Aida Anasagasti, The Aidita Anasagasti List




Caninist* meditations on Dogs, Gods and Inhumanities from philosophers, scientists, poets, writers, artists, athletes, entertainers, political figures and other intelligent people ~ even clerics

* Caninism - The belief in the superiority of Canines to humans; given to the veneration of Canines





CANIS MAJOR
Celestial
ANUBIS
Caretaker of the Dead
CERBERUS
Gatekeeper to Hell
CANIS MAJOR
Illustrated



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

alphabetical search by author



NO IMAGE
AVAILABLE

The Dog is the only animal that has seen his gØd.”

~ ANNONYMOUS

IMAGE: Bronze sculptureE
Artist: Miklós Ligeti
Hungarian sculptor and artist

(1871 - 1944)

Click on Image at left to view color enlargement

 

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer.”

~ ANNONYMOUS

"On the sixth day, god created man.
On the seventh day man returned the favor."

~ ANNONYMOUS

"I was devastated to find out my wife was having an affair but, by turning to religion, I was soon able to come to terms with the whole thing.
 
"I converted to Islam, and we're stoning her in the morning!"

~ ANNONYMOUS


God Is a Sock

"I've never felt more generous, nor more selfish; rarely more creative, rarely more indifferent."

~ DENIS ACHACOSO
(as the cancer was slowly killing him)
Polymath: Thinker, artist, wit, gourmand, clown
(1948 - 2005)

"Go to a house of worship. A good sermon helps everyone. At the very least, you can wake up from the thing refreshed."

• • •

"How god could create such a nice [Iguazú] falls and forget to stick in an escalator, I have no idea."

~ CINDY ADAMS
American gossip columnist

(b. ?)

If atheism is a religion, then health is a disease!”

~ CLARK ADAMS
American freethought leader and activist
(1969 – 2007)

"I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved -- the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced!"

• • •

"I shall have liberty to think for myself without molesting others or being molested myself."

• • •

"Let the human mind loose. It must be loose. It will be loose. Superstition and dogmatism cannot confine it."

• • •

"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing god's service when it is violating all his laws."

• • •

"The United States is not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation."

~ JOHN ADAMS
American politician and the second President of the United States
(1735 – 1826)

~ DON ADDIS
Editor, editorial cartoonist and columnist with the St. Petersburg Times
(1935-2009)

The philosophy behind vivisection, the sacrifice of creatures we regard as 'inferior' beings, differs little from that behind the concentration camp or the slave trader.”

~ AGA KHAN
Prince Sadruddin
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1966 to 1978
(1933-2003)


AJAMI


CALDWELL

The new [Muslim] arrivals, timid at first, grew expansive in the claims they made. This was odd: they had fled the fire, and the failure, of their ancestral lands, but they brought the fire with them. Political Islam had risen on its home turf in the Middle East and North Africa, in South Asia, but a young generation in Europe gave its allegiance to the new Islamist radicalism. Emancipated women had shed the veil in Egypt and Turkey and Iran in the 1920s; there are Muslim women now asserting their right to wear the burqa in Paris.

“...The militants took the liberties of Europe as a sign of moral and political abdication. They included “activists” now dreaming of imposing the Shariah on Denmark and Britain. There were also warriors of the faith, in storefront mosques in Amsterdam and London, openly sympathizing with the enemies of the West. And there were second-generation immigrants who owed no allegiance to the societies of Europe.”

~ FOUAD AJAMI
MacArthur Fellowship winning, Lebanese-born American university professor
and writer on Middle Eastern issues
(b. 1945)
reviewing
REFLECTIONS ON THE REVOLUTION IN EUROPE: Immigration, Islam, and the West
By
CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
American journalist and senior editor at The Weekly Standard; contributor to the Financial Times, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post; contributing editor to the The New York Times Magazine.
(b. n/a)

I’ve never really been in awe of anyone. When you’re 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds and good lookin’, you know, you’re not in awe of too many people.”

~ LINCOLN ALEXANDER
Canada’s first black member of Parliament first black cabinet minister
and first black lieutenant governor (Ontario)
(1922 - 2012)

"In those parts of the world where learning and science have prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in those parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue."

~ ETHAN ALLEN
American revolutionary, leader of the "Green Mountain Boys"
Champion of statehood for Vermont
(1738 - 1789)

"It is not hardness of heart or evil passions that drive individuals to atheism, but rather a scrupulous intellectual honesty."

 

If you pray for rain long enough, it eventually does fall. If you pray for floodwaters to abate, they eventually do. The same happens in the absence of prayers.”

~ STEVE ALLEN
American television and radio personality, musician, actor, comedian and writer
(1921 – 2000)

"Believing would be easier if God would show himself by depositing a million dollars in a Swiss bank account in my name."

• • •

"Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday."

• • •

"If it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he's evil. But the worst that you can say about him is that basically he's an underachiever."

~ WOODY ALLEN
American film director, screenwriter, actor, comedian, musician and playwright
(b. 1935)

"The world holds two classes of men - intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."

~ ABU ALA AL-MA'ARRI
Blind Syrian Arab philosopher, poet and writer;
controversial rationalist of his time, attacking the dogmas of religion
and rejecting the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth.
(? - 1059)

"Since it is no longer permissible to disparage any single faith or creed, let us start disparaging all of them. A religion is a belief system with no basis in reality whatever. Religious belief is without reason and without dignity, and its record is near-universally dreadful."

• • •

There is a rage which has been building for the past century which is hoping to rebuild its ( Islam's ) superiority through violence.”

• • •

There are great problems with Islam. The Koran recommends the beating of women. The anti-Semites, the psychotic misogynists and the homophobes are the Islamists.”

~ MARTIN AMIS
English novelist, short story writer and literary critic
(b. 1949)

"Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god but a great rock and the sun a hot rock."

~ ANAXAGORUS
Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher responsible for introducing
the cosmological concept of Nous (mind), the ordering force,
i.e.: that there were rational laws of nature
(c. 500 – 428 BCE)

When people show you who they are believe them; the first time.”

~ MAYA ANGELOU
American author and poet
(b. 1928)

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires."

~ SUSAN B. ANTHONY
American civil rights leader and women's suffragette
(1820 – 1906)

"It is only if morality is independent of God that we can make moral sense out of religious worship. It is only if morality is independent of God that any person can have a moral basis for adhering to God’s commands."

• • •

"We 'moralistic atheists' do not see right and wrong as artifacts of a divine protection racket.  Rather, we find moral value to be immanent in the natural world, arising from the vulnerabilities of sentient beings and from the capacities of rational beings to recognize and to respond to those vulnerabilities and capacities in others."

• • •

"Imagine telling a child: 'You are not inherently lovable.  I love you only because I love your father, and it is my duty to love anything he loves.' "

• • •

"If 'good' is to have normative force, it must be something that we can understand independently of what is commanded by a powerful omnipresent being."

• • •

"You do not lose morality by giving up God; neither do you necessarily find it by finding Him."

• • •

"Some people think that if atheism were true, human choices would be insignificant. I think just the opposite — they would become surpassingly important."

~ LOUISE M. ANTONY
(from Good Minus God, New York Times,December 18, 2011)

Professor of philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst; writes on a variety of philosophical topics, including knowledge gender, the mind and, most recently, the philosophy of religion; editor of the 2007 book “Philosophers Without Gods,” a collection of essays by atheist philosophers.
(b. n/a)

''For true and false will in no better way be revealed and uncovered than in resistance to a contradiction.''

• • •

"Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches."

~ THOMAS AQUINAS
Roman Catholic Dominican priest, Scholastic philosopher and theologian
(1225-1274)

Of all possible sexual perversions, religion is the only one to have ever been scientifically systematized.”

~ LOUIS ARAGON
French poet, novelist and editor;
long-time political supporter of the Communist Party
and member of the Académie Goncourt
(1897 – 1982)

"There is honor in being a Dog."

• • •

"Men create gods after their own image, not only with regard to their form, but with regard to their mode of life."

• • •

A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.”

~ ARISTOTLE
Greek philosopher
(384 - 324 BCE)

A god who kept tinkering with the universe was absurd; a god who interfered with human freedom and creativity was tyrant. If god is seen as a self in a world of his own, an ego that relates to a thought, a cause separate from its effect. he becomes a being, not Being itself. An omnipotent, all-knowing tyrant is not so different from earthly dictators who make everything and everybody mere cogs in the machine which they controlled. An atheism that rejects such a god is amply justified.”

• • •

"Religion starts with the perception that something is wrong."

~ KAREN ARMSTRONG
British author on comparative religion, former Catholic nun
(b. 1944)

If there was a god, I’d still have both nuts.”

• • •

"I don’t have anything against organized religion per se. We all need something in our lives. I personally just have not accepted that belief.”

• • •

At the end of the day, if there was indeed some Body or presence standing there to judge me, I hoped I would be judged on whether I had lived a true life, not on whether I believed in a certain book, or whether I’d been baptized. If there was indeed a god at the end of my days, I hoped he didn’t say, 'But you were never a Christian, so you’re going the other way from heaven.' If so, I was going to reply, 'You know what? You’re right. Fine.'”

~ LANCE ARMSTRONG
American professional road racing cyclist,
winner of the Tour de France seven consecutive years, 1999 to 2005
(b. 1971)

"Americans as a whole may not be getting too much religion, but a significant constituency must be getting fed up with being routinely marginalized, ignored and insulted."

~ RONALD ARONSON
American author, editor, journalist
Professor of the History of Ideas, Wayne State University
(b. n/a)

Emotionally I am an atheist. I don’t have the evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn’t that I don’t want to waste my time.”

• • •

"I am an atheist, out and out. It took me a long time to say it. I've been an atheist for years and years, but somehow I felt it was intellectually unrespectable to say that one is an atheist, because it assumed knowledge that one didn't have. Somehow it was better to say one was a humanist or agnostic. I don't have the evidence to prove that God doesn't exist, but I so strongly suspect that he doesn't that I don't want to waste my time."

• • •

"Creationists make it sound like a 'theory' is something you dreamt up after being drunk all night"

• • •

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

• • •

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition."

~ ISAAC ASIMOV
Russian born American author and professor of biochemistry
best known for works of science fiction and popular science
(1920 – 1992)

What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

• • •

To choose what is difficult all one's days, as if it were easy, that is faith.”

~ W.H. AUDEN
American poet born in England
(1907 – 1973)

Life is life - whether in a cat, or dog or man. There is no difference there between a cat or a man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man's own advantage.”

• • •

"Man is a transitional being. He is not final. The step from man to superman is the next approaching achievement in the earth evolution. It is inevitable because it is at once the intention of the inner spirit and the logic of Nature's process".

~ SRI AUROBINDO
Indian nationalist and freedom fighter,
major Indian English poet, philosopher, and yogi
(1872-1950)

~ TONY AUTH
American editorial cartoonist for The Philadelphia Inquirer since 1971;
winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1976 and the Herblock Prize in 2005
(b. 1942)

"Truth is a good Dog; but always beware of barking too close to the heels of an error, lest you get your brains kicked out."

• • •

By far the best proof is experience.”

• • •

I have taken all knowledge to be my province."

• • •

If a man will begin with certainties, he shal end in doubts; but, if he will be content to begin with doubts, he will end in certainties.”

• • •

"Atheism leaves a man to sense, to philosophy, to natural piety, to laws, to reputation; all of which may be guides to an outward moral virtue, even if religion vanished; but religious superstition dismounts all these and erects an absolute monarchy in the minds of men."

• • •

Men fear death as children fear to go in the dark; and as that natural fear in children is increased by tqales, so is the other.”

• • •

Knowledge is power.”

~ SIR FRANCIS BACON
(1561 - 1626)
English author, courtier and philosopher

"I believe in nothing. You are born, you die and that's it."

• • •

"People seem to be offended by facts, or what used to be called truth."

• • •

"I don't like to see people suffer but, then, they breed at such a rate that they're bound to suffer."

• • •

"The only world that won't disappoint me is the one I make up."

~ FRANCIS BACON
(1909 - 1992)
Irish born British artist

Three Studies for Figures
at the Base of the Crucifixion

1944

Study after
Velazquez's Portrait of Pope Innocent X
1953
Three Studies
for a Crucifixion

1962



Click on Images above to view enlargements

"If a dog doesn't put you first where are you both? In what relation? A dog needs God. It lives by your glances, your wishes. It even shares your humour. This happens about the fifth year. If it doesn't happen you are only keeping an animal."

~ ENID BAGNOLD
British novelist, playwright
(1889–1981)

"If God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.”

• • •

"The idea of god implies the abdication of human reason and justice; it is the most decisive negation of human liberty and necessarily ends in the enslavement of mankind, both in theory and in practice."

• • •

"All religions, with their demigods and their prophets, their messiahs and their saints, were created by the prejudiced fancy of men who had no t attained the full development and full possession of their faculties. Consequently, the religious heaven is nothing but the mirage in which man, exalted by ignorance and faith, discovered his own image, but enlarged and reversed -- that is, divinized."

• • •

"But here steps in Satan, the eternal rebel, the first free-thinker and emancipator of worlds. He makes man ashamed of his bestial ignorance and obedience; he emancipates him, stamps upon his brow the seal of liberty and humanity, in urging him to disobey and eat of the fruit of knowledge."

~ MIKHAIL BAKUNIN
Russian revolutionary and theorist of collectivist anarchism
(1814 - 1876)

The real arbiter of whether or not a being deserves respect and compassion is sentience. Being sensate to pleasures and especially to pains is the true currency of ethics.”

~ JONATHAN BALCOMBE
Animal behaviorist born in England, raised in New Zeland and Canada, author,
Formerly Senior Research Scientist with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, he is currently Chair of the Animal Studies Department with the Humane Society University
(b. n/a)

"No one is more dangerous than one who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity. By definition is unassailable."

~ JAMES BALDWIN
American novelist, essayist, dramatist, poet and civil rights activist
(1924 - 19870)

"Ireland from 1930 to the late 1990s was a closed state, ruled — the word is not too strong — by an all-powerful Catholic Church with the connivance of politicians and, indeed, the populace as a whole, with some honorable exceptions. The doctrine of original sin was ingrained in us from our earliest years, and we borrowed from Protestantism the concepts of the elect and the unelect. If children were sent to orphanages, industrial schools and reformatories, it must be because they were destined for it, and must belong there. What happened to them within those unscalable walls was no concern of ours."

~ JOHN BANVILLE
Irish novelist, playwright and journalist; Booker Prize in 2005
(b.1945)

"You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?"

~ DAN BARKER
Prominent American Atheist activist who served as a Christian preacher
and musician for 19 years but left Christianity in 1984.
(b. 1949)


"There's a sucker born every minute."

• • •

Those who really desire to attain an independence, have only set their minds upon it, and adopt the proper means, as they do in regard to any other object which they wish to accomplish, and the thing is easily done.”

• • •

If I shoot at the sun I may hit a star”

~ P.T. BARNUM
American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer,
remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus
that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
(1810 – 1891)

"The scriptures teach us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens move."

~ CESARE BARONIO
Italian Cardinal and ecclesiastical historian,
prominent member of the Order of the Oratory
(1538 – 1607)

"The absurd man is he who never changes."

~ AUGUSTE BARTHELEMY
French satirical poet
(1796 – 1867)

"Just in the past few months, I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.

This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .

This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts.... He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis.

The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence. But you can't run the world on faith."

~ BRUCE BARTLETT
American historian, supply-side economics,
domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan
and treasury official under President George H.W. Bush
(b. 1951)


"
So many get reformed through religion. I got reformed through Dogs."

~ LINA BASQUETTE
American slent screen actress, Zigfiled Follies dancer,
Great Dane breeder, pro handler, and AKC Judge
(1907-1994)

Forget Memory. Try Imagination.”

~ ANNE BASTING
Director of the Center on Age and Community and an Associate Professor
in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the Peck School of the Arts,
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
(b. n/a)

"We want ... to plunge into the depths of the abyss, Hell or Heaven, what does it matter? Into the depths of the Unknown to find something new! "

• • •

"As a small child, I felt in my heart two contradictory feelings, the horror of life and the ecstasy of life."

• • •

"It would be difficult for me not to conclude that the most perfect type of masculine beauty is Satan, as portrayed by Milton."

~ CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
French poet, critic and translator

(1821 - 1867)

"No entiendo que quieran matarme por una exposición. No entiendo cómo se puede llegar a situaciones de amenaza de muerte por unas imágenes."

"I don't understand their wanting to kill me over an exhibit. I don't understand how a situation gets to the point of death threats over some images."

~ FERNANDO BAYONA
Spanish photographer and graphic designer
(b. 1980)

To view entire series, click on image above and then on extreme right in the resulting window.

To drink without thirst and to make love all the time, madam, it is only these which distinguish us from the other beasts.”

~ BEAUMARCHAIS
French playwright, Financier and diploma. After beginning as a watchmaker, Beaumarchais rose in French society.
(1732 – 1799)

"Christianity is the enemy of liberty and of civilization. It has kept mankind in chains."

• • •

"When socialism comes into power, the Roman Church will advocate socialism with the same vigor it is now favoring feudalism and slavery."

~ AUGUST BEBEL
German social democrat;
one of the founders of the Social Democratic Party of Germany
(1840-1913)

"Try again, fail again, fail better."

• • •

I have my faults, but changing my tune is not one of them.”

• • •

Absolute virtue is as sure to kill a man as absolute vice is, let alone the dullness of it and the pomposities of it”

• • •

"Habit is the ballast that chains the Dog to his vomit."

• • •

"How can one better magnify the Almighty than by sniggering with him at his little jokes, particularly the poorer ones."

• • •

God is a witness that cannot be sworn.”.

• • •

"Enough of acting the infant who has been told so often how he was found under a cabbage that in the end he remembers the exact spot in the garden and the kind of life he led there before joining the family circle."

• • •

We lose our hair, our teeth! Our bloom, our ideals.”

• • •

Just under the surface I shall be, all together at first, then separate and drift, through all the earth and perhaps in the end through a cliff into the sea, something of me. A ton of worms in an acre, that is a wonderful thought, a ton of worms, I believe it.”

• • •

In the landscape of extinction, precision is next to godliness.”

• • •

Let me go to hell, that's all I ask, and go on cursing them there, and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their bliss.”

• • •

"The bastard! He doesn't exist!"

~ SAMUEL BECKETT
Irish playwright
(1906-1989)

I do not know that Christianity holds anything more of importance for the world. It is finished, played out. The only trouble lies in how to get rid of the body before it begins to smell too much.”

~ JOHN BEEVERS
English author, poet; biographer of Catholic saits
(1911-1975)

~ RICARDO BELLVER
Spanish sculptor
(1845 — 1924)

EL ÁNGEL CAÍDO
The Fallen Angel
1877
Only known monument to Lucifer
Parque del Buen Retiro, Madrid

Click on Image above to view color enlargement

What happens as Israel continues to become more religious and conservative, more isolated internationally and less democratic domestically? What happens to the relationship between American Jews and Israel as the face of Israel shifts from that of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres to that of the national religious settlers and the ultra-Orthodox rabbis?”

~ JEREMY BEN-AMI
Executive director of J Street, a liberal advocacy organization in the United States whose stated aim is to promote American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Israel-Palestinian conflicts peacefully and diplomatically
(b. n/a)

"The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?"

• • •

"The day may come when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been witholden from them but by the hand of tyranny."

• • •

"Is it the faculty of reason or perhaps the faculty of discourse?  But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old.  But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail?  The question is not, 'Can [animals] reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' But, 'Can they suffer?'"

• • •

No power of government ought to be employed in the endeavor to establish any system or article of belief on the subject of religion ”

• • •

"There is no pestilence in a state like a zeal for religion, independent of morality."

• • •

"The spirit of dogmatic theology poisons anything it touches."

~ JEREMY BENTHAM
English jurist, utilitarian philosopher and social reformer
(1748-1832)

 

"To be silent in the face of injustice is to be an accomplice to evil. I will not be silent."

~ LORI BERENSON
American convicted in Peru in 1996 of unlawful collaboration with the
Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA)
(b. 1969)

"Me pray? Never! I'm an atheist."

~ SARAH BERNHARDT
French romantic and tragic actress
(1844-1923)

"No philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism."

• • •

"Never yet has a God been defined in terms which were not palpably self-contradictory and absurd; never yet has a God been described so that a concept of Him was made possible to human thought."

• • •

"The position of the atheist is a clear and reasonable one. I know nothing about God and therefore I do not believe in Him or it. What you tell me about your God is self-contradictory and is therefore incredible. I do not deny "God," which is an unknown tongue to me. I do deny your God, who is an impossibility. I am without God."

• • •

"If my interlocutor desires to convince me that Jupiter has inhabitants, and that his description of them is accurate, it is for him to bring forward evidence in support of his contention. The burden of proof evidently lies on him; it is not for me to prove that no such beings exist before my non-belief is justified, but for him to prove that they do exist before my belief can be fairly claimed. Similarly, it is for the affirmer of god's existence to bring evidence in support of his affirmation; the burden of proof lies on him."

• • •

"For centuries the leaders of Christian thought spoke of women as a necessary evil, and the greatest saints of the Church are those who despise women the most."

~ ANNIE WOOD BESANT
English philosopher and theosophist
(1847-1933)

We need another and a wiser and perhaps more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err.

For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.”

• • •

"Wolves are not our brothers; they are not our subordinates, either. They are another nation, caught up just like us in the complex web of time and life."

