religions* disagree. [Wilson Heydt (whheydt@PacBell.COM)]

The answer is simple: kill the heretics. History shows us that this is the actual solution that competing religions apply -- trial by combat or trial by ordeal. God is the final arbiter. What a sad waste of human potential it has proven to be. [Paul Hager (hagerp@iuvax.cs.indiana.edu)]

Humans can find a pattern in just about anything, and we must find such a pattern if we are to comprehend things. Mightn't people be mistaking this order imposed by the human mind for order caused by God? [J J Hahn (hahn0009@gold.tc.umn.edu) on alt.atheism]

Religion is still parasitic in the interstices of our knowledge which have not yet been filled. Like bed-bugs in the cracks of walls and furniture, miracles lurk in the lacunae of science. The scientist plasters up these cracks in our knowledge; the more militant Rationalist swats the bugs in the open. Both have their proper sphere and they should realize that they are allies. [John Haldane, Science and Life: Essays of a Rationalist]

Scientific education and religious education are incompatible. The clergy have ceased to interfere with education at the advanced state, with which I am directly concerned, but they have still got control of that of children. This means that the children have to learn about Adam and Noah instead of about Evolution; about David who killed Goliath, instead of Koch who killed cholera; about Christ's ascent into heaven instead of Montgolfier's and Wright's. Worse than that, they are taught that it is a virtue to accept statements without adequate evidence, which leaves them a prey to quacks of every kind in later life, and makes it very difficult for them to accept the methods of thought which are successful in science. [J.B.S. Haldane]

The influences that have lifted the race to a higher moral level are education, freedom, leisure, the humanizing tendency of a better-supplied and more interesting life. In a word, science and liberalism- the two forces, fundamentally skeptical, that we have seen continuously at work in human progress- have accomplished the very things for which religion claims the credit. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Outline of Bunk]

After all, the principle objection which a thinking man has to religion is that religion is not true -- and is not even sane. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

The fear of gods and devils is never anything but a pitiable degradation of the human mind. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

This question is put to Christians who believe that the Bible unerringly describes God and reports the commands and the characteristics of God. If there is a God, it is natural that we should wish to be quite correct in our understanding of that God's nature. So, we ask: Can and does God lie?
Looking this point up in the mazes of Holy Writ, we discover confusion. In Numbers xxiii, 19, we are told: God is not a man, that he should lie. This is put even mere strongly in Hebrews vi, 18, where we read: It was impossible for God to lie.
But do these citations settle the matter? Ah, no, we are upset in, our calculations the moment we turn to 2 Thessalonians ii, 11, where we read: For this cause God shall send them strong delusions, that they should believe a lie. And in I Kings xxii, 23, God is thus reported: Now, therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil concerning thee.
Can God lie? Can the Bible lie? Anyway, there is a mistake somewhere. The big mistake is in entertaining the idea of a God.
[E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

When we read that some minor scientist (usually a skilled technical worker but not a thinker in science) has found God somewhere, we are not excited. We know this is only a form of words, meaning only that the scientific worker, turning away from science, has rediscovered the stale old assumption of theology, There is a God. We find invariably (as we should expect) that there is no satisfactory definition or description or identification or location or proof of a God. God is merely a word, whether it is used by a preacher or a mystic in a laboratory. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

The fact that millions of people still believe in a hell of eternal punishment for sinners and unbelievers is a drastic reminder of the need for persistent, progressive education of the masses. We have as yet only begun to realize the possibilities of progress. But science, rationalism and humanism have pointed the way, they have taken the first great steps, and we must keep right ahead on the highway of modernism. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Don't take our word for it. Read the Bible itself. Read the statements of preachers. And you will understand that God is the most desperate character, the worst villain in all fiction. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Commonly, those who have professed the strongest motives of love of a God have demonstrated the deepest hatred toward human joy and liberty. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Theism tells men that they are the slaves of a God. Atheism assures men that they are the investigators and users of nature. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Belief in gods and belief in ghosts is identical. God is taken as a more respectable word than ghost, but it means no more. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Religion, throughout the greater part of its history, has been a form of holy terrorism. It still aims its terrors at men, but modern realism and the spread of popular enlightenment has progressively robbed those terrors of their old-fashioned effectiveness. Wherever men take religion very seriously -- wherever there is devout belief -- there is also the inseparable feeling of fear. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Christian theology has taught men that they should submit with unintelligent resignation to the worst real evils of life and waste their time in consideration of imaginary evils in the life to come. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Priests and preachers have tricked, terrified and exploited mankind. They have lied for glory of God. They have collected immense financial tribute for the glory of God. Whatever may be said about the character of individuals among the clergy, the character of the profession as a whole has been distinctly and drastically anti-human. And of course the most sincere among the clergy have been the most dangerous, for they have been willing to go to the most extreme lengths of intolerance for the glory of God. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Perhaps religion might be dismissed as unimportant if it were merely theoretical. If it were merely theoretical. It is difficult, however, if not impossible to separate theory and practice. Religion, to be sure, is full of inconsistencies between theory and practice; but there is and has always been sternly and largely a disposition of religion to enforce its theory in the conduct of life; religion has meant not simply dogmatism in abstract thinking but intolerance in legal and social action. Religion interferes with life and, being false, it necessarily interferes very much to the detriment of the sound human interests of life. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

For centuries men have fought in the most unusual and devious ways to prove the existence of a God. But evidently a God, if there were a God, has been hiding out. He has never been discovered or proved. One would think a God, if any, should have revealed himself unmistakably. Isn't this non-appearance of a God (the non- appearance of a God in the shape of a single bit of evidence for his existence) a pretty, strong, sufficient proof of non-existence? [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

A God of love, a God of wrath, a God of jealousy, a God of bigotry, a God of vulgar tirades, a God of cheating and lying -- yes, the Christian God is given all of these characteristics, and isn't it a wretched mess to be offered to men in this twentieth century? The beginning of wisdom, the beginning of humanism, the beginning of progress is the rejection of this absurd, extravagantly impossible myth of a God. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Look at the God idea from any angle, and it is foolish, it doesn't make sense, but extravagantly proposes more mysteries than it assumes to explain. For instance, is it sensible that a real God would leave mankind in such confusion and debate about his character and his laws?
There have been many alleged revelations of God. There have, indeed, been many Gods as there have been many Bibles. And in different ages and different lands an endless game of guessing and disputing has gone on. Men have argued blindly about God. They still argue -- just as blindly.
And if there is a God, we must conclude that he has willfully left men in the dark. He has not wanted men to know about him. Assuming his existence, then it would follow that he would have perfect ability to give a complete and universal explanation of himself, so that all men could see and know without further uncertainty. A real God could exhibit himself clearly to all men and have all men following his will to the last letter without a doubt or a slip.
But when we examine even cursorily the many contradictory revelations of God, the many theories and arguments, the many and diverse principles of piety, we perceive that all this talk about God his been merely the natural floundering of human ignorance.
There has been no reality in the God idea which men could discover and agree upon. The spectacle has been exactly what we should expect when men deal with theories of something which does not exist.
Hidden Gods -- no Gods -- all we see is man's poor guesswork. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

... the Bible was a collection of books written at different times by different men -- a strange mixture of diverse human documents -- and a tissue of irreconcilable notions. Inspired? The Bible is not even intelligent. It is not even good craftsmanship, but is full of absurdities and contradictions. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

A sober, devout man will interpret God's will soberly and devoutly.
A fanatic, with bloodshot mind, will interpret God's will fanatically.
Men of extreme, illogical views will interpret God's will in eccentric fashion.
Kindly, charitable, generous men will interpret God's will according to their character.
[E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Remember that millions of Christians still base their belief in a God upon the words of the Bible, which is a collection of the most flabbergasting fictions ever imagined -- by men, too, who had lawless but very poor and crude imagination. Ingersoll and numerous other critics have shot the Christian holy book full of holes. It is worthless and proves nothing concerning the existence of a God. The idea of a God is worthless and unprovable. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Talk of God leads by a direct road to the conclusion of atheism. The only sensible attitude is to dismiss the idea of God -- to get it out of the way of more important ideas. The wide dissemination of this intelligent atheistic attitude is one of the leading features of any program of popular education which is completely worthy of the name. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

