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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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The history of the rise of Christianity has everything to do with politics, culture, and human frailties and nothing to do with supernatural manipulation of events. Had divine intervention been the guiding force, surely two millennia after the birth of Jesus he would not have a world where there are more Muslims than Catholics, more Hindus than Protestants, and more nontheists than Catholics and Protestants combined. [John K. Naland, The First Easter, Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 8, No. 2]

Koranic teaching still insists that the sun moves around the earth. How can we advance when they teach things like that? [Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin 'Time' magazine, 31st Jan 1994]

I write against the religion because if women want to live like human beings, they will have to live outside the religion and Islamic law. [Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, in exile, 6/21/94]

Jesus said, 'Love your neighbors.' Well, I do love them. I love to kill them. [Nasty Nick, Croatian Policeman]

Almighty God, dear heavenly Father. In Thy name let us now, in pious spirit, begin our instruction. Enlighten us, teach us all truth, strengthen us in all thatis good, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from all evil in order that, as good human beings, we may faithfully perform our duties and thereby, in time and eternity, be made truly happy. Amen. [Mandatory secondary school prayer in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, from July-August 1995 issue of Liberty: A Magazine of Religious Freedom, published by the North American Division of the Seventh- day Adventist Church in Silver Spring, Maryland]

The loud speakers spoke up and said!
 The loud speakers spoke up and said!
 The loud speakers spoke up and said!
 Christianity is stupid!
 Christianity is stupid!

No country or people who are slaves to dogma and the dogmatic mentality can progress, and unhappily our country and people have become extraordinarily dogmatic and little-minded. [Jawaharlal Nehru - a Biography vol. I , Sarvepalli Gopal]

I want nothing to do with religion concerned with keeping the masses satisfied to live in hunger, filth and ignorance. I want nothing to do with any order, religious or otherwise, which does not teach people that they are capable of becoming happier and more civilized, on this earth, capable of becoming true man, master of his fate and captain of his soul. To attain this, I would put priests to work, also, and turn the temples into schools. [Jawaharlal Nehru]

The applications of science are inevitable and unavoidable for all countries and peoples today. But something more than its application is necessary. It is the scientific approach, the adverturous and yet critical temper of science, the search for the truth and new knowledge, the refusal to accept anything without testing and trial, the capacity to change previous conclusions in the face of new evidence, the reliance on observed fact and not on preconceived theory, the hard discipline of the mind all this is necessary, not merely for the application of science but for life itself and the solution of its many problems. [Jawaharlal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India]

These extremist sects appeal to many people in an antispiritual age because they combine their empowering theology with a warm, supportive environment, at least at first. Those who join become part of a close-knit body of believers who are convinced they understand the meaning of history and what the future holds. [Bruce Nelan, Time Magazine]

One would like to believe that people who think of themselves as devout Christians would also behave in a manner that is in according with Christian ethics. But pastorally and existentially, I know that this is not the case -- and never has been. [John Neuhaus, in San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 1993]

Three years ago, Ralph Reed, the executive director of the Christian Coalition, wished not to be seen. 'I want to be invisible,' he said. 'I do guerilla warfare...'... But on June 25th Reed played the expansive host at a luncheon given by the Coalition, the most influential group on the religious right, which was attended by hundreds of delegates to the Iowa Republican Party convention. They were celebrating their victories in gaining control of the state Party's central committee, ousting moderate Republicans, and in dictating a platform that supported the teaching of creationism in the public schools. [Christian Soldiers, New Yorker magazine, July 18, 1994]

In January, [Dan Quayle] spoke at a training conference of religious-right activists in Fort Lauderdale, whose theme was 'Reclaiming America,' and before the event began he stood at attention as the crowd of more than two thousand rose, faced a flag with a cross on it, and, with hands on hearts, recited in unison, 'I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Saviour, for whose Kingdom it stands, one Saviour, crucified, risen, and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe. [Christian Soldiers, New Yorker magazine, July 18, 1994]

By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science, the general theory that complex life forms did not evolve but appeared abruptly. [Newsweek, June 29, 1987, pg. 23]

It is interesting that every time God gives direct orders to anyone, it is always Thou shalt kill. [Newsweek magazine]

So, how come there are no talking snakes nowadays? ... Because you are not righteous enough to hear them talk. [Raoul Newton, net.fundie.idiot]

Think about the bio-mass involved [with the Biblical flood]. What happened to all the corpses? Sharks, for one. [Raoul Newton, net.fundie.idiot]

When we make mistakes they call it evil. When God makes mistakes they call it Nature! [Jack Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick]

It is the creationists who blasphemously are claiming that God is cheating us in a stupid way. [J. W. Nienhuys]

A second possible thing that creationists might look for is some kind of instrument that will detect darkness. It is my conclusion, based on [scripture] that darkness is a positive thing. [Richard Niessen, Professor, Christian Heritage College]

Little prigs and three-quarter madmen may have the conceit that the laws of nature are constantly broken for their sakes. [Nietzsche]

In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with reality at any point. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

You who hate the Jews so, why did you adopt their religion? [Friedrich Nietzsche, addressing anti-semitic Christians]

I call Christianity the 'one' great curse, the 'one' great intrinsic depravity, the 'one' great instinct for revenge for which no expedient is sufficiently poisonous, secret, subterranean, 'petty' -- I call it the 'one' mortal blemish of mankind. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

Belief means not wanting to know what is true. [Nietzche, The Anti-Christ, 1889]

Though I drew this conclusion, now it draws me. [Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra]

The belief that the world as it ought to be is, really exists, is a belief of the unproductive who do not desire to create a world as it ought to be. It is a measure of the degree of strength of will to what extent one can do without meaning in things, to what extent one can endure to live in a meaningless world because one organizes a small part of it oneself. All the beauty and sublimity we have bestowed upon... imaginary things I will reclaim as the property and product of man... with what regal liberality he has lavished gifts upon things so as to impoverish himself and make himself feel wretched! [Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Will to Power]

God is a gross answer, an indelicacy against us thinkers-- at bottom merely a gross prohibition for us: you shall not think! [Nietzsche, Ecce Homo]

The advent of the Christian God, as the maximum god attained so far, was... accompanied by the maximum feeling of guilty indebtedness on Earth. Presuming we gradually enter upon the reverse course, there is no small probability that with the irresistible decline of faith in the Christian god, there is now a considerable decline in mankind's feeling of guilt; indeed, the prospect cannot be dismissed that the complete and definitive victory of Atheism might free mankind of this whole feeling of guilty in- debtedness towards its origin... Atheism and a kind of second innocence belong together. [Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Genealogy of Morals]

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything. [Nietzsche]

Have you noticed there are no interesting people in heaven? --Just a hint to the girls as to where they can find their salvation. [Nietzche, The Will to Power]

Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial. [Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science: 126]

One is 'not' free to become a Christian. One must be sick enough for it. [Nietzsche]

For let us not underestimate the Christian: the Christian, 'false to point of innocence', is far above the ape--regarding Christians, a well-known theory of descent becomes a mere compliment. [Nietzsche]

The 'evangel' died on the cross. What has been called 'evangel' from that moment was actually the opposite of that which 'he' had lived: ''ill' tidings,' a 'dysangel'. [Nietzsche]

This indictment of Christianity I will write on all walls, wherever there are walls--I have letters to make even the blind see. [Nietzsche]

One does well to put on gloves when reading the New Testament. The proximity of so much uncleanliness almost forces one to do this. [Fredrich Nietzsche]

