Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants.
—William Penn (1644–1718) American Entrepreneur, Political leader, Philosopher
This merriment of parsons is mighty offensive.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
It is a good and gentle religion, but inconvenient.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
The works of nature and the works of revelation display religion to mankind in characters so large and visible that those who are not quite blind may in them see and read the first principles and most necessary parts of it and from thence penetrate into those infinite depths filled with the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
—John Locke (1632–1704) English Philosopher, Physician
A puritan is a person who pours righteous indignation into the wrong things.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
The object of living is work, experience, and happiness. There is joy in work. All that money can do is buy us someone else’s work in exchange for our own. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
—Henry Ford (1863–1947) American Businessperson, Engineer
He was an embittered atheist (the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him).
—George Orwell (1903–50) English Novelist, Journalist
The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.
—Richard Burton (1925–84) Welsh Actor
Our hope of immortality does not come from any religions, but nearly all religions come from that hope.
—Robert G. Ingersoll (1833–99) American Lawyer, Orator, Agnostic
Science without religion is lame; religion without science is blind.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
Whatever sympathy I feel towards religions, whatever admiration for some of their adherents, whatever historical or biological necessity I see in them, whatever metaphorical truth, I cannot accept them as credible explanations of reality; and they are incredible to me in proportion to the degree that they require my belief in positive human attributes and intervenient powers in their divinities.
—John Fowles (1926–2005) English Novelist
We found nothing grand in the history of the Jews nor in the morals inculcated in the Pentateuch. I know of no other books that so fully teach the subjection and degradation of woman.
—Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902) American Social Reformer
Religion is just mind control
—George Carlin (1937–2008) American Stand-up Comedian
It is by far the most elegant worship, hardly excepting the Greek mythology. What with incense, pictures, statues, altars, shrines, relics, and the real presence, confession, absolution,—there is something sensible to grasp at. Besides, it leaves no possibility of doubt; for those who swallow their Deity, really and truly, in transubstantiation, can hardly find any thing else otherwise than easy of digestion.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
There need not be in religion, or music, or art, or love, or goodness, anything that is against reason; but never while the sun shines will we get great religion, or music, or art, or love, or goodness, without going beyond reason.
—Harry Emerson Fosdick (1878–1969) American Baptist Minister
It is indolence… Indolence and love of ease; a want of all laudable ambition, of taste for good company, or of inclination to take the trouble of being agreeable, which make men clergymen. A clergyman has nothing to do but be slovenly and selfish; read the newspaper, watch the weather, and quarrel with his wife. His curate does all the work and the business of his own life is to dine.
—Jane Austen (1775–1817) English Novelist
Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.
—Joseph Campbell (1904–87) American Mythologist, Writer, Lecturer
At sometime in our lives a devil dwells within us, causes heartbreaks, confusion and troubles, then dies.
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919) American Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Explorer
The task and triumph of religion is to make men and nations true and just and upright in all their dealings, and to bring all law as well as all conduct into subjection and conformity to the law of God.
—Henry van Dyke Jr. (1852–1933) American Author, Educator, Clergyman
Who hates the Jews more than the Jew?
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
The difference between listening to a radio sermon and going to church…is almost like the difference between calling your girl on the phone and spending an evening with her.
—Dwight L. Moody (1837–99) Christian Religious Leader, Publisher
Measure not men by Sundays, without regarding what they do all the week after.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
Here is everything which can lay hold of the eye, ear and imagination—everything which can charm and bewitch the simple and ignorant. I wonder how Luther ever broke the spell.
—John Adams (1735–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer
When you read God’s Word, you must constantly be saying to yourself, “It is talking to me, and about me.”
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
I believe God is managing affairs and that He doesn’t need any advice from me. With God in charge, I believe everything will work out for the best in the end. So what is there to worry about.
—Henry Ford (1863–1947) American Businessperson, Engineer
I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion.
—Baruch Spinoza (1632–77) Dutch Philosopher, Theologian
Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation.
—Edmund Burke (1729–97) British Philosopher, Statesman
Christianity is the good man’s text; his life is the illustration. How admirable is that religion, which, while it seems to have in view only the felicity of another world, is at the same time the highest happiness of this.
—James Martineau (1805–1900) English Philosopher, Religious Leader
I think that the leaf of a tree, the meanest insect on which we trample, are in themselves arguments more conclusive than any which can be adduced that some vast intellect animates Infinity.
—Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822) English Poet, Dramatist, Essayist, Novelist
There is in general good reason to suppose that in several respects the gods could all benefit from instruction by us human beings. We humans are—more humane.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer