Quotations about Religion

The purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

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

It is doubtless true that religion has been the world's psychiatrist throughout the centuries.  ~Karl Menninger

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

I speak not of men's creeds - they rest between
Man and his Maker.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

By reading the scriptures I am so renewed that all nature seems renewed around me and with me.  The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue, the trees a deeper green.  The whole world is charged with the glory of God and I feel fire and music under my feet.  ~Thomas Merton

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

All religions must be tolerated... for... every man must get to heaven his own way.  ~Frederick the Great

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

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

All men have need of the gods.  ~Homer

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.  ~George Bernard Shaw

Philosophy is the love of wisdom: Christianity is the wisdom of love.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

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" (paraphrase)

Follow Descartes!  Do not give up the religion of your youth until you get a better one.  ~Martin H. Fischer

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, Has Religion Made Useful Contributions to Civilization?

My religious position:  I think that God could do a lot better, and I'm willing to give Him the chance.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966

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

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

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Christianity is not being destroyed by the confusions and concussions of the time; it is being discovered.  ~Hugh E. Brown

A faith of convenience is a hollow faith.  ~M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy, "A Holy Mess," 1982

The churches must learn humility as well as teach it.  ~George Bernard Shaw, St. Joan

I considered atheism, but there weren't enough holidays.  ~Author Unknown

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

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

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

In church, sacred music would make believers of us all - but preachers can be counted on to restore the balance.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

How orderly philosophical is the landscape, are all the inhabitants of this World!  It is the creation of a god who "ever plays the geometer."  ~Aldous Huxley, "Music at Night"

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

Traveler:  "God has been mighty good to your fields, Mr. Farmer."
Farmer:  "You should have seen how he treated them when I wasn't around."
~Author Unknown

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

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it.  ~Joe Mullally

According to science, the universe began as a swirl of gas that, as it cooled, spun off the Ten Commandments.  ~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com

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

But who prays for Satan?  Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?  ~Mark Twain

Infidel:  In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.  ~Ambrose Bierce

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

I believe in God; I just don't trust anyone who works for him.  ~Author unknown, from a stand-up comedy routine on television

There are three religious truths:  1) Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.  2) Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.  3) Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters.  ~Author Unknown

Not all religion is to be found in the church, any more than all knowledge is found in the classroom.  ~Author Unknown

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered.  Religion is answers that may never be questioned.  ~Author Unknown

Were the purportings of the Bible to be a revelation false, it would still be the truest book that was ever written.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

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

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

If triangles had a God, He'd have three sides.  ~Old Yiddish Proverb

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

I'm not religious, but I like God and he likes me.  ~Tony Kushner, Angels in America

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?  ~Douglas Adams

No creed can be stretched to the size of truth; no church can be made as large as man.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

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

In every country and every age, the priest had been hostile to Liberty.  ~Thomas Jefferson

I didn't know I had a quarrel with him.  ~Henry Thoreau in answer to the question, "Have you made your peace with God?"

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

I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State.  My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.  ~George Carlin

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.  ~Thomas Jefferson

Mankind have banned the Divinity from their presence; they have relegated him to a sanctuary; the walls of the temple restrict his view; he does not exist outside of it.  ~Diderot, Pensées philosophiques, 1746

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."  ~Saturday Night Live, Jack Handey, "Deep Thoughts "

When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.  ~Frank Sinatra

My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality.  Morality is of the highest importance - but for us, not for God.  ~Albert Einstein

Oh, honey, God don't care which church you go, long as you show up!  ~Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias

Some people would have us love, or rather obey God, chiefly because he outbids the devil.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

There were honest people long before there were Christians and there are, God be praised, still honest people where there are no Christians.  It could therefore easily be possible that people are Christians because true Christianity corresponds to what they would have been even if Christianity did not exist.  ~G.C. Lichtenberg

I refuse to be labeled immoral merely because I am godless.  ~Peter Walker

What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak.  ~George Santayana, Reason in Religion

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

"I refuse to prove that I exist" says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing."  "Oh," says man, "but the Babel Fish is a dead give-away, isn't it?  It proves You exist, and so therefore You don't.  Q.E.D."  "Oh, I hadn't thought of that," says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.  ~Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

There are ten church members by inheritance for every one by conviction.  ~Author Unknown

A man without religion is like a horse without a bridle.  ~Latin Proverb

There seems to be a terrible misunderstanding on the part of a great many people to the effect that when you cease to believe you may cease to behave.  ~Louis Kronenberger

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

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.  ~Michel de Montaigne, translated

Moral:  a peerless maxim enumerated by God in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deut. 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.  ~Donald Morgan

It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley, but to believe or not believe in God is not important at all.  ~Denis Diderot

How many observe Christ's birthday! How few his precepts!
O! 'tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.
~Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1757

Men will wrangle for religion; write for it; fight for it; die for it; anything but live for it.  ~C.C. Colton

To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely.  ~Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinthes, 1962

Religion is a pill best swallowed without chewing.  ~Author Unknown

A little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion.  ~Francis Bacon, Essays: Of Atheism, 1625

Impiety, n.:  Your irreverence toward my deity.  ~Ambrose Bierce

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 M. Tutu, "Religious Human Rights and the Bible"

A myth is a religion in which no one any longer believes.  ~James Feibleman, Understanding Philosophy, 1973

I feel no need for any other faith than my faith in human beings.  Like Confucius of old, I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven and the angels.  ~Pearl S. Buck

Religion:  A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.  ~Ambrose Bierce

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

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

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.  ~Edgar Allen Poe

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

People who rely most on God rely least on themselves.  ~Lemuel K. Washburn, Is The Bible Worth Reading And Other Essays

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

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

Quotations about Religion 2 
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