~ HENRY BESTON
American writer and naturalist
(1888 – 1968)

"With regard to -- with regard to abortion, I accept my church’s position on abortion as a -- what we call de fide (doctrine ?). Life begins at conception. That’s the church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.

"But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and -- I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.

"I do not believe that we have a right to tell other people that women, they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view."

~ JOSEPH BIDEN
47th Vice President of the United States, former United States Senator from Delaware.
(b. 1942)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOD TIES ONE ON

It's been a rough day. Ice Age in the morning, Vesuvius after lunch and the loss of God's favorite trattoria in Pompeii.

God rolls a joint, invents the match, and fires up around 5:00, though a fanatical cadre of historians would later insist it was 4:20, and took place in San Rafael California, not Eden, Garden of . Still, it's hard to leave work at the office. God internalizes naturally, obssesses about that pill Ghengis Khan and what went wrong. God creates the Cosmo, and the cocktail glass for good measure. After the second drink, God sees that it's all good. Very good. Very all good.

The world's a beautiful place. Even the cocktail glass is amazing. God's an overachiever, picked by no one to go this far, until others were created and jumped on the bandwagon and started singing the praises. Figures.

Then God gets the munchies. Invents M&M's, Newman's popcorn, and Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia. Having missed out on The Dead due to distractions like Bangladesh, the Beatles, and Marlin Perkins on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, God re-discovers Jerry Garcia. Becomes a deadhead for a day. Supposedly stays away from the Owsley acid, though skeptics in Quebec point to the '89 solar storm that sent compasses spinning as evidence God may have dropped a tab or two at the Montreal show.

The yellow moon rises in the purple sky above Eden, and God, longing for a best friend, creates the basset whose goofy looks bring on a grin.

"I'll call you Absurd," says God. " And I'll call you a turd," replies the bassett.

Awkward. They laugh and discover they're the mirror image of one another. God is dog spelled backwards, and dog is god. And God is good when you add an o. "Oh," says Absurd. " Good God, we're good . . . dog."

God dozes in the adirondak. A screeching owl sails low. Absurd knows his best friend is now dreaming. Lifting his head, the hound cuts loose a mournful howl that echoes off canyon walls, returns as a breeze - a wind - a tropical storm.

God awakes grumpy - rarely a good thing, and just like that, Monday is made.

~ GUY BIEDERMAN
American author, publisher and fiction writing teacher from California
(b. n/a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstainer, n. A weak person who yields to the temptation of denying himself a pleasure. A total abstainer is one who abstains from everything but abstention, and especially from inactivity in the affairs of others.

• • •

Christian, adj. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ insofar as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.

• • •

Dog, n. A kind of additional or subsidiary deity designed to catch the overflow and surplus of the world's worship.

• • •

Evangelist, n. A bearer of good tidings, particularly (in a religious sense) such as assure us of our own salvation and the damnation of our neighbours.

• • •

Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.

• • •

Heathen, n. A benighted creature who has the folly to worship something that he can see and feel.

• • •

Idiot, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling.

• • •

Impiety, n. Your irreverence toward my deity.

• • •

Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.

• • •

Koran, n. A book which the Mahammedans foolishly believe to have been written by divine inspiration, but which Christians know to be a wicked imposture, contradictory to the Holy Scriptures.

• • •

Mayonnaise, n. One of the sauces that serve the French in place of a state religion.

• • •

Mythology, n. The body of a primitive people's beliefs concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.

• • •

Pray, v. To ask that the laws of the universe be annulled on behalf of a single petitioner confessedly unworthy.

• • •

Rack, n. An argumentatvie implement formerly much used in persuading devotees of a false failth to embrace the living truth.

• • •

Religion, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

• • •

Reverence, n. the spiritual attitude of a man to a god and a Dog to a man.

• • •

Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited.

• • •

Sabbath, n. A weekly festival having its origin in the fact that God made the world in six days and was arrested on the seventh.

• • •

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

~ AMBROSE BIERCE
American Author and Humorist
(1842-1914)
From: The Devil's Dictionary

"No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion."

~ HUGO L. BLACK
American politician and jurist
U.S. Supreme Court Justice
(1886 – 1971)

"I have no religion because I was born and raised Jewish. And on the first night of Hanukkah, my parents, when I was very young, gave me a top to play with. They called it a dreidel. I knew it was a top. And as I looked at that top, I said, 'You know. I don't think I'm gonna be Jewish for very long.'"

• • •

"You know a religion has no sense of humor, when a guy can stand up and say, ‘you know, if you commit suicide for Allah, after you die you will be met in heaven by 70 virgins,' and nobody in the room just goes, 'AHAHAHA! Son of a bitch! That was great!'"

• • •

"They believe if they kill themselves that they will be met in Heaven by 70 some odd virgins. Imagine that kind of faith. To think that that would happen. When I haven't met one on Earth!"

~ LEWIS BLACK
American stand-up comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor. He is known for his comedy style, which often includes an increasingly angry rant, ridiculing history, politics, religion, trends and cultural phenomena
(b. 1948)

"The mixing of government and religion can be a threat to free government, even if no one is forced to participate....  When the government puts its imprimatur on a particular religion, it conveys a message of exclusion to all those who do not adhere to the favored beliefs.  A government cannot be premised on the belief that all persons are created equal when it asserts that God prefers some."

~ HARRY ANDREW BLACKMUN
U.S. Supreme Court Justice
(1908 – 1999)

A good local pub has much in common with a church, except that a pub is warmer, and there's more conversation.”

• • •

"The Vision of Christ that thou dost see,
Is my vision's greatest enemy.
Thine is the Friend of all Mankind,
Mine speaks in Parables to the blind.
Thine loves the same world that mine hates,
Thy heaven-doors are my hell gates."

~ WILLIAM BLAKE
English poet, painter and printmaker
(1757 – 1827)

"To hold happiness is to hold the understanding that the world passes away from us, that the petals fall and the beloved dies. No amount of mockery, no amount of fashionable scowling will keep any of us from knowing and savoring the pleasure of the sun on our faces or save us from the adult understanding that it cannot last forever."

~ AMY BLOOM
American social worker who has practiced psychotherapy;
lecturer of Creative Writing in the department of English at Yale University
and Kim-Frank Family University Writer in Residence at Wesleyan University
(b. 1953)

"Don’t debate the Bible. You can’t win. Religious faith is not defined by logic, it defies it. Instead, decouple the legal right from the religious rite, and emphasize the idea of acceptance without

• • •

We must all remember that what is right and what is legal don’t always dovetail.” endorsement."

• • •

"Propaganda is one thing; prevarication is another."

~ CHARLES M. BLOW
American journalist, columnist
(b. n/a)

If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

~ DEREK BOK
Former Harvard president; founder of the Curtis Publishing Company
(b. 1930)

Here, Gentlemen, a Dog teaches us a lesson in humanity.”

• • •

"I cannot believe there is a god who punishes and rewards, for I see honest folk unlucky, and rogues unlucky."

• • •

"If I had to choose a religion, the Sun as the universal giver of life would be my god."

• • •

"There is no place in a fanatic’s head where reason can enter."

• • •

Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet.”

• • •

"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
Emperor Napoleon I
French military and political leader
(1769 – 1821)

The Nazis, who had such conspicuous disregard for human rights, felt more strongly about the animals.”

~ DR. JAN BONDESON
Senior lecturer at Cardiff University School of Medicine in Wales
from Amazing Dogs

"The less you know, the more you believe."

• • •

Lent I’ve always had issues with. I gave it up ... self-denial is where I come a cropper. My idea of discipline is simple — hard work — but of course that’s another indulgence.”

• • •

I think of Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, whose now combined fortune is dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty. Agnostics both, I believe. I think of Nelson Mandela, who has spent his life upholding the rights of others. A spiritual man — no doubt. Religious? I’m told he would not describe himself that way. Not all soul music comes from the church.”

~ BONO
Irish singer and musician, lead singer of the band U2;
a co-founder of the advocacy group ONE
(b. 1960)
From "It’s 2009. Do You Know Where Your Soul Is?"
New York Times, published April 18, 2009

Before you speak to me about your religion, first show it to me in how you treat other people. Before you tell me how much you love your God, show me in how much you love all His children.”

 

We can’t put shallow celebrity before core decency.”

~ CORY BOOKER
American politician, elected Mayor of Newark, New Jersey,in 2006
(b. 1969)

Obedience is a two-way street — it involves a great deal of trust, and the trust part is very, very low for me right now. You can’t promise obedience when you feel like you can’t trust the person you’re supposed to obey.”

~ REV. ROBERT J. BOWERS
American. Former diocesan parish priest.
Presently in the Paulist Center, Boston
(b. 1960)

"The atheist does not say 'there is no God,' but he says 'I know not what you mean by God; I am without idea of God'; the word 'God' is to me a sound conveying no clear or distinct affirmation. ... The Bible God I deny; the Christian God I disbelieve in; but I am not rash enough to say there is no God as long as you tell me you are unprepared to define God to me."

~CHARLES BRADLAUGH
Political activist and one of the most famous English atheists of the 19th century; founder of the National Secular Society in 1866.
(1833 – 1891)

"Interspecies bonding shows just how powerful love is and it opens our eyes to new possibilities. Often people are admonished to stop 'acting like an animal'. But experiences of interspecies love suggest that it may well be time to start acting like animals and for human culture to adopt some important animal ways of compassion and care. As human caregivers, we have the responsibility to live up to animal loyalty and trust and to honor this contract of the heart."

~ GAY ARNDT BRADSHAW
American ecologist, psychology, writer, tteacher and lecturer;
Executive Director & Founder, The Kerulos Center
Co-Founder, International Association for Animal Trauma and Recovery
(b. n/a)

"Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish."

~ STEWART BRAND
American writer, editor of the Whole Earth Catalog; founder of organizations The WELL, the Global Business Network, and the Long Now Foundation
(b. 1938)

"For me, the single word “God” suggests everything that is slippery, shady, squalid, foul, and grotesque"

• • •

"So may night continue to fall upon the orchestra, and may I, who am still searching for something in this world, may I be left with open or closed eyes, in broad daylight, to my silent contemplation."

~ ANDRÉ BRETON
French writer, poet , and surrealist theorist;
principal founder of Surrealism
(1896 – 1966)

A succesful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.”

~ DAVID BRINKLEY
American Journalist and newscaster for NBC and ABC in a career lasting from 1943 to 1997.
(1920 – 2003)

~ CHRIS BRITT
American editorial cartoonist for the State Journal-Register of Springfield, Illinois,
and the Copley News Service
(b. n/a)

[We would] "never be at the mercy of Providence if only we understood that we ourselves are Providence."

~ VERA BRITTAIN
English writer, feminist and pacifist
(1893 – 1970)

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

• • •

"We’re all born late. We’re born into history that is well under way. We’re born into cultures, nations and languages that we didn’t choose. On top of that, we’re born with certain brain chemicals and genetic predispositions that we can’t control. We’re thrust into social conditions that we detest. Often, we react in ways we regret even while we’re doing them."

• • •

"We have a need to tell ourselves stories that explain it all. We use these stories to supply the metaphysics, without which life seems pointless and empty.

"Among all the things we don’t control, we do have some control over our stories. We do have a conscious say in selecting the narrative we will use to make sense of the world. Individual responsibility is contained in the act of selecting and constantly revising the master narrative we tell about ourselves."

• • •

"As you act to combat evil, you wouldn't want to get carried away by your own righteousness or be seduced by the belief that you are innocent. Even fighting evil can be corrupting."

• • •

If you want to find a good place to live, just ask people if they trust their neighbors.”

• • •

"Often, as we spend more on something, what we gain in privacy and elegance we lose in spontaneous sociability."

• • •

"Buy experiences instead of things; buy many small pleasures instead of a few big ones; pay now for things you can look forward to and enjoy later."

• • •

Modern societies have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, not around the things that matter most. They have an affinity for material concerns and a primordial fear of moral and social ones.”

• • •

"Last year [2009], the Pew Research Center surveyed the global middle class and found that middle-class people are more likely than their poorer countrymen to value democracy, free speech and an objective judiciary. They were more likely to embrace religious pluralism and say that you don’t have to believe in God to be good."

~ DAVID BROOKS
Canadian born American political
and cultural commentator and columnist
(b. August 11, 1961)

• • •

"I think most of life's problems are too complicated to be solved with a spiritual blotter!"

~ CHARLIE BROWN
Main character in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz;
loveable loser, a child possessed of endless determination and hope
but who is ultimately dominated by his insecurities and a "permanent case of bad luck"
(b. 1950)

"I do not feel myself the least degraded by my imprisonment, my chain, or the near prospect of the Gallows....I go joyfully in behalf of Millions that have no rights that this 'great & glorious'; 'this Christian Republic' is bound to respect."

~ JOHN BROWN
American abolitionist who advocated and practiced armed insurrection
as a means to end all slavery .
(1800 – 1859)

"Who knows most, doubts most."

• • •

"The lie was dead, And damned, and truth stood up instead."

• • •

"Ignorance is not innocence, but sin."mm

• • •

"Less is more."

~ ROBERT BROWNING
Victorian English poet and playwright
(1812 – 1889)

"Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to god."

~LENNY BRUCE
American stand-up comedian, writer, social critic and satirist
(1925 – 1966)

Happiness has less to do with achievement than with perspective. And sometimes the person inside a life, storied or otherwise, is least able to savor it.”

• • •

Reaching the summit doesn’t mean enjoying the view, that professional victories don’t silence personal demons, and that a loving companion matters.” ~

• • •

He spotted an uninhabited niche, positioned himself to fill it and, when he got that break, rode it for all it was worth. A highly effective person doesn’t need seven habits if he has those three.”

(on Craig Clairborne)

~ FRANK BRUNI
American journalist, from 2004 to 2009 the chief restaurant critic of The New York Times, In May 2011, he became the first openly gay Op-Ed columnist of The Times.
(b. 1964)

You pronounce sentence upon me with greater fear than I receive it.”

~ GIORDANO BRUNO
to his inquisitors

Italian philosopher, linguist and mathematician;
proponent of heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe;
wrote extensive works on the art of memory,
a loosely-organized group of mnemonic techniques and principles.
Burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition
(1548 – 1600)

"An atheist is a man who has no invisible means of support."

~ JOHN BUCHAN
1st Baron Tweedsmui
British novelist and Unionist politician born in Scotland
Governor General of Canada 1935 to 1940
(1875 – 1940)

"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
(also known as Sai Zhen Zhu)
American sinologist and Pulitzer Prize-winning American writer;
awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938;
described in China as a Chinese writer
(1892 — 1973)

"Too bad ignorance isn't painful."

~ BUMPER STICKER

"I'm still an atheist, thank god."

~ LUIS BUÑUEL
Spanish filmmaker
(1900 – 1983)


Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night

~ CHARLES BURCHFIELD
American watercolorist and visionary artist
(1893 - 1967)

“'Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night,' a picture of a steeple looming like a great bug-eyed bird over a squat town as black rain pours down. To Burchfield, at that point simultaneously agnostic and terrified of damnation, the painting expressed the dread that religion instilled in him." - Holland Cotter on Charles Burchfield

If you are a bad person, a whining enemy or a strong-arm occupier, you are not my brother, even if you are circumcised, observe the Sabbath, and do mitzvahs. If your scarf covers every hair on your head for modesty, you give alms and do charity, but what is under your scarf is dedicated to the sanctity of Jewish land, taking precedence over the sanctity of human life, whosever life that is, then your are not my sister. You might be my enemy. A good Arab or a righteous gentile will be a brother or sister to me. A wicked man, even of Jewish descent, is my adversary, and I would stand on the other side of the barricade and fight him to the end."

~ AVRAHAM BURG
Former Israeli Knesset Speaker and Jewish National Fund Chairman
(b. 1955)

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

• • •

"Falsehood has a perennial spring."

• • •

"The writers against religion, whilst they oppose every system, are wisely careful never to set up any of their own."

• • •

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." 

~ EDMUND BURKE
Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher
(1729 – 1797)

"God knows I'm not the thing I should be,
Nor am I even the thing I could be.
But twenty times I'd rather would be an atheist clean,
Than under gospel colours hid be,
Just for a screen."

~ ROBERT BURNES
Poet and lyricist regarded as the national poet of Scotland
(1759 – 1796)

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anything but himself.”

• • •

There is no Heaven, there is no Hell;
These are the dreams of baby minds;
Tools of the wily Fetisheer,
To fright the fools his cunning blinds.

~ SIR RICHARD FRANCIS BURTON
English explorer, translator, writer, soldier, orientalist, ethnologist,
linguist, poet and diplomat
(1821 - 1890)

To put one's trust in God is only a longer way of saying that one will chance it.”

• • •

"Prayers are to men as dolls are to children.  They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them very seriously."

• • •

"All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it."

~ SAMUEL BUTLER
English Victorian novelist
(1612–1680)

"I cannot help thinking that the menace of Hell makes as many devils as the severe penal codes of inhuman humanity make villains."

~ GEORGE GORDON LORD BYRON
English Romantic poet
(1788-1824)

~ CAGANER OBAMA
(2008)
Caganer ("Shitter") - figurine traditionally placed in Christmas manger scenes in the region of
Cataluña in Spain meaning that, no matter the greatness of an event (i.e.: the birth of the son of god), Nature always must be tended to first.

Pues el delito mayor del hombre es haber nacido.”

For man’s greatest crime is to have been born.”

~PEDRO CALDERÓN DE LA BARCA
from La vida es sueño (Life is a Dream).

Dramatist, poet and writer of the Spanish Golden Age
(1600-1681)

"When the other girls dropped to their knees to pray,
I took a run for it."

~ ELLEN SHINE CALLAGHAN
New Your City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s grandmother,
Titanic survivour
(1891 - 1993)


Perhaps this (the ordination of women) is not a human rights issue because women are not human or they do not have rights.”

• • •

When people work on social justice issues, they don’t win much and wind up dropping out. To laugh at oneself from the beginning is essential.”

• • •

He [Don Quixote] dreams, he has visions, but he’s basically a silly old man.”

~ WILLIAM R. CALLAHAN
American dissident Jesuit priest who challenged the Vatican and whose activism on behalf of changes in Vatican policy regarding the ordination of women, his ministry to gay Catholics and his activities on behalf of social justice led to his expulsion from the Society of Jesus in 1991, forbidding him to act as a priest.
(1931-2010)

I don't have to have faith, I have experience.”

• • •

God is a metaphor for that which trancends all levels of intellectual thought. It's as simple as that.”

• • •

What gods are there, what gods have there ever been, that were not from man's imagination?”

• • •

Read other people's myths, not those of your own religion, because you tend to interpret your own religion in terms of facts -- but if you read the other ones, you begin to get the message.”

• • •

When we turn from the Iliad and Athens to Jerusalem and the Old Testament [we find] a single-minded single deity with his sympathies forever on one side. And the enemy, accordingly, no matter who it may be, is handled...pretty much as though he were subhuman: not a ‘Thou’ but an ‘It.’”

• • •

A one sentence definition of mythology? ‘Mythology’ is what we call someone else's religion ”.

• • •

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.”

• • •

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.“

~ JOSEPH CAMPBELL
American anthropologist
(1904-1987)

"There is but one freedom, to put oneself right with death. After that everything is possible. I cannot force you to believe in God. Believing in God amounts to coming to terms with death. When you have accepted death, the problem of God will be solved--and not the reverse."

• • •

"Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself, and dies of all others.
He who despairs of the human condition is a coward, but he who has hope for it is a fool."

• • •

"Virtue cannot separate itself from reality without becoming a principle of evil."

~ ALBERT CAMUS
Algerian-born French author, philosopher, and journalist
(1913 – 1960)

Prophecy, however honest, is generally a poor substitute for experience.”

~ BENJAMIN CARDOZO
American lawyer and associate Supreme Court Justice
(1870 – 1938)

"Religion easily has the best bullshit story of all time. Think about it. Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man…living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money."

• • •

"The only good thing to come out of religion was the music."

• • •

"Something is wrong.  War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, crime, torture, corruption and the ice capades.  If this is the best god can do, I am not impressed.  This is not what you expect to find on the resume of a supreme being.  It's what you expect from an office temp with a bad attitude."

• • •

"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."

• • •

It’s called the ‘American dream’ but you have to be asleep to believe it.”

~ GEORGE CARLIN
American stand-up comedian, actor and author
(1937 – 2008)

"Not only had I got rid of the theology and the supernatural, but I had found the truth of evolution."

• • •

"I give money for church organs in the hope the organ music will distract the congregation's attention from the rest of the service."

~ ANDREW CARNEGIE
Scottish born American industrialist, businessman and a major philanthropist
(1835-1919)

We gave allegedly God-fearing Christians 18 centuries to voluntarily, out of the alleged goodness of miserable hearts, begin making the crooked straight and the rough places plain. And they more often than not did nothing of the sort.”

~ MATTHEW CARNICELLI
New York Times commentator
(b. n/a)

When all has been considered, it seems to me to be the irresistible intuition that infinite punishment for finite sin would be unjust, and therefore wrong. We feel that even weak and erring Man would shrink from such an act. And we cannot conceive of god as acting on a lower standard of right and wrong.”

• • •

If you limit your actions in life to things that nobody can possibly find fault with, you will not do much.”

• • •

I shouldn’t know you again if we did meet ... you’re so exactly like other people.”

~ LEWIS CARROLL
English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer
(1832 – 1898)

Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands -- this is not optional -- my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

• • •

We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes, different dreams.”

• • •

"The truth is that male religious leaders have had -- and still have -- an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world."