However un-Christian this may sound, I am not even predisposed against myself. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

Assuming that he believes at all, the everday Christian is a pitiful figure, a man who really cannot count up to three, and who besides, precisely because of his mental incompetence, would not deserve such a punishment as Christianity promises him. [Nietzsche, Human, All too Human]

Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity. [Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, What the Germans Lack, aph. 2 (1889)]

The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of all freedom, all price, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the same time subjection, self-derision, and self-mutilation... [Nietzsche]

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. [Nietzsche The Dawn (1881)]

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

What a theologian feels as true, must be false: one has therein almost a criterion of truth. [Nietzche, The Anti-Christ, 1889]

War to the death against depravity--depravity is Christianity. [Nietzsche]

It is regrettable that a Dostoyevski did not live near this most interesting of all decadents--I mean someone who would have known how to sense the very stirring charm of such a mixture of the sublime, the sickly, and the childlike. [Nietzsche, on Jesus Christ]

The god on the cross is a curse on life, a signpost to seek redemption from life; Dionysus cut to pieces is a 'promise' of life: it will be eternally reborn and return again from destruction. [Nietzsche]

...it is all over with priests and gods when man becomes scientific. Moral: science is the forbidden as such -- it alone is forbidden. Science is the first sin, seed of all sin, the original sin. This alone is morality. 'Thou shalt not know' -- the rest follows. [Nietzsche, Antichrist]

It was the sick and dying who despised the body and the earth and invented the things of heaven and the redeeming drops of blood: but even these sweet and dismal poisons they took from the body and the earth! [Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra]

Who is more godless than I, that I may rejoice in his teachings? [Nietzsche]

The noble soul has reverence for itself [Nietzsche]

Your soul will be dead even before your body: fear nothing further. [Zarathustra, in Nietzsche's _Also Sprach Zarathustra_]

Is man one of God's blunders, or is God one of man's blunders? [Nietzsche]

. . . an absurd problem came to the surface: 'How COULD God permit that [crucifixion of Jesus Christ]!' . . . the deranged reason of the little community found quite a frightfully absurd answer: God gave his Son for forgiveness, as a SACRIFICE . . . The SACRIFICE FOR GUILT, and just in its most repugnant and barbarous form -- the sacrifice of the innocent for the sins of the guilty! What horrifying heathenism! [Friedrich Nietzsche]

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad. [Nietzsche]

Only under two suppositions does prayer- that custom of earlier ages that has not yet completely died out- make any sense: it would have to be possible to induce or convert the divinity to a certain course of action, and the person praying would himself have to know best what he needed, what was truly desirable for him. Both presuppositions, assumed true and established by custom in all other religions, are however denied precisely by Christianity; if it nonetheless adheres to prayer in the face of its belief in an omniscient and all-provident rationality in God which renders prayer at bottom senseless and, indeed, blasphemous- in this it once again demonstrates its admirable serpent cunning; for a clear commandment 'Thou Shalt Not Pray' would have led Christians into unchristianity through boredom. [Nietzsche, _The Wanderer and his Shadow_, passage 74]

Christianity has done it's utmost to close the circle and declare even doubt to be a sin. One is supposed to be cast into belief without reason, by a miracle, and from then on to swim in it as in the brightest and least ambiguous of elements: even a glance towards land, even the thought that one perhaps exists for something else as well as swimming, even the slightest impulse of our amphibious nature - is sin! And notice that all this means that the foundation of belief and all reflection on it's origin is likewise excluded as sinful. What is wanted are blindness and intoxication and an eternal song over the waves in which reason has drowned. [Nietsche, Daybreak]

Jesus died too soon. If he had lived to my age he would have repudiated his doctrine. [Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Thus Spake Zarathustra]

Once the sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and these sinners died with him. To sin against the earth is now the most dreadful thing, and to esteem the entrails of the unknowable higher than the meaning of the earth. [Zarathustra, in Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, First Part]

For the old gods, after all, things came to an end long ago; and verily, they had a good gay godlike end. They did not end in a twilight, though this lie is told. Instead: one day they 'laughed' themselves to death. That happened when the most godless word issued from one of the gods themselves--the word: There is one god. Thou shalt have no other god before me! An old grimbeard of a god, a jealous one, thus forgot himself. And then all the gods laughed and rocked on their chairs and cried, Is not just this godlike that there are gods but no God? He that has ears to hear, let him hear! [Zarathustra, in Friedrich Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, First Part]

Everywhere the voice of those who preach death is heard; and the earth if full of those to whom one must preach death. Or, eternal life---that is the same to me, if only they pass away quickly. [Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra]

Christianity came into existence in order to lighten the heart; but now it has to burden the heart first, in order to lighten it afterward. Consequently it will perish. [Nietzsche, from Human, All Too Human, s.119]

An agreeable opinion is accepted as true: this is the proof by pleasure (or, as the church says, the proof by strength), that all religions are so proud of, whereas they ought to be ashamed. If the belief did not make us happy, it would not be believed: how little must it then be worth! [Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human)]

Thus a certain false psychology, a certain kind of fantasy in interpreting motives and experiences, is the necessary prerequisite for becoming a Christian and experiencing the need for redemption. With the insight into this aberration of reason and imagination, one ceases to be a Christian. [Nietzsche]

One should not go into church if one wants to breathe pure air. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

The last Christian died on the cross. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

There is not enough religion in the world to destroy the world's religions. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

Man is the cruelest animal. At tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions he has so far felt best on earth; and when he invented hell for himself, behold, that was his very heaven. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

Here the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. Whither is God? he cried; I will tell you. WE HAVE KILLED HIM - you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, foreward, in all direction? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light candles in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. [Friedrich Nietzsche]

The certain prospect of death could sweeten every life with a precious and fragrant drop of levity--and now you strange apothecary souls have turned it into an ill-tasting drop of poison that makes the whole of life repulsive. [Nietzsche, _75_Aphorisms_]

Christianity makes suffering contagious. [Friedrich Nietszche]

A certain sense of cruelty towards oneself and others is Christian; hatred of those who think differently; the will to persecute. Mortal hostility against the masters of the earth, against the 'noble', that is also Christian. Hatred of mind, of pride, courage, freedom, libertinage of mind, is Christian; hatred of the sense, of the joy of the senses, of joy in general is Christian. [Nietzsche]

But in the end one also has to understand that the needs that religion has satisfied and philosophy is now supposed to satisfy are not immutable; they can be weakened and exterminated. Consider, for example, that Christian distress of mind that comes from sighing over ones inner depravity and care for ones salvation - all concepts originating in nothing but errors of reason and deserving, not satisfaction, but obliteration. [Nietzsche, from Human, all too Human, s.27]

At the deathbed of Christianity.-- Really unreflective people are now inwardly without Christianity, and the more moderate and reflective people of the intellectual middle class now possess only an adapted, that is to say marvelously simplified Christianity. A god who in his love arranges everything in a manner that in the end will be best for us; a god who gives to us and takes from us our virtue and our happiness, so that as a whole all is meet and fit and there is no reason for us to take life sadly, let alone exclaim against it; in short, resignation and modest demands elevated to godhead - that is the best and most vital thing that still remains of Christianity. But one should notice that Christianity has thus crossed over into a gentle moralism: it is not so much 'God, freedom and immortality' that have remained, as benevolence and decency of disposition, and the belief that in the whole universe too benevolence and decency of disposition prevail: it is the euthanasia of Christianity. [Nietzsche, Daybreak, s. 92]

he sewed his eyes shut because he is afraid to see
he tries to tell me what i put inside of me
he's got the answers to ease my curiosity
he dreamed a god up and called it christianity
your god is dead and no one cares
if there is a hell i will see you there
he flexed his muscles to keep his flock of sheep in line
he made a virus that would kill off the swine
his perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain
demands devotion atrocities done in his name
your god is dead and no one cares
drowning in his own hypocrisy
and if there is a hell i will see you there
burning with your god in humility
will you die for this?
[Nine Inch Nails, from The Downward Spiral, lyrics by Trent Reznor]