With its fears and superstitions and prejudices, religion poisons the mind of any one who believes in it -- and even the best man, under the influence of religion, cannot reason wholesomely. Atheism, on the contrary, opens the mind to the clean winds of truth and establishes a fresh-air sanity. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Nobody has ever taken notable pains to locate the legendary heaven; but probably that is because nobody ever thought seriously of going to a heaven. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

A few weeks ago a hurricane struck the little religious community of Bethany, Okla. A number of pious citizens of the little town were killed. Houses were destroyed -- homes in which prayer and devotion reigned. A church was demolished.
Only a few miles away is the large, wicked city of Oklahoma City -- at least we can certainly assume that, from the religious viewpoint, many sinners live in Oklahoma City. Assuming also (which is a great deal riskier assumption) that there is a God, why should he perpetrate this grim and sardonic joke? The sinners in the big city were left untouched. The godly folk in the little nearby village were punished by the evidences of God's wrath. How do the religious people interpret this calamity? Often and often they explain such calamities as flood, fire and storm by saying that God is angry at the sinful people and is warning them or destroying them for their sins. Was the hurricane in Bethany a sign of the love of God for his faithful worshipers?
And God missed an even better chance, if there were a God who wished to punish rebels against his majesty and inscrutability. Just a few hundred miles north and east of Bethany, Okla., is Girard -- the home of The American Freeman: and The Debunker and The Joseph McCabe Magazine and the Little Blue Books -- the center of American free thought where an enormous stream of atheistic literature and. godless modern knowledge pours forth to enlighten the masses. If there were a God directing hurricanes and he wanted to really get an uncompromising foe, whom he has no chance of persuading in the ordinary way, it would have been a devastating stroke for him to send his howling punitive blasts through the town of Girard. It would be a more remarkable suggestion of the avenging act of a God if only the Haldeman-Julius plant were destroyed and the rest of the town left unhurt -- and, as good neighbors, we shouldn't wish the Christian and respectable, people of Girard nor those who are respectable and not so Christian nor those who are Christian and not exactly respectable to suffer from our proximity and our propaganda of atheism.
Is God a joker? No -- let us whisper it -- the joke is that there is no God. Hurricanes come upon the just and the unjust, the pious and the impious. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

To be true to the mythical conception of a God is to be false to the interests of mankind. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Credulity is not a crime for the individual -- but it is clearly a crime as regards the race. Just look at the actual consequences of credulity. For years men believed in the foul superstition of witchcraft and many poor people suffered for this foolish belief. There was a general belief in angels and demons, flying familiarly, yet skittishly through the air, and that belief caused untold distress and pain and tragedy. The most holy Catholic church (and, after it, the various Protestant sects) enforced the dogma that heresy was terribly sinful and punishable by death. Imagine -- but all you need do is to recount -- the suffering entailed by that belief.
When one surveys the causes and consequences of credulity, it is apparent that this easy believer in the impossible, this readiness toward false and fanatical notions, has been indeed a most serious and major crime against humanity. The social life in any age, it may be said, is about what its extent of credulity guarantees. In an extremely credulous age, social life will be cruel and dark and treacherous. in a skeptical age, social life will be more humane. We assert that the philosophy of humanity -- that the best interests of the human race -- demand a strong statement and a repeated, enlightening statement of atheism. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Is God fair? The Christians say that God damns forever anyone who is skeptical about truth of bunkistic religion as revealed unto the holy haranguers. What this means is that a God, if any, punishes a man for using his reason.
If there is a God in existence, reasons should be available for his existence. Assuming that such a precious thing as a man's eternal future depends on his belief in a God, then the materials for that belief should be overwhelming and not at all doubtful.
Yet here is a man whose reason makes it impossible for him to believe in a God. He sees no evidence of such an entity. He finds all the arguments weak and worthless. He doubts and he denies.
Then is a God fair in visiting upon such a skeptic the penalty for his inevitable intellectual attitude? The intelligent man refuses to believe fairy tales. Can a God blame him? If so, then a God is not as fair as an ordinarily decent man. And fairness, we think, is more important than piety. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

Faith, said St. Paul, is the evidence of things not seen. We should elaborate this definition by adding that faith is the assertion of things for which there is not a particle of evidence and of things which are incredible. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Meaning Of Atheism]

The church has contributed nothing to civilization. It has progressed somewhat, and it has become a little more decent, in reflection of the movements of civilization that have taken place outside of the church and usually in the face of the strong opposition of the church. But the church has always resisted the process of civilization. It has struggled to the last ditch, by fair means and foul, to preserve as long as it could the vestiges of ancient and medieval theology, with all the puerile moralities and harsh customs and medieval styles of belief. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

Why should an atheist pay more taxes so that a church which he despises should pay no taxes? That's a fair question. How can the apologists for the church exemption answer it? [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

The churches beg -- and if we don't give them money, why, they take it anyway, forcibly, by means of this unjust state tax exemption. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

The churches can well afford to pay fair taxation. But supposing they couldn't. Would not that be a very significant evidence that the churches were not really wanted? [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

How can a preacher talk with a straight face about political graft? He is, himself, profiting by one of the most notorious political grafts in this country. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

Why should the residence of a preacher be untaxed? Useful citizens must pay taxes on their homes. Yet the Preacher -- actually and notoriously the least useful member of the community -- lives in a tax-free dwelling. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

Would you tax God? asks a defender of church tax exemption. Well, if there were a God he should be able to pay his own way and support his own business. If not, then he should do like other business men and close up shop. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

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

It is an absurd fiction that the churches are useful. They are nothing more than propaganda centers for superstitious faiths and doctrines. Church members have a right to believe in and propagate their various doctrines. But they should pay every item of the cost, of this propaganda, including fair taxation for all church property. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

There can be no perfect freedom unless the church and state are separated. But the church and state are not separated in America so long as the state grants a subsidy to the church in the form of tax exemption. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

Is a church too small and too poor to pay taxes? That means that not enough people want the church seriously enough to pay for its upkeep. Then, why should such a church exist? Why should atheists, agnostics and non-churchgoers be forced to maintain such a useless, unwanted church by granting it tax exemption? [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

Martyrs have been sincere. And so have tyrants. Wise men have been sincere. And so have fools. [E. Haldeman-Julius, The Church Is a Burden, Not a Benefit, In Social Life]

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

We tend to scoff at the beliefs of the ancients. But we can't scoff at them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me. [Jack Handey, Deep Thoughts]

The god who is reputed to have created fleas to keep dogs from moping over their situation must also have created fundamentalists to keep rationalists from getting flabby. Let us be duly thankful for out blessings. [Garrett Hardin, in Science and Creationism, ed. Ashley Montague]

I have been looking for god for fifty years and I think if he had existed I should have discovered him. [Thomas Hardy]

The Puritan through Life's sweet garden goes To pluck the thorn and cast away the rose. [Kenneth Hare]

Nothing could be more anti-Biblical than letting women vote. [Editorial, Harper's Magazine, November 1853]

Religion; humanity's greatest folly, greatest curse. [Kevin Harris]

...Jesus was not as peaceful as commonly believed, and that his actual teachings did not represent a fundamental break with the tradition of Jewish military messianism. A strong pro-zealot-bandit and anti-Roman bias probably pervaded his original ministry. The decisive break with the Jewish messianic tradition probably came about only after the fall of Jerusalem, when the original politico-military components in Jesus' teachings were purged by Jewish Christians living in Rome and other cities of the empire as an adaptive response to the Roman victory. [Marvin Harris, anthropologist, _Cows, Pigs, Wars and Witches_]

Jesus is just a word I use to swear with [Richard Harris]

The barbaric religions of primitive worlds hold not a germ of scientific fact, though they claim to explain all. Yet if one of these savages has all the logical ground for his beliefs taken away, he doesn't stop believing. He then calls his mistaken beliefs 'faith' because he knows they are right. And he knows they are right because he has faith. [Harry Harrison, Jason dinAlt character, Deathworld, Berkeley Medallion Edition, 1976]