~ JIMMY CARTER
39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981; recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize;
created two new cabinet-level departments: the Department of Energy and the Department of Education; founded The Carter Center, a nongovernmental organization to advance human rights;
key figure in the Habitat for Humanity project organization
(b. 1924)

~ CARTOON: DONALD RUMSFELD IN ABU GHRAIB
Unidentifiable artist

A Jewish settler tosses wine at a Palestinian woman in Hebron. The approach of settlers towards neighboring Palestinians, especially around Nablus in the north, and Hebron in the south, is one of contempt and violence.

~ RINA CASTELNUOVO
New York Times photographer;
winner Overseas Press Club Awards, 2006
(b. n/a)

Almost every desire a poor man has is a punishable offence."

• • •

"The poetry of heroism appeals irresistibly to those who don't go to a war, and even more to those whom the war is making enormously wealthy. It's always so."

• • •

"We've no use for intellectuals in this outfit. What we need is chimpanzees. Let me give you a word of advice: never say a word to us about being intelligent. We will think for you, my friend. Don't forget it."

• • •

"With two thousand years of Christianity behind him... a man can't see a regiment of soldiers march past without going off the deep end. It starts off far too many ideas in his head."

~ LOUIS-FERDINAND CÉLINE
(Louis-Ferdinand Destouches)
French writer and doctor; one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century,
developing a new style that modernized both French and world literature
(1894 – 1961)

"Danger, the spur of all great minds."

• • •

Ignorance is the mother of admiration.”

~ GEORGE CHAPMAN
English dramatist, translator, and poet
(c. 1559–1634)

"Why is it acceptable that soldiers are unable to serve this nation without attending state-led religious practices they find offensive and false?"

~ SPECIALIST DUSTIN CHALKER
Foxhole Atheists
U. S. Army Medic, awarded Purple Heart, Iraq

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"By simple common sense I don't believe in God, in none."

• • •

"I am at peace with God. My conflict is with Man."

• • •

In Philadelphia, I inadvertently came upon an edition of Robert Ingersoll's Essays and Lectures. This was an exciting discovery; his atheism confirmed my own belief that the horrific cruelty of the Old Testament was degrading to the human spirit.”

• • •

I remember [Vladimir] Horowitz, the pianist... Just before the war [World War II] I dined at his house with his wife, the daughter of Toscanini. Rachmaninoff and Barbirolli were there... It was an intimate dinner, just five of us.

“It seems that each time art is discussed I have a different explanation of it. Why not? That evening I said that art was an additional emotion applied to skillful technique. Someone brought the topic round to religion and I confessed I was not a believer. Rachmaninoff quickly interposed: ‘But how can you have art without religion?’

“‘So is religion,’ he answered. After that I shut up.”

• • •

"Despair is a narcotic. It lulls the mind into indifference."

• • •

"I have no further use for America. I wouldn't go back there if Jesus Christ was President."

• • •

"Since the end of the last world war, I have been the object of lies and propaganda by powerful reactionary groups who, by their influence and by the aid of America's yellow press, have created an unhealthy atmosphere in which liberal-minded individuals can be singled out and persecuted. Under these conditions I find it virtually impossible to continue my motion-picture work, and I have therefore given up my residence in the United States."

Speech from
'The Great Dictator'

I'm sorry but I don't want to be an Emperor, that's not my business. I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls, has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.

Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say "Do not despair".

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed,
the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish. . .

Soldiers: don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate, only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers: don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written:
"The kingdom of God is within man"

Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men; in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power, let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!

• • •

Look up! Look up! The clouds are lifting, the sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where men will rise above their hate and brutality.

The soul of man has been given wings, and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow, into the light of hope, into the future, that glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up. Look up.

• • •

"Brunettes are troublemakers. They're worse than the Jews."

~CHARLIE CHAPLIN
Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin
English comic actor, film director and composer best known for his work during the silent film era. He became the most famous film star in the world before the end of World War I. Although baptised in the Church of England, Chaplin was thought to be an agnostic for most of his life
(1889 – 1977)

I always like a Dog so long as he isn't spelled backward.”

~ G.K. CHESTERTON
English writer whose prolific and diverse output included journalism, philosophy, poetry,
biography, Christian apologetics, fantasy and detective fiction
(1874 – 1936)


I consider him a victim. He should have been in the jungle where he’s supposed to be. Not in a house drinking wine and taking Xanax.”

~ FRANK CHIAFARI
Police Officer , Stamford, Connecticut
Shot Travis, the Chimp
(b. n/a)

I'm what's called here a ‘secular atheist,’ except that I can't even call myself an ‘atheist’ because it is not at all clear what I'm being asked to deny.”

• • •

"[T]he Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon."

• • •

Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that -- it's astonishing. These numbers aren't duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You'd have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population."

~ NOAM CHOMSKY
American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist,
political activist, author and lecturer

(b. 1928)

I say God gave humans the truth, and the Devil came and said, ‘Let’s organize it, we’ll call it religion.’”

• • •

I hardly break even. [The Chopra Cenjter is] very labor-intensive, and insurance does not cover it, although there is some progress. Religions take donations and don’t pay taxes. Look at the wealth of the Vatican!”

~ DEEPAK CHOPRA
Indian-American physician, public speaker, and writer on Ayurveda, spirituality and mind-body medicine
(b. 1946)

"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."

• • •

"My god, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?"

~ JESUS CHRIST
(Jesus of Nazareth)
Jewish philosopher, political thinker and social activist
(c.7–2 - 26–36 BCE)

"The human race had yet to render itself extinct; perhaps the animals were just a dry run. Once you believed animals were insensate things, disposable, of utilitarian value only, it wasn't hard to move on to people."

• • •

"Billions, trillions, of animals had come and gone on this earth, she liked to say, so how could it be otherwise. Their bodies turned to dust, buttheir energy must remain behind, vinding new vessels, new outlets."

• • •

"[The Panther]...said before men started their killing ways, they spoke the same language as all the other animals. There was no boundaries between them. Then the worm of cruelty burrowed into man's heart. The animals needed to protect themselves, so they made up their own languages that only their own kind could understand. The same thing happened when men started killing other men. Everyone felt safer talking their own language. They still do."

• • •

"He was apolitical and unsentimantal, as indifferent to flag-waving as to religious piety."

• • •

"He was a devout Catholic -- a zealot, as it turned out. I left the Church too get divorced. That was the one good thing that came of my marriage."

• • •

"Maybe we need another flood. When life began, the earth was entirely ocean, bombarded with ultraviolet light. Shift a few molecules and everything could evolve differently. Maybe you end up with a planet of insects, or worms. Maybe that's an improvement."

• • •

"When I walked into a forest, I felt that the world of men, of everyone and everything I knew, was falling away from Me."

• • •

"You once told me the book you're researching for is all about the psyche."

"What else could it be about? All our imaginings about animals, the mythmaking, our intense pojections into their world. First, we set them up as our gods; then we made ourselves into their gods and began treating them badly. Many of the animals I've studied were driven into extinction before entering our imagination."

from THE BESTIARY

~ NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER

American novelist and poet
(b. n/a)

"You have enemies?  Good.  That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

~ WINSTON CHURCHILL
British Conservative politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War; served as Prime Minister twice (1940–45 and 1951–55). A noted statesman and orator, an officer in the British Army, historian, and writer; received the Nobel Prize in Literature
(1874 – 1965)


2007

 


2011

When the music stops — when I can’t tie my bow tie, tell a funny story, walk my dog, talk with Whitney, kiss someone special, or tap out lines like this — I’ll know that Life is over. It’s time to be gone.”

• • •

We obsess in this country about how to eat and dress and drink, about finding a job and a mate. About having sex and children. About how to live. But we don’t talk about how to die. We act as if facing death weren’t one of life’s greatest, most absorbing thrills and challenges. Believe me, it is. This is not dull. But we have to be able to see doctors and machines, medical and insurance systems, family and friends and religions as informative — not governing — in order to be free.”

~ DUDLEY CLENDINEN
from
“The Good Short Life”
Author and journalist; former reporter and editorial writer for The New York Times, suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease
(b. 1944)

 

"Free your mind and your ass will follow."

~ GEORGE CLINTON
FUNKADELIC
American funk band
1970

While horrific, widespread reports of abuse and cover-up are sadly quite common, the significance here is that a government panel is conclusively saying that the finger-pointing and blame-shifting and excuse-making of the church hierarchy is bogus.”

~ DAVID CLOHESSY
Roman Catholic American activist;
National director and spokesman for the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
(b. n/a)

"In Holland, they have come to precisely the same conclusion. There they have adopted a system of secular education, because they have found it impracticable to unite the religious bodies in any system of combined religious instruction."

~ RICHARD COBDEN
British manufacturer and Radical and Liberal statesman
(1804-1865)

~ SUE COE
English artist and illustrator working primarily in drawing and printmaking; Her work is highly political, often directed against capitalism and cruelty to animals
(b.1951)

I know that the Roman Catholic Church repudiates violent forms of homophobia. But to deplore the violence while continuing to proclaim the ideas that undergird it strikes thoughtful people as hypocritical. The teaching of the Church sanctifies the denigration of gays and lesbians.”

~ WILLIAM SLOANE COFFIN
American liberal Christian clergyman and peace activist
(1924 – 2006)

"Gods are fragile things; they may be killed by a whiff of science or a dose of common sense."

~ CHAPMAN COHEN
English freethinker, atheist and secularist essayist and lecturer
(1868 – 1954)

Although I am nonobservant [Jew] and not particularly stylish or athletic, it is curiously liberating to learn that I would violate no religious strictures if I were to wear mascara while playing football.”

• • •

Some people might relish a lively discourse on creationism and heart disease: surely that, too, is God’s handiwork, or does he just get credit for the design successes?”

• • •

Neither on nor off duty did I seek moral guidance from a spiritual leader of any faith. I did consult members of the clergy for their technical expertise when a question impinged on religious doctrine.”

~ RANDY COHEN
American writer and humorist
(b. n/a)

Click HERE for “A Conversation with RANDY COHEN upon His Departure from THE NEW YORK TIMES”

We’ve tried invasions of Muslim lands. We’ve tried imposing new systems of government on them. We’ve tried wars on terror. We’ve tried spending billions of dollars. What we haven’t tried is tackling what’s been rotten in the Arab world by helping a homegrown, bottom-up movement for change turn a U.S.-backed police state into a stable democracy.”

• • •

It’s precisely the vesting of morality in a nonhuman source that’s dangerous because how then can you apply reason to temper the God-given absolutes that may lead to fanaticism? Ultimately I believe religion stems from humanity’s fear of death, an understandable man-made reaction to the mystery of life and its ending, but no more plausible for being near-universal.”

~ ROGER COHEN
British-born journalist and author, columnist for
The New York Times and International Herald Tribune
(b. 1955)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All Dogs Go To Heaven? Sorry, kids. It's only the dogs who've accepted Christ.”

 

There’s a phrase we live by in America: ‘In God We Trust.’ It’s right there where Jesus would want it, on our money.”

• • •

"Remember, Jesus would rather constantly shame gays than let orphans have a family."

• • •

Christianity is the best way to cure gayness—just get on your knees, take a swig of wine, and accept the body of a man into your mouth.”

• • •

Here's an easy way to figure out if you're in a cult:If you're wondering whether you're in a cult, the answer is yes.”

• • •

"Agnostics are just atheists without balls.”

• • •

Atheism, a religion dedicated to its own sense of smug superiority.”

• • •

A father has to be a provider, a teacher, a role model, but most importantly, a distant authority figure who can never be pleased. Otherwise, how will children ever understand the concept of God?”

• • •

I live by syllogisms: God is love. Love is blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God. I don't know what I'd believe in if it wasn't for that.”

• • •

It is a well known fact that reality has liberal bias.”

~ STEPHEN COLBERT
American political satirist and television host
(b. 1964)

"One by one, his Schnauzers died of liver disease,except the one that guarded his corpse holding a tumbler of Bushmills."

~ HENRI COLE
American poet
(b. 1956)

If you complain about Christmas overkill because you are, say, a Muslim or a Jew, the general response is a quick hug and a nervous affirmation that all faiths deserve respect. But atheists do not get that many hugs, and perhaps it is beginning to tell on them.”

• • •

"There are tens of millions Americans who oppose abortion because of deeply held moral principles. But they’re attached to a political movement that sometimes seems to have come unmoored from any concern for life after birth."

• • •

"Then [South Carolina governor Mark] Sanford apologized to his wife, his sons, his friends, his staff, his in-laws, 'anybody who lives in South Carolina' and people of faith 'across the nation.' At this point, I had the terrible feeling that I was the only person in the entire country to whom Sanford was not conveying his personal regrets."

• • •

What is it with Republicans lately? Is there something about being a leader of the family-values party that makes you want to go out and commit adultery?”

• • •

"One of the truly disturbing parts of our current politics is that we have begun to identify people who want to impose their religious beliefs on millions of women who don’t share them as moderates as long as they’re O.K. with the rape exemption... And if rape victims deserve exemptions because their situation is dire, what about other women with unwanted pregnancies and terrible stories? The real crime of people like Mourdock and Akin is that their inartful language throws a sudden stark light on a stance that sounds so unthreatening when a candidate simply says: 'I’m pro-life.'”

~ GAIL COLLINS
American journalist and editorial columnist
(b. 1945)

Your life is not lying in wait in the future like a wild animal or some ominous destiny. Nor is it hidden in the heavens, like a paradise or promise. Nor is it shut up in the cave or the prison of your past. It is here and now; it is what you live and what you do. At the heart of being; at the heart of the present; at the heart of everything – in the great current of life, of reality.”

~ ANDRÉ COMTE-SPONVILLE
French atheist existentialist philosopher
(b. 1952)

"The world of the living contains enough marvels and mysteries as it is; marvels and mysteries acting upon our emotion and intelligence in ways so inexplicable that it would almost justify the conception of life as an enchanted state. No, I am too firm in my consciousness of the marvelous to be ever fascinated by the mere supernatu8ral, which (take it anyway you like) is but a manufactured article, the fabrication of minds insensitive to the intricate delicacies of our relation to the dead and to the living, in their countless multitudes; a desecration of our tenderest memories; an outrage on our dignity."

~ JOSEPH CONRAD
Polish-born British novelist
(1857 – 1924)

"You will never be able to alter your instinctive preferences, because they originate deep down in the recesses of your mind and memories..."

~ HEREWARD LESTER COOKE
American painter; Curator of Painting at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., from 1961-1973
(1916 - 1973)

There are people who believe in heaven after they die. I believe in heaven on earth.”

~ CORNEILLE
Guillaume Cornelis van Beverloo
Belgian-born Dutch painter, printmaker, ceramicist and writer,
co-founder of Cobra WITH Karel Appel and Constant Nieuwenhuys
(1922-2010)

"The idea that He would take his attention away from the universe in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds is just so unlikely I can't go along with it."

• • •

"Well, it [religion] has done terrifying things. Religious ideas are inflammatory in a way that I find difficult to understand. There are very few wars over the theory of relativity. Very few heated arguments, for that matter. Whereas, in Northern Ireland, they are killing one another over religion."

~ QUENTIN CRISP
English writer and raconteur
(1908 – 1999)

"There's one thing to be said about masturbation: you certainly don't have to look your best."

~ MART CROWLEY
American playwright.
(b. 1935)

The fact that people can persist in the information age to take [the Bible] as a fundamental word of God, words to live by, rules to live by, that's really crazy to me.”

• • •

In the Bible after the flood Noah is in gratitude with God and gives him a burnt sacrifice. God is so touched for some reason by the smell of the meat that he decides that he will never again bring a flood to destroy the human race. It doesn’t quite add up somehow.”

• • •

In other comic book versions of the Bible they show the people of Sodom and Gomorrah basically having a good time being drunk and carousing in the streets and gambling. These are considered bad things, but to me this isn't bad enough. I was interested in some kind of real cruelty that God had to be truly horrified of, massive amounts of genuine cruelty and inhuman behavior.”


~ ROBERT CRUMB
American artist and illustrator recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings
and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream;
a founder of the underground comix movement
(b. 1943)

As a kid, I went to church and all I did was look at women’s hats.”

• • •

You see, if you don’t take money, they can’t tell you what to do, kid. ... Money’s the cheapest thing. Liberty, freedom is the most expensive.”

~ BILL CUNNINGHAM
Fashion photographer for The New York Times
(b. 1928/9)

I have never been in anything like that in my life, period. Not when I worked with Clinton. Not with my father. In my 30 years in government, I never felt what I felt in that [Gay Pride] parade. Just the difference we made in people’s lives, how we touched people and made them feel good about society. It was really magic.

“A father, maybe 60 years old, came up to me and said, ‘You know, I have a gay son, and I never really accepted him and I shouldn’t have needed you to tell me that it was O.K. to accept my own boy. But I did.’ ”

~ ANDREW CUOMO
56th and current Governor of New York, was the 64th New York State Attorney General
(b. 1957)

"If you can get up off the canvas after two really hard shots, we’re all with you and now you’ve got something else — the experience of being on the canvas."

~ MARIO CUOMO
52nd Governor of the state of New York from 1983 to 1994
(b. 1932)

Part of what makes an artist great is having the courage to provoke and challenge.”

~ ANDREW CURRAN
Author, Dean of the Arts and Humanities and professor of French at Wesleyan University
(b. n/a)

"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
(Tenzin Gyatso)
The 14th Dalai Lama, head of state and spiritual leader of Tibet
(b. 1935)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go,
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar,
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star ....

This is my quest, to follow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
To fight for the right, without question or pause, 
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause. 
And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest, 
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm, 
when I'm laid to my rest ....

And the world will be better for this: 
That one man, scorned and covered with scars, 
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage, 
To reach the unreachable star

~ JOE DARION
American musical theatre lyricist, most famous for
"Man of La Mancha"
(1917 - 2001)

I don’t believe in God because I don’t believe in Mother Goose.”

• • •

"Just think of the tragedy of teaching children not to doubt!"

• • •

"I feel as I always have, that the earth is the home and the only home of man, and I am convinced that whatever he is to get out of his existence he must get while he is here."

• • •

"Do you, good people, believe that Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden and that they were forbidden to eat from the tree of knowledge? I do. The church has always been afraid of that tree. It still is afraid of knowledge. Some of you say religion makes people happy. So does laughing gas. So does whiskey. I believe in the brain of man. I'm not worried about my soul."

• • •

"When every event was a miracle, when there was no order or system or law, there was no occasion for studying any subject, or being interested in anything excepting a religion which took care of the soul. As man doubted the primitive conceptions about religion, and no longer accepted the literal, miraculous teachings of ancient books, he set himself to understand nature."

• • •

"I am an Agnostic because I am not afraid to think. I am not afraid of any god in the universe who would send me or any other man or woman to hell. If there were such a being, he would not be a god; he would be a devil."

• • •

"I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of."

• • •

I've never killed a man, but I've read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.”

~ CLARENCE DARROW
American lawyer and leading member of the American Civil Liberties Union
Best known for defending teenage thrill killers Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb in their trial for murdering 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 and defending John T. Scopes in the so-called "Monkey" Trial in 1925.
(1857 – 1938)

"The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us; and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic."

• • •

The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man.”

~ CHARLES DARWIN
English naturalist; discovered, developed and established the theory of Natural Evolution
Author: On the Origin of Species, The Descent of Man, Selection in Relation to Sex,
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
(1809 – 1882)

A good Dog never dies, he always stays. He walks besides you on crisp autumn days when frost is on the fields and winter's drawing near. His head is within our hand in his old way.”

~ MARY CAROLYN DAVIES
American poet
(18?? - 19??)

Anyone who in discussion relies upon authority uses, not his understanding, but his memory.”

~ LEONARDO Da VINCI
The archetypal Renaissance man
Italian polymath, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist,
painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer
(1452 – 1519)

"Our history is littered with bleak tableaus that show what happens when righteous certitude is mixed with fearful ignorance."

~ KENNETH C. DAVIS
American popular historian
(b. n/a)

The problem isn’t the girls in the streets; it’s the men in the pews.”

~ STEPHANIE DAVIS
Policy Advisor on Women's Issues to Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta
(b. n/a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”

• • •

"Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."

• • •

The theory of evolution by cumulative natural selection is the only theory we know of that is in principle capable of explaining the existence of organized complexity.”

• • •

"If you want to believe in a particular one of them -- teapots, unicorns, or tooth fairies, Thor or Yahweh -- the onus is on you to say why you believe in it. The onus is not on the rest of us to say why we do not. We who are atheists are also a-fairyists, a-teapotists, and a-unicornists, but we don't' have to bother saying so."

• • •

Mystics exult in mystery and want it to stay mysterious. Scientists exult in mystery for a different reason: It gives them something to do.”

• • •

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

• • •

Religion teaches you to be satisfied with nonanswers, It’s a sort of crime against childhood.”

• • •

Who will say with confidence that sexual abuse is more permanently damaging to children than threatening them with the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell?”

• • •

"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence."

• • •

I’ve had perfectly wonderful conversations with Anglican bishops, and I rather suspect if you asked in a candid moment, they’d say they don’t believe in the virgin birth. But for every one of them, four others would tell a child she’ll rot in hell for doubting.”

.• • •

One [young woman in a Muslim school that receives state funds] said her ambition was to be a doctor. But she explicitly said if there is a contradiction between science and the Koran, then the Koran was righ. They were lovely girls, but utterly brainwashed.”

• • •

"The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference."