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

As a literary monument the Bible is of much later origin than the Vedas; as a work of literary value it is surpassed by everything written in the last two thousand years by authors even of the second rank, and to compare it seriously with the productions of Homer, Sophocles, Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe would require a fantacized mind that had entirely lost its power of judgment. Its conception of the universe is childish, and its morality revolting, as revealed in the malicious vengeance attributed to God in the OT and in the New, the parable of the laborers of the eleventh hour and the episodes of Mary Magdelene and the woman taken in adultery. [Max Nordau]

We profess our faith in a Supreme Being on our coins marked In God we trust. It seems more appropriate to me to recognize the Deity in our spiritual dedication to the flag, the symbol of our God-given freedom. Our belief in God highlights one of the fundamental differences between us and the Communists. [Rep. Charles G. Oakman, Congressional Record, Appendix, p. A2527]

Whoever did this (burn down the Margaret Sanger Center) is a hero. I think they are heroes. The Bible commands us to rescue those being dragged to death. [Nancy O'Brien, Co-Director Project Jericho, 2/23/87]

The tolerance of liberty can be maintained until complete federal and state control by Catholics has been accomplished. [Bishop O'Connor, Pittsburgh]

I do believe in the separation of church and state, but I don't believe in the separation of God and the state. God has a special place in his plan for our nation. And as the Senate goes, so goes the nation. [Rev. Lloyd Ogilvie, official Chaplain to the U.S. Senate, who receives a salary at taxpayer expense for religious services]

Marriage Ceremony: An incredible metaphysical sham of watching God and the law being dragged into the affairs of your family. [O. C. Ogilvie]

Why doesn't God behave in such a way as to be worthy of worship? [Barry O'Grady, bary@it.com.au]

Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea. [Madelyn O'Hair]

The church doctrines of obedience to authority, repentance, fear of punishment, self-abnegation, acceptance of outer direction rather than inner assurance, elevation of faith over reason, and intolerance make institutionalized religion an ideal instrument of social constraint. In an unconstitutional partnership with the state, the church can impose the most irresistible, if covert, controls conceivable. [Madalyn O'Hair, Freedom under Siege]

No god ever gave any man anything, nor ever answered any prayer at any time -nor ever will. [Madelyn O'Hair, An Atheist Epic]

Atheists are now here to stay. We are ready to take over the culture and move it ahead for the benefit of all mankind. Religion has ever been anti- human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason, and anti-science. The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth. It is time now for reason, education, and science to take over. [Madalyn O'Hair, Atheists: The Last Minority]

YOUR PETITIONERS ARE ATHEISTS and they define their life-style as follows. An Atheist loves himself and his fellowman instead of a god. An Atheist knows that heaven is something for which we should work now -- here on earth -- for all men together to enjoy. An Atheist thinks that he can get no help through prayer but that he must find in himself the inner conviction and strength to meet life, to grapple with it, to subdue, and enjoy it. An Atheist thinks that only in a knowledge of himself and a knowledge of his fellowman can he find the understanding that will help to a life of fulfillment. Therefore, he seeks to know himself and his fellowman rather than to know a god. An Atheist knows that a hospital should be build instead of a church An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man. He wants an ethical way of life. He knows that we cannot rely on a god nor channel action into prayer nor hope for an end to troubles in the hereafter. He knows that we are our brother's keeper and keepers of our lives; that we are responsibile persons, that the job is here and the time is now. [Madalyn Murray (later O'Hair), preamble to Murray v. Curlett, April 27, 1961]

It is in the temporal affairs of mankind, not in the delusions of religious faiths, that man's actual well being and happiness on this earth is attainable. [Culbert L. Olson, Secularism and Social Progress. 1961]

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

Burn the libraries, for their value is in this one book (the Koran). [Omar I, 2nd Caliph, at the capture of Alexandria]

Your sweet little book is a bizarre collection of out-of-context quotations, misquotations, misleading quotations, non sequiturs, errors of fact and just about every other dirty intellectual trick known to man. [Tim O'Neill, on the JW's anti-evolution book]

Whether or not the statement is _analytically_ true is not as important as the fact that it is _a priori_ true and hence transcendentally true. [Charles Onstott on alt.atheism]

There must be no barriers to freedom of inquiry. There is no place for dogma in science. The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. [J. Robert Oppenheimer, Life, 10 October 1949]

As long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress. [J. Robert Oppenheimer, Life, 10 October 1949]

Making fun of born-again christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope. [P.J. O'Rourke]

If you keep your mind sufficiently open, people will throw a lot of rubbish into it. [William A. Orton]

Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proven innocent. [George Orwell]

Recently I was reading somewhere or other [about] an Italian curio-dealer who attempted to sell a 17th century crucifix to J.P. Morgan. [I]nside it was concealed a stiletto. What a perfect symbol of the Christian religion. [George Orwell]

In theory it is still possible to be an orthodox religious believer without being intellectually crippled...; but it is far from easy, and in practice books by orthodox believers usually show the same cramped, blinkered outlook as books by orthodox Stalinists or others who are mentally unfree. The ... Christian churches still demand assent to doctrines which no one seriously believes in. The most obvious case is the immortality of the soul. [Orwell]

Here we are, we're alone in the universe, there's no God, it just seems that it all began by something as simple as sunlight striking on a piece of rock. And here we are. We've only got ourselves. Somehow, we've just got to make a go of it. We've only ourselves. [Jean, The Entertainer John Osborne (b. 1929) British playwright]

Why can't the Jews and Arabs just sit down together and settle this like good Christians? [Overheard in Congressional debate]

No doubt a sizeable majority of Americans believe in the concept of a Creator or, at least, are not opposed to the concept and see nothing wrong with teaching school children about the idea.

The application and content of First Amendment principles are not determined by public opinion polls or by a majority vote. Whether the proponents of Act 590 constitute the majority or the minority is quite irrelevant under a constitutional system of government.