Mark's declaration that Jesus came from the dispersion (nazareth), meaning the worldwide community of Jews outside Judaea (equivalent to diaspora), was misinterpreted by Matthew and Luke to mean that he came from a city called Nazareth [to fulfill prophesy]. In fact the term nazarite, or nazoraios, had nothing to do with any city of Nazareth, since no such place existed until the fifth century CE when one was built by a Christian Emperor to whom the nonexistence of Jesus' alleged hometown was an embarrassment. (Although the site of Nazareth was occupied in the first century, there is no evidence of any village named Nazareth earlier than the fifth century....) [William Harwood, _Mythology's Last Gods: Yahweh and Jesus_ (Prometheus), p. 260]

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

God not only plays dice. He sometimes throws the dice where they cannot be seen. [Stephen Hawking]

What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary. [Stephen W. Hawking, Der Spiegel, 1989]

My parents, though they had never formally left the ancestral Roman Catholic church, held no religious beliefs. Though they were no longer fiercely anti-religious (as I suspect my paternal grandfather was, along with so many of the scientists of his generation), all positive dogma was for them a superstition of the past. They never took me to church. And though as part of my general education I was, soon after I had begun to read for pleasure, given a child's Bible, it disappeared mysteriously when I got too interested in it....

By the age of fifteen, I had convinced myself that nobody could give a reasonable explanation of what he meant by the word 'God' and that it was therefore as meaningless to assert a belief as to assert a disbelief in God.

Though this, in a general way, has remained my position ever since, I have always avoided unnecessarily to offend other people holding religious belief by displaying my lack of such belief, or even stating my lack of belief, if I was not challenged. [From _Hayek on Hayek: An Autobiographical Dialogue_, edited by Stephen Kresge and Leif Wenar (University of Chicago Press, 1994), pp. 40-41. F.A. Hayek is considered the foremost defender of capitalism in the 20th century]

If judged only by the results that challenge the laws of probabilities, then the power of prayer is nil. [Judith Hayes, U.S. freethinker, author]

The Hell Law says that Hell is reserved exclusively for them that believe in it. Further, the lowest Rung in Hell is reserved for them that believe in it on the supposition that they'll go there if they don't. [HBT, The Gospel According to Fred 3:1]

I haven't heard anyone saying that she's blackmailing anyone. I think she just wants to see if our freedom of religious expression is really protected or is the court supposed to cater to the whims of the masses who want to shop and open stores on Sunday or any other religious holiday. [Tammy Rae Healy]

God is, as it were, the sewer into which all contradictions flow [G.W.F. Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy]

A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The first best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father. But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional male-female roles. This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is 'whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes'. (Brown and Bohn, 1989; Finkelhor, 1986; Fortune, 1983; Goldstein et al, 1973; Van Leeuwen, 1990). (emphasis in original) [Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches, by Carolyn Holderread Heggen, Herald Press, Scotdale, PA, 1993 p. 73]

As Pastor X slips out of bed He puts a neat disguise on That halo round his priestly head Is merely his horizon. [Piet Hein, 1966]

God will forgive me; thats his business. [Heinrich Heine]

What Christian love cannot do is effected by a common hatred. [Heinrich Heine]

Christ rode on an ass, but now asses ride on Christ. [Heine]

In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in 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. [Heinrich Heine, Gedanken und Einfalle, Volume 10]

The most ridiculous concept ever perpetrated by H. Sapiens is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of the Universes, wants the sacharrine adoration of his creations, that he can be persuaded by their prayers, and becomes petulant if he does not recieve this flattery. Yet this ridiculous notion, without one real shred of evidence to bolster it, has gone on to found one of the oldest, largest and least productive industries in history. [Lazarus Long, from Time Enough For Love by R. Heinlein]

A religion is sometime a source of happiness, and I would not deprive anyone of happiness. But it is a comfort appropriate for the weak, not for the strong. The great trouble with religion - any religion - is that a religionist, having accepted certain propositions by faith, cannot thereafter judge those propositions by evidence. One may bask at the warm fire of faith or choose to live in the bleak certainty of reason- but one cannot have both. [Robert A. Heinlein, from Friday]

History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it. [Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long]

One man's theology is another man's belly laugh. [Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long]

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

God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills. [Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long]

Of all the strange crimes that humanity has legislated out of nothing, blasphemy is the most amazing - with obscenity and indecent exposure fighting it out for second and third place. [Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long]

Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other sins are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful--just stupid.) [Robert A. Heinlein]

If you pray hard enough, you can make water run uphill. How hard? Why, hard enough to make water run uphill, of course! [Robert A. Heinlein]

Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. [Robert A. Heinlein, JOB: A Comedy of Justice]

Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything... just give him time to rationalize it. [Robert A. Heinlein, JOB: A Comedy of Justice]

There is an old, old story about a theologian who was asked to reconcile the Doctrine of Divine Mercy with the doctrine of infant damnation. 'The Almighty,' he explained, 'finds it necessary to do things in His official and public capacity which in His private and personal capacity He deplores. [Robert A. Heinlein (1907 - 1988) _Methuselah's Children_ ASF c.1941]

God split himself into a myriad parts that he might have friends. This may not be true, but it sounds good, and is no sillier than any other theology. [Lazarus Long, _Time Enough for Love_ by Robert Heinlein] --------- ...little children who have begun to live in their mothers' womb and have there died, or who, having just been born, have passed away from the world without the sacrament of holy baptism... must be punished by the eternal torture of undying fire. [quoted in _Hell, A Christian Doctrine_]

What the hell are you getting so upset about? I thought that you didn't believe in God?
I don't, she sobbed, bursting into tears, but the God I don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God. He's not the mean and stupid God you make him out to be. [Joseph Heller]

Don't tell me God works in mysterious ways. There's nothing so mysterious about it. He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about- a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverance can you have for a Supreme being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was going through that warped, evil, scatalogical mind of His when He robbed old people of the ability to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain....
Who created the dangers? Oh, He was really being charitable to us when He gave us pain! Why couldn't He have used a doorbell instead to notify us, or one of His celestial choirs? Or a system of red and blue neon tubes right in the middle of each person's forehead?....
They certainly look beautiful now, writhing in agony or stupified with morphine, don't they? What a colossal, immortal blunderer! When you consider the opportunity and power He had to really do a job and then look at the stupid, ugly little mess He made of it instead, His sheer incompetence is almost staggering. It's obvious He never met a payroll. Why,no self-respecting businessman would hire a bungler like Him as even a shipping clerk!
[Yossarian to Lt. Scheisskopf's wife, _Catch-22_, Joseph Heller]

A man who believes that he eats his God we do not call mad; yet, a man who says he is Jesus Christ, we call mad. [Helvetius]

It never ceases to amaze me at how many religions depend upon circumsized penises. [Dawn Henderson]

Being unable to reason is not a positive character trait outside religion. [Dewey Henize]

Paris vaut une messe. [Paris is worth a mass] [Henry of Navare, who gained control of Paris just by converting to Catholicism and renouncing his Protestant affiliations]

I'm an atheist, and that's *it*. I belive there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people. [Katherine Hepburn]

A blow to the head will confuse a man's thinking, a blow to the foot has no such effect, this cannot be the result of an immaterial soul. [Heraclitus, 500 BC]

The universal cosmic process was not created by any god or man; it forever was, is, and forever will be, an Everliving Fire. [Heraclitus of Ephesus, 500 BC]

When politics and religion are intermingled, a people is suffused with a sense of invulnerability, and gathering speed in their forward charge, they fail to see the cliff ahead of them. [Frank Herbert, _Dune_]

Organized Religion is like Organized Crime; it preys on peoples' weakness, generates huge profits for its operators, and is almost impossible to eradicate. [Mike Hermann (hermann@cs.ubc.ca)]

We should do unto others as we would want them to do unto us. If I were an unborn fetus I would want others to use force to protect me, therefore using force against abortionists is *justifiable homocide*. [Pro-Life doctor killer Paul Hill]

