That Old Time Religion

Sunday, February 19, 2012 – That Old Time Religion

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

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

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

Religion is the metaphysics of the masses. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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”

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

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

If there were no God, there would be no Atheists. ~ G. K. Chesterton

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“There are no atheists in foxholes” isn’t an argument against atheism, it’s an argument against foxholes. ~ James Morrow

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

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

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