No group, no matter how large or small, may use the organs of government, of which the public schools are the most conspicuous and influential, to foist its religious beliefs on others. [U.S. District Court Judge William R. Overton, overturning Arkansas Act 590, requiring public schools to teach Creation Science]

It is convenient that there be gods, and, as it is convenient, let us believe there are. [Ovid, Ars Amatoria]

My reason taught me that I could not have made one of my own qualities- they were forced upon me by Nature; that my language, religion, and habits were forced upon me by Society; and that I was entirely the child of Nature and Society; that Nature gave the qualities and Society directed them. Thus was I forced, through seeing the error of their foundation, to abandon all belief in every religion which had been taught by man. [Robert Owen (1771-1858)]

Finding that no religion is based on facts and cannot be true, I began to reflect what must be the condition of mankind trained from infancy to believe in error. [Robert Owen, 19th century reformer]

Of course, we cannot guarantee our Bibles against normal wear or abuse. [Oxford University Press]

Any Latter-day Saint who denounces or opposes, whether actively or otherwise, any plan or doctrine advocated by the 'prophets, seers, and revelators' of the Church is cultivating the spirit of apostasy. Lucifer....wins a great victory when he can get members of the Church to speak against their leaders and to 'do their own thinking'.... When our leaders speak, the thinking had been done. When they propose a plan -- it is God's plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. [Mormon Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Improvement Era, June 1945, pg. 354]

I was feeling sorry for you and thinking I was doing my Christian duty by making love to you. [Republican Bob Packwood, quoted from his diary, speaking to someone other than his wife]

All countries censored books; Protestant authorities labored to keep papist works from the eyes of the faithful ... ... In the Catholic world, with the trend toward centralization under the pope, a special importance attached to the list published by the bishop of Rome, the papal Index of Prohibited Books. Only with special permission, granted to reliable persons for special study, could Catholics read books listed on the Index, on which most of the significant works written in Europe since the Reformation have been included. [A History of the Modern World, R.R. Palmer, p. 90]

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. [Dorothy Parker]

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction [Pascal, Pensees (1670)]

A pleasant justice, that, which a river or a mountain limits. Truth on this side of the Pyrenees, may be heresy on the other! [Blaise Pascal, Pensees]

If I have to resurrect you, I'll resurrect you, whether you like it or not! [Paul to Jesus, _The_Last_Temptation_of_Christ_]

A tendency to drastically underestimate the frequency of coincidence is a prime characteristic of innumerates, who generally accord great significance to correspondences of all sorts while attributing too little significance to quite conclusive but less flashy statistical evidence. [John Allen Paulos, mathematics professor, in Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences]

God as traditionally defined is a systematic contradiction of every valid metaphysical principle. The point is wider than just the Judeo- Christian concept of God. No argument will get you from this world to a supernatural world. No reason will lead you to a world contradicting this one. No method of inference will enable you to leap from existence to a super-existence. [Leonard Peikoff, The Philosophy of Objectivism]

Every argument for God and every attribute ascribed to Him rests on a false metaphysical premise. None can survive for amoment on a correct metaphysics.... Existence exists, and only existence exists. Existence is a primary; it is uncreated, indestructible, eternal. So if you are to postulate something beyond existence--some supernatural realm--you must do it openly denying reason, dispensing with definitions, proofs, arguments, and saying flatly, To Hell with argument, I have faith. That, of course, is a willful rejection of reason. Objectivism advocates reason as man's sole means of knowledge, and therefore, for the reasons I have already given, is atheist. It denies any supernatural dimension presented as a contradiction of nature, of existence. This applies not only to God, but also to every variant of the supernatural ever advocated or to be advocated. In other words, we accept reality, and thats all. [Leonard Peikoff, The Philosophy of Objectivism, lecture series (1976), Lecture 2]

miracle does not mean merely the unusual. If a woman gives birth to twins, that is unusual; if she were to give birth to elephants, that would be a miracle. A miracle is an action not possible to the entities involved by their nature; it would be a violation of identity. [Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 32]

Perhaps there was an organization in Phineas' day known as the N.A.A.C.P. (National Association for the Advancement of Canaanite People) who took exception with this teaching of segregation. Perhaps there were pulpits proclaiming a more tolerant and socially accepted view and government agency crusading for 'affirmative action.' We really do not know; but we do know from the Bible story in Numbers chapter 25 that the Israel people began to disobey God's law, accept integration, cultural exchange and a type of interracial marriage, and thus were struck collectively by a plague. Phineas was the man who courageously fought against the racial treason even to the point of bloodshed, and he too was honored by God. [Pastor Pete Peters, _THE BIBLE: Handbook For Survivalists, Racists, Tax Protestors, Militants And Right-Wing Extremists_, ND, Scriptures For America, La Porte, Colorado, pp. 4-5]

Thixotropy -- the property that lets toothpaste ooze when squeezed out of its tube and yet not drip off the toothbrush -- may explain a centuries-old miracle. Blood, once congealed, tends to stay that way. But when religious leaders handle a vial believed to contain the blood of St. Januarius, the dark brown substance begins to flow. Periodic demonstrations of this effect have drawn crowds to Naples since 1389, notes Luigi Garlaschelli, an organic chemist at the University of Pavia in Italy. In the Oct. 10 [issue of] Nature, Garlaschelli and two other Italian researchers propose that medieval alchemists could have created a thixotropic substance that looked like blood by mixing water and salt with a mineral called molysite. Thixotropic materials exist as gels until a mechanical stress -- such as picking up or tilting their containers -- makes them flow. To explore this possibility, Garlaschelli searched through the scientific literature and discovered that about 70 years ago, researchers demonstrated thixotropy in an iron hydroxide alloy. He reproduced their work by mixing a ferric chloride compound with calcium carbonate in water, then separating out the iron hydroxide that formed. By adding salt to a solution of this alloy, he created a dark brown gel. 'It looks exactly like the samples in Naples,' he told Science News. All of these materials were available five centuries ago, including ferric chloride, found near Mt. Vesuvius in the form of molysite, he says. [Ivars Peterson, Science News 140(15):229, 12 October 1991]

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

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

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

Difference of religion breeds more quarrels than difference of politics. [Wendell Phillips, Speech, 7 November 1860]

The community which does not protect its humblest and most hated member in the free utterance of his opinions, no matter how false or hateful, is only a gang of slaves. If there is anything in the universe that can't stand discussion, let it crack. [Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), American abolitionist, speech, 1863]

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

...Then anyone who leaves behind him a written manual, and likewise anyone who receives it, in the belief that such writing will be clear and certain, must be exceedingly simple-minded... [Plato, _Phaedrus_]

He was a wise man who invented God. [Plato (427? - 348? BC)]

I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. [Original Pledge of Allegiance (1892)]

The creationists have this creator who is evil, who is small-minded, who is malevolent, and who is not very bright and can't even get his science right. Creationists have made their creator in their own image, in my view. [Prof. Ian Plimer - The Skeptic, Vol 13, No 2]

Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition. [Pliny to Trajan about the Christians, 111 AD]

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry. [Edgar Allan Poe]

Not only might one-quarter to one-half of the weight be lost in planing, whereas with iron only a minute fraction was lost in this way, but half of the weight of timber in a wooden ship was wasted, its only use being to hold the other half in position. Even so, a wooden ship had great stresses as a structure. 'The absolute limit of its length was 300 feet,' and it was liable to hogging and sagging in addition to being unable to withstand the local strain of the screw propeller [The British Shipbuilding Industry, 1870-1914, pp. 13-14, by Sidney Pollard and Paul Robertson, as cited by Robert Moore in The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark, on the physical impossibility of Noah's 450 foot-long wooden ark]

Since the masses of the people are inconsistent, full of unruly desires, passionate, and reckless of consequences, they must be filled with fears to keep them in order. The ancients did well, therefore, to invent gods, and the belief in punishment after death. [Polybius (204?-122? B.C.)]