Death opens her cavernous mouth before you. Thousands upon thousands of children are consumed by her every day. You have the ability to save some from being tossed into her gaping mouth. As hundreds are being rushed into eternity, other questions shrink in comparison to the weighty question, 'Should we defend born and unborn children with force?' _Take defensive action!_ [Rev. Paul J. Hill, abortion doctor murderer]

Are there any heinous sins being committed today that could again fan the flames of God's righteous anger to the scorching point? Is there any need in today's world for men of the stamp of Phinehas? Could the bold daring of Cozbi and Zimri in parading before Moses as he wept over sin have any modern parallels? The righteous zeal of Phinehas did not permit him to stay his hand long enough to even ask Moses or the church leaders of the wisdom of his action. If any similar zeal be found among us today, occasion to exercise it will not be lacking. [Paul J. Hill, _Should We Defend Born And Unborn Children With Force?_, 1993, Defensive Action, Pensacola, FL, p. 4]

There is no question that deadly force should be used to protect innocent life. [Paul Hill, leader of Defensive Action]

Saints fly only in the eyes of their disciples. [Hindu proverb]

The Peddler
In the zocalo a one-eyed salesman offers me a gourd wrinkled dried with the face of God painted on it in cochineal & indigo
God is dead, I tell him.
You are right, he answers, but it is only one peso.
I shake the gourd; the seeds rattle like thoughts in a dry brain.
O unfortunate country! [George Hitchcock]

I believe today that I am acting in the sense of the Almighty Creator. By warding off the Jews I am fighting for the Lord's work. [Adolph Hitler, Speech, Reichstag, 1936]

There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience, Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness, Sacrifice, and love of the Fatherland. [Message, signed Hitler, painted on walls of concentration camps; Life, August 21, 1939]

Woman's world is her husband, her family, her children and her home. We do not find it right when she presses into the world of men. [Adolph Hitler, quoted in Lucy Komisar, The New Feminism]

Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people. [Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933]

I have followed [the Church] in giving our party program the character of unalterable finality, like the Creed. The Church has never allowed the Creed to be interfered with. It is fifteen hundred years since it was formulated, but every suggestion for its amendment, every logical criticism, or attack on it, has been rejected. The Church has realized that anything and everything can be built up on a document of that sort, no matter how contradictory or irreconcilable with it. The faithful will swallow it whole, so long as logical reasoning is never allowed to be brought to bear on it. [Adolf Hitler, from Rauschning, _The Voice of Destruction_, pp. 239-40]

My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in his might and seized the scourge to drive out of the temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profpoundly than ever before that it was for this that he had to shed his blood on the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.... [Adolf Hitler, speech, April 12 1922, published in New Order]

And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly, it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people. And when I look on my people I see them work and work and toil and labor, and at the end of the week they have only for their wages wretchedness and misery. When I go out in the morning and see these men standing in their queues and look into their pinched faces, then I believe I would be no Christian, but a very devil, if I felt no pity for them, if I did not, as did our Lord two thousand years ago, turn against those by whom today this poor people are plundered and exploited. [Adolf Hitler, speech, April 12 1922, published in New Order]

I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 46]

What we have to fight for...is the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may be enabled to fulfill the mission assigned to it by the Creator. [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp. 125]

This human world of ours would be inconceivable without the practical existence of a religious belief. [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.152]

And the founder of Christianity made no secret indeed of his estimation of the Jewish people. When He found it necessary, He drove those enemies of the human race out of the Temple of God. [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.174]

Catholics and Protestants are fighting with one another... while the enemy of Aryan humanity and all Christendom is laughing up his sleeve. [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, pp.309]

I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so [Adolph Hitler, to Gen. Gerhard Engel, 1941]

Any violence which does not spring from a spiritual base, will be wavering and uncertain. It lacks the stability which can only rest in a fanatical outlook. [Adolph Hitler, _Mein Kampf_, p. 171]

An idea is an eye given by God for the seeing of God. Some of these eyes we cannot bear to look out of, we blind them as quickly as possible. [Russell Hoban, Pilgermann]

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause. [Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_, 1951, section 9]

Crude absurdities, trivial nonsense, and sublime truths are equally potent in readying people for self-sacrifice if they are accepted as the sole, eternal truth. [Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_, 1951, section 57]

The creed whose legitimacy is most easily challenged is likely to develop the strongest proselytizing impulse. It is doubtful whether a movement which does not profess some preposterous and patently irrational dogma can be possessed of that zealous drive which must either win men or destroy the world. It is also plausible that those movements with the greatest inner contradiction between profession and practice-that is to say with a strong feeling of guilt-are likely to be the most fervent in imposing their faith on others. [Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_, 1951, section 88]

Sacred cows make the tastiest hamburger. [Abbie Hoffman]

Whenever religion is involved, terrorists kill more people. [Dr. Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University, Scotland]

In some sects members are told to commit violent acts because the only way they can hasten redemption or achieve salvation is to eliminate the nonbelievers. [Dr. Bruce Hoffman, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University, Scotland]

perhaps as many as ninety percent of the Americans were unchurched in 1790 [Richard Hofstadter, _Anti-Intellectualism in American Life_, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, p. 82]

... mid-eighteenth century America had a smaller proportion of church members than any other nation in Christendom....in 1800 [only] one of every fifteen Americans was a church member [Richard Hofstadter, _Anti-Intellectualism in American Life_, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974, p. 89]

Theology is but the ignorance of natural causes reduced to a system. [Baron Paul Henri T. d'Holbach]

When, therefore, he ascribes to his gods the production of some phenomenon...does he, in fact, do anything more than substitute for the darkness of his own mind, a sound to which he has been accustomed to listen with reverential awe? [Baron d'Holbach (1723-1789) Systeme de la Nature (1770)]

Nature tells man to consult reason, and to take it for his guide: religion teaches him that his reason is corrupted, that it is only a treacherous guide, given by a deceitful God to lead his creatures astray. Nature tells man to enlighten himself, to search after truth, to instruct himself in his duties: religion enjoins him to examine nothing, to remain in ignorance, to fear truth. [Paul Henry Thiry d'Holbach, Systeme de la Nature (1770)]

People have suffered and become insane for centuries by the thought of eternal punishment after death. Wouldn't it be better to depend on blind matter (...) than by a god who puts out traps for people, invites them to sin, and allows them to sin and commit crimes he could prevent. Only to finally get the barbarian pleasure to punish them in an excessive way, of no use for himself, without them changing their ways and without their example preventing others from committing crimes. [Baron d'Holbach, Systeme de la Nature (1770)]

Jesus Christ never commanded toleration as a motive for His disciples, and toleration is the antithesis of the Christian message. [The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry by James L. Holly, Page 30]

For narrowness and sectarianism, there is no equal to the Lord Jesus Christ [The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry by James L. Holly, Page 40]

What seems so right in the interest of toleration and its cousins-liberty, equality and fraternity-is actually one of the subtlest lies of the 'father of lies.' [The Southern Baptist Convention and Freemasonry by James L. Holly, Page 40]

Science is a first-rate piece of furniture for a man's upper chamber, if he has common sense on the ground floor. [Oliver Wendell Holmes]

On the whole, I am on the side of the unregenerate who affirm the worth of life as an end in itself, as against the saints who deny it. [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (U.S. Supreme Court Justice), letter to Lady Pollock]

I can't help an occasional semi-shudder as I remember that millions of intelligent men think that I am barred from the face of God unless I change. But how can one pretend to believe what seems to him childish and devoid alike of historical and rational foundations? [Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., book review by Holmes for Time]

The Pope put his foot on the neck of kings, but Calvin and his cohorts crushed the whole human race under their heels in the name of the Lord of Hosts. [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., address to the Massachusetts Medical Society, May 30, 1860]

Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth. [Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., 1860]

The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent. [John H. Holmes, A Sensible Man's View of Religion, 1933]

The whole Bible was written by slave owners, and for slave owners. There is no hint of criticism of slavery anywhere in that book. Jesus made no objection to mistreatment of slaves. He indicated that selling of debtors into slavery would be continued his forthcoming kingdom of heaven as well as masters having the right to beat their slaves and put them to torture. [Merrill Holste, Slavery and the Bible, article in the May 1986 issue of American Atheist Magazine]

