Quotes on Religion
The religion of one age is the literary entertainment of the next.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Religions impose their dogmas, bend conscience under their laws, deny freedom of discussion and
of judgment to their clients, and, in the name of God, proscribe all thought which they do not control, all liberty
except the liberty to bow down and believe.
...it is my firm opinion that the whole batch of religions with their aims and claims are a
barrier to world peace. Religion does not unite people. It divides them. Religion is not only a barrier to world
peace but a thwarter and a stumbling block to world progress.
G. Vincent Runyon
I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to
drain people of their free will - and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of
idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning
In a child's power to master the multiplication table there is more sanctity
than in all your shouted amens and holy holies and hoseannas. An idea is a greater monument than a cathedral. And
the advance of man's knowledge is a greater miracle than all the sticks turned to snakes or the parting of the
Spencer Tracy, "Inherit the Wind"
Religion and its practices have consistently been one of women's fiercest enemies... The fact that many women do
not realize this shows how thorough the brainwashing and intimidation have been.
To religious despotism, imposing speculative delusions, and class-legislation, may be attributed the decay of
There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages.
Ruth H. Green
…since the power of the printing press has risen, the influence of the priesthood has diminished.
Dr. Thomas Inman, British Royal Physician, Ancient Faiths and Modern, 405
It seems immodest for me to discuss my career or to claim any accomplishments. If you think surviving 67 years
on a brutal, backward and superstitious planet ranks as an accomplishment, I've done that.
Robert Anton Wilson
Static religions are the death of thought.
Alfred North Whitehead
The world is my country, to do good my religion.
No religion can rise to power quickly without vast promises, fierce threats, and the doctrine of
Honesty, like charity, must begin at home. Unless we can tell the truth in our churches we will
never tell the truth in our shops. Unless our teachers, the ministers of God, are honest, our insurance companies
and corporations will have to be watched. Permit sham in your religious life, and the disease will spread to every
member of the social body. If you may keep religion in the dark, and cry "hush," "hush," when people ask that it be
brought out into the light, why may not politics or business cultivate a similar partiality for darkness? If the
king cries, "rebel," when a citizen asks for justice, it is because he has heard the priest cry, "infidel," when a
member of his church asked for evidence. Religious hypocrisy is the mother of all hypocrisies. Cure a man of that,
and the human world will recover its health.
...In religion, they become "holier than thou" types filled with terrible hatreds which in turn
cause guilt complexes that drive them deeper into their religious frame of reference. The outlet for their
scrambled emotions is to try to foist their beliefs - and their fears - onto the rest of us.
Hell is - other people.
Hell is useless to sages, but necessary to the blind and brutal populace.
The Judeo-Christian-Moslem-Hindu complex of religions is so troublesome because these religions are
moralistic, absolutist, sex-negative, patriarchal, exclusionary, supremacist, hierarchical, legalistic, militant
and imperial in nature. Historically, these religions have been used as tools for the construction, conquest,
justification and maintenance of centralized political empires (or conversely, these empires have been used as
tools to spread the religions.) Religion and Empire are part of the same historical/political complex and have
co-evolved for millennia. They're components of a more general pathological process in history and human
Religion can never reform mankind, because religion is slavery. It is far better to be free, to
leave the forts and barricades of fear, to stand erect and face the future with a smile. It is far better to give
yourself sometimes to negligence, to drift with wave and tide, with the blind force of the world, to think and
dream, to forget the chains and limitations of the breathing life, to forget purpose and object, to lounge in the
picture-gallery of the brain, to feel once more the clasps and kisses of the past, to bring life’s morning back, to
see again the forms and faces of the dead, to paint fair pictures for the coming years, to forget all Gods, their
promises and threats, to feel within your veins life’s joyous stream and hear the martial music, the rhythmic
beating of your fearless heart. And then to rouse yourself to do all useful things, to reach with thought and deed
the ideal in your brain, to give your fancies wing, that they, like chemist bees, may find art’s nectar in the
weeds of common things, to look with trained and steady eyes for facts, to find the subtle threads that join the
distant with the now, to increase knowledge, to take burdens from the weak, to develop the brain, to defend the
right, to make a palace for the soul. This is real religion. This is real worship.
Robert G. Ingersoll
The Creed of Science
To love justice, to long for the right, to love mercy, to pity the suffering, to assist the
weak, to forget wrongs and remember benefits--to love the truth, to be sincere, to utter honest words, to love
liberty, to wage relentless war against slavery in all its forms, to love wife and child and friend, to make a
happy home, to love the beautiful in art, in nature, to cultivate the mind, to be familiar with the mighty thoughts
that genius has expressed, the noble deeds of all the world, to cultivate courage and cheerfulness, to make others
happy, to fill life with the splendor of generous acts, the warmth of loving words, to discard error, to destroy
prejudice, to receive new truths with gladness, to cultivate hope, to see the calm beyond the storm, the dawn
beyond the night, to do the best that can be done and then to be resigned--this is the religion of reason, the
creed of science. This satisfies the brain and heart.
From the Pope, who makes the people reverentially kiss his big toe, from the Lama, who makes
them reverence his excrements, down to the last juggler, all the agents of religious imposture have held Man in the
most shameful dependence of their power, and have amused him with the most chimerical hopes. There is not a spot on
Earth where he could have securely enough hid himself, in order to escape the illusions and the prestiges with
which these impostors surround all those who lent a willing ear to their lying promises.