We are convinced the masses of evidence render the application of the concept of evolution to man and the other primates beyond serious dispute. [Pontifical Academy of Sciences]

Suffer for sex.... Crucifixions for everyone... A baby a year 'til you drop... [The Pope, 11/12/89 Pro-Choice Rally in DC]

The worst of madmen is a saint run mad [Alexander Pope]

It was once proposed that all religions persuasions should be free and their worship publicly exercised. We Catholics have rejected this article as contrary to Roman Catholic canon law. [Pope Pius VII, 1808]

The state (the U.S. Constitution) has not the right to leave every man free to profess and embrace whatever religion he may desire. [Pope Pius IX]

Let Catholic writers take care when defending the cause of the proletariat and the poor not to use language calculated to inspire among the people aversion to the upper classes of society. [Pope Pius X, letter to the bishops of Italy, 18 December 1903]

One Galileo in two thousand years is enough. [Pope Pius XII]

Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve. [Karl Popper]

Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths. [Sir Karl Popper]

The things you are liable to read in the Bible, they ain't necessarily so. [Porgy and Bess]

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

The year is 2001. Half the population hs been converted to faith in Jesus Christ, and the Christian churches rule the world. Though this seems implausible, more than two hundred Christian missionary organizations are scheming to bring it about--as a birthday present for Jesus. The battle lines are being drawn for the conflict of the century. [Skip Porteous, Christian Activism Intensifies as 2001 Approaches, Free Inquiry magazine]

Try this, she said, it can't hurt. A simple experiment, and who knows? It might mean a lot to you in the future. She handed me a pocket Bible, which she carried at all times. Open it randomly to a passage and read what's written here. I don't know how I managed, but I kept sober as I read the passage chance had sent me. Does it mean something to you? I nodded gravely, and handed the passage to Todd. He had to leave the room to keep from bursting. Exodus 22, xviv: Whosoever copulateth with a beast shall be put to death. [Richard Powers, _The Gold Bug Variations_]

The world is in need of less religion and more common sense. [Llewelyn Powys, Celsus and Origen]

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. [Terry Pratchett, Diggers]

The merest accident of microgeography meant that the first man to hear the voice of (the God) Om, and who gave Om his view of humans, was a shepherd and not a goatherd. They have quite different ways of looking at the world, and the whole of history might have been different. For sheep are stupid and have to be driven. But goats are intelligent and need to be led. [Terry Pratchett, Small Gods]

God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffeable game of his own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of any of the other players [ie., everybody], to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who _smiles all the time_. [_Good Omens_ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, Corgi Books 1991, pg 17]

If I get hit or run over by a truck It's not His fault, it's just my own bad luck [_PRAY TV_]

The Madonnas will be returning to a post office near you next year. ...Thanks in part to pressure from President Clinton, the Postal Service on Wednesday reversed its decision to abandon the popular Madonna and Child stamp series in 1995. That action, disclosed last week, had upset religious groups, members of Congress and the president. [Press Democrat, 24 November 1994]

Putting a different spin on Flag Day, a 7-year-old atheist Wednesday urged public-school students to refuse to recite the 'Pledge of Allegiance' until the words 'under God' are excised. ...'When kids are forced to say, 'under God,' it makes them think that atheists are bad people,' Ricky Sherman said at a news conference, reading a statement he wrote on composition paper in large block letters. ...'Atheists are good people,' he said. 'We just know that God is make believe.' [Press Democrat, 15 June 1989 (AP)]

I think the Zapruder film was arranged [by] Jesus, so that this particular 'terrible head wound' would be seen by the whole word for over 3 decades. [John Prewett, net.fundie.idiot]

I predict/prophecy in Jesus name that: John F. Kennedy will publicly reappear, amaze the world, and is in fact the beast of the Revelation. [John Prewett, net.fundie.idiot]

An engineering professor is treating her husband, a loan officer, to dinner for finally giving in to her pleas to shave off the scraggly beard he grew on vacation. His favorite restaurant is a casual place where they both feel comfortable in slacks and cotton/polyester-blend golf shirts. But, as always, she wears the gold and pearl pendant he gave her the day her divorce decree was final. They're laughing over their menus because they know he always ends up diving into a giant plate of ribs but she won't be talked into anything more fattening than shrimp.
Quiz: How many biblical prohibitions are they violating? Well, wives are supposed to be 'submissive' to their husbands (I Peter 3:1). And all women are forbidden to teach men (I Timothy 2:12), wear gold or pearls (I Timothy 2:9) or dress in clothing that 'pertains to a man' (Deuteronomy 22:5). Shellfish and pork are definitely out (Leviticus 11:7, 10) as are usury (Deuteronomy 23:19), shaving (Leviticus 19:27) and clothes of more than one fabric (Leviticus 19:19). And since the Bible rarely recognizes divorce, they're committing adultery, which carries the rather harsh penalty of death by stoning (Deuteronomy 22:22).
So why are they having such a good time? Probably because they wouldn't think of worrying about rules that seem absurd, anachronistic or -- at best -- unrealistic. Yet this same modern-day couple could easily be among the millions of Americans who never hesitate to lean on the Bible to justify their own anti-gay attitudes. [from `And Say Hi To Joyce' by lesbian columnist Deb Price]

Most of it is crap, but in every pile of crap is a gem of stupidity that will have you on the floor in laughter. [psycho@ace.comi (Preacher)]

The best defense against Christianity is a good Christian Education [Psycho Dave]

I'm willing to bet that when we finally discover the root causes for most sexual problems facing people today, that Christianity will top the list. [Psycho Dave, Psycho0@ix.netcom.com]

Christianity faces no greater enemy than the age of information. [Psycho Dave, Psycho0@ix.netcom.com]

Might there have been fewer crimes in the name of Jesus, and more mercy in the name of Judas Iscariot? [Thomas Pynchon]

There was no difference between the behavior of a god and the operations of pure chance... [Thomas Pynchon, _Gravity's Rainbow_]

Once a ruler becomes religious, it [becomes] impossible for you to debate with him. Once someone rules in the name of religion, your lives become hell. [Colonel Moammar Qaddafi, at the General People's Congress in Tripoli in October, 1989]

I pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, and to the Saviour, for whose Kingdom it stands, one Saviour, crucified, risen, and coming again, with life and liberty for all who believe. [Dan Quayle]

Religions tend to disappear with man's good fortune. [Raymond Queneau, A Model History]

The future war is between the religious and the materialists. Collaboration between religious governments in support of outlawing abortion is a fine beginning for the conception of collaboration in other fields. [Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Hashemi Rafsanjani, as reported in the Iranian newspaper _Abrar_ of August 1, 1994, after meeting with special envoys from Pope John Paul II]

Jesus was a crackpot. [Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, San Francisco Chronicle 12/17/85]

Ask youself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves--or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth. [Ayn Rand]

In that world, you'll be able to rise in the morning with the spirit you had known in your childhood: that spirit of eagerness, adventure and certainty which comes from dealing with a rational universe. [Ayn Rand]

The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive- a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence...Man's mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God... Man's standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man's power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith....The purpose of man's life...is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question. [Ayn Rand, For the New Intellectual]

...if devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.... the alleged short-cut to knowledge, which is faith, is only a short-circuit destroying the mind. [Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged]

Playboy: Has no religion, in your estimation, ever offered anything of constructive value to human life? Ayn Rand: Qua religion, no - in the sense of blind belief, belief unsupported by, or contrary to, the facts of reality and the conclusions of reason. Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life: it is the negation of reason. But you must remember that religion is an early form of philosophy, that the first attempts to explain the universe, to give a coherent frame of reference to man's life and a code of moral values, were made by religion, before men graduated or developed enough to have philosophy. And, as philosophies, some religions have very valuable moral points. They may have a good influence or proper principles to inculcate, but in a very contradictory context and, on a very - how should I say it? - dangerous or malevolent base: on the ground of faith. [Playboy interview with Ayn Rand]