Atheism deprives superstition of its stand ground, and; compels Theism to reason for its existence. [George Jacob Holyoake]

The Questioning Spirit, whose curiosity has for its wholesome object the verification of truth, is the most effectual instrument of knowledge available to mankind. A well-directed question is like a pickaxe - it liberates the gold from the superincumbent quartz. Whole systems of error sometimes fall to the ground from the force of unanswerable questions. All error has contradiction in it, which is revealed by a relevant inquiry, when an artillery of counter assertions might not disclose it. Arguments may be evaded, but a fair and pertinent question creates no animosity, and must answered, since silence is a confession of error or of ignorance. [George Jacob Holyoake, Introduction to _A New Catechism_ by M.M. Mangasarian]

Few intelligent Christians can still hold to the idea that the Bible is an infallible Book, that it contains no linguistic errors, no historical discrepancies, no antiquated scientific assumptions, not even bad ethical standards. Historical investigation and literary criticism have taken the magic out of the Bible and have made it a composite human book, written by many hands in different ages. The existence of thousands of variations of texts makes it impossible to hold the doctrine of a book verbally infallible. Some might claim for the original copies of the Bible an infallible character, but this view only begs the question and makes such Christian apologetics more ridiculous in the eyes of the sincere man. [_Christianity in America_, p. 121, Elmer Homrighausen, former Dean of Princeton Theological Seminary]

...it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability. [Sidney Hook]

If there is no God, who pops up the next Kleenex? [Art Hoppe]

...And malt does more than Milton can To justify God's ways to man [A. E. Housman]

A mystic is a person who is puzzled before the obvious but who understands the nonexistent [Elbert Hubbard]

Heaven: The Coney Island of the Christian imagination. [Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American author, editor, publisher]

Men whose lives are doubtful want a strong government and a hot religion. [Elbert Hubbard]

Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out any quicker than the Christmas spirit. [Kin Hubbard]

The way to make money is to start your own religion. [L. Ron Hubbard, 1954]

Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dolars, the best way would be to start his own religion. [Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, 1949, then just a writer]

If you hypothesize that there is a God, but that there is nothing sure and definite you can point to as a reliable pattern of things that God does, how does a state of affairs where a God does nothing, functions in no way, differ from a state of affairs where there is no God? And, if the situation is that there is a God, and this God does nothing that humans can surely identify as God-action - in contradistinction from other action, physical/chemical/biological/psychological/social -- then how can any human being ever have warrant for affirming God? [C. Lee Hubbell, The American Rationalist, Oct '94] ------ The primary tool of science is skepticism, whose light shrivels unquestioning faith. [Mike Huben]

No man has the right to have his own religion. [Bishop Hughes, Official Journal of Bishops, Jan. 26 1852]

Many good souls protest against a destructive criticism of Christianity and demand a substitute. I do not feel any obligation to substitute a new god for the old ones. I should gladly let them all go. I do not approve of cancer, and yet I do not feel that I have no right to attack a quack who promises a false cure until I have no real cure to propose. As someone said: he who helps destroy the boll-weevil has done as constructive work as he who plants the seed. [Rupert Hughes, Why I Quit Going to Church]

It is well said that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and I am confirmed every day in my intense conviction that the church as the church is the enemy of freedom. While protesting loudly its faith in the Truth with a capital T, the truth shall make us free, it fights at every step every effort to learn the truth and publish it and be guided by it. [Rupert Hughes. Why I Quit Going to Church, 1924]

John Wesley said that if you give up the witchcraft, you must give up the Bible. He is right. The choice is easy for me. [Rupert Hughes]

Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your Deity made you in his own image, I reply that he must have been very ugly. [Victor Hugo]

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

No deity will save us, we must save ourselves. Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. [Humanist Manifesto II, Prometheus Books, 1973]

...but I would still reply, that the knavery and folly of men are such common phenomena, that I should rather believe the most extraordinary events to arise from their concurrence, than admit of so signal a violation of the laws of nature. [An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume, 10:2:30]

There is not to be found, in all history, any miracle attested by a sufficient number of men, of such unquestioned good sense, education and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves [David Hume]

The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one. [David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748]

In the infancy of new religions, the wise and learned commonly esteem the matter too inconsiderable to deserve their attention or regard. And when afterwards they would willingly detect the cheat, in order to undeceive the deluded multitude, the season is now past, and the records and witnesses, which might clear up the matter, have perished beyond recovery. [David Hume, Of Miracles]

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

No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish. [David Hume, Of Miracles, from An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1748]

The weakness of the body and that of the mind in infancy are exactly proportioned; their vigour in manhood, their sympathetic disorder in sickness, their common gradual decay in old age. The step further seems unavoidable; their common dissolution in death. [David Hume (1771-1776) Of the Immortality of the Soul]

All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability. [David Hume]

The many instances of forged miracles, and prophecies, and supernatural events, which, in all ages, have either been detected by contrary evidence, or which detect themselves by their absurdity, prove sufficiently the strong propensity of mankind to the extraordinary and marvellous, and ought reasonably to begat a suspicion against all relations of this kind. [David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 1748]

The believer is happy; the doubter is wise. [Hungarian proverb]

A fools prayer:
Dear Lord, Please help us not to be blasphemers. In Jesus name we pray....
[Bill Huston]

The Meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. [Lew Mammel, Jr.]

One fails the Inverse-Meta-Turing test if one conceives of a Creator, but does not attempt to devise an intelligence test for It/Him. One also fails if the concept of the Creator remains unchanged as the result of the test. [Bill Huston]

Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science, as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules. [Huxley]

If we must play the theological game, let us never forget that it is a game. Religion, it seems to me, can survive only as a consciously accepted system of make believe. [Aldous Huxley, Time Must Have a Stop]

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

God, in any but a purely philosophical, and one is almost tempted to say Pickwickian sense, turns out to be a product of the human mind. As an independent or unitary being active in the affairs of the universe, he does not exist. [Julian Huxley, Science, Religion and Human Nature, Conway Memorial Lecture, 1930]

Operationally, God is beginning to resemble not a ruler but the last fading smile of a cosmic Cheshire cat. [Sir Julian Huxley]

The sense of spiritual relief which comes from rejecting the idea of God as a supernatural being is enormous. [Julian Huxley]

...it is wrong for a man to say that he is certain of the objective truth of any proposition unless he can produce evidence which logically justifies that certainty. This is what Agnosticism asserts; and, in my opinion, it is all that is essential to Agnosticism. That which Agnostics deny and repudiate, as immoral, is the contrary doctrine, that there are propositions which men ought to believe, without logically satisfactory evidence; and that reprobation ought to attach to the profession of disbelief in such inadequately supported propositions. [Thomas Huxley]

The dogma of the infallibility of the Bible is no more self-evident than is that of the infallibility of the popes. [Thomas Huxley]

The Bible account of the creation of Eve is a preposterous fable. [Thomas Huxley, English biologist]

Irrationally held truths may be more harmful than reasoned errors. [Thomas Huxley (1825-1895), English biologist and advocate of Darwin's natural selection theory]

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority. [Thomas Huxley]

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

Call on God, but row away from the rocks. [Indian proverb]

To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy. [William Ralph Inge, 1920]

We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form. [William Ralph Inge]

We are not endeavoring to chain the future but to free the present. ... We are the advocates of inquiry, investigation, and thought. ... It is grander to think and investigate for yourself than to repeat a creed. ... I look for the day when *reason*, throned upon the world's brains, shall be the King of Kings and the God of Gods. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey. I believe it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts... I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

An honest god is the noblest work of man. ... God has always resembled his creators. He hated and loved what they hated and loved and he was invariably found on the side of those in power. ... Most of the gods were pleased with sacrifice, and the smell of innocent blood has ever been considered a divine perfume. [Robert G. Ingersoll, Gods, 1879]

To hate man and worship god seems to be the sum of all the creeds. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the fearless advocates of liberty and justice. [Robert Green Ingersoll]