• • •

The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver.”

• • •

If you look up at the Milky Way through the eyes of Carl Sagan, you get a feeling in your chest of something greater than yourself. And it is. But it’s not supernatural.”

• • •

"The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are slowly being devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst, and disease. It must be so. If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference."

• • •

My mind is open to the most wonderful range of future possibilities, which I cannot even dream about, nor can you, nor can anybody else. What I am skeptical about is the idea that whatever wonderful revelation does come in the science of the future, it will turn out to be one of the particular historical religions that people happen to have dreamed up.”

~ RICHARD DAWKINS
British ethologist, zoologist, Neo-Darwinian evolutionary biologist
and theorist and popular science author;
prominent critic of religion ,creationism and a wide variety of pseudoscience;
co-founder of the Out Campaign , as a means of advancing atheism and freethought.
(b. 1941)

I cannot be angry at god, in whom I do not believe.”

~ SIMONE De BEAUVIOUR
French writer and political activist
(1908-1986)

And of all the plagues with which mankind is cursed, Ecclesiastic tyranny is the worst.”

~ DANIEL DEFOE

I feel myself to be an old tree from which every day someone cuts off a branch.”

• ••

There are things in life that one should neither analyze nor go on and on about. Absence is one of these.”

~ LUCIE DE LA TOUR DU PIN
French memoirist
(1770 - 1853)

~ SEAN DELONAS
American political cartoonist and author
(b. n/a)


DEL TORO


HOGAN

 

 

 

 

In a society that moves as fast as ours, where every week a new ‘blockbuster’ must be enthroned at the box office, or where idols are fabricated by consensus every new television season, the promise of something everlasting, something truly eternal, holds a special allure. As a seductive figure, the vampire is as flexible and polyvalent as ever. Witness its slow mutation from the pansexual, decadent Anne Rice creatures to the current permutations — promising anything from chaste eternal love to wild nocturnal escapades — and there you will find the true essence of immortality: adaptability.

“...Despite our obsessive harnessing of information, we are still ultimately vulnerable to our fates and our nightmares. We enthrone the deadly virus in the very same way that ‘Dracula’ allowed the British public to believe in monsters: through science. Science becomes the modern man’s superstition. It allows him to experience fear and awe again, and to believe in the things he cannot see.

“And through awe, we once again regain spiritual humility. The current vampire pandemic serves to remind us that we have no true jurisdiction over our bodies, our climate or our very souls. Monsters will always provide the possibility of mystery in our mundane ‘reality show’ lives, hinting at a larger spiritual world; for if there are demons in our midst, there surely must be angels lurking nearby as well. In the vampire we find Eros and Thanatos fused together in archetypal embrace, spiraling through the ages, undying.

“Forever.”

~ GUILLERMO DEL TORO
Mexican author and Academy Award-nominated director, producer and designer
(b. 1964)

&
~ CHUCK HOGAN
American novelist
(b. n/a)

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

~ DEMOCRITUS
Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera in the north of Greece;
the most prolific and most influential of the pre-Socratic philosophers;
his atomic theory may be regarded as the culmination of early Greek thought
(460 - 370 B.C.)

Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot make a worm, and yet he will be making gods by dozens.”

~ MICHEL DE MONTAIGNE
French Renaissance writer and essayist
(1533 – 1592)

"I confess that I could not pray (sincerely) for my friends and family in time of need, so I appreciate the urge, however clearly I recognize its futility."

• • •

"The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight -- that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether."

• • •

"Before you appeal to faith when reason has you backed into a corner, think about whether you really want to abandon reason when reason is on your side."

• • •

"I think that there are no forces on this planet more dangerous to us all than the fanaticisms of fundamentalism, of all the species: Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism, as well as countless smaller infections. Is there a conflict between science and religion here? There most certainly is.

~ DANIEL C. DENNETT
Author, Philosopher; Center for Cognitive Studies, Tufts University
(b. 1942)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

\

Dialogue Between a Priest and a Dying Man

PRIEST - Come to this the fatal hour when at last from the eyes of deluded man the scales must fall away, and be shown the cruel picture of his errors and his vices - say, my son, do you not repent the host of sins unto which you were led by weakness and human frailty?

DYING MAN - Yes, my friend, I do repent.

PRIEST - Rejoice then in these pangs of remorse, during the brief space remaining to you profit therefrom to obtain Heaven’s general absolution for your sins, and be mindful of it, only through the mediation of the Most Holy Sacrament of penance will you be granted it by the Eternal.
DYING MAN - I do not understand you, any more than you have understood me.

PRIEST - Eh?

DYING MAN - I told you that I repented.

PRIEST - I heard you say it.

DYING MAN - Yes, but without understanding it.

PRIEST - My interpretation -

DYING MAN - Hold. I shall give you mine. By Nature created, created with very keen tastes, with very strong passions; placed on this earth for the sole purpose of yielding to them and satisfying them, and these effects of my creation being naught but necessities directly relating to Nature’s fundamental designs or, if you prefer, naught but essential derivatives proceeding from her intentions in my regard, all in accordance with her laws, I repent not having acknowledged her omnipotence as fully as I might have done, I am only sorry for the modest use I made of the faculties (criminal in your view, perfectly ordinary in mine) she gave me to serve her; I did sometimes resist her, I repent it. Misled by your absurd doctrines, with them for arms I mindlessly challenged the desires instilled in me by a much diviner inspiration, and thereof do I repent: I only plucked an occasional flower when I might have gathered an ample harvest of fruit - such are the just grounds for the regrets I have, do me the honor of considering me incapable of harboring any others.

PRIEST - Lo! where your fallacies take you, to what pass are you brought by your sophistries! To created being you ascribe all the Creator’s power, and those unlucky penchants which have led you astray, ah! do you not see they are merely the products of corrupted nature, to which you attribute omnipotence?

DYING MAN - Friend - it looks to me as though your dialectic were as false as your thinking. Pray straighten your arguing or else leave me to die in peace. What do you mean by Creator, and what do you mean by corrupted nature?

PRIEST - The Creator is the master of the universe, ‘tis He who has wrought everything, everything created, and who maintains it all through the mere fact of His omnipotence.

DYING MAN - An impressive figure indeed. Tell me now why this so very formidable fellow did nevertheless, as you would have it, create a corrupted nature?

PRIEST - What glory would men ever have, had not God left them free will; and in the enjoyment thereof, what merit could come to them, were there not on earth the possibility of doing good and that of avoiding evil?

DYING MAN - And so your god bungled his work deliberately, in order to tempt or test his creature - did he then not know, did he then not doubt what the result would be?

PRIEST - He knew it undoubtedly but, once again, he wished to leave man the merit of choice.

DYING MAN - And to what purpose, since from the outset he knew the course affairs would take and since, all-mighty as you tell me he is, he had but to make his creature choose as suited him?

PRIEST - Who is there can penetrate God’s vast and infinite designs regarding man, and who can grasp all that makes up the universal scheme?

DYING MAN - Anyone who simplifies matters, my friend, anyone, above all, who refrains from multiplying causes in order to confuse effects all the more. What need have you of a second difficulty when you are unable to resolve the first, and once it is possible that Nature may have all alone done what you attrubute to your god, why must you go looking for someone to be her overlord? The cause and explanation of what you do not understand may perhaps be the simplest thing in the world. Perfect your physics and you will understand Nature better, refine your reason, banish your prejudices and you’ll have no further need of your god.

Click on image for full text

• • •

"Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates."

• • •

"Your body is the church where Nature asks to be reverenced."

 

• • •

"There is no God, Nature sufficeth unto herself; in no wise hath she need of an author."

• • •

"The idea of God is the sole wrong for which I cannot forgive mankind."

• • •

"Religions are the cradles of despotism."

• • •

"Sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other."

• • •

To judge from the notions expounded by theologians, one must conclude that God created most men simply with a view to crowding hell.”

• • •

"My manner of thinking, so you say, cannot be approved. Do you suppose I care? A poor fool indeed is he who adopts a manner of thinking for others!"

• • •

"It is not my mode of thought that has caused my misfortunes, but the mode of thought of others."

• • •

I wanted only to try to live in accord with the promptings which came from my true self. Why was that so very difficult?”

• • •

The entirety of human morals is contained in this one phrase: Render others as happy as one desires oneself to be, and never inflict more pain upon them than one would like to receive at their hands. There you are, my friend, those are the only principles we should observe, and you need neither god nor religion to appreciate and subscribe to them, you need only a good heart.”

• • •

"Are not laws dangerous which inhibit the passions? Compare the centuries of anarchy with those of the strongest legalism in any country you like and you will see that it is only when the laws are silent that the greatest actions appear."

• • •

"Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain."

• • •

When one is afraid one ceases to reason…when the brain is disturbed, one believes anything and examines nothing. Ignorance and fear, you will repeat to them, ignorance and fear—those are the twin bases of every religion.

• • •

"The more defects a man may have, the older he is, the less lovable, the more resounding his success."

• • •

"One is never so dangerous when one has no shame, than when one has grown too old to blush."

DONATIEN ALPHONSE FRANÇOIS MARQUIS DE SADE
French aristocrat, revolutionary and novelist
(1740 – 1814)

I think, therefore I am.”

~ RENÉ DESCARTES

"Let us hope, that a kind Providence will put a speedy end to the acts of God under which we have been laboring."

• • •

"Life is a zoo in a jungle."

• • •

"It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us."

• • •

"Confession is good for the soul only in the sense that a tweed coat is good for dandruff - it is a palliative rather than a remedy."

~ PETER De VRIES


Interior of the Old Church in Delft

(Detail)

~ EMANUEL DE WITTE
Dutch painter of church interiors
(1617 - 1692)

Click on Images to enlarge

RELIGIOUS MELANCHOLY
(Scrupulosity*)

~ DR. HUGH DIAMOND
Early British psychiatrist and photographer
(1809 – June 21, 1886)

* Scrupulosity is a psychological disorder characterized by pathological guilt about moral or religious issues. It is personally distressing, objectively dysfunctional, and often accompanied by significant impairment in social functioning.[1] It is typically conceptualized as a moral or religious form of obsessive–compulsive disorder

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

~ PHILIP K. DICK
American novelist, short story writer and essayist
(1928 – 1982)

Missionaries are perfect nuisances and leave every place worse than they found it.”

• • •

I believe the spreading of Catholicism to be the most horrible means of political and social degredation left in the world.”

~ CHARLES DICKENS
British author
(1812-1870)

You ask of my companions.  Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a Dog as large as myself that my father bought me.  They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell.”

~ EMILY DICKINSON
American poet.
(1830 – 1886)

"Skepticism is the first step towards truth."

• • •

"A thing is not proved just because no one has ever questioned it. What has never been gone into impartially has never been properly gone into. Hence scepticism is the first step toward truth. It must be applied generally, because it is the touchstone.”

*What difference is there for a blind man, between a man who is urinating, and man who, without crying out, is bleeding?"

• • •

"Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control."

• • •

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

• • •

"And his hands would plait the priest's entrails, for want of a rope, to strangle kings."

• • •

The philosopher has never killed any priests, whereas the priest has killed a great many philosophers.”

• • •

There is only one step from fanaticism to barbarism.”

• • •

"When superstition is allowed to perform the task of old age in dulling the human temperament, we can say goodbye to all excellence in poetry, in painting, and in music."

• • •

"To attempt the destruction of our passions is the height of folly. What a noble aim is that of the zealot who tortures himself like a madman in order to desire nothing, love nothing, feel nothing, and who, if he succeeded, would end up a complete monster!"

• • •

"There is no kind of harassment that a man may not inflict on a woman with impunity in civilized societies."

• • •

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

• • •

"If you want me to believe in God, you must make me touch him."

• • •

"It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley; but not at all so to believe or not in God."

• • •

Posterity is for the philosopher what the next world is for the man of religion.”


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~ DENIS DIDEROT
French philosopher and writer of the Enlightenment
(1713 – 1784)

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
From 'Pilgrim at Tinker Creek'
Pulitzer Prize-winning American author
(b. 1945)

Dedicated to Sadists

~ OTTO DIX
German painter and printmaker noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and of the brutality of war, widely considered one of the most important artists of the
Neue Sachlichkeit.
1891-1969

"The death of a child is the greatest reason to doubt the existence of God.”

~ FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY
Russian novelist, short story writer and essayist.
(1821 – 1881)

Yup, we need a Nope. A nun who is Pope.”

• • •

"We’re trading a dogmatic president [Bush] for one who’s shopping for a Dog [Obama]. It feels good."

• • •

"Republicans are geniuses at getting people to vote against their own self-interest. "

• • •

"The president's certitude - the idea that he can see into people's souls and that god tells him what is right, then W. tells us if he feels like it - is disturbing. It equates disagreeing with him to disagreeing with Him.... America is awash in selective piety, situational moralists and cherry-picking absolutists."

• • •

"As international lunacy goes, itwas hard to beat the pope saying that condoms spread AIDS."

• • •

Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) devoted his Vatican career to rooting out any hint of what he considered deviance. The problem is, he was obsessed with enforcing doctrinal orthodoxy and somehow missed the graver danger to the most vulnerable members of the flock.

“The sin-crazed “Rottweiler” was so consumed with sexual mores — issuing constant instructions on chastity, contraception, abortion — that he didn’t make time for curbing sexual abuse by priests who were supposed to pray with, not prey on, their young charges.

“American bishops have gotten politically militant in recent years, opposing the health care bill because its language on abortion wasn’t vehement enough, and punishing Catholic politicians who favor abortion rights and stem cell research. They should spend as much time guarding the kids already under their care as they do championing the rights of those who aren’t yet born.”

~ MAUREEN DOWD
Washington DC-based columnist for The New York Times and best-selling author
awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1999
(b. 1952)

"War is the trade of kings."

~ JOHN DRYDEN
English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright
(1631-1700)

"While driving home, it occurred to me, inspired by the late grand dame d'ateliers, that the butt crack should now be known as the "political divide" one half on the left, one half on the right. Most of what comes out of the middle is pure shit."

 

Even with camoflage, one cannot hide the divide.”

 

~ D.C. DUGAN
(B. 1958)
Figurative draftsman, painter and photographer;

anatomist, massage therapist

"If god were suddenly condemned to live the life which he has inflicted upon men, He would kill himself."

~ ALEXANDRE DUMAS
(père)
French novelist
(1802 – 1870)

"My mother used to say that in our land there were enough gods for women to have at least one on their side, while your religion has three in one and they are all men. Even the bird."

• • •

"I grew up in another language, under another sun. I believe what I need to believe to get by."

• • •

"Rome was the natural home of courtesans. Indeed, it had been their birthplace. A city full of sophisticated clerics, too secular to be saints, especially when it came to matters of the flesh, had soon created its own court, with women as refined out of bed as they were wayward in it."

• • •

"I...am not much of a praying man -- I have never quite understood if I am talking to god or to myself."

• • •

"Imagine it. How would it be if the end was not Heaven or Hell but just the absence of life? I swear that would be Heaven enough for most of us."

• • •

“’Over the years I have come to realize that we nuns are wonderfully adept at seeing what we believe.’ She hesitates. ‘Or rather believing what we want to see, perhaps even when it is not there.’”

~ SARAH DUNANT
English novelist
(b. 1950)

"The trouble with theocracy is that everyone wants to be Theo."

~ JAMES DUNN
For many years the Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham. Since his retirement he has been made Emeritus Lightfoot Professor. He is a leading British New Testament scholar.
(b. 1939)

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

~ CLARENCE W. DUPNlK
Pima County Arizona Sheriff
(b. 1936)

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”

~ WILL DURANT
Prolific American writer, author of The Story of Civilization, historian, and philosopher
(1885 – 1981)

"No man, and least of all myself, could ever disentangle the feelings that animated him."

~ THOMAS EAKINS
American realist painter, photographer[2], sculptor, and fine arts educator.
(1844 – 1916)

"Fear prophets and those prepared to die for the truth, for as a rule they make many others die with them, often before them, at times instead of them."

~ UMBERTO ECO
Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist
(b. 1932)

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that it won't work."

• • •

"I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious ideas of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal god. So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake… Religion is all bunk."

• • •

"So far as religion of the day is concerned, it is a damned fake. Religion is all bunk."

• • •

My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it."

~ THOMAS EDISON
American inventor: the phonograph and long-lasting, practical electric light bulb
(1847 – 1931)

Gray wolves were exterminated long ago in most Western states, a campaign of blood lust, terror and bounty kills.”

• • •

In ... the man some call crazy, they hear a voice of sanity.”

~ TIMOTHY EGAN
American writer and journalist;
2006 winner of the National Book Award; 2001 Pulitzer Prize
(b. n/a)

Verbal uplift is not the revolution.”

~ BARBARA EHRENREICH
American journalist, social critic,feminist, democratic socialist, and political activist
(b. 1941)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

• • •

"What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of 'humility.' This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism."

• • •

"It seems to me that the idea of a personal god is an anthropological concept which I cannot take seriously. I also cannot imagine some will or goal outside the human sphere. … Science has been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

• • •

"I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

• • •

"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism."

• • •

"A God who rewards and punishes is inconceivable to him for the simple reason that a man's actions are determined by necessity, external and internal, so that in God's eyes he cannot be responsible, any more than an inanimate object is responsible for the motions it undergoes. Science has therefore been charged with undermining morality, but the charge is unjust. A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death. It is therefore easy to see why the churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees.”

• • •

"A man's ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death."

• • •

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed."

• • •

"I do not believe in the immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it."

• • •

"He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder."

• • •

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits"

~ ALBERT EINSTEIN
German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history
(1879 – 1955)

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

• • •

What counts is not necessarily the size of the Dog in the fight – but it’s the size of the fight in the Dog.”

~ DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

"Prophecy is the most gratuitous form of error."

• • •

Given, a man with moderate intellect, a moral standard not higher than the average, some rhetorical affluence and great glibness of speech, what is the career in which, without the aid of birth or money, he may most easily attain power and reputation in English society? Where is that Goshen of mediocrity in which a smattering of science and learning will pass for profound instruction, where platitudes will be accepted as wisdom, bigoted narrowness as holy zeal, unctuous egoism as God-given piety? Let such a man become an evangelical preacher; he will then find it possible to reconcile small ability with great ambition, superficial knowledge with the prestige of erudition, a middling morale with a high reputation for sanctity.”

~ GEORGE ELIOT
English novelist
(1819-1880)

The religions of the world are the ejaculations of a few imaginative men.”

• • •

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching.”

• • •

"If I should go out of church whenever I hear a false sentiment, I could never stay there five minutes.”

• • •

That which we call sin in others, is only experiment for us.”

• • •

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.”

 

"Things are in the saddle, and ride mankind."

• • •

"Where there is a wall, there's a door."

~ RALPH WALDO EMERSON
American essayist, philosopher and poet ,,
leader of the transcendentalist movement of the early 19th century
(1803 – 1882)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”

• • •

It is impossible to begin to learn that which one thinks one already knows.”

• • •

"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."

• • •

If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid.”

• • •

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”

• • •

When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.”

• • •

It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting.”

• • •

I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?”

• • •

It is not death or pain that is to be dreaded, but the fear of pain or death.”

~ EPICTETUS
Greek sage and Stoic philosopher born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until his banishment, when he went to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece for the rest of his life. His teachings were written down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses.
(CE 55 – CE 135)

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

~ EPICURUS

Unfortunately, I think that selective use of killing civilians has been very much on the agenda for fighting terror. The army believes that a weak spot of Israeli deterrence is its strong commitment not to kill civilians, and there has grown the sense that it might have to temporarily overcome that weakness in order to restore deterrence.”

~ YARON EZRAHI
Political Scientist at Hebrew University
(b. 1940)

The only real nation is humanity.”

~ PAUL FARMER
American anthropologist and physician; Professor of Medical
Anthropology in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard University
(b. 1959)

"The larger problem is the inability of the church leadership to come to terms with the modern world."

~ HUBERT FEICHTLBAUER
Austrian journalist; Catholic activist and reformer
(b. 1932)


"Like many people, I have no religion, and I am just sitting in a small boat drifting with the tide."

• • •

"Real religion should be something that liberates men. But churches don't want free men who can think for themself and find their own divinity within. When a religion becomes organized it is no longer a religious experience but only superstition and estrangement."

~ FEDERICO FELLINI
Italian movie director
(1920-1993)

"Religious systems are inherently conservative, science inherently progressive,”

~ TIMOTHY FERRIS
American science writer
(b. 1944)

You can talk about the finesse of diplomatic ties and maneuverings, but what Kenny was actually saying was that you have to prioritize the victims of abuse, and you have to assert very loudly that this is a republic and civil law has to take precedence over canon law,”

~ DIARMAID FERRITER
Professor of modern Irish history at University College Dublin.
(b. 1972)

It is not as in the Bible, that god created man in his own image. But, on the contrary, man created God in his own image.”

~ LUDWIG FEUERBACH
German philosopher and anthropologist
(1804–1872)

Religion isn't the cause of wars, it's the excuse.”
~ JASPER FFORDE

(b. 1961)
British novelist, author of The Eyre Affair

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

• • •

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it.”

• • •

"It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to."

• • •

"Children should neither be seen or heard from - ever again."

 

"I like children -- fried."

• • •

"How well I remember my first encounter with The Devil's Brew. I happened to stumble across a case of bourbon--and went right on stumbling for several days thereafter."

• • •

"I exercise extreme self control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast."

• • •

"More people are driven insane through religious hysteria than by drinking alcohol."

