Religion Quotes



Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so.

Bertrand Russell


In science it often happens that scientists say, You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken, and then they actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion.

Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP keynote address.


You can’t convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it’s based on a deep seated need to believe.

Carl Sagan


As the caterpillar chooses the fairest leaves to lay her eggs  on, so the priest lays his curse on the fairest joys.

William Blake, from “Proverbs of Hell”


I am surrounded by priests who repeat incessantly  that their kingdom is not of this world, and yet  they lay their hands on everything they can get.

Napoleon Bonaparte


The word heretic ought to be a term of honour…

Charles Bradlaugh


I cannot follow you Christians; for you try to crawl through your  life upon your knees, while I stride through mine on my feet.

Charles Bradlaugh


If, in any culture, children are taught, ‘We are all equally  unworthy in the sight of God’

If, in any culture, children are taught, ‘You are born in sin  and are sinful by nature’

If children are given a message that amounts to ‘Don’t think,  don’t question, *believe*’

If children are given a message that amounts to ‘Who are you to  place your mind above that of the priest, the minister, the rabbi?’

If children are told, ‘If you have value it is not because of anything  you have done or could ever do, it is only because God loves you’

If children are told, ‘Submission to what you cannot understand  is the beginning of morality’

If children are instructed, ‘Do not be “willful”, self-assertiveness  is the sin of pride’

If children are instructed, ‘Never think that you belong to yourself’

If children are informed, ‘In any clash between your judgement and that  of your religious authorities, it is your authorities you must believe’,

If children are informed, ‘Self-sacrifice is the foremost  virtue and the noblest duty’

… then consider what will be the likely consequences for the  practice of living consciously, or the practice of self-assertiveness,  or any of the other pillars of healthy self-esteem.

Nathaniel Branden, “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem”


To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to  explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy.

David Brooks, “The Necessity of Atheism”


If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from,  how can we trust it to tell us where we’re going?

Justin Brown


There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but  many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral.

Rev. Alexander Campbell


The priests used to say that faith can move mountains, and  nobody believed them. Today the scientists say that they  can level mountains, and nobody doubts them.

Joseph Campbell, American mythologist (1904-1987)


…god is a metaphor for that which trancends all  levels of intellectual thought. It’s as simple as that

Joseph Campbell


Most religions do not make men better, only warier.

Elias Canetti


If churches want to play the game of politics,  let them pay admission like everyone else.

George Carlin


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


If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They  would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.

Thomas Carlyle


We [Catholics] are also under an obligation to keep secrets faithfully.  And sometimes the easiest way to fulfill that duty is to say what is  false, or to tell a lie.

Catholic Encyclical X, 195


A faith that cannot survive collision with  the truth is not worth many regrets.

Arthur C. Clarke


Every woman should be filled with shame by the thought that she is a woman.

St. Clement of Alexandria


It is wrong always, everywhere and for everyone to  believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

W. K. Clifford


Without doubt you are not sane.

Tage Danielsson


I am against religion because it teaches us to  be satisfied with not understanding the world.

Richard Dawkins


If there is only one Creator who made the tiger and the lamb,  the cheetah and the gazelle, what is He playing at? Is he a  sadist who enjoys spectator blood sports? … Is he manuvering  to maximize David Attenborough’s television ratings?

Richard Dawkins, “River Out of Eden”


This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn. We cannot admit that  things might be neither good nor evil, neither cruel nor kind, but simply  callous – indifferent to all suffering, lacking all purpose.

Richard Dawkins, “River Out of Eden”


Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.



When Yahweh your god has settled you in the land you’re about  to occupy, and driven out many infidels before you…you’re to  cut them down and exterminate them. You’re to make no compromise  with them or show them any mercy.

Bible (Deuteronomy 7:1)


To prove the Gospels by a miracle is to prove an  absurdity by something contrary to nature.

Denis Diderot


Men will never be free until the last king is  strangled with the entrails of the last priest.

Denis Diderot, “Dithyrambe sur la fete de rois”


Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.

Philip K. Dick


Where knowledge ends, religion begins.

Benjamin Disraeli


The inability or unwillingness to hate makes a person worthless.  If we do not hate detestable things, the quality of our character  is suspect. The Bible commands that we hate.

H. A. (Buster) Dobbs, Editor of Firm Foundation magazine
and Church of Christ preacher, from the June 1994 issue.


“There was no deathbed conversion,” Druyan says. “No appeals to God,  no hope for an afterlife, no pretending that he and I, who had been  inseparably for twenty years, were not saying goodbye forever.”

“Didn’t he want to believe?” she was asked.

“Carl never wanted to believe,” she replies fiercely. “He wanted to KNOW.”

Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan’s wife, from Newsweek magazine


The god of the cannibals will be a cannibal, of the crusaders,  a crusader, and of the merchants a merchant.

R.W. Emerson


Should one continue to base one’s life on a system of belief that–for all its occasional wisdom and frequent beauty–is demonstrably untrue?

Charles Templeton


The invisible and the non-existent look very much alike. 

Delos B. McKown


Every man thinks God is on his side. The rich and powerful know he is.

Jean Anouilh


If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.

Derek Bok


What is the nature of God? His nature is entirely dependent upon the age or culture that has reinvented him.

Solomon Skink


Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”

Priest: “No, not if you did not know.”

Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”

Annie Dillard – “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek”


All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.

Marie Henri Beyle (1783-1842)


The theory that you should always treat the religious convictions of other people with respect finds no support in the Gospels.

Arnold Lunn


Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can’t be taken on its own merits.

Dan Barker


Christianity is an appeal to selfishness. It is a promise of a great reward in the future which is bought with faith, obedience, time, effort, and money in the present. 