If you get caught at some crucial point and somebody tells you that your doctrine doesn't make sense--you're ready for him. You tell him there's something above sense. That here he must not try to think, he must _feel_. He must _believe_. Suspend reason and you can play it deuces wild. [Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead]

And now I see the face of god, and I raise this god over the earth, this god whom men have sought since men came into being, this god who will grant them joy and peace and pride.
This god, this one word: I. [Ayn Rand, _Anthem_]

I know another preacher who, along with his church, prayed that the LORD would help a pot of noodles last through a social dinner, not only did they last, not only did several take home a container full of noodles, but the containers always stayed full. Finally, they had to throw them out, after thanking the LORD of course. [Jerry Randall, net.fundie.idiot]

To recognize that nature has neither a preference for our species nor a bias against it takes only a little courage [James Randi, The Faith Healers]

To make sure that my blasphemy is thoroughly expressed, I hereby state my opinion that the notion of a god is a basic superstition, that there is no evidence for the existence of any god(s), that devils, demons, angels and saints are myths, that there is no life after death, heaven nor hell, that the Pope is a dangerous, bigoted, medieval dinosaur, and that the Holy Ghost is a comic-book character worthy of laughter and derision. I accuse the Christian god of murder by allowing the Holocaust to take place -- not to mention the ethnic cleansing presently being performed by Christians in our world -- and I condemn and vilify this mythical deity for encouraging racial prejudice and commanding the degradation of women. [James Randi, challenging blasphemy laws in several US states]

I honesty believe that in my lifetime we will see a country once again governed by Christians . . . and Christian values. What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one state at a time. [Ralph Reed, Executive Director of the Christian Coalition]

We've learned how to move under radar in the cover of the night with shrubbery strapped to our helmets, [Ralph Reed, executive director of Christian Coalition]

They call them extremists. We have our own names. We call them senators, congressman, governors, mayors, state legislators [Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition Executive Director]

I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night. [Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition Exec. Director]

The old faiths light their candles all about, but burly Truth comes by and puts them out. [Lizette Reese]

The `wall of separation between church and state' is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned. [Chief Justice William Rehnquist]

...full sexual consciousness and a natural regulation of sexual life mean the end of mystical feelings of any kind, that, in other words, natural sexuality is the deadly enemy of mystical religion. The church, by making the fight over sexuality the center of its dogmas and of its influence over the masses, confirms this concept. [Wilhelm Reich]

The name of Christ has caused more persecutions, wars, and miseries than any other name has caused. [John E. Remsburg, The Christ(1910)]

No miracle has ever taken place under conditions which science can accept. Experience shows, without exception, that miracles occur only in times and in countries in which miracles are believed in, and in the presence of persons who are disposed to believe them. [Ernest Renan, 1863]

I don't know if God exists, but it would be better for His reputation if He didn't. [Jules Renard]

I DO want your money, because god wants your money! [Reverend Larry, from _Repo_Man_]

He's the type of guy that has to talk to God because nobody else will listen to him. [Atheist comedian Rick Reynolds]

I believe to this day what I believed when I was eight -- science. [Rick Reynolds]

I might have become a Catholic if the Church were a little hipper. Like if the host were fudge, I'd be there for that. Body of Christ, with or without nuts. [Rick Reynolds, atheist comedian, on religion]

God is dead and no one cares. If there is a hell, I'll see you there. [Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails)]

Incest is a voluntary act on the woman's part. [Charles Rice, Professor of Law, Notre Dame University, in a pamphlet published by the American Life League]

And all the good you've done will soon be swept away, You've begun to matter more than the things you say [Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Weber, _Jesus Christ Superstar_]

There are ten commandments, right? Well, it's like an exam. You get eight out of ten, you're just about top of the class. [Mordecai Richler]

In 1127, the Norse farmers of Greenland sent the King of Norway a live polar bear. He sent them back a bishop. By 1500, the only people living in Greenland were the Inuit seal hunters. All that remained of the Norse settlements were the ruins of their churches.
Faced with a sudden cooling of the climate, the Norse people were more concerned with building churches and providing for bishops than changing their way of life to take account of the harsher climate. While they continued to graze their cattle on increasingly poor land, the Inuit remained flexible and adjusted their life style to suit the shifting conditions. [_'Rigid' cultures caught out by climate change_, article in the 5 March 1994 edition of _New Scientist_]

In the Middle East, the Bronze Age people of Canaan--the ancient region between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean that roughly corresponds to Israel--also failed to adapt to the drying out of their lands around 2200 BC(E). In their case, says Arlene Rosen of Ben Gurion University of the Negev, it was their beliefs that were their undoing. 'In Canaan, people believed that environmental disasters were caused by a deity unhappy with the people, she says. Like the Mayans, the Canaanites could have coped with the new conditions by introducing new irrigation systems for their crops.
Instead, they attributed the shift in climate to the wrath of the gods, built more temples and prayed for better times. Within a short time, the cities and towns were abandoned and the people became nomadic hearders. [_'Rigid' cultures caught out by climate change_, article in the 5 March 1994 edition of _New Scientist_]

a sense of humor, properly developed, is superior to any religion so far devised [Tom Robbins, _Jitterbug Perfume_]

We care not about rights. We spread our beliefs according to what our God tells us to. Simple as that. We don't struggle for rights. [Christopher N. Roberts (cnr1@erc.msstate.edu) on alt.atheism]

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

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

At the time of its Founding, the United States seemed to be an infertile ground for religion. Many of the nation's leaders - include George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin - were not Christians, did not accept the authority of the Bible, and were hostile to organized religion. The attitude of the general public was one of apathy: in 1776, only 5 percent of the population were participating members of churches. [Ian Robertson, _Sociology_, 3rd editions, Worth Publishing Inc.: New York, 1987, page 410]

The best argument for the use of the name Agnostic is simply that the word Atheist has been so long covered with all manner of ignorant calumny, that it is expedient to use a new term, which though in some respects faulty, has a fair start, and will in time have a recognized meaning. The case so stated is reasonable; but there is a per contra that whatever the motive with which the name is used, it is now tacked to half a dozen conflicting forms of doctrine, varying loosely between Theism and Pantheism. The name of Atheism escapes that drawback. Its unpopularity has saved it from a half-hearted and half-minded patronage. [John M. Robertson]

The theory that religion is not only hostile to magic but quite separate from it is as fallacious as the distinction between religion and superstition. [J.M. Robertson, _Pagan Christs_, 1903]

I think the sky is blue because it's a shift from black through purple to blue, and it has to do with where the light is. You know, the farther we get into darkness, and there's a shifting of color of light into the blueness, and I think as you go farther and farther away from the reflected light we have from the sun or the light that's bouncing off this earth, uh, the darker it gets ... I think if you look at the color scale, you start at black, move it through purple, move it on out, it's the shifting of color. We mentioned before about the stars singing, and that's one of the effects of the shifting of colors. [Pat Robertson, on a telecast of the 700 Club]

... A socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians. [Pat Robertson on Feminism]

There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that sanctifies the separation of church and state. [Pat Robertson]

God showed me...that he was going to bless the Christian Coalition beyond our wildest expectations. Before the year 2000, the Christian Coalition will be the most powerful organization in America. We'll be back in 1993. We'll be back in 1994. We'll be back in 1995...We'll be back until we win it all. [Pat Robertson]

The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian and atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. [Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, Dec. 30, 1981]