• • •

"To me, these biblical stories are just so many fish stories, and I'm not specifically referring to Jonah and the whale. I need indisputable proof of anything I'm asked to believe."

• • •

"If I ever found a church that didn't believe in knocking all the other churches, I might consider joining it."

• • •

Goddamn the whole fucking world and everyone in it except for you, Carlotta*.”

Final words / * Carlotta Monti, an actress and his mistress

~ W.C. FIELDS
American comedian, actor, juggler and writer. Fields was known for his comic persona as a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs, children and women.
(1880– 1946)

“II like children they are tasty “

~ HAMILTON HAOWARD "Albert" FISH
American serial killer. He was also known as the Gray Man, the Werewolf of Wysteria, the Brooklyn Vampire, the Moon Maniac and The Boogey Man. He was put on trial for the kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Grace Budd (right), and was convicted and executed by electric chair.
(1870 – 1936)

"I'm seeking the high seas rather than safe harbour. If I sink, you're excused from mourning me."

• • •

"Here is true immorality: ignorance and stupidity; the devil is nothing but this. His name is Legion. "

• • •

Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.”

~ GUSTAVE FLAUBERT
French writer who is counted among the greatest Western novelists.
Known especially for the novel, Madame Bovary
(1821 – 1880)

"The enemy aggressor is always pursuing a course of larceny, murder, rapine  and barbarism. We are always moving forward with high mission, a destiny  imposed by the Deity to regenerate our victims while incidentally capturing their markets, to civilise savage and senile and paranoid peoples while blundering accidentally into their oil wells."

~ JOHN FLYNN

"I can’t understand the word 'war' anyhow. I can’t understand people killing each other for a piece of land. Can you understand that?"

~ ARI FOLMAN

Atheists are often charged with blasphemy, but it is a crime they cannot commit… When the Atheist examines, denounces, or satirizes the gods, he is not dealing with persons but with ideas. He is incapable of insulting God, for he does not admit the existence of any such being… We attack not a person but a belief, not a being but an idea, not a fact but a fancy.”

~ G.W. FOOTE
British secularist and journal editor; outspoken critic ofreligion;
founded The Freethinker in 1881
(1850 –1915)

 

 

 

 

"I do not believe in Belief.”

• • •

"Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die."

• • •

We are willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.”

• • •

"I believe we shall come to care about people less and less, Helen. The more people one knows the easier it becomes to replace them. It's one of the curses of London. I quite expect to end my life caring most for a place."

~ E.M. FORSTER
English novelist, short story writer, essayist and librettist; gave up writing in his 40s to concentrate on his love affair with a married policeman
(1879 – 1970)

"I'm an atheist. But I absolutely love religions and the rituals. Even though I don't believe in God."

• • •

"I absolutely believe what Ellie [her character in Carl Sagan's Contact] believes - that there is no direct evidence, so how could you ask me to believe in God when there's absolutely no evidence that I can see? I do believe in the beauty and the awe-inspiring mystery of the science that's out there that we haven't discovered yet, that there are scientific explanations for phenomena that we call mystical because we don't know any better."

~ JODIE FOSTER
American actress, film director, and producer.
(b. 1962)

I don't feel that it is necessary to know exactly what I am. The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”

• • •

People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do; but what they don’t know is what what they do does.”

• • •

I don't write for an audience, I write for users, not readers."

• • •

A critique does not consist in saying that things aren't good the way they are.... To do critcism is to make harder those acts which are now too easy. ”

~ MICHEL FOUCAULT
French philosopher, social theorist and historian of ideas
(1926 – 1984)

I’m a polyatheist - there are many gods I don’t believe in.”

~ DAN FOUTS
Former American football quarterback for the San Diego Chargers
(b. 1951)

"The role of the international Christian community in this cannot be underestimated. Unfortunately, the fact remains that this belief system is being spread by so-called Christians... Children accused of witchcraft are often incarcerated in churches for weeks on end and beaten, starved and tortured in order to extract a confession,."

~ GARY FOXCROFT
British program director of Stepping Stones Nigeria
(b. 1979)

Click on image above right for more information about
Child Witches of Nigeria and Stepping Stones Nigeria

"The truth is, no miracle can, from the nature of things, be stated as an established fact; to do so will always involve drawing a premature conclusion."

• • •

"There will always be a fungus, a star, or a disease that human science does not know of, and for this reason it must always behoove the philosopher, in the name of the undying ignorance of man, to deny every miracle."

• • •

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

~ ANATOLE FRANCE

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

• • •

"The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance."

• • •

"Lighthouses are more helpful than churches."

• • •

"In the affairs of the world, men are saved, not by faith, but by the want of it."

• • •

"Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a god, because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

~ BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

As long as the United States continues unconditionally to provide the subsidies and political protection that make the Israeli occupation and the high-handed and self-defeating policies it engenders possible, there is little, if any, reason to hope that anything resembling the former peace process can be resurrected.”

~ CHARLES W. FREEMAN JR.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason."

• • •

"It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be."

• • •

If one wishes to form a true estimate of the full grandeur of religion, one must keep in mind what it undertakes to do for men. It gives them information about the source and origin of the universe, it assures them of protection and final happiness amid the changing vicissitudes of life, and it guides their thoughts and motions by means of precepts which are backed by the whole force of its authority.”

• • •

Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires.”

• • •

When a man is freed of religion, he has a better chance to live a normal and wholesome life.”

• • •

"In the long run, nothing can withstand reason and experience, and the contradiction religion offers to both is palpable."

• • •

"The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life."

• • •

"The idea of God was not a lie but a device of the unconscious which needed to be decoded by psychology. A personal god was nothing more than an exalted father-figure: desire for such a deity sprang from infantile yearnings for a powerful, protective father, for justice and fairness and for life to go on forever. God is simply a projection of these desires, feared and worshipped by human beings out of an abiding sense of helplessness. Religion belonged to the infancy of the human race; it had been a necessary stage in the transition from childhood to maturity. It had promoted ethical values which were essential to society. Now that humanity had come of age, however, it should be left behind."

~ SIGMUND FREUD

In every case where people use animals to make money and when there are financial difficulties the animals’ lives are put at risk.”

~ PETER FRICKER
Canadian journalist Projects and Communications Director of
the Vancouver Humane Society
(b. n/a)


“America’s homicide rates, incarceration rates and gun ownership rates are all much higher than other wealthy countries. While the data associated with crime is imperfect, these facts all point to the idea that America is more violent than many other wealthy countries.

~ HOWARD STEVEN FRIEDMAN
Prominent American statistician, health economist, writer and artist currently employed at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and as an adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University
(b. 1972)

I turned to speak to God, About the world’s despair; But to make bad matters worse, I found God wasn’t there.”

• • •

Forgive, O Lord, my little joke on Thee and I’ll forgive Thy great big one on me.”

• • •

I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.”

~ ROBERT FROST

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.”

~ JAMES A. FROUDE
English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor of Fraser's Magazine
(1818-1894)

Hunting Jews has always been a European sport. Now the Palestinians, who never played it, are paying the bill.”

~ EDUARDO GALEANO
Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist
(b. 1940)

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

~ GALILEO
Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher
who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution
(1564– 1642)

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

• • •

"God has no religion."

• • •

"The most henious and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives."

~ MOHANDAS GANDHI

"La incredulidad es mas resistente que la fé porque la sostienen los sentidos."*

Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses.”

• • •

"No creo en dios pero le temo."*

I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him.”

~ GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

* Translated from English

Just in terms of allocation of time resources, religion is not very efficient. There’s a lot more I could be doing on a Sunday morning.”

• • •

The specific elements of Christianity are not something I’m a huge believer in.”

~ BILL GATES

"Nail up some indecency in plain sight over your door; from that time forward you will be rid of all respectable people,the most insupportable folk God has created."

~ PAUL GAUGUIN

We feel the only way to fight the stigma toward atheists and agnostics is for people to feel like they know them, and they’re your neighbors and your friends. It’s the same idea as the out-of-the-closet campaign for gay rights.”

• • •

Nothing fails like prayer.”

~ ANNIE LAURIE GAYLOR
American; co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation;
editor of Freethought Today; author
(b. 1955)

Crimes of which a people is ashamed constitute its real history. The same is true of man.”

• • •

 “Repudiating the virtues of your world, criminals hopelessly agree to organize a forbidden universe. They agree to live in it. The air there is nauseating: they can breathe it.”

~ JEAN GENET


GEORGE GERSHWIN

 


IRA GERSHWIN

 


DuBOSE HEYWARD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT AIN'T NECESSARILY SO
'PORGY AND BESS'

It ain't necessarily so
It ain't necessarily so
The t'ings dat yo' li'ble
To read in de Bible,
It ain't necessarily so.

Li'l David was small, but oh my !
Li'l David was small, but oh my !
He fought Big Goliath
Who lay down an' dieth !
Li'l David was small, but oh my !

Wadoo, zim bam boddle-oo,
Hoodle ah da wa da,
Scatty wah !
Oh yeah !...

Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale,
Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale,
Fo' he made his home in
Dat fish's abdomen.
Oh Jonah, he lived in de whale.

Li'l Moses was found in a stream.
Li'l Moses was found in a stream.
He floated on water
Till Ol' Pharaoh's daughter,
She fished him, she said, from dat stream.

Wadoo, zim bam boddle-oo,
Hoodle ah da wa da,
Scatty wah !
Oh yeah !...

Todd Duncan and Anne Brown starred in the original 1935 Broadway premiere

Well, it ain't necessarily so
Well, it ain't necessarily so
Dey tells all you chillun
De debble's a villun,
But it ain't necessarily so !

To get into Hebben
Don' snap for a sebben !
Live clean ! Don' have no fault !
Oh, I takes dat gospel
Whenever it's pos'ble,
But wid a grain of salt.

Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,
Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,
But who calls dat livin'
When no gal will give in
To no man what's nine hundred years ?

I'm preachin' dis sermon to show,
It ain't nece-ain't nece
Ain't nece-ain't nece
Ain't necessarily ... so !

~ GEORGE GERSHWIN
American composer
(1898 – 1937)

~IRA GERSHIN
American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin,
(1896 – 1983)

~ DuBOSE HEYWARD
American author best known for his 1925 novel Porgy, adapted and produced in 1927 as a play by the same name (which he co-authored with his wife Dorothy) and, in turn, the opera Porgy and Bess (1935)
(1885 – 1940)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE WISE DOG

One day there passed by a company of cats a wise dog.

And as he came near and saw that they were very intent and heeded him not, he stopped.

Then there arose in the midst of the company a large, grave cat
looked upon them and said, "Brethren, pray ye; and when ye have prayed again and yet again, nothing doubting, verily then it shall rain mice."

And when the dog heard this he laughed in his heart and turned from them saying, "O blind and foolish cats, has it not been written and have I not known and my fathers before me, that that which raineth for prayer and faith and supplication is not mice but bones."

• • •

THE WISE KING

Once there ruled in the distant city of Wirani a king who was both mighty and wise. And he was feared for his might and loved for his wisdom.

Now, in the heart of that city was a well, whose water was cool and crystalline, from which all the inhabitants drank, even the king and his courtiers; for there was no other well.

One night when all were asleep, a witch entered the city, and poured seven drops of strange liquid into the well, and said, "From this hour he who drinks this water shall become mad."

Next morning all the inhabitants, save the king and his lord chamberlain, drank from the well and became mad, even as the witch had foretold.

And during that day the people in the narrow streets and in the market places did naught but whisper to one another, "The king is mad. Our king and his lord chamberlain have lost their reason. Surely we cannot be ruled by a mad king. We must dethrone him."

That evening the king ordered a golden goblet to be filled from the well. And when it was brought to him he drank deeply, and gave it to his lord chamberlain to drink.

And there was great rejoicing in that distant city of Wirani, because its king and its lord chamberlain had regained their reason.

~ KHALIL GIBRAN
Lebanese artist, poet and writer
(1883 – 1931)

"The life that you are seeking you will never find. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping."

~ EPIC of GILGAMESH
Fifth king of Uruk, modern day Iraq and Kuwait;
the Epic of Gilgamesh is an epic poem from Mesopotamia and is among the earliest known works of literature

"There is no ox so dumb as the orthodox."

~ GEORGE FRANCIS GILLETTE
American physicist and engineer who developed the “backscrewing theory of gravity”
(1918 - 2004)

Historically, there was a view within the Catholic Church that there was a parallel law, that they had their own system of law, and that was the law to which they were accountable, At a minimum, that blurred the understanding of the necessity for full compliance with the law of the state.

“The Catholic Church is perfectly entitled to have its own view and its own rule and to view matters according to its own light. But this is a republic. And there is one law. Everybody in the state — irrespective of whether they’re ordinary citizens doing everyday work, or a priest or a bishop — has to comply with the law.”

~ EAMON GILMORE
Irish Labour Party politician and the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Government of the 31st Dáil; leader of the Labour Party
(b. 1955)

The philosophy of Atheism represents a concept of life without any metaphysical Beyond or Divine Regulator. It is the concept of an actual, real world with its liberating, expanding and beautifying possibilities, as against an unreal world, which, with its spirits, oracles, and mean contentment has kept humanity in helpless degradation."

• • •

"Atheism,in its negation of gods, is, at the same time, the strongest affirmation of man and, through man, the eternal yea to life, purpose and beauty."

• • •

"Mankind has been punished long and heavily for having created its gods; nothing but pain and persecution have been man's lot since gods began."

• • •

"A glance at life today, at its disintegrating character, its conflicting interests with their hatreds, crimes and greed, suffices to prove the sterility of theistic morality."

• • •

"Prometheus chained to the Rock of Ages is doomed to remain the prey of the vultures of darkness. Unbind Prometheus, and you dispel the night and its horrors."

~ EMMA GOLDMAN
American anarchist born in Russia known for her political activism,
writing and speeches
(1869 – 1940)

"It helps if the woman looks like a boy.”

~ JON- JON GOULIAN

Gatesca pantomima
Murió la verdad
Farándula de charlatanes
Devota profesión
Lo que puede un sastre
No hubo remedio
Nadie nos ha visto
Que se rompe la cuerda

~ FRANCISCO DE GOYA Y LUCIENTES
Spanish Painter and Printmaker
(1746 - 1828)

Click on Images to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meaning of life is to make life meaningful.”

• • •

"Religion and science have a common ancestor - ignorance"

• • •

Misuse of reason might yet return the world to pre-technological night; plenty of religious zealots hunger for just such a result, and are happy to use the latest technology to effect it.”

• • •

It takes a certain ingenuous faith - but I have it - to believe that people who read and reflect more likely than not come to judge things with liberality and truth.”

• • •

"To believe something in the face of evidence and against reason - to believe something by faith - is ignoble, irresponsible and ignorant, and merits the opposite of respect."

• • •

The notion that evil is non-rational is a more significant claim for [Terry] Eagleton* than at first appears, because he is (in this book [On Evil] as in others of his recent 'late period' prolific burst) anxious to rewrite theology: God (whom he elsewhere tells us is nonexistent, but this is no barrier to his being lots of other things for Eagleton too, among them Important) is not to be regarded as rational: with reference to the Book of Job Eagleton says, 'To ask after God's reasons for allowing evil, so [some theologians] claim, is to imagine him as some kind of rational or moral being, which is the last thing he is.' This is priceless: with one bound God is free of responsibility for 'natural evil'—childhood cancers, tsunamis that kill tens of thousands—and for moral evil also even though 'he' is CEO of the company that purposely manufactured its perpetrators; and 'he' is incidentally exculpated from blame for the hideous treatment meted out to Job.

“Eagleton has spent his life inside two mental boxes, Catholicism and Marxism, of both of which he is a severe internal critic—that is, he frequently kicks and scratches at the inside of the boxes, but does not leave them. Neither are ideologies that loosen their grip easily, and people who need the security of adherence to a big dominating ideology, however much they kick and scratch but without daring to leave go, hold on to it every bit as tightly as it holds onto them. The result is, of course, strangulation, but alas not mutual strangulation: the ideology always wins.”

~ A.C. GRAYLING
British philosopher. In 2011 he founded and became the first master of New College of the Humanities, a private undergraduate college in London. Until June 2011, he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London
(b. 1949)

*TERRY EAGLETON - British literary theorist (b. 1943)

I think the shock I suffered [reading the Bible] was worse than the trauma caused by my [cancer]. ...[it] left me stunned.”

• • •

"There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages."

• • •

Today evolution of human intelligence has advanced us to the stage where most of us are too smart to invent new gods but are reluctant to give up the old ones.”

• • •

"I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion. . . . If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society's admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?”

~ RUTH HURMENCE GREEN
American atheist author: "The Born Again Skeptic's Guide to the Bible." According to Freedom From Religion Foundation's official site, she "debunked the Bible as no one has done since Thomas Paine."
(1915 - 1981)

Westerners eavesdropping on native myths are in fact stealing them, just as they have stolen the very land.”

~ PAUL GREENBERG
American author and essayist
focusing on fish, aquaculture and the future of the ocean
(b. 1967)

There was no prayer circle before this show.”

~ KATHY GRIFFIN
American actress, model, stand-up comedian,
author and homosexoal rights advocate
(b. 1960)


INRI

Eclipse of the Sun

~ GEORGE GROSZ
German artist known especially for his savagely caricatural drawings of Berlin life in the 1920s; prominent member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity
(1893 – 1959)

The emotions are, in fact, in charge of the temple of morality, and ... moral reasoning is really just a servant masquerading as a high priest.”

• • •

Our minds were not designed by evolution to discover the truth; they were designed to play social games.”

~ JONATHAN HAIDT
Psychologist, University of Virginia;
Author, researcher specializing in the psychological bases of morality
across different cultures and political ideology
(b. n/a)

SODOMY

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth, so help me god.

In the name of the father, the son, and the holy ghost. Amen.



Sodomy

Fellatio
Cunnilingus
Pederasty

Father, why do these words sound so nasty?

Masturbation
Can be fun
Join the holy orgy
Kama Sutra
Everyone!

~ HAIR
JAMES RADO and GEROME RAGNI

Book and Lyrics
Off-Broadway debut in October 1967

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"There is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been hailed as an insult to some god."

• • •

"Science is as yet in its infancy, and we can foretell little of the future save that the thing that has not been is the thing that shall be; that no beliefs, no values, no institutions are safe."

• • •

"The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions. These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.

• • •

"Christianity has probably the most flexible morals of any religion, because Jesus left no code of law behind him like Moses or Muhammad, and his moral precepts are so different from those of ordinary life that no society has ever made any serious attempt to carry them out, such as was possible in the case of Israel and Islam. But every Christian church has tried to impose a code of morals of some kind for which it has claimed divine sanction. As these codes have always been opposed to those of the gospels a loophole has been left for moral progress such as hardly exists in other religions. This is no doubt an argument for Christianity as against other religions, but not as against none at all, or as against a religion which will frankly admit that its mythology and morals are provisional. That is the only sort of religion that would satisfy the scientific mind, and it is very doubtful whether it could properly be called a religion at all."

• • •

"The time has gone by when a Huxley could believe that while science might indeed remould traditional mythology, traditional morals were impregnable and sacrosanct to it. We must learn not to take traditional morals too seriously. And it is just because even the least dogmatic of religions tends to associate itself with some kind of unalterable moral tradition, that there can be no truce between science and religion."

• • •

"My practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an experiment I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of the world."

~ J.B.S. HALDANE
British geneticist and evolutionary biologist
(1892 - 1964)

So if Jesus is God, who does he pray to? [If you say] ‘God,’ doesn’t that make Jesus a narcissist?”

~ OMAR HAMMAMI
aka
ABU MANSOOR AL-AMRIKI
“the American”
American born al-Shabaab Jihadist commander in Somalia
(b. 1984)

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
"Deep Thoughts"
American humorist
(b. 1949)

Click on Image to view other Muhammed cartoons

Published March 19, 2009

~ JENS JULIUS HANSEN
Danish political cartoonist
(b. 1971)

"To be candid, I think the death of a child is never really to be regretted, when one reflects on what he has escaped."

• • •

That one true heart was left behind!
What feeling do we ever find
To equal among human kind
A dog's fidelity!

~ THOMAS HARDY
English poet and novelist of the naturalist movement
(1840 – 1928)

The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.”

~ GEORGIA HARKNESS
American theologian in the Methodist tradition
(1891 - 1974)

The idea that somehow we are getting our morality out of the Judeo-Christian tradition is bad history and bad science.”

• • •

"Without death, the influence of faith-based religion would be unthinkable. Clearly, the fact of death is intolerable to us, and faith is little more than the shadow cast by our hope for a better life beyond the grave."

• • •

Any scientist must concede that we don't fully understand the universe. But neither the Bible nor the Qur'an represents our best understanding of the universe. That is exquisitely clear.”

• • •

Every specific science from cosmology to psychology to economics has surpassed and superseded what the Bible tells us is true about our world.“

• • •

"It can be difficult to think like a scientist. But few things make thinking like a scientist more difficult than religion."

~ SAM HARRIS
American non-fiction writer and proponent of scientific skepticism
(b. 1967)

A civilized society looks with horror upon the abuse and torture of children or adults. Even where capital punishment is practiced, the aim is to implement it as mercifully as possible. Are we to believe then that a holy god - our heavenly father - is less just than the courts of men?”

~ SIDNEY HATCH
American Olympic athlete, marathon runner;
awarded the Purple Heart and Distinguished Service Cross
as well as the French Croix de Guerre for "extraordinary heroism" during WWI
(1883 – 1966)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"There is no heaven; it's a fairy story."