I have little confidence in any enterprise or business or investment that promises dividends only after the death of the stockholders. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

I have not the slightest confidence in 'spiritual manifestations.' [Robert G. Ingersoll]

The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

The Declaration of Independence was a denial, and the first denial of a nation, of the infamous dogma that God confers the right upon one man to govern others. [Robert G. Ingersoll, Individuality]

With soap, baptism is a good thing. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

...to argue with a man who has renouced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead. [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p.127]

Nothing can exceed the mendacity of the religious press. I have had some little experience with political editors, and am forced to say, that until I read the religious papers, I did not know what malicious and slimy falsehoods could be constructed from ordinary words. The ingenuity with which the real and apparent meaning can be tortured out of language is simply amazing. The average religious editor is intolerant and insolent... and always accounts for the brave and generous actions of unbelievers by low, base, and unworthy motives. [The Ghosts, Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p.260]

It is contended by many that ours is a Christian government, founded upon the Bible, and that all who look upon that book as false or foolish are destroying the foundation of our country. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men. Our Constitution was framed, not to declare and uphold the deity of Christ, but the sacredness of humanity. Ours is the first government made by the people for the people. It is the only nation with which the gods have nothing to do. And yet there are some judges dishonest and cowardly enough to solemly decide that this is a Christian country, and that our free institutions are based upon the infamous laws of Jehovah. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

I combat those only who, knowing nothing of the future, prophesy an eternity of pain- those who sow the seeds of fear in the hearts of men- those only who poison all the springs of life, and seat a skeleton at every feast. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

I would rather live and love where death is king than have eternal life where love is not. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

He who commends the brutalities of the past, sows the seeds of future crimes. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

A crime against god is a demonstrated impossibility. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Orthodoxy cannot afford to put out the fires of hell. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

If we should put god in the Constitution there would be no room left for man. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Every pulpit is a pillory, in which stands a hired culprit, defending the justice of his own imprisonment. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

If priests had not been fond of mutton, lambs never would have been sacrified to god. Nothing was ever carried to the temple that the priest could not use, and it always happened that god wanted what his agents liked. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

The inspiration of the Bible depends on the credulity of him who reads. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

It cannot be too often repeated, that truth scorns the assistance of miracle. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

We are told in the Pentateuch, that god, the father of us all, gave thousands of maidens, after having killed their fathers, their mothers, and their brothers, to satisfy the brutal lusts of savage men. If there be a god, I pray him to write in his book, opposite my name, that I denied this lie for him. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

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

The intellectual advancement of man depends on how often he can exchange an old superstition for a new truth. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

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

If Christ, in fact, said I came not to bring peace but a sword, it is the only prophecy in the New Testament that has been literally fulfilled. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

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

We have heard talk enough. We have listened to all the drowsy, idealess, vapid sermons that we wish to hear. We have read your Bible and the works of your best minds. We have heard your prayers, your solemn groans and your reverential amens. All these amount to less than nothing. We want one fact. We beg at the doors of your churches for just one little fact. We pass our hats along your pews and under your pulpits and implore you for just one fact. We know all about your mouldy wonders and your stale miracles. We want a 'this year's fact'. We ask only one. Give us one fact for charity. Your miracles are too ancient. The witnesses have been dead for nearly two thousand years. Their reputation for 'truth and veracity' in the neighborhood where they resided is wholly unknown to us. Give us a new miracle, and substantiate it by witnesses who still have the cheerful habit of living this world. Do not send us to Jericho to hear the winding horns, nor put us in the fire with Shadrach, Meshech and Abednego. Do not compel us to navigate the sea with Captain Jonah, nor dine with Mr. Ezekiel. There is no sort of use in sending us fox-hunting with Samson. We have positively lost all interest in that little speech so eloquently delivered by Balaam's inspired donkey. It is worse than useless to show us fishes with money in their mouths, and call our attention to vast multitudes stuffing themselves with five crackers and two sardines. We demand a new miracle, and we demand it now. Let the church furnish at least one, or forever hold her peace. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Ministers say that they teach charity. That is natural. They live on hand-outs. All beggars teach that others should give. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

This crime called blasphemy was invented by priests for the purpose of defending doctrines not able to take care of themselves. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

The real oppressor, enslaver, and corrupter of the people is the Bible. [_Some Mistakes of Moses_, Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 2 p. 43]

Theology is not what we know about God, but what we do not know about Nature. In order to increase our respect for the Bible, it became necessary for the priests to exalt and extol that book, and at the same time to decry and belittle the reasoning powers of man. The whole power of the pulpit has been used for hundreds of years to destroy the confidence of man in himself-- to induce him to distrust his own powers of thought, to believe that he was wholly unable to decide any question for himself, and that all human virtue consists in faith and obedience. The church has said 'Believe and obey!' If you reason you will become an unbeliever, and unbelievers will be lost. If you disobey, you will do so through vain pride and curiosity, and will, like Adam and Eve, be thrust from Paradise forver! For my part, I care nothing for what the church says, except in so far as it accords with my reason; and the Bible is nothing to me, only in so far as it agrees with what I think or know. [_Some Mistakes of Moses_, Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 2 p. 53]

Blasphemy is an epithet bestowed by superstition upon common sense. [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 5, p. 49]

Calvin founded a little theocracy, modeled after the Old Testament, and succeeded in erecting the most detestable government that ever existed, except the one from which it was copied. [Heretics and Heresies,Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p. 226]

That church [Catholic] teaches us that we can make God happy by being miserable ourselves... [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p. 492]

..if all the bones of all the victims of the Catholic Church could be gathered together, a monument higher than all the pyramids would rise... [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p. 497]

Take from the church the miraculous, the supernatural, the incomprehensible, the unreasonable, the impossible, the unknowable, the absurd, and nothing but a vacuum remains. [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p. 285]

Give the church a place in the Constitution, let her touch once more the sword of power, and the priceless fruit of all ages will turn to ashes on the lips of men. [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 1, p. 203]

By the efforts of these infidels, the name of God was left out of the Constitution of the United States. They knew that if an infinite being was put in, no room would be left for the people. They knew that if any church was made the mistress of the state, that mistress, like all others, would corrupt, weaken, and destroy. [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 3, p. 382]

Suppose, however, that God did give this law to the Jews, and did tell them that whenever a man preached a heresy, or proposed to worship any other God that they should kill him; and suppose that afterward this same God took upon himself flesh, and came to this very chosen people and taught a different religion, and that thereupon the Jews crucified him; I ask you, did he not reap exactly what he had sown? What right would this god have to complain of a crucifixion suffered in accordance with his own command? [Ingersoll's Works, Vol. 2, p. 259]

Heresy is a cradle; orthodoxy a coffin. [Robert Ingersoll]

God so loved the world that he made up his mind to damn a large majority of the human race. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

EACH nation has created a god, and the 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. Each god was intensely patriotic, and detested all nations but his own. All these gods demanded praise, flattery, and worship. Most of them were pleased with sacrifice, and the smell of innocent blood has ever been considered a divine perfume. All these gods have insisted upon having a vast number of priests, and the priests have always insisted upon being supported by the people, and the principal business of these priests has been to boast about their god, and to insist that he could easily vanquish all the other gods put together. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Most of these gods were revengeful, savage, lustful, and ignorant. As they generally depended upon their priests for information, their ignorance can hardly excite our astonishment. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

These gods did not even know the shape of the worlds they had created, but supposed them perfectly flat. Some thought the day could be lengthened by stopping the sun, that the blowing of horns could throw down the walls of a city, and all knew so little of the real nature of the people they had created, that they commanded the people to love them. Some were so ignorant as to suppose that man could believe just as he might desire, or as they might command, and that to be governed by observation, reason, and experience was a most foul and damning sin. None of these gods could give a true account of the creation of this little earth. All were woefully deficient in geology and astronomy. As a rule, they were most miserable legislators, and as executives, they were far inferior to the average of American presidents. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872] These deities have demanded the most abject and degrading obedience. In order to please them, man must lay his very face in the dust. Of course, they have always been partial to the people who created them, and have generally shown their partiality by assisting those people to rob and destroy others, and to ravish their wives and daughters. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Nothing is so pleasing to these gods as the butchery of unbelievers. Nothing so enrages them, even now, as to have someone deny their existence. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Few nations have been so poor as to have but one god. Gods were made so easily, and the raw material cost so little, that generally the god market was fairly glutted, and heaven crammed with these phantoms. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