Many of those people involved in Adolf Hitler were Satanists, many were homosexuals -- the two things seem to go together [Pat Robertson, ADL report on Religious Right, page 131]

It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-biased media and the homosexuals who want to destroy all Christians [Pat Robertson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sept. 14, 1993]

Before the year 2000, the Christian Coalition will be the most powerful organization in America. [Pat Robertson]

Modern experience has shown that usury inevitably leads to subservience. And God did not want his that for his people but rather intend for them to rule... He directed very fifty years years that all debt would be cancelled, all property be redistributed, and the cycle begin again... Not withstanding the sneers of many in the banking community, it may be that God's way is the only one open to us - a year of jubillee to straighten us out. [Pat Robertson, The Secret Kingdom, 1992]

I have known few homosexuals who did not practice their tendencies. Such people are sinning against God and will lead to the ultimate destruction of the family and our nation. I am unalterably opposed to such things, and will do everything I can to restrict the freedom of these people to spread their contagious infection to the youth of this nation. [Pat Robertson]

I know one man who was impotent who gave AIDS to his wife and the only thing they did was kiss. [Pat Robertson]

You say you're supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists and this, that, and the other thing. Nonsense. I don't have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist. [Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, January 14, 1991]

They have kept us in submission because they have talked about separation of church and state. There is no such thing in the Constitution. It's a lie of the left, and we're not going to take it anymore. [Pat Robertson, The State, Columbia, South Carolina, Nov. 14, 1993]

That [separation of church and state] was never in the Constitution, however much the liberals laugh at me for saying it, they know good and well it was never in the Constitution! Such language only appeared in the constitution of the communist Soviet Union [Pat Robertson, The 700 Club, Jan. 22, 1995]

The wars of extermination have given a lot of people trouble unless they know what was going on. The people in the land of Palestine were very wicked. They were given over to idolatry; they sacrificed their children; they had all kinds of abominable sex practices; they were having sex, apparently, with animals; they were having sex men with men, and women with women; they were committing adultery, fornication; they were worshipping idols, offering their children up; and they were forsaking God. God told the Israelites to kill them all - men, women and children, to destroy them. And that seems to be a terrible thing to do. Is it? Or isn't it? Well, let us assume there were 2,000 of them, or 10,000 of them living in the land, or whatever number there was of them. I don't have the exact number. Pick a number. God said, 'Kill them all.' Well, that would seem hard, wouldn't it? That would be 10,000 people who would probably go to Hell. But, if they stayed and reproduced, in 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 or 100 more years, they could conceivably be - 10,000 would go to a 100,000 - 100,000 could conceivably go to a million. And then, there would be a million people who would have to spend eternity in Hell! And it's far more merciful to take away a few than to see in the future a 100 years down the road, and say, 'Well, I have to take away a million people that would forever be apart from God,' because the abomination was there like a contagium. God saw that there was no cure for it. It wasn't going to change; their hearts weren't going to change; and all they would do is cause trouble for the Israelites, and pull the Israelites away from God, and prevent the truth of God from reaching the Earth. So, God, in love, took away a small number that he might not have to take away a large number. [Pat Robertson, rationalizing genocide committed by the early Israelites, on The 700 Club television program. May 6, 1985]

When I said during my presidential bid that I would only bring Christians and Jews into the government, I hit a firestorm. `What do you mean?' the media challenged me. `You're not going to bring atheists into the government? How dare you maintain that those who believe in the Judeo-Christian values are better qualified to govern America than Hindus and Muslims?' My simple answer is, `Yes, they are.' [Pat Robertson, The New World Order, page 218]

These are actually chunks of lung itself being coughed up. I don't understand exactly what it is, but God has healed you right now. Amen. [Pat Robertson, during a faith healing session]

They said God was on high and he controlled the world and therefore we must pray against Satan. Well, if God controls the world, he controls Satan. For me, religion was full of misstatements and reaches of logic that I just couldn't agree with. [Gene Roddenberry]

I've always thought that, if we did not have supernatural explanations for all the things we might not understand right away, this is the way we would be, like the people on that planet. [ST:TNG Who Watches the Watchers] I was born into a supernatural world in which all my people -my family- usually said That is because God willed it, or gave other supernatural explanations for whatever happened. When you confront those statements on their own, they just don't make sense. They are clearly wrong. You need a certain amount of proof to accept anything, and that proof was not forthcoming to support those statements. [Gene Roddenberry]

We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful God, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes. [Gene Roddenberry]

I was driving home early Sunday morning, through Bakersfield Listening to gospel music on the public radio station When the preacher said You'll always have the Lord by your side. I was so pleased to be informed of this That I ran twenty red lights in his honor. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord. [The Rolling Stones, Faraway Eyes]

A long acquaintance with the literature of the Witnesses leads one to the conclusion that they live in the intellectual `twilight zone'.... Whenever their literature strays onto the fields of philosophy, academic theology, science or any severe mental discipline their ideas at best mirror popular misconceptions, at worst they are completely nonsensical. [Alan Rogerson, _Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses_, 1969, p. 116]

Every man is free to adopt and profess any religion, which, under the guidance of reason, he believes to be true. [Rome's Syllabus of Condemned Opinions]

Those of us who believe in the right of any human being to belong to whatever church he sees fit, and to worship God in his own way, cannot be accused of prejudice when we do not want to see public education connected with religious control of the schools, which are paid for by taxpayers' money. [Eleanor Roosevelt]

Spiritual leadership should remain spiritual leadership and the temporal power should not become too important in any church. [Eleanor Roosevelt]

Indifference to religion, due to thought, strengthens character, [W.T. Root, Prof. of Psychology at Univ. of Pittsburg, after examining 1,916 prisoners]

It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so. [Ernestine Rose]

Jesus was a Jew, yes, but only on his mother's side. [Stanley Ralph Ross]

Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions and you are a conqueror. Kill all and you are God. [Jean Rostand (1894-1977) French biologist, writer]

But I am mistaken in speaking of a Christian republic; the terms are mutually exclusive. Christianity preaches only servitude and dependence. Its spirit is so favorable to tyranny that it always profits such a regime. True Christians are made to be slaves, and they know it and do not mind; this short life counts for too little in their eyes. [Jean Jacques Rousseau, Contrat Social (The Social Contract)]

If Christ does not appear to meet his 144,000 faithful shortly after midnight on February 6th or 7th, it means that my calculations, based on the Bible, must be revised. [Margaret Rowen, Church of the Advanced Adventists, 1925]

And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to It for help
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.
 [from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam trans. Edward Fitzgerald (1809-1883)]
Why do you think you're God? 
Because when I pray, I find I'm talking to myself. [from The Ruling Class]
They say there are strangers, who threaten us
In our immigrants and infidels
They say there is strangeness, too dangerous
In our theatres and bookstore shelves
Those who know what's best for us-
Must rise and save us from ourselves
Quick to judge ... Quick to anger ... Slow to understand...
Ignorance and prejudice and fear [all] Walk hand in hand.
Faith is cold as ice-
 Why are little ones born only to suffer
 For the want of immunity
 Or a bowl of rice?
 Well, who would hold a price
 On the heads of the innocent children
 If there's some immortal power
 To control the dice?
 [Rush, Roll The Bones]
You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
 If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
 You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
 I will choose a path that's clear- I will choose Free Will.
 [Rush, Free Will]
I don't believe in destiny or the guiding hand of fate,
 I don't believe in forever or love as a mystical state,
 I don't believe in the stars or the planets or angels watching from above,
 But I believe there's a ghost of a chance we can find someone to love
and make it last
 [Rush, Ghost of a Chance]