The biblical concepts of sin and salvation are an integral part of Christian doctrine. Christianity first creates a problem (sin) and then offers a “solution” (salvation). This is not unlike the protection racket; you either buy “protection”–or else!

“Rev.” Donald Morgan


I am treated as evil by those who feel persecuted because they are not allowed to force me to believe as they do. 



Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do on a Sunday afternoon. 

Susan Ertz


To assert that the earth revolves around the sun is as erroneous as to claim that Jesus was not born of a virgin. 

Cardinal Bellarmine (1615, during the trial of Galileo)


To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today. 

Isaac Asimov


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

Seneca the Younger


Jesus’ last words on the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” hardly seem like the words of a man who planned it that way. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure there is something wrong here. 

“Rev.” Donald Morgan


I’m sickened by all religions. Religion has divided people. I don’t think there’s any difference between the pope wearing a large hat and parading around with a smoking purse and an African painting his face white and praying to a rock. 

Howard Stern


“Forget all this Judeo-Christian bullshit. The same people who taught us virtue are the very ones who have enslaved us, baby.” 

David Jason (Jeff Goldblum) in ‘Deep Cover’


“To be patriotic, hate all nations but your own; to be religious, all sects but your own; to be moral, all pretenses but your own.”

Lionel Strachey (1864-1927) British writer, translator, humorist


“Losing an illusion makes you wiser than finding a truth.”

Ludwig Borne


“It is of course always best to be led by god, and have him personally whisper into your ear. Only, when it is the devil talking he will tell you he is god, for the devil is a crafty liar. So you never know who is talking to you.”

German-born Theologian Franz Bibfeldt in his magnum opus Vielleicht


“This I believe:

That the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world.

And this I would fight for:

The freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.

And this I must fight against:

Any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.”

John Steinbeck


“It will yet be the proud boast of women that they never contributed a line to the Bible.”

George W. Foote


“Anyone who engages in the practice of psychotherapy confronts every day the devastation wrought by the teachings of religion.”

Nathaniel Branden, Ph.D. Psychologist, author The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem


“Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.”

Miguel de Unamuno


“The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance called ‘faith.'”

Robert G. Ingersoll


“I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them.”

Galileo Galilei


“My young son asked me what happens after we die. I told him we get buried under a bunch of dirt and worms eat our bodies. I guess I should have told him the truth–that most of us go to Hell and burn eternally–but I didn’t want to upset him.”

Jack Handey


“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


“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.”

Bertrand Russell


“It’s an incredible con job when you think about it, to believe something now in exchange for something after death. Even corporations with their reward systems don’t try to make it posthumous.”

Gloria Steinem


“Not by accident, you may be sure, do the Christian Scriptures make the father of knowledge a serpent–slimy, sneaking and abominable.”

H. L. Mencken


“Priests will pardon thieves but not philosophers.”

Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


“Piety could do nothing better than imitate morality.”

Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


“Most men would kill the truth if truth would kill their religion.”

Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


“People who rely most on God rely least on themselves.”

Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


“The original sin was not in eating of the forbidden fruit, but in planting the tree that bore the fruit.”

Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


“The character of God would stand vastly higher in human estimation if he had visited the garden in which he had placed the first human pair and picked up the serpent and cast him over the garden wall before he had a chance to tempt Eve, instead of waiting until the mischief was done, and then cursing the whole lot for what he might so easily have prevented.”

Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays


“…to argue with a man who has renouced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.”

Thomas Paine


“From the perspective of monkeys, we must all seem like gods. we provide bananas and amusement and electric shocks. but as gods, it is our duty to the monkeys to make them wear diapers and roller skates, to shoot them into space, and periodically dissect them. Fortunately for irony, mankind has religion too.”

“Mr. Moody”


“Is god an atheist? If not, who created him? And if so, why can I not agree with him in unbelief?”

John Nicholson


“A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.”



“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)


“To embrace a woman is to embrace a sack of manure…”

St. Odo of Cluny (10th century), from Joan Smith, Misogynies


“I think it was Whitehead who said that religion is whatever a person does when alone. I’d say that religion is whatever a person does with their life. In either case, the national religion of America is television and jacking off.”

Carl Bettis


“`Peace upon earth!` was said. We sing it,
And pay a million priests to bring it.
After two thousand years of mass
We`ve got as far as poison gas,”

Thomas Hardy, ‘Christmas:1924’


“If only more Christians read their bibles there’d be less Christians.”

Derek W. Clayton


“Finally, I would like to assure my many Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim friends that I am sincerely happy that the religion which Chance has given you has contributed to your peace of mind (and often, as Western medical science now reluctantly admits, to your physical well-being). Perhaps it is better to be un-sane and happy, than sane and un-happy. But it is the best of all to be sane and happy. Whether our descendants can achieve that goal will be the greatest challenge of the future. Indeed, it may well decide whether we have any future.”

Arthur C. Clarke


Why does the Vatican have lightning rods?



You Go Yahweh – and I’ll go Mine!



“If the Bible proves that God exists then comic books prove the existence of Superman.”

Seen on the #Atheism IRC


“When the Pope gets sick, how come they never think of sending him to Lourdes?”

Fact magazine, circa late-60s


“He is purple — the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle — the gay-pride symbol…. As a Christian I feel that role modeling the gay lifestyle is damaging to the moral lives of children.”

Rev. Jerry Falwell “outing” Tinky Winky the Teletubby, Feb. 1999
edition of the National Liberty Journal


“If you’re not a born-again Christian, you’re a failure as a human being.”

Jerry Falwell


“Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?”

Jules Feiffer


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

Ludwig Feuerbach

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