When the people failed to worship one of these gods, or failed to feed and clothe his priests, (which was much the same thing,) he generally visited them with pestilence and famine. Sometimes he allowed some other nation to drag them into slavery -- to sell their wives and children; but generally he glutted his vengeance by murdering their firstborn. The priests always did their whole duty, not only in predicting these calamities, but in proving, when they did happen, that they were brought upon the people because they had not given quite enough to them. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

We are asked to justify these frightful passages, these infamous laws of war, because the Bible is the word of God. As a matter of fact, there never was, and there never can be, an argument even tending to prove the inspiration of any book whatever. In the absence of positive evidence, analogy and experience, argument is simply impossible, and at the very best, can amount only to a useless agitation of the air. The instant we admit that a book is too sacred to be doubted, or even reasoned about, we are mental serfs. It is infinitely absurd to suppose that a god would Address a communication to intelligent beings, and yet make it a crime, to be punished in eternal flames, for them to use their intelligence for the purpose of understanding his communication. If we have the right to use our reason, we certainly have the right to act in accordance with it, and no god can have the right to punish us for such action. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

The book, called the Bible, is filled with passages equally horrible, unjust and atrocious. This is the book to be read in schools in order to make our children loving, kind and gentle! This is the book they wish to be recognized in our Constitution as the source of all authority and justice! [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

And we are called upon to worship such a God; to get upon our knees and tell him that he is good, that he is merciful, that he is just, that he is love. We are asked to stifle every noble sentiment of the soul, and to trample under foot all the sweet charities of the heart. Because we refuse to stultify ourselves -- refuse to become liars -- we are denounced, hated, traduced and ostracized here, and this same god threatens to torment us in eternal fire the moment death allows him to fiercely clutch our naked helpless souls. Let the people hate, let the god threaten -- we will educate them, and we will despise and defy the god. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called faith. What man, who ever thinks, can believe that blood can appease God? And yet, our entire system of religion is based upon that believe. The Jews pacified Jehovah with the blood of animals, and according to the Christian system, the blood of Jesus softened the heart of God a little, and rendered possible the salvation of a fortunate few. It is hard to conceive how the human mind can give assent to such terrible ideas, or how any sane man can read the Bible and still believe in the doctrine of inspiration. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Whether the Bible is true or false, is of no consequence in comparison with the mental freedom of the race. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Salvation through slavery is worthless. Salvation from slavery is inestimable. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

As long as man believes the Bible to be infallible, that book is his master. The civilization of this century is not the child of faith, but of unbelief -- the result of free thought. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely of human invention -- of barbarian invention -- is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of your brain the coiled form of superstition -- then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and of such atrocity. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

The account shows, however, that the gods dreaded education and knowledge then just as they do now. The church still faithfully guards the dangerous tree of knowledge, and has exerted in all ages her utmost power to keep mankind from eating the fruit thereof. The priests have never ceased repeating the old falsehood and the old threat: Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. From every pulpit comes the same cry, born of the same fear: Lest they eat and become as gods, knowing good and evil. For this reason, religion hates science, faith detests reason, theology is the sworn enemy of philosophy, and the church with its flaming sword still guards the hated tree, and like its supposed founder, curses to the lowest depths the brave thinkers who eat and become as gods. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

According to this account the promise of the devil was fulfilled to the very letter, Adam and Eve did not die, and they did become as gods, knowing good and evil. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

If the account given in Genesis is really true, ought we not, after all, to thank this serpent? He was the first schoolmaster, the first advocate of learning, the first enemy of ignorance, the first to whisper in human ears the sacred word liberty, the creator of ambition, the author of modesty, of inquiry, of doubt, of investigation, of progress and of civilization. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Give me the storm and tempest of thought and action, rather than the dead calm of ignorance and faith! Banish me from Eden when you will; but first let me eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge! [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

There is but one way to demonstrate the existence of a power independent of and superior to nature, and that is by breaking, if only for one moment, the continuity of cause and effect. Pluck from the endless chain of existence one little link; stop for one instant the grand procession and you have shown beyond all contradiction that nature has a master. Change the fact, just for one second, that matter attracts matter, and a god appears.
The rudest savage has always known this fact, and for that reason always demanded the evidence of miracle. The founder of a religion must be able to turn water into wine -- cure with a word the blind and lame, and raise with a simple touch the dead to life. It was necessary for him to demonstrate to the satisfaction of his barbarian disciple, that he was superior to nature. In times of ignorance this was easy to do. The credulity of the savage was almost boundless. To him the marvelous was the beautiful, the mysterious was the sublime. Consequently, every religion has for its foundation a miracle -- that is to say, a violation of nature -- that is to say, a falsehood.
No one, in the world's whole history, ever attempted to substantiate a truth by a miracle. Truth scorns the assistance of miracle. Nothing but falsehood ever attested itself by signs and wonders. No miracle ever was performed, and no sane man ever thought he had performed one, and until one is performed, there can be no evidence of the existence of any power superior to, and independent of nature.
The church wishes us to believe. Let the church, or one of its intellectual saints, perform a miracle, and we will believe. We are told that nature has a superior. Let this superior, for one single instant, control nature, and we will admit the truth of your assertions. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

In the olden times the church, by violating the order of nature, proved the existence of her God. At that time miracles were performed with the most astonishing ease. They became so common that the church ordered her priests to desist. And now this same church -- the people having found some little sense -- admits, not only, that she cannot perform a miracle but insists that the absence of miracle, the steady, unbroken march of cause and effect, proves the existence of a power superior to nature. The fact is, however, that the indissoluble chain of cause and effect proves exactly the contrary. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

If we admit that some infinite being has controlled the destinies of persons and peoples, history becomes a most cruel and bloody farce. Age after age, the strong have trampled upon the weak; the crafty and heartless have ensnared and enslaved the simple and innocent, and nowhere, in all the annals of mankind, has any god succored the oppressed. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Man should cease to expect aid from on high. By this time he should know that heaven has no ear to hear, and no hand to help. The present is the necessary child of all the past. There has been no chance, and there can be no interference. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

If abuses are destroyed, man must destroy them. If slaves are freed, man must free them. If new truths are discovered, man must discover them. If the naked are clothed; if the hungry are fed; if justice is done; if labor is rewarded; if superstition is driven from the mind; if the defenseless are protected and if the right finally triumphs, all must be the work of man. The grand victories of the future must be won by man, and by man alone. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Man must learn to rely upon himself. Reading bibles will not protect him from the blasts of winter, but houses, fires. and clothing will. To prevent famine, one plow is worth a million sermons, and even patent medicines will cure more diseases than all the prayers uttered since the beginning of the world. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

The thoughts of man, in order to be of any real worth, must be free. Under the influence of fear the brain is paralyzed, and instead of bravely solving a problem for itself, tremblingly adopts the solution of another. As long as a majority of men will cringe to the very earth before some petty prince or king, what must be the infinite abjectness of their little souls in the presence of their supposed creator and God? Under such circumstances, what can their thoughts be worth? [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

The originality of repetition, and the mental vigor of acquiescence, are all that we have any right to expect from the Christian world. As long as every question is answered by the word God, scientific inquiry is simply impossible. As fast as phenomena are satisfactorily explained the domain of the power, supposed to be superior to nature must decrease, while the horizon of the known must as constantly continue to enlarge. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

According to the theologians, God prepared this globe expressly for the habitation of his loved children, and yet he filled the forests with ferocious beasts; placed serpents in every path; stuffed the world with earthquakes, and adorned its surface with mountains of flame.
Notwithstanding all this, we are told that the world is perfect; that it was created by a perfect being, and is therefore necessarily perfect. The next moment, these same persons will tell us that the world was cursed; covered with brambles, thistles and thorns, and that man was doomed to disease and death, simply because our poor, dear mother ate an apple contrary to the command of an arbitrary God. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