[My] mind is not for rent to any god or government [Rush, Tom Sawyer]

To put it as simply as possible: 'I am not a Muslim'.[...] I do not accept the charge of apostacy, because I have never in my adult life affirmed any belief, and what one has not affirmed one can not be said to have apostasized from. The Islam I know states clearly that 'there can be no coercion in matters of religion'. The many Muslims I respect would be horrified by the idea that they belong to their faith 'purely by virtue of birth', and that a person who freely chose not to be a Muslim could therefore be put to death. [Salman Rushdie, In Good Faith 1990]

God, Satan, Paradise, and Hell all vanished one day in my fifteenth year, when I quite abruptly lost my faith. [...]and afterwards, to prove my new-found atheism, I bought myself a rather tasteless ham sandwich, and so partook for the first time of the forbidden flesh of the swine. No thunderbolt arrived to strike me down. [...] From that day to this I have thought of myself as a wholly secular person. [Salman Rushdie, In God We Trust 1985]

I do not need the idea of God to explain the world I live in. [Salman Rushdie, on David Frost show]

The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas --uncertainty, progress, change -- into crimes. [Salman Rushdie]

To respect Louis Farrakhan, we must understand, is simply to agree with him... If dissent is now also to be thought of as a form of 'dissing,' then we have indeed succumbed to the thought police. [Salman Rushdie, to Reuters News Service, 4/17/96]

If I were asked for a one-sentence soundbite on religion, I would say I was against it. [Salman Rushdie, to Reuters News Service, 4/17/96]

God in His law requires the death penalty for homosexuals. [R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian, in a letter to Mel White]

Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life. [R.J. Rushdoony, _Thy Kingdom Come_,1978]

The state is a bankrupt institution. The only alternative to this bankrupt 'humanistic' system is a God-centered government. [R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian, from _The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism In America_, published by ADL]

Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristrocracy. [R.J. Rushdoony, Reconstructionist theologian, from _The Religious Right: The Assault on Tolerance and Pluralism In America_, published by ADL]

Many people would rather die than think; in fact, most do. [Bertrand Russell]

William James used to preach the 'will to believe.' For my part, I should wish to preach the 'will to doubt.' ... What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. [Bertrand Russell, _Skeptical_Essays_, 1928]

I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world. [Bertrand Russell]

It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no reason whatsoever for supposing it to be true. [Bertrand Russell]

If you think that your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument, rather then by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based on faith, you will realize that argument is useless and will therefore result to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting and distorting the minds of the young in what is called education. [Bertrand Russell]

There is something feeble and a little contemptable about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not real, he becomes furious when they are disputed. [Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics]

Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines. [Bertrand Russell]

He goes on about the wailing and gnashing of teeth. It comes in one verse after another, and it is quite manifest to the reader that there is a certain pleasure in contemplating the wailing and gnashing of teeth, or else it would not occur so often. [Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not a Christian]

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

What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the likeness of the believer. [Bertrand Russell]

There has been a rumor in recent years to the effect that I have become less opposed to religious orthodoxy than I formerly was. This rumor is totally without foundation. I think all the great religions of the world- Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Communism- both untrue and harmful. [Bertrand Russell, 1957]

I think that in philosophical strictness at the level where one doubts the existence of material objects and holds that the world may have existed for only five minutes, I ought to call myself an agnostic; but, for all practical purposes, I am an atheist. I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptic orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely. [Bertrand Russell]

We may define faith as the firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of faith. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions. [Bertrand Russell]

The conquering of fear is the beginning of wisdom [Bertrand Russell]

The splendour of human life, I feel sure, is greater to those who are not dazzled by the divine radiance. [Bertrand Russell]

People are zealous for a cause when they are not quite positive that it is true. [Bertrand Russell]

Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown, and partly the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing - fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand-in-hand [Bertrand Russell, 6/3/27]

... when people begin to philosophize they seem to think it necessary to make themselves artificially stupid. [Bertrand Russell in Theory of Knowledge]

To save the world requires faith and courage: faith in reason, and courage to proclaim what reason shows to be true. [Bertrand Russell, The Prospects of Industrial Civilization]

Science tells us what we can know but what we can know is little and if we forget how much we cannot know we become insensitive of many things of very great importance. Theology, on the other hand induces a dogmatic belief that we have knowledge where in fact we have ignorance and by doing so generates a kind of impertinent insolence towards the universe. Uncertainty in the presence of vivid hopes and fears is painful, but must be endured if we wish to live without the support of comforting fairy tales. [Bertrand Russell]

I was told that the Chinese said that they would would bury me by the Western lake and build a shrine to my memory. I have some slight regret that this did not happen, as I might have become a god, which would have been very _chic_ for an atheist. [Bertrand Russell, Autobiography]

The question of the truth of a religion is one thing, but the question of its usefullness is another. I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue. [Bertrand Russell, _Why I Am Not A Christian_, 1957]

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. [Bertrand Russell]

At the age of eighteen ... I read Mill's Autobiography, where I found a sentence to the effect that his father taught him that the question 'Who made me?' cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question 'Who made God?'. This led me to abandon the 'First Cause' argument, and to become an atheist. Throughout the long period of religious doubt, I had been rendered very unhappy by the gradual loss of belief, but when the process was completed, I found to my surprise that I was quite glad to be done with the whole subject. [Bertrand Russell, Autobiography, chap. 2]

I wish to propose for the reader's favourable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. I must of course admit that if such an opinion became common it would completely transform our social life and our political system; since both are at present faultless, this must weigh against it. [Bertrand Russell, _Sceptical Essays_]

The universe may have a purpose, but nothing we know suggests that, if so, this purpose has any similarity to ours. [Bertrand Russell]

Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; no fire, no heroism, no intensity of though and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave. [Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) Why I Am Not a Christian]

I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting. [Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)]

Few people can be happy unless they hate some other person, nation or creed. [Bertrand Russell]

I do not pretend to be able to prove that there is no God. I equally cannot prove that Satan is a fiction. The Christian God may exist; so may the gods of Olympus, or of ancient Egypt, or of Babylon. But no one of these hypotheses is more probable than any other: they lie outside the region of even probable knowledge, and therefore there is no reason to consider any of them. The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible. [Bertrand Russell, _A History of Western Philosophy_, 1945]

We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world -- its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. [Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian]

Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a fit place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it. [Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Christian]

The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic. [Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays]

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. [Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays]

The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life. [Bertrand Russell]

It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion. [Bertrand Russell]

The deliverance of the saints must take place some time before 1914. [Charles Taze Russell, American religious leader and founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, Studies in the Scripture, Volume 3, 1910 edition]

The deliverance of the saints must take place some time after 1914. [Charles Taze Russell, American religious leader and founder of Jehovah's Witnesses, Studies in the Scripture, Volume 3, 1923 edition]

Our Father or Mother, who are either in heaven, nirvana, Mecca or
 Salt Lake City, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will
 be done, providing thy will is that America is always the big winner
 over foreign heathen.  Give us this day our daily white bread, black
 bread, Italian bread, Jewish rye, English muffins, or tacos, and a
 quarter-pounder with cheese and large fries to go.  And lead us not
 into temptation, or into school buses that take us to neighborhoods
 where the kids are different.  For thine is the kingdom and the power
 and the glory, especially for people who still use words like thine.
 [Mark Russell, humorist]