• • •

"I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

• • •

"I'm not afraid of death, but I'm in no hurry to die. I have so much I want to do first."

• • •

"Consideration of black holes suggests, not only that God does play dice, but that He sometimes confuses us by throwing them where they can't be seen."

• • •

"What I have done is to show that it is possible for the way the universe began to be determined by the laws of science. In that case, it would not be necessary to appeal to God to decide how the universe began. This doesn't prove that there is no God, only that God is not necessary."

• • •

"Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to ... set the Universe going."

• • •

"Our experience has been that when we open up a new range of observations, we often find what we had not expected. That is when physics becomes really exciting, because we are learning something new about the universe."

• • •

"I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease. But it taught me not to pity myself, because others were worse off and to get on with what I still could do. I’m happier now than before I developed the condition. I am lucky to be working in theoretical physics, one of the few areas in which disability is not a serious handicap."

• • •

"We should seek the greatest value of our action."

~ STEPHEN HAWKING
British theoretical physicist;
professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge
(b. 1942)

The real obscenities on this planet have very little to do with sex.”

~ HUGH HEFFNER
American magazine publisher, founder and chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises.
(b. 1926)

"It must require an inordinate share of vanity and presumption, too, after enjoying so much that is good and beautiful on earth, to ask the Lord for immortality in addition to all."

• • •

Atheism is the last word of theism.”

• • •

Wherever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn people.”

~ HEINRICH HEINE
German romantic poet, journalist and essayist
(1797 – 1856)

"Belief is a moral act for which the believer is to be held responsible."

• • •

"I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashion."

• • •

"If you believe, as the Greeks did, that man is at the mercy of the gods, then you write tragedy. The end is inevitable from the beginning. But if you believe that man can solve his own problems and is at nobody's mercy, then you will probably write melodrama."

• • •

"Nobody outside of a baby carriage or a judge's chamber believes in an unprejudiced point of view."

• • •

"There are people who eat the earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with the locusts. And other people who stand around and watch them eat."

~ LILLIAN HELLMAN
American playwright
(1905 – 1984)

"All thinking men are atheists."

• • •

"No one ever goes into battle thinking god is on the other side."

~ ERNEST HEMINGWAY
American writer and journalist
(1899 — 1961)

INVICTUS
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

• • •

From
BALLADE OF TRUISMS
Men may scoff, and men may pray,
But they pay
Every pleasure with a pain.

~ WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY
English poet, critic and editor; humanist
(1849-1903)

"I'm an atheist, and that's it.  I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for other people."

~ KATHARINE HEPBURN
American actress of film, television and stage
(1907 – 2003)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"There is nothing more American than brutal violence. The country was built on it, revels in it and shows every
evidence of clinging to it with the crazed, destructive strength of an obsessive lover."

• • •

"By all means, condemn the hateful rhetoric that has poured so much poison into our political discourse. The crazies don’t kill in a vacuum, and the vilest of our political leaders and commentators deserve to be called to account for their demagoguery and the danger that comes with it. But that’s the easy part.

If we want to reverse the flood tide of killing in this country, we’ll have to do a hell of a lot more than bad-mouth a few sorry politicians and lame-brained talking heads. We need to face up to the fact that this is an insanely violent society. The vitriol that has become an integral part of our political rhetoric, most egregiously from the right, is just one of the myriad contributing factors in a society saturated in blood.

The overwhelming majority of the people who claim to be so outraged by last weekend’s shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others — six of them fatally — will take absolutely no steps, none whatsoever, to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. And similar tragedies are coming as surely as the sun makes its daily appearance over the eastern horizon because this is an American ritual: the mowing down of the innocents.

For whatever reasons, neither the public nor the politicians seem to really care how many Americans are murdered — unless it’s in a terror attack by foreigners. The two most common responses to violence in the U.S. are to ignore it or be entertained by it. The horror prompted by the attack in Tucson on Saturday will pass. The outrage will fade. The murders will continue."

- January 10, 2011

• • •

"The problem when we think in terms of freaks and aberrations is that there are so many of them, which calls into question just how freakish or aberrational they really are.... The truth, of course, is that there is nothing aberrational about hatred and murderous violence....

"Americans kill each other at roughly the rate of 16,000 a year! From racial violence to family violence to gang warfare to street crime to mass murder - the blood never stops flowing."

~ BOB HERBERT
American journalist and columnist
(b. 1945)

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.”

~ FRANK HERBERT
American science fiction author
(1920 – 1986)

"Organized Religion is like Organized Crime; it preys on peoples' weakness, generates huge profits for its operators, and is almost impossible to eradicate."

~ MIKE HERMANN

People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest."

HERMANN HESSE
German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter.
(1877 – 1962)

People ask me what I think about that woman priest thing. What, a woman priest? Women priests. Great, great. Now there’s priests of both sexes I don’t listen to.”

• • •

According to Christianity, eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with: believe or die. ‘Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.’"

~ BILL HICKS
American stand-up comedian
(1961 – 1994)

I did not want to spend my life figuring out how to kill people. I wanted to figure out how to let people have a better life, not a worse life.”

~ JOAN HINTON
American nuclear physicist from the Manhattan Project
who chose China over Atom Bomb; dairy farmer;
There was never any evidence to show that Ms. Hinton passed secrets
or did any work as a physicist in China.
(1921 - 2010)

When I finally admitted to myself that I was an unbeliever, it was because I simply couldn’t pretend any longer that I believed.”

• • •

I began reading [The Atheist Manifesto by Herman Philipse].... But I really didn’t have to. Just looking at it, just wanting to read it, that already meant I doubted. Before I’d read four pages, I realized that I had left Allah years ago. I was an atheist. An apostate. An infidel. I looked in a mirror and said outl loud..., ‘I don’t believe in god.’

“I felt relief. There was no pain but a real clarity.... The ever-present prospect of hellfire lifted and my horizon seemed broader. God, Satan, angels: these were all figments of human imagination, mechanisms to impose the will of the powerful on the weak. From now on I could step firmly on the ground that was under my feet and navigate based on my own reason and self-respect. My moral compass was within myself, not in the pages of a sacred book.
“I told myself the we, as human individuals, are our own guides to good and evil. We must think for ourselves; we are responsible for our own morality.”

• • •

The only proposition that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up. we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more.”

~ AYAAN HIRSI ALI
Activist for women’s rights in Islamic societies
Former member of the Dutch parliament
(b. 1969)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And even if my voice goes before I do, I shall continue to write polemics against religious delusions, at least until it’s hello darkness my old friend.”

• • •

"Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."

• • •

One recalls the question asked by the Chinese when the first Christian missionaries made their appearance. If god had revealed himself, how is it that he has allowed so many centuries to elapse before informing the Chinese?”

• • •

"Monotheistic religion is a plagiarism of a plagiarism of a hearsay of a hearsay, of ßan illusion of an illusion, extending all the way back to a fabrication of a few nonevents."

• • •

There are always secular authorities, masquerading as divine, who already know that they are right and who are deaf to the necessity of skepticism. Thanks to them, we will never know what was in the great library at Alexandria (though they cannot forbid us to speculate about what they burned).”

• • •

"Forgotten were the elementary rules of logic, that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and that what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

• • •

"Literature, not scripture, sustains the mind and, since there is no other metaphor, also the soul."

• • •

Writing is what’s important to me, and anything that helps me do that — or enhances and prolongs and deepens and sometimes intensifies argument and conversation — is worth it to me. [It is] impossible for me to imagine having my life without going to those parties, without having those late nights, without that second bottle.”

"Mockery of religion is one of the most essential things because to demystify supposedly 'holy text dictated by god' and show that they are man made and what you have to show [is] there internal inconsistencies and absurdities. One of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at authority... it is an indispensable thing people can call it blasphemy if they like, but if they call it that they have to assume there is something to be blasphemed - some divine work, well I don't accept the premise."

~ CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS
English author, journalist, political observer and literary critic
(1949-2011)

Nothing to be done really about animals. Anything you do looks foolish. The answer isn’t in us. It’s almost as if we’re put here on earth to show how silly they aren’t.”

~ RUSSELL HOBAN
American writer, living in England, of fantasy, science fiction, mainstream fiction, magic realism, poetry, and children's books
(b. 1925)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They that approve a private opinion, call it opinion; but they that dislike it, heresy; and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion.”

• • •

"Fear of things invisible is the natural seed of that every one in himself calleth religion."

• • •

And for that part of religion, which consisteth in opinions concerning the nature of powers invisible, there is almost nothing that has a name, that has not been esteemed amongst the Gentiles, in one place or another, a god, or devil; or by their poets feigned to be inanimated, inhabited, or possessed by some spirit or other.

The unformed matter of the world, was a god, by the name of Chaos.

The heavens, the ocean, the planets, the fire, the earth, the winds, were so many gods.

Men, women, a bird, a crocodile, a calf, a dog, a snake, an onion, a leek, were deified.

Besides that, they filled almost all places, with spirits called "demons "; the plains, with Pan and Panises, or Satyrs; the woods, with Fauns, and Nymphs; the sea, with Tritons, and other Nymphs; every river, and fountain, with a ghost of his name, and with Nymphs; every house with its ‘Lares,’ or familiars; every man with his " Genius"; hell with ghosts, and spiritual officers, as Charon, Cerberus, and the Furies; and in the night-time, all places with ‘larvae,’ ‘lemures,’ ghosts of men deceased, and a whole kingdom of fairies and bugbears.

They have also ascribed divinity, and built temples to mere accidents, and qualities; such as are time, night, day, peace, concord, love, contention, virtue, honour, health, rust, fever, and the like; which when they prayed for, or against, they prayed to, as if there were ghosts of those names hanging over their heads, and letting fall, or withholding that good, or evil, for or against which they prayed. They invoked also their own wit, by the name of Muses ; their own ignorance, by the name of Fortune ; their own lusts by the name of Cupid; their own rage, by the name of Furies; their own privy members, by the name of Priapus; and attributed their pollutions, to Incubi, and Succubae: insomuch as there was nothing, which a poet could introduce as a person in his poem, which they did not make either a ‘god,’ or a ‘devil.’

~ THOMAS HOBBES
English philosopher, historian, mathematician, physicist and political scientist;
one of the founders of materialism
(1588 – 1679)

"Lots of people talk to animals, not many listen though. That's the problem."

~ BENJAMIN HOFF
Taoist author based in the United States;
best known for The Tao of Pooh
(b. 1946)

The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.”

• • •

"To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance."

~ ERIC HOFFER
American longshoreman, social writ
er and philosopher
(1902 – 1983)

Joy has been leaking out of our life,” she wrote. “We have let the new Puritans take over, spreading a layer of foreboding across the land until even ignorant small children rarely laugh anymore. Pain has become nobler than pleasure; work, however foolish or futile, nobler than play; and denying ourselves even the most harmless delights marks the suitably somber outlook on life.”

• • •

My friends and I were all deathly afraid of our fathers, which was right and proper and even biblically ordained. Fathers were angry; it was their job.”

~ BARBARA HOLLAND
American writer and essayist who sang the simple pleasures
of drinking martinis, cursing and eating fatty foods
(1933 - 2010)



HÖLLDOBLER


WILSON


JONES

"We, unlike [superorganisms], are ruled by intelligence rather than mere instinct — intelligence that 'has allowed us to control and destroy the global environment for short-term gain, the first time that was achieved by any species in the history of the planet.'”

~ BERT HÖLLDOBLER and E. O. WILSON

German behavioral biologist and sociobiologist whose primary study subjects are social insects and in particular ants; co-winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work on The Ants (1991)
(b. 1936)

American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author whose biological specialty is myrmecology, a branch of entomology; two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General
Non-Fiction
(b.1929)

 

 

 

 

from a review of “The Superorganism” by Steve Jones

"A Dog is not 'almost human,' and I know of no greater insult to the Canine race than to describe it as such."

~ JOHN HOLMES
English career diplomat;
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
and Emergency Relief Coordinator
(b. 1951)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"You commit a sin of omission if you do not utilize all the power that is within you. All men have claims on man, and to the man with special talents, this is a very special claim. It is required that a man take part in the actions and clashes of his time than the peril of being judged not to have lived at all."

• • •

"Don't be consistent, but be simply true."

• • •

"Life is painting a picture, not doing a sum."

• • •

"The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving."

• • •

"A sense of wrongdoing is an enhancement of pleasure."

• • •

"The world's great men have not commonly been great scholars, nor its great scholars great men."

• • •

"When in doubt, do it."

• • •

"Faith, as an intellectual state, is self-reliance."

• • •

"The great act of faith is when a man decides that he is not god."

• • •

"The longing for certainty ... is in every human mind. But certainty is generally illusion."

• • •

"Certitude is not the test of certainty. We have been cock-sure of many things that were not so."

• • •

"I am on the side of the unregenerate who affirm the worth of life as an end in itself, as against the saints who deny it."

~ OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES
American jurist who served as an associate justice on the
Supreme Court of the United States from 1902 to 1932.
(1841 – 1935)



THE BISHOP OF PONCE
Illustration for satirical popular song

Click
on Image above to enlarge




PROCESIÓN DE SAN TOLETE - SAINT AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE

~ LORENZO HOMAR
Puerto Rican painter and graphic artist
(1913 - 2004)

The word ‘atheist’ is not a label, it is a state of intellectual being that merely reflects how a person thinks -- i.e. what they DO NOT believe.”

~ DEAN HOVEY
Media
(b. 1950/55)

The foolish reject what they see and not what they think; the wise reject what they think and not what they see.”

~ HUANGBO XIYUN
Chinese master of Zen Buddhism
(died 850)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Responsibility is the price of freedom. "

• • •

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy to be called an idea at all.”

• • •

"Little minds are interested in the extraordinary; great minds in the commonplace. "

• • •

"To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing."

• • •

Christianity supplies a Hell for the people who disagree with you and a Heaven for your friends.”

• • •

"We are not punished for our sins, but by them. "

 

Die, v.: To stop sinning suddenly.”

• • •

The church saves sinners, but science seeks to stop their manufacture.”

• • •

The supernatural is the natural not yet understood.”

~ ELBERT HUBBARD
American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher
(1856-1915)

"Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion."

~ L. RON HUBBARD
American science fiction writer, devised a self-help system called Dianetics;
founder of Scientology
(1911 – 1986)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was a secular cathedral, dedicated to the rites of travel.”

• • •

"The innocence of fetuses is not in doubt. But it is irrelevant: lettuces are innocent too. Fetuses do not sin because they cannot sin. They cannot sin because, at least as far as anyone can detect, they have no free will and are not presented with the occasions of sin. The womb is short of temptation. It is like the Garden of Eden, before the snake."

• • •

"The anti-abortionists, with their PC jargon of of innocence and potential, prefer the unborn to the born: in the act of being born, we fall into an imperfect world, whereas the fetus is,,,an emissary from a perfect one -- the uterine state, the Womb with a View, of which all our expensive comforts from sofas to heated swimming pools are only metaphors. This may be one reason why the opposition to abortion grows more extreme as the material circumstances of America grow worse."

• • •

"Masturbation might not make you blind,or cause a single black hair to sprout unstoppably from the palm of your hand -- the Jesuits, on the whole, were above such coarse Protestant fright-tactics. But every sperm was sacred, being a potential human being: more like a microscopic tadpole right now, but capable of turning into a person once it hit an egg, and therefore to be honored and preserved along with its millions of siblings. Every time you wanked, it was a slaughter of future Catholics so small that a hundred of them could dance, or at least wiggle, on the head of a pin.

"The real trouble with masturbation was that it was an inversion of the cosmic order -- and contraception, even worse. The notion that some small part of the cosmic order hung on our teenage willies was a heavy load for us young soldiers in St. Ignatius' army of Christ. In some of us, including Private Hughes, it induced the kind of suffocating guilt that led to skepticism:

if God was so busy counting sperm, and so apparently unconcerned with preventing the world's famines, epidemics and slaughters, was he worth worshipping? Was he there at all?

No answer from the altar."

• • •

At one point I saw Death. He was sitting at a desk, like a banker. He made no gesture, but he opened his mouth and I looked right down his throat, which distended to become a tunnel: the bocca d’inferno of old Christian art.”

• • •

It wasn’t dying as such that I feared, but dying in a hot blast, the air sucked out of my lungs, strangling on flame inside an uprushing column of unbearable heat: everything the Jesuits had told me about the crackling and eternal terrors of Hell now came back, across a chasm of fifty years. I could envision this. It would look like one of the Limbourg brothers’ illustrations to the “Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry” – the picture of Satan bound down on a fiery grid, exhaling a spiral of helpless little burned souls into the air.”

~ ROBERT HUGHES
Australian writer, art historian and critic
(1938) - 2012)

Seeing so much poverty everywhere makes me think that god is not rich.  He gives the appearance of it, but I suspect some financial difficulties.”

• • •

Hell is an outrage on humanity. When you tell me that your deity made you in his own image, I reply that he must have been very ugly.”

~ VICTOR HUGO
French poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman,
human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France
(1802 – 1885)

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence.”

• • •

Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.”

• • •

"Examine the religious principles which have, in fact, prevailed in the world, and you will scarcely be persuaded that they are anything but sick men's dreams."

• • •

The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.”

• • •

Of all religions, Christianity is without a doubt the one that should inspire tolerance most, although, up to now, the Christians have been the most intolerant of all men.”

• • •

"What danger can ever come from ingenious reasoning and inquiry? The worst speculative skeptic ever I knew was a much better man than the best superstitious devotee and bigot."

• • •

I have rusted amid books and study; been little engaged in the active, and not much in the pleasurable scenes of life; and am more accustomed to a select society than to general companies.”

• • •

I see death approach gradually without any anxiety or regret. I salute you, with great affection and regard, for the last time.”

~ DAVID HUME
Scottish philosopher, economist, historian
and a key figure in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment
(1711 – 1776)

Welcome: All Creeds, All Breeds. No Dogmas Allowed.”

• • •

I’ve learned so much more about love from my dogs than I ever did from my parents or the church."

~ STEPHEN HUNECK
American wood carver, furniture maker, painter, and author;
established Dog Mountain and Dog Chapel
1948 – 2010

I’m not going to contort myself into something that’s unrecognizable — I am what I am,

~ JON HUNTSMAN
American politician, businessman, and diplomat
who served as the 16th Governor of Utah
(b. 1960)

"You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough."

• • •

Maybe this world is another planet's hell.”

~ ALDOUS HUXLEY
English writer best known for his novels and wide-ranging output of essays,
short stories, poetry, travel writing and film stories and scripts
(1894 – 1963)

His end has been all too tragic for his life,” Huxley wrote in a letter. “For once, reality and his brains came into contact and the result was fatal.”

From Huxley’s 1860 debate in Oxford against Bishop Samuel Wilberforce, who scornfully asked Huxley whether he was descended from an ape through his grandfather or his grandmother. Huxley had the last word years later, when the bishop died after being thrown headfirst from a horse.

~ THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY
English biologist known as "Darwin's Bulldog"
for his advocacy of Charles Darwin 's theory of evolution;
used the term ' agnostic ' to describe his own views on theology,
a term whose use has continued to the present day
(1825 – 1895)

"Only the chaste are truly obscene ."

- JORIS-KARL HUYSMANS
French novelist
(1848 – 1907)

Más vale morir de pié que vivir de rodillas.”

Better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees.”

~ DOLORES IBÁRRURI, "LA PASIONARIA"
Communist politician of Basque origin;
Spanish Republican leader during the Spanish Civil War (1936 - 1939);
Secretary General of the Spanish Communist Party from 1944 to 1960, when she was made President of the PCE (Spanish Communist Party); deputy to the Cortes (Spanish Parliament)
(1895  – 1989)

"We have enslaved the rest of animal creation and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form."

• • •

"To become a popular religion, it is only necessary for a superstition to enslave a philosophy."

~ WILLIAM RALPH INGE
English author, Anglican priest
and professor of divinity at Cambridge
(1860 – 1954)

No man with any sense of humor ever founded a religion.”

• • •

"A believer is a bird in a cage. A freethinker is an eagle parting the clouds with tireless wing."

• • •

Our ignorance is god; what we know is science.”

• • •

"If Christ was in fact God, he knew the persecutions that would be carried on in his name; he knew the millions that would suffer death through torture; and yet he died without saying one word to prevent what he must have known, if he were God, would happen."

• • •

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments - there are consequences."

• • •

"It is hard for many people to give up the religion in which they were born; to admit that their fathers were utterly mistaken, and that the sacred records of their country are but collections of myths and fables."

• • •

"Jehovah was not a moral god. He had all the vices and he lacked all the virtues. He generally carried out all his threats, but he never faithfully kept a promise."

• • •

"If a man really believes that God once upheld slavery; that he commanded soldiers to kill women and babes; that he believed in polygamy; that he persecuted for opinion's sake; that he will punish forever, and that he hates an unbeliever, the effect in my judgment will be bad. It always has been bad. This belief built the dungeons of the Inquisition. This belief made the Puritan murder the Quaker."

• • •

"If the people were a little more ignorant, astrology would flourish -- if a little more enlightened, religion would perish."

• • •

They who stand with breaking hearts around this little grave, need have no fear. The larger and the nobler faith in all that is, and is to be, tells us that death, even at its worst, is only perfect rest ... The dead do not suffer.”