A very pious friend of mine, having heard that I had said the world was full of imperfections, asked me if the report was true. Upon being informed that it was, he expressed great surprise that any one could be guilty of such presumption. He said that, in his judgement, it was impossible to point out an imperfection Be kind enough, said he, to name even one improvement that you could make, if you had the power. Well, said I, I would make good health catching, instead of disease. The truth is, it is impossible to harmonize all the ills, and pains, and agonies of this world with the idea that we were created by, and are watched over and protected by an infinitely wise, powerful and beneficent God, who is superior to and independent of nature. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

The civilization of man has increased just to the same extent that religious power has decreased. The intellectual advancement of man depends upon how often he can exchange an old superstition for a new truth. The church never enabled a human being to make even one of these exchanges; on the contrary, all her power has been used to prevent them. In spite, however, of the church, man found that some of his religious conceptions were wrong. By reading his Bible, he found that the ideas of his God were more cruel and brutal than those of the most depraved savage. He also discovered that this holy book was filled with ignorance, and that it must have been written by persons wholly unacquainted with the nature of the phenomena by which we are surrounded; and now and then, some man had the goodness and courage to speak his honest thoughts. In every age some thinker, some doubter, some investigator, some hater of hypocrisy, some despiser of sham, some brave lover of the right, has gladly, proudly and heroically braved the ignorant fury of superstition for the sake of man and truth. These divine men were generally torn in pieces by the worshipers of the gods. Socrates was poisoned because he lacked reverence for some of the deities. Christ was crucified by a religious rabble for the crime of blasphemy. Nothing is more gratifying to a religionist than to destroy his enemies at the command of God. Religious persecution springs from a due admixture of love towards God and hatred towards man. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

The terrible religious wars that inundated the world with blood tended at least to bring all religion into disgrace and hatred. Thoughtful people began to question the divine origin of a religion that made its believers hold the rights of others in absolute contempt. A few began to compare Christianity with the religions of heathen people, and were forced to admit that the difference was hardly worth dying for. They also found that other nations were even happier and more prosperous than their own. They began to suspect that their religion, after all, was not of much real value. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

For ages, a deadly conflict has been waged between a few brave men and women of thought and genius upon the one side, and the great ignorant religious mass on the other. This is the war between Science and Faith. The few have appealed to reason, to honor, to law, to freedom, to the known, and to happiness here in this world. The many have appealed to prejudice, to fear, to miracle, to slavery, to the unknown, and to misery hereafter. The few have said, Think! The many have said, Believe! [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

While utterly discarding all creeds, and denying the truth of all religions, there is neither in my heart nor upon my lips a sneer for the hopeful, loving and tender souls who believe that from all this discord will result a perfect harmony; that every evil will in some mysterious way become a good, and that above and over all there is a being who, in some way, will reclaim and glorify every one of the children of men; but for those who heartlessly try to prove that salvation is almost impossible; that damnation is almost certain; that the highway of the universe leads to hell; who fill life with fear and death with horror; who curse the cradle and mock the tomb, it is impossible to entertain other than feelings of pity, contempt and scorn. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Reason, Observation and Experience -- the Holy Trinity of Science -- have taught us that happiness is the only good; that the time to be happy is now, and the way to be happy is to make others so. This is enough for us. In this belief we are content to live and die. If by any possibility the existence of a power superior to, and independent of, nature shall be demonstrated, there will then be time enough to kneel. Until then, let us stand erect. [Robert G. Ingersoll, The Gods, 1872]

Science built the Academy, superstition the inquisition. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Whoever imagines himself a favorite with God holds others in contempt. [Robert Ingersoll, Some Reasons Why]

Whenever a man believes that he has the exact truth from God, there is in that man no spirit of compromise. He has not the modesty born of the imperfections of human nature; he has the arrogance of theological certainty and the tyranny born of ignorant assurance. Believing himself to be the slave of God, he imitates his master, and of all tyrants, the worst is a slave in power. [Robert Ingersoll, Some Reasons Why]

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

... I want it so that every minister will be not a parrot, not an owl sitting upon a dead limb of the tree of knowledge and hooting the hoots that have been hooted for eighteen hundred years. But I want it so that each one can be an investigator, a thinker; and I want to make his congregation grand enough so that they will not only allow him to think, but will demand that he shall think, and give to them the honest truth of his thought. [Robert Ingersoll, Some Mistakes of Moses]

There are some truths, however, that we should never forget: Superstition has always been the relentless enemy of science; faith has been a hater of demonstration; hypocrisy has been sincere only in its dread of truth, and all religions are inconsistent with mental freedom. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Fear believes -- courage doubts. Fear falls upon the earth and prays -- courage stands erect and thinks. Fear is barbarism -- courage is civilization. Fear believes in witchcraft, in devils and in ghosts. Fear is religion, courage is science. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

If the book [the Bible] and my brain are both the work of the same Infinite God, whose fault is it that the book and my brain do not agree? [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Tell me there is a God in the serene heavens that will damn his children for the expression of an honest belief! More men have died in their sins, judged by your orthodox creeds, than there are leaves on all the forests in the wide world ten thousand times over. Tell me these men are in hell; that these men are in torment; that these children are in eternal pain, and that they are to be punished forever and forever! I denounce this doctrine as the most infamous of lies. [Ingersoll, Man, Woman and Child]

All the meanness, all the revenge, all the selfishness, all the cruelty, all the hatred, all the infamy of which the heart of man is capable, grew, blossomed and bore fruit in this one word, Hell. [Ingersoll]

Is it not wonderful that the creator of all worlds, infinite in power and wisdom, could not hold his own against the gods of wood and stone? Is it not strange that after he had appeared to his chosen people, delivered them from slavery, feed them by miracles, opened the sea for a path, led them by cloud and fire, and overthrown their pursuers, they still preferred a calf of their own making? (Exod. 32:1-8) ...a God who gave his entire time for 40 years to the work of converting three millions of people, and succeeded in getting only two men, and not a single woman, decent enough to enter the promised land? (Num. 14:29-30) [Robert G. Ingersoll]

It has been contended for many years that the Ten Commandments are the foundations of all ideas of justice and law. Nothing can be more stupidly false. Thousands of years before Moses, the Egyptians had a code far better. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

One good schoolmaster is worth a thousand priests. [Robert G. Ingersoll, Speech, New York City, 1 May 1881]

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences. [Robert Ingersoll]

In all ages hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns upon the heads of thieves, called kings. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

For many centuries the sword and cross were allies. Together they attacked the rights of man. They defended each other. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

As long as woman regards the Bible as the charter of her rights, she will be the slave of man. The bible was not written by a woman. Within its leaves there is nothing but humiliation and shame for her. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

You have no right to erect your toll-gate upon the highways of thought. [Robert G. Ingersoll, _The Ghosts_]

The infidels of one age have been the aureoled saints of the next. The destroyers of the old are the creators of the new. [Robert G. Ingersoll, _The Great Infidels_]

The history of intellectual progress is written in the lives of infidels. [Robert G. Ingersoll, speech,, New York City, May 1, 1881]

It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions. I believe it was Magellan who said, The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the Church. On the prow of his ship were disobedience, defiance, scorn, and success. [Robert G. Ingersoll, quoted in _The Great Quotations_]

I would rather live with the woman I love in a world full of trouble, than to live in heaven with nobody but men. [Robert G. Ingersoll, _Liberty of Man, Woman and Child_]

A believer is a bird in a cage, a free-thinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing. [Robert G. Ingersoll]

Consequently, in the name of God Almighty, by the authority of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and by our Own, We reprove and condemn this Charter [the Magna Carta]; under pain of anathema We forbid the King to observe it or the barons to demand its execution. We declare the Charter null and of no effect, as well as all the obligations contracted to confirm it. It is Our wish that in no case should it have any effect. [Pope Innocent III (1161-1216)]

Use against heretics the spiritual sword of excommunication, and if this does not prove effective, use the material sword. [Pope Innocent III (1161-1216)]