~ ROBERT INGERSOLL
American Civil War veteran, political leader
and orator during the Golden Age of Freethought;
noted for his broad range of culture and his defense of agnosticism
(August 11, 1833 – July 21, 1899)

We got an order one day — all of the equipment, all of the furniture, just clean out the whole house. We threw everything, everything out of the windows to make room. The entire contents of the house went flying out the windows.

“We were supposed to go up floor by floor, and any person we identified, we were supposed to shoot. I initially asked myself, where is the logic in this?

“From above they said it was permissible, because anyone who remained in the sector and inside Gaza City was in effect condemned, a terrorist, because they hadn’t fled. I didn’t really understand. On one hand they don’t really have anywhere to flee to, but on the other hand they’re telling us they hadn’t fled so it’s their fault.”

~ AN ISRAELI SOLDIER
ACCOUNTS OF ISRAELI KILLINGS IN GAZA

December 2008

"Man is a Dog's idea of what god should be."

~ HOLBROOK JACKSON
British journalist, writer, publisherand bibliophile
(1874 - 1948)

"The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish."

~ ROBERT JACKSON
United States Attorney General (1940–1941),
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court,
chief United States prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials.
(1892 – 1954)

"We are moving blindly ahead with faith-based federal spending as if it were not a radical break with our past. If faith-based initiatives, first institutionalized by the executive fiat of a conservative Republican president [George W. Bush], become even more entrenched under a liberal Democratic [Obama] administration, there will be no going back. In place of the First Amendment, we will have a sacred cash cow."

~ SUSAN JACOBY
American author (The Age of American Unreason about American anti-intellectualism),
atheist and secularist; director of the New York branch of the Center for Inquiry
(b. 1945)

"God is only at his wit's end when it comes to creating 'man' and getting him to do what he wants, thus the problem of free will, which does not exist according to neuroscience. The problem with the atheists is they have no sense of humor and suffer from PTSD at the hands of extremists and overzealous theists, throughout history. The reality or unreality of God is highly personal and really nobody's business but your own. To impose a projected self image of God onto others and then persecute them for it, is man's failing, not God's."

~ JAMES
New York Times reader commentator
(b. n/a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try to be one of those on whom nothing is lost.”

• • •

It's time to start living the life you've imagined.”

• • •

Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to. It doesn't matter what you do in particular, so long as you have had your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had?”

• • •

Don't pass it by--the immediate, the real, the only, the yours.”

• • •

Be not afraid of life believe that life is worth living and your belief will create the fact.”

• • •

Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take you eyes off your goal.”

• • •

I don't want everyone to like me; I should think less of myself if some people did.”

• • •

I intend to judge things for myself; to judge wrongly, I think, is more honorable than not to judge at all.”

• • •

He is outside of everything, and alien everywhere. He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window.”

• • •

I always want to know the things one shouldn't do."
"So as to do them?" asked her aunt.
"So as to choose." said Isabel”

(From The Portrait of a Lady)

• • •

When I am wicked I am in high spirits.”

~ HENRY JAMES
American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of
19th-century literary realism
(1843 – 1916)

"Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism."

~ WILLIAM JAMES
American psychologist and philosopher trained as a medical doctor;
wrote about psychology, educational psychology,
psychology of religious experience and mysticism and the philosophy of pragmatism
(1842 – 1910)

"With God all things are fakeable"

~ DAVID JAVERBAUM
American comedy writer and former executive producer of
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
(b. n/a)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"It would be very nice if there were a God who created the world and was a benevolent providence, and if there were a moral order in the universe and an after-life; but it is a very striking fact that all this is exactly as we are bound to wish it to be."

• • •

"Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear."

• • •

"Religions are all alike - founded upon fables and mythologies."

• • •

"In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own"

• • •

"The Presbyterian clergy are loudest, the most intolerant of all sects, the most tyrannical and ambitious; ready at the word of the lawgiver, if such a word could be now obtained, to put the torch to the pile, and to rekindle in this virgin hemisphere, the flames in which their oracle Calvin consumed the poor Servetus, because he could not find in his Euclid the proposition which has demonstrated that three are one and one is three, nor subscribe to that of Calvin, that magistrates have a right to exterminate all heretics to Calvinistic Creed. They want to re-establish, by law, that holy inquisition, which they can only infuse into public opinion."

• • •

"Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man."

• • •

"The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as His father, in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter."

• • •

"'In God We Trust.' I don’t believe it would sound any better if it were true."

• • •

In extracting the pure principles which he taught, we should have to strip off the artificial vestments in which they have been muffled by priests, who have travestied them into various forms, as instruments of riches and power to themselves. We must dismiss the Platonists and Plotinists, the Stagyrites and Gamalielites, the Eclectics, the Gnostics and Scholastics, their essences and emanations, their logos and demiurges, aeons and daemons, male and female, with a long train of … or, shall I say at once, of nonsense. We must reduce our volume to the simple evangelists, select, even from them, the very words only of Jesus, paring off the amphibologisms into which they have been led, by forgetting often, or not understanding, what had fallen from him, by giving their own misconceptions as his dicta, and expressing unintelligibly for others what they had not understood themselves. There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man. I have performed this operation for my own use, by cutting verse by verse out of the printed book, and arranging the matter which is evidently his, and which is as easily distinguishable as diamonds in a dunghill. The result is an octavo of forty-six pages, of pure and unsophisticated doctrines.”

~ THOMAS JEFFERSON
Third President of the United States (1801–1809);
principal author of the Declaration of Independence
(1743 – 1826)

"We are Lutherans in our souls — I’m an atheist, but still have the Lutheran perceptions of many: to help your neighbor. Yeah. It’s an old, good, moral thought.”

~ JENS
Danish atheist
(b. c 1941)

I believe there is no god.”

• • •

Every nut who kills people has a Bible lying around. If you're looking for violent rape imagery, the Bible's right there in your hotel room. If you just want to look up ways to screw people up, there it is, and you're justified because God told you to.”

• • •

Believing there is no god gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o, and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.”

~ PENN JILLETTE
American comedian, illusionist, juggler and writer
(b. 1955)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s to the crazy ones. ... They push the human race forward.”

• • •

I know that living with me,” he told Isaacson as he was dying, “was not a bowl of cherries.”

• • •

"The secret is knowing what to leave out."

From 2005 address at Stanford University

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

• • •

Final Words:

"Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow."

~ STEVE JOBS
American inventor and businessman widely recognized as a charismatic pioneer of the personal computer era. He was co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. Jobs was co-founder and previously served as chief executive of Pixar Animation Studios
(1955 – 2011)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG
Come out Virginia, don't let me wait
You Catholic girls start much too late
Aw But sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one

Well, They showed you a statue, told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
But they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done...
Only the good die young
That's what I said
Only the good die young

You might have heard I run with a dangerous crowd
We ain't too pretty we ain't too proud
We might be laughing a bit too loud
Aw But that never hurt no one

So come on Virginia show me a sign
Send up a signal I'll throw you the line
The stained-glass curtain you're hiding behind
Never lets in the sun
Darlin' only the good die young
Woah
I tell ya
Only the good die young

You got a nice white dress and a party on your Confirmation
You got a brand new soul
Mmmm, And a Cross of gold
But Virginia they didn't give you quite enough information
You didn't count on me
When you were counting on your Rosary
Oh woah woah

They say there's a Heaven for those who will wait
Some say it's better but I say it ain't
I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints
The sinners are much more fun....

You know that only the good die young
Oh woah baby
I tell ya
Only the good die young,

You say your mother told you all that I could give you was a reputation
Aww She never cared for me
But did she ever say a prayer for me? oh woah woah

Come out come out come out Virgina don't let me wait,
You Catholic girls start much too late
Sooner or later it comes down to fate
I might as well be the one,
You know that only the good die young

I'm telling you baby
You know that only the good die young
Only the good die young

• • •

MY LIFE
Got a call from an old friend
We used to be real close
Said he couldn't go on the American way
Closed the shop, sold the house
Bought a ticket to the West Coast
Now he gives them a stand-up routine in L.A.

I don't need you to worry for me cause I'm alright
I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home
I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life
Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone.

I never said you had to offer me a second chance
I never said I was a victim of circumstance
I still belong, don't get me wrong
You can speak your mind
But not on my time.

They will tell you, you can't sleep alone in a strange place
Then they'll tell you, you can't sleep with somebody else
Ah, but sooner or later you sleep in your own space
Either way it's okay to wake up with yourself.


I don't need you to worry for me cause I'm alright
I don't want you to tell me it's time to come home
I don't care what you say anymore, this is my life
Go ahead with your own life, leave me alone

~ BILLY JOEL
American musician and pianist, singer-songwriter,
and classical composer
(b. 1949)

"I believed I didn’t have long to live. That’s scary news for anyone, and especially for a child. Now I’m 43 years old and they’re still telling the same distorted story. They still imply that our only chance of happiness is a cure. These stereotypes get in our way when we try to live our lives.”

~ HARRIET McBRYDE JOHNSON
American attorney and teacher; nonfiction author,
primarily in professional publications and the disability press;
community organizer active in a variety of political and disability organizations

(1957 - 2008)

"The New Testament will always be refracted through the sensibilities of different cultures. Whatever works for you is the best you can hope for."

~ KEN JOHNSON
American art critic at The New York Times and
contributing editor for Art in America magazine
(b. n/a)

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."

•••

He that in the latter part of his life too strictly inquires what he has done, can very seldom receive from his own heart such an account as will give him satisfaction.”

~SAMUEL JOHNSON
English author, poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer
(1709 – 1784)

"Men may come and go, but Dogs walk (and sniff) on forever."

•••

"Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love and loyalty. They depart to teach us about loss."

•••

"She anointeth my head with saliva."

~ ERICA JONG
American author and teacher
(b. 1942)

"Twas only fear first in the world made gods."

~ BEN JONSON
English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor
(1572 – 1637)

"Mercedes Benz"

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV?
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me.
I wait for delivery each day until three,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a color TV?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a night on the town?

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends,
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?

That's it!

Songwriters: JOE N. LITTLE III & GERALD LEVERT

• • •

"Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose."

~ JANIS JOPLIN
American singer, songwriter and music arranger
(1943 – 1970)

"When a Dog barks at the moon, then it is religion; but when he barks at strangers, it is patriotism!"

~ DAVID STARR JORDAN
American eugenicist, ichthyologist, educator and peace activist;
president of Indiana University and Stanford University
(1851 – 1931)

"He comes into the world God knows how, walks on the water, gets out of his grave and goes up off the Hill of Howth. What drivel is this?"

~ JAMES JOYCE
Irish author
(1882-1941)

We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself.”

~ CARL JUNG
Swiss psychiatrist , an influential thinker and founder of Analytical psychology;
developed the concepts of psychological archetypes,
the collective unconscious and synchronicity
(1875 – 1961)

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the Dog.”

~ FRANZ KAFKA
Fiction writer born in Prague, Bohemia (presently the Czech Republic), Austria–Hungary

(1883 – 1924)

"I can't imagine life without a dog."

• • •

Dogs are blameless, devoid of calculation, neither blessed nor cursed with human motives. They can’t really be held responsible for what they do.
But we can.”

• • •

"For me, doubt and crisis would never be completely vanquished, and faith never absolute."

~ JON KATZ
American journalist and author
(b. 1947)

"The fact of th matte is that there is a little bit of the totalitarian buried somewhere way down deep in each and every one of us."

~ GEORGE F. KEENAN
American advisor, diplomat, political scientist, and historian
(1904 - 2005)

There is so much in the bible against which every insinct of my being rebels, so much so that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end. I do not think that the knowledge I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details it has forced upon my attention.”

 

What we have once enjoyed
we can never lose;
All that we love deeply,
becomes a part of us.

~ HELEN KELLER
American author, political activist and lecturer
(1880 – 1968)


"I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice."

• • •

"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute--where no Catholic prelate would tell the President how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote--where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference--and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him or the people who might elect him."

• • •

"A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people."

• • •

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

~ JOHN F. KENNEDY
35th President of the United States
(1917 – 1963)

Dogs are miracles with paws."

~ SUSAN ARIEL RAINBOW KENNEDY
American author and producer of creative products
better known as SARK
(b. n/a)

"It seems there is a sort of calamity built into the texture of life."

~ SIR JOHN FRANK KERMODE
British literary critic
(b. 1919)

"I refuse to adapt or integrate myself."

• • •

"One cannot start a new life, you can only continue the old one."

• • •

"I regard as kitsch any representation of the Holocaust that is incapable of understanding or unwilling to understand the organic connection between our own deformed mode of life and the very possibility of the Holocaust."

~ IMRE KERTESZ
Hungarian Jewish author, Holocaust concentration camp survivor,
and recipient of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature
(b. 1929)

"Dying is not a crime."

• • •

Self-determination is a basic human right.”

• • •

No, why would I? I wouldn’t have started if I thought I was going to regret it. I knew what I was stepping into. I knew I was getting into one of the most illegal things in the world. It was the right thing to do. ... That doesn’t mean I’m stronger than most people. It just means I’m loonier.”

~ JACK KEVORKIAN
Dr. Death

American pathologist, right-to-die activist,
painter, jazz composer and instrumentalist

(b. 1928)

Oh, threats of Hell and Hopes of Paradise!
One thing at least is certain: This life flies.
One thing is certain and the rest is lies;
the flower that once has blown forever dies.

~ OMAR KHAYYAM
Persian polymath, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and poet
(1048 - 1123)

"There are those who confuse discourse with vomit."

• • •

"Most misanthropes are easy to understand because we blurt out the simple truths that most peoplethink but never say."

~ FLORENCE KING
American author, journalist and misanthrope;
royalist; conservative lesbian feminist
(b. 1936)

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it."

~ MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader
in the African American civil rights movement
(1929-1968)

"When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, "There's just something about you that pisses me off."

• • •

The beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything. Once God (or Satan) is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chance ... logic can be happily tossed out the window.”

~ STEPHEN KING
American writer of contemporary horror fiction, science fiction and fantasy literature

(b. 1947)

 

No one shoots a wolf to keep from going hungry..., they have been brought back only to be killed again."

• • •

"I value the land for its silence, its freedom from language."

• • •

"Biodiversity loss keeps accelerating, and extinctions are occurring at a rate that’s 100 times what it was before humans dominated the earth. Species are going out like candles in the dark."

• • •

"The one thing no species can ever be is self-reliant. Being entangled is the condition of life itself."

• • •

"We live now in the world of the generic apple, in large part because our taste buds have gone generic. Cultivating ourselves is the first step toward rediversifying the fields and orchards around us."

~ VERLYN KLINKENBORG
American non-fiction author, member of the editorial board
of The New York Times since 1997
(b. 1952)

 

"How'm I doin'?"

• • •

"You punch me, I punch back, I do not believe it's good for one's self-respect to be a punching bag."

~ EDWARD "ED" KOCH
American lawyer, politician, political commentator; served in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1977 and three terms as mayor of New York City from 1978 to 1989
(1924 – 2013)

In Jerusalem…the angry face of Yahweh is brooding over the hot rocks which have seen more holy murder, rape, and plunder than any other place on earth. Its inhabitants are poisoned by religion.”

~ ARTHUR KOESTLER
Jewish -Hungarian polymath author
(1905 – 1983)

"Petting, scratching, and cuddling a Dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer."

~ DEAN KOONTZ
American author
(b. 1945)

"Everyone needs a spiritual guide: a minister, rabbi, counselor, wise friend, or therapist. My own wise friend is my Dog. He has deep knowledge to impart. He makes friends easily and doesn't hold a grudge. He enjoys simple pleasures and takes each day as it comes. Like a true Zen master he eats when he is hungry and sleeps when he is tired. He's not hung up about sex. Best of all, he befriends me with an unconditional love that human beings would do well to imitate."

~ GARY KOWALSKI
Unitarian Universalist minister; author of books about animals
(b. n/a)

"The constant assertion of belief is an indication of fear."

• • •

"We could call order by the name of God, but it would be an impersonal God. There’s not much personal about the laws of physics."

~ KRISHNAMURTI
Indian writer and speaker on philosophical and spiritual subjects
(1895 – 1986)

"Religion may preach peace and tolerance, yet it's hard to think of anything that, because of human malpractice, has been more linked to violence and malice around the world."

• • •

"I tend to disagree with evangelicals on almost everything and I see no problem with aggressively pointing out the dismal consequences of this increasing religious influence."

• • •

Afterward, they comforted each other with the blasphemy: ‘It was God’s will.’ ”

• • •

Outside, her husband, Allahdita, was grieving but philosophical. ‘It is God’s will,’ he said, shrugging. ‘There is nothing we can do.’

"That’s incorrect. If men had uteruses, ‘paternity wards’ would get resources, ambulances would transport pregnant men to hospitals free of charge, deliveries would be free, and the Group of 8 industrialized nations would make paternal mortality a top priority.”

• • •

"Sodomy” as a term for gay male sex began to be commonly used oly in the 11th century and would have surprised early religious commentators. They attributed Sodom’s problems with God to many different causes, including idolatry, threats toward strangers and general lack of compassion for the downtrodden. Ezekiel 16:49 suggests that Sodomites “had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.”

"Hmm. 'Did not aid the poor and needy.' Who knew that that’s what the Bible condemns as sodomy? At a time of budget cuts that devastate the poor, isn’t that precisely the kind of disgusting immorality that we should all join together in the spirit of the Bible to repudiate?"

• • •

Whenever I write about Israel, I get accused of double standards because I don’t spill as much ink denouncing worse abuses by, say, Syria. I plead guilty. I demand more of Israel partly because my tax dollars supply arms and aid to Israel. I hold democratic allies like Israel to a higher standard — just as I do the U.S.”

~ NICHOLAS KRISTOF
American journalist, author, op-ed columnist, and a winner of two Pulitzer Prizes
(b. 1959)

"The history of human thought recalls the swinging of a pendulum which takes centuries to swing. After a long period of slumber comes a moment of awakening. Then thought frees herself from the chains with which those interested — rulers, lawyers, clerics — have carefully enwound her,"

~ PETER KROPOTKIN
One of Russia 's foremost anarchists
and one of the first advocates of anarchist communism
(1842 - 1921)

"We know that there are children out there whose parents do not take the kind of interest in their upbringing and in their existence that we would wish, but I don't think censorship is ever the solution to any problem, be it societal or be it the kind of information or ideas that you have access to."

• • •

Censors, real and would-be, are not making the headway they think they are. Books that matter are still in libraries.”

~ JUDITH KRUG
First ammendment advocate for librarians, anti-censorship activist;
Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom;
Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation;
started Banned Books Week in 1982
(1940 - 2009)

"I guess we should never assume malice when ignorance remains a possibility."

~ PAUL KRUGMAN
American economist, professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for
The New York Times
( b. 1953)

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a Dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring, it was peace.”

• • •

"The very beginning of Genesis tells us that God created man in order to give him dominion over fish and fowl and all creatures.  Of course, Genesis was written by a man, not a horse.  There is no certainty that God actually did grant man dominion over other creatures.  What seems more likely, in fact, is that man invented God to sanctify the dominion that he had usurped for himself over the cow and the horse.  Yes, the right to kill a deer or a cow is the only thing all of mankind can agree upon, even during the bloodiest of wars."

 

Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude toward those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect, human kind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.”

~ MILAN KUNDERA
Czech and French writer of Czech origin
(b. 1929)

Societies have the criminals they deserve.”

- ALEXANDRE LACASSAGNE
French physician and criminologist
founder of the Lacassagne school of criminology
(1843 - 1924)

"My Dog Chandi lives in the holy now. She daily instructs me, without words or lesson plans, in the meaning of the golden eternity, here and now, every single day. Divinity gleams in a Dog's eye."

• • •

"Dogs teach us about faith, trust and devotion; how never to give up; and how to keep coming back and just showing up, which is more than half the battle. They teach us how to devotedly serve a higher master, how to attend and wait, and how to let go of a grudge. But most of all, they teach us about the meaning and experience of unconditional love."

~ LAMA SURYA DAS
American-born lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition;
poet, chantmaster, spiritual activist and author
(b. 1950)

I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is.“

~ CHARLES LAMB
English/Welsh critic & essayist
(1775 - 1834)

"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."

• • •

"I don't want something special. I want something beautifully plain."

~ ANNE LAMOTT
American novelist, non-fiction writer and progressive political activist
(b. 1954)

"My reality is an infinitely meaningful absence of meaning. I retreat from all points of view except this."

~ DAVID LARSON
American artist
(1931 - 2007)

She knew that he was loyal to the point of foolhardiness once he had made someone a friend, even if the friend was impossible and obviously flawed. She also the friend was impossible and obviously flawed. She also knew that he could accept any number of idiocies from his friends, but that there was a boundary and it could not be infringed. Where exactly this boundary was seemed to vary from one person to another, but she knew he had broken completely with people who had previously been close friends because they had done something that he regarded as beyond the pale. And he was inflexible. The break was for ever."

• • •

"Normally seven minutes of another person's company was enough to give her a headache so she set things up to live as a recluse. She was perfectly content as long as people left her in peace. Unfortunately society was not very smart or understanding."

• • •

"Then I discovered that being related is no guarantee of love!"

• • •

"Don’t ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, she’ll get a bigger gun."

• • •

"I’ve had many enemies over the years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s never engage in a fight you’re sure to lose. On the other hand, never let anyone who has insulted you get away with it. Bide your time and strike back when you’re in a position of strength—even if you no longer need to strike back."

~ STIEG LARSSON
(The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest)
Swedish journalist and writerbest known for writing
the "Millennium series" of crime novels
(1954 - 2004)

~ ALEN LAUZÁN FALCÓN
Chilean editorial cartoonist born in Cuba;
draftsman, illustrator, graphic designer and paintor
(b. 1974)

"This is what I believe:

That I am I.
That my soul is a dark forest.
That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest.
That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back.
That I must have the courage to let them come and go.
That I will never let mankind put anything over me,
but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women.
There is my creed."

~ D. H. LAWRENCE
English author, poet, playwright, essayist and literary critic
(1885 – 1930)

"Losing my faith was very gradual. [...] And then I started thinking, 'Well, what if it's just people trying to personify life? To personify the fact that there is matter, and that there is a universe? If there is a God, that's it. God doesn't have a brain, God doesn't think, God is just existence.' And when you get to that point, you realise, if that's what God is, then there's no such thing. "

~ SIMON LE BON
English musician, best known as the lead singer, lyricist and musician of the band Duran Duran and its offshoot, Arcadia.
(b. 1958)

There once was a time when all people believed in god and the church ruled. This time was called ‘the Dark Ages.’”

~ RICHARD LEDERER
American author, speaker and teacher
best known for his books on word play and
the English language and his use of oxymorons
(b. 1938)

"To be perfectly frank, I really do not [believe in god]."

~ BRUCE LEE
Chinese American,[3] Hong Kong actor,[4] martial arts instructor,[5] philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement.
(1940 - 1973)

"Autocracy cannot do without its twin agents: a hangman and a priest, the first to suppress popular resistance by force, the second to sweeten and embellish the lot of the oppressed with empty promises of a heavenly kingdom."

~ VLADIMIR ILYICH LENIN
Russian revolutionary, Bolshevik leader, communist politician,
principal leader of the October Revolution
and the first head of the Soviet Union
(1870 - 1924)

IMAGINE

"Imagine there's no heaven,
It's easy if you try.
No hell below us,
Above us only sky.
Imagine all the people, living for today...
Imagine there's no countries,
It isn't hard to do.
Nothing to kill or die for,
And no religion too."

~ JOHN LENNON
English rock musician, singer and songwriter;
one of the founding members of The Beatles;
peace activist and artist

(1940 – 1980)

Seriously, some Americans [Mitt Romney] just shouldn't leave the country"

~ CARL LEWIS
American former track and field athlete, won 10 Olympic medals including 9 gold,
and 10 World Championships medals, including 8 gold
(b. 1961)

"[God] hurts us beyond our worst fears and beyond all we can imagine."

~ C. S. LEWIS
Irish novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist,
lay theologian and Christian apologist
(1898 – 1963)

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross."

~ SINCLAIR LEWIS
American novelist, short-story writer and playwright;
1930 Nobel Prize in Literature
(1885 – 1951)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The idea of redemption is among the most powerful forces shaping human existence in all those societies touched by the biblical tradition. It has inspired people to endure suffering, overcome suffering and inflict suffering on others.”

• • •

In the Wars of Religion that followed [the Reformation], doctrinal differences fueled political ambitions and vice versa, in a deadly, vicious cycle that lasted a century and a half. Christians addled by apocalyptic dreams hunted and killed Christians with a maniacal fury they had once reserved for Muslims, Jews and heretics. It was madness."

• • •

In the midst of religious war, [Hobbes’s] view that the human mind was too weak and beset by passions to have any reliable knowledge of the divine seemed common-sensical. It also made sense to assume that when man speaks about God he is really referring to his own experience, which is all he knows. And what most characterizes his experience? According to Hobbes, fear. Man’s natural state is to be overwhelmed with anxiety, 'his heart all the day long gnawed on by fear of death, poverty, or other calamity.' He 'has no repose, nor pause of his anxiety, but in sleep.' It is no wonder that human beings fashion idols to protect themselves from what they most fear, attributing divine powers even, as Hobbes wrote, to 'men, women, a bird, a crocodile, a calf, a Dog, a snake, an onion, a leek.'* Pitiful, but understandable.

"And the debilitating dynamics of belief don’t end there. For once we imagine an all-powerful God to protect us, chances are we’ll begin to fear him too.”

~ MARK LILLA
Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University
(b. 1956)

You can’t see the shore of youth and you only see the shore of death, the shore you are going to. I have a healthy outlook to dying.”

~ TEK YOUNG LIN
East Indian writer and longtime English teacher; a Buddhist who carefully tended to his elaborate gardens, chaplain and cross-country coach at Horace Mann School in New York who voluntarily admited to being a pedophile.
(b. c.1924)

"I care not for a man's religion whose Dog and cat are not the better for it."

• • •

"The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion.  I could never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma."

• • •

"I am for liberty of conscience in its noblest, broadest, and highest sense.  But I cannot give liberty of conscience to the pope and his followers, the papists, so long as they tell me, through all their councils, theologians, and canon laws that their conscience orders them to burn my wife, strangle my children, and cut my throat when they find their opportunity."

• • •

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."

• • •

"Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."

~ ABRAHAM LINCOLN
16th President of the United States, 1861 - 1865
(1809 – 1865)

I do miss my faith, as I’d miss any longtime love. [But] I like my life on this unexplored shore. It’s new, exciting and full of possibilities.”

~ WILLIAM LOBDELL
American journalist and author

Former religion writer for The Los Angeles Times
(b. 1961)

As I have not worried to be born, I do not worry to die.”

~ FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA
Spanish poet and dramatist
(1898 – 1936)

"There is no faith which has never yet been broken except that of a truly faithful Dog."

~ KONRAD LORENZ
Austrian zoologist ,animal psychologist ,ornithologist and Nobel Prize winner
(1903 – 1989)

So far I have seen nothing that would possibly give me the notion that cosmic force is the manifestation of a mind and will like my own infinitely magnified; a potent and purposeful consciousness which deals individually and directly with the miserable denizens of a wretched little flyspeck on the back door of a microscopic universe, and which singles this putrid excrescenceout of the one spot whereto to to send an only-begotten Son, whose mission is to redeem those accursed flyspeck-inhabiting lice which we call human beings -- bah! I cannot take exception to a philosophy that would force this rubbish down my throat. ‘What have I against religion?’ That is what I have against it!”

.• • •

Personally I am intensely moral and intensely irreligious.”

~ H. P. LOVECRAFT
American author of horror, fantasy and science fiction,
especially the subgenre known as weird fiction.
(1890 – 1937)

~ CHAN LOWE
The Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.
(b. n/a)

~ MIKE LUCKOVITCH
Editorial cartoonist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution since 1989.
(b. 1960)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What is food to one man is bitter poison to others. "

• • •

"Too often in time past, religion has brought forth criminal and shameful actions. How many evils has religion caused!"

• • •

"So potent was religion in persuading to evil deeds. "

• • •

"Such are the heights of wickedness to which men are driven by religion."

• • •

"Though the dungeon, the scourge, and the executioner be absent, the guilty mind can apply the goad and scorch with blows. '

• • •

"The greatest wealth is to live content with little, for there is never want where the mind is satisfied. "

• • •

"The sum of all sums is eternity."

• • •

"Thus the sum of things is ever being reviewed, and mortals dependent one upon another. Some nations increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life. "

~ LUCRETIUS
Roman poet and philosopher
(c.99 - c.55 BCE)

"Medicine makes people ill, mathematics make them sad and theology makes them sinful."

~ MARTIN LUTHER
German monk, theologian, university professor, priest and church reformer
whose ideas started the Protestant Reformation
(1483 – 1546)

Moral disapproval alone cannot justify legislation discriminating on this basis.”

~ SANDRA L. LYNCH
Chief Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit;
the first woman to have served on that Court;
on June 16, 2008, became its first female chief judge
(b. 1945)

"The world holds two classes of men – intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."

~ ABU'L-ALA-AL-MA'AM
Syrian poet
(973-1057)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAMINANTE, NO HAY CAMINO*

Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino, y nada más;
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino,
y al volver la vista atrás
se ve la senda que nunca
se ha de volver a pisar.
Caminante, no hay camino,
sino estelas en la mar.

• • •

NUNCA PERSEGUÍ LA GLORIA*

Nunca perseguí la gloria
ni dejar en la memoria
de los hombres mi canciòn;
yo amo los mundos sutiles,
ingrávidos y gentiles
como pompas de jabòn.
Me gusta verlos pintarse
de sol y grana, volar
bajo el cielo azul, temblar
súbitamente y quebrarse.

HE ANDADO MUCHOS CAMINOS*

He andado muchos caminos,
he abierto muchas veredas,
he navegado en cien mares
y atracado en cien riberas.

En todas partes he visto
caravanas de tristeza,
soberbios y melancòlicos
borrachos de sombra negra,

y pedantones al paño
que miran, callan y piensan
que saben, porque no beben
el vino de las tabernas.

Mala gente que camina
y va apestando la tierra...

Y en todas partes he visto
gentes que danzan o juegan
cuando pueden, y laboran
sus cuatro palmos de tierra.

Nunca, si llegan a un sitio,
preguntan adònde llegan.
Cuando caminan, cabalgan
a lomos de mula vieja,

y no conocen la prisa
ni aun en los días de fiesta.
Donde hay vino, beben vino;
donde no hay vino, agua fresca

Son buenas gentes que viven,
laboran, pasan y sueñan,
y en un día como tantos
descansan bajo la tierra.

*
Acceptable English translations of these verses were not found available

~ ANTONIO MACHADO
Poet of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98
(1875 – 1939)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~ BRUCE MacKINNON
Canadian editorial cartoonist for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald and The Mail-Star
(b. n/a)

The commander-in-chief for our side in the Iraq war is a mighty general whose initials are GOD.”

~ RACHEL MADDOW
American radio and television host and liberal political commentator
(b. 1973)

"Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise."

• • •

"What has been Christianity’s fruits? Superstition, Bigotry and Persecution."

• • •

"We can scarcely be warranted in supposing that all the productive powers of [the earth's] surface can be made subservient to the use of man, in exclusion of all the plants and animals not entering into his stock of subsistence."

~ JAMES MADISON
American politician and political philosopher;
fourth President of the United States

(1751 – 1836)

We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet; and amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the Dog, has made an alliance with us.”

• • •

"In the world which we know, among the different and primitive geniuses that preside over the evolution of the several species, there exists not one, excepting that of the Dog, that ever gave a thought to the presence of man."

• • •

"The Dog is the only living being that has found and recognizes an indubitable, tangible and definite god. He knows to whom above him to give himself. He has not to seek for a superior and infinite power."

~ MAURICE MAETERLINCK
Belgian Author
(1862–1949)

"The Church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round. For I have seen the shadow on the moon. And I have more faith in a shadow than in the Church."

~ FERDINAND MAGELLAN
Spanish explorer born in Portugal; first to cross the Pacific Ocean
(1480 – 1521)

It’s just the ultimate hustle. It’s just selling an invisible product, and so if I can be Toto in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ pulling back the curtain, which is how I see religion, great, that’s fine, I’ll do that and get off the stage. I’m not looking to be the anti-messiah.”

• • •

"Let's face it; God has a big ego problem. Why do we always have to worship him? "

• • •

"Everything that used to be a sin is now a disease."

• • •

"Megachurches are presided over by the same skeevy door-to-door bible salesmen that we've always had, just in an age of better technology. But they're selling the same thing: fear. Fear to keep you in line."

• • •

I truly believe that unless we shed this skin, mankind is playing with real fire here. Because there’s nuclear weapons in the world and because there are suicide bombers and there are so many people who are anxious to get to that next world. They don’t look at the end of the world as a bad thing. That’s pretty scary. Until rationality is enshrined again and this magical thinking is marginalized, I’m a little nervous.”

• • •

"Religion is insanity by consensus."

• • •

Eat shit, 20 trillion flies can’t be wrong.”

~ BILL MAHER
American stand-up comedian, television host,
social and political commentator and author
(b. 1956)

Jews bow their heads, Christians get down on their knees, Muslims get down on their knees with their asses in the air. Atheists hold their heads up proudly and kneel to no one and nothing - non-existent deity, threats of a non-existent hell or other humans.”

~ MICHELLE MALKIN
(née Maglalang)
Phillipino-American ultra-conservative commentator and blogger
(b. 1970)

"Christianity made, for nearly 1,500 years, persecution, religious wars, massacres, theological feuds and bloodshed, heresy huntings and heretic burnings, prisons, dungeons, anathemas, curses, opposition to science, hatred of liberty, spiritual bondage, the life without love or laughter"

~ M.M. MANGASARIAN
American Atheist and Rationalist
Founded the Independent Religious Society in Chicago in 1890
(1859 – 1943)

"You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy."

~ CHARLES MANSON
American criminal and musician who led what became known as the Manson Family, a quasi-commune that arose in California in the late 1960s. He was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murders carried out by members of the group at his instruction.
(b. 1934)

"Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached."

"God is not pleased by blood - and not acting reasonably is contrary to God's nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats."

~ MANUEL II PALEOLOGUS
Byzantine Emperor
(1350 – 1425)

"God has always been hard on the poor".

~ JEAN PAUL MARAT
Swiss -born physician , political theorist and scientist;
radical journalist and politician of the French Revolution
(1743-1793)

"Hast thou reason? I have. Why then dost not thou use it? For if this does its own work, what else dost thou wish?"

~ MARCUS AURELIUS
Roman emperor
(121-180)

I count religion but a childish toy and hold there is no sin but ignorance.”

~ CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE
English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era
(1564 – 1593)

"Those are my principles. If you don't like them...well, I have others."

~ GROUCHO MARX
Julius Henry "Groucho" Marx

American comedian and film and television star. He is known as a master of quick wit and widely considered one of the best comedians of the modern era.
(1890 – 1977)

"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people."

• • •

"The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion."

• • •

"Everything must be doubted."

~ KARL MARX
German philosopher, political economist, historian, political theorist,
sociologist and revolutionary; founder of Communism
(1818 – 1883)

"What interestes me most is neither still life nor landscape, but the human figure. It is through the figure that I best succeed in expressing the almost religious feeling I have towards life."

~ HENRI MATISSE
French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship; a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but primarily known as a painter.
(1869 – 1954)

This whole Pope thing made me think about the Catholic church, which then made me mad about everything.”

~ PAMELA MATSUDA-DUNN
Artist living and working in New York City
(b. n/a)

"I am and will still be a staunch anti-fascist and will oppose war to the same extent as before I went to Spain, and after I returned to my country. I know that my life has been somewhat different from some others during my time on Earth, but it has always been an honest effort, and has fulfilled the teaching that my immigrant parents gave me: ‘Try to leave the Earth in better condition than you found it.’"

~ MATTI MATTSON
American labor organizer, social activist, and Veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, an ambulance driver in the Spanish Civil War.
(1916 – 2011)

Matti Mattson in Robert Coane's The Return:
a Homage to the International Brigades
on the 50th anniversary of the
Spanish Civil War

 

"What mean and cruel things men do for the love of god."

• • •

Thinking of Cronshaw, Philip remembered the Persian rug which he had given him, telling him that it offered an answer to his question upon the meaning of life; and suddenly the answer occurred to him: he chuckled: now that he had it, it was like one of the puzzles which you worry over till you are shown the solution and then cannot imagine how it could ever have escaped you. The answer was obvious. Life had no meaning.”

~ W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM
English playwright, novelist and short story writer
(1874 – 1965)

The Jesuits do not educate, they domesticate.”

~ GABRIEL MAURA GAMAZO
Duke of Maura, Count of la Montera
Spanish politician and historian; member of the Royal Academy of Spain;
Deputry to the Courts, Labor Minister and Interior Minister of the Provisional Republican government.
(1879 - 1963)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Oriental woman, when she's good, she's very, very, very good. But when she's bad, she's Christian."

~ DAVID HENRY HUANG
Asian-American dramatist
(b. August 11, 1957)

From "M. Butterfly"

John Lone as Shi Pei Pu
John Lone
Shi Pei Pu

"War is far too horrible a thing to drag out unnecessarily,” he said. “It was a shameful thing to ask men to suffer and die, to persevere through god-awful afflictions and heartache, to endure the dehumanizing experiences that are unavoidable in combat, for a cause that the country wouldn’t support over time and that our leaders so wrongly believed could be achieved at a smaller cost than our enemy was prepared to make us pay.

“No other national endeavor requires as much unshakable resolve as war. If the nation and the government lack that resolve, it is criminal to expect men in the field to carry it alone.”

~ JOHN McCAIN
United States Senator from Arizona
(b. 1936)

"Atheists have as much conscience, possibly more, than people with deep religious conviction, and they still have the same problem of how they reconcile themselves to a bad deed in the past. It’s a little easier if you’ve got a god to forgive you."

• • •

"All religions make very big claims about the world, and it should be possible in an open society to dispute them. It should be possible to say, 'I find some ideas in Islam questionable' without being called a racist."

• • •

"The idea that any apostate should be punished is revolting. This is completely hostile to the notion of free thought and everything we hope to stand for."

• • •

"Close family and friends may be in the room with you, but dying is lonely, the confinement is total."

~ IAN McEWAN
English novelist and screenwriter; is a Booker Prize recipient
(b. 1948)

~ BRIAN McFADDEN
Editorial cartoonist
(b. n/a)

I’m on the board of a national group called Faith in America. It’s designed to fight religious-based bigotry.”

~ JAMES McGREEVEY
Former New Jersey governor
(b. 1957)

"We climb mountains because they are there, and worship God because He is not."

• • •

"Those who turn to God for comfort may find comfort but I do not think they will find God."

• • •

"Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers."

~ MIGNON McLAUGHLIN
American journalist and author
(1913 - 1983)

 

 

As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion.”

~ BUTTERFLY McQUEEN
American actress. Originally a dancer, the 28-year—old McQueen appeared as Prissy,
Scarlett O'Hara's maid in the 1939 film Gone with the Wind.
(1911 - 1995)

"It is an open question whether any behaviour based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly."

~ MARGARET MEAD
American anthropologist
(1901-1978)

"For many soldiers, what follows a killing is a struggle of the mind. We become aware that what we’ve seen has changed us. We can’t unlearn it, and we continue to think of those innocent children. It is not possible to forget.

"Killing enemy combatants comes with its own emotional costs. On the surface, we feel as soldiers that killing the enemy should not affect us — it is our job, after all. But it is still killing, and on a subconscious level, it changes you. You’ve killed. You’ve taken life. What I found, though, is that you feel the shock and weight of it only when you kill an enemy for the first time, when you move from zero to one. Once you’ve crossed that line, there is little difference in killing 10 or 20 or 30 more after that.

"War erodes one’s regard for human life. Soldiers cause or witness so many deaths and disappearances that it becomes routine. It becomes an accepted part of existence. After a while, you can begin to lose regard for your own life as well. So many around you have already died, why should it matter if you go next? This is why so many soldiers self-destruct when they return from a deployment.

"I know something about this. The deaths that I caused also killed any regard I had for my own life. I felt that I did not deserve something that I had taken from them. I fell into a downward spiral, doubting if I even deserved to be alive. The value, or regard, I once had for my own life dissipated."

~ CAPTAIN SHANNON P. MEEHAN (Ret.)
American author of “ Beyond Duty,” a chronicle of his experiences in Iraq;
leader of a tank platoon for the 1st Cavalry Division of the U. S. Army.

"Better sleep with a sober cannibal that a drunken Christian."

• • •

"I'll try a pagan friend, thought I, since Christian kindness has turned out to be hollow courtesy."

• • •

"Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope."

~ HERMAN MELVILLE
American novelist, short story writer, essayist and poet
(1819 – 1891)

"A Dog is very religious and its religion is free from superstition. The god it believes in is its master, and that god actually exists, and is actually concerned about its welfare, and actually rewards it and punishes it, on a plan comprehensible to Dogs and meeting with their approval, for its virtues and vices. Dogs need not waste any time over insoluble theological problems. Their god is plainly visible and wholly understandable -- they have no need of clergy to guess for them, mislead them and get them into trouble."

• • •

For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.”

• • •

"Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable."

• • •

"The cosmos is a gigantic fly-wheel, making 10,000 revolutions a minute. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride on it. Religion is the theory that he wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride."

• • •

"Why assume so glibly that the God who presumably created the universe is still running it? It is certainly conceivable that He may have finished it and then turned it over to lesser gods to operate."

• • •

"It takes a long while for a naturally trustful person to reconcile himself to the idea that after all God will not help him."

• • •

"All great religions, in order to escape absurdity, have to admit a dilution of agnosticism. It is only the savage, whether of the African bush or the American gospel tent, who pretends to know the will and intent of God exactly and completely. The most satisfying and ecstatic faith is almost purely agnostic. It trusts absolutely without professing to know at all."

• • •

Religion, like poetry, is simply a concerted effort to deny the most obvious realities.”

• • •

Religion deserves no more respect than a pile of garbage.”

• • •

There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness.”

• • •

The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.”

• • •

"Immorality: The morality of those who are having a better time."

• • •

"The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear -- fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety."

• • •

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

• • •

"Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under."

• • •

The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.”

• • •

"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking."

• • •

"Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on 'I am not too sure.'"

• • •

"The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind."

• • •

Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.”

• • •

For every problem there is a solution which is simple, clean and wrong.”

• • •

All government, of course, is against liberty.”

• • •

Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.”

• • •

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag and begin slitting throats."

• • •

And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual.”

• • •

"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."

• • •

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.”

• • •

To wage a war for a purely moral reason is as absurd as to ravish a woman for a purely moral reason.”

• • •

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.”

• • •

"Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses."

• • •

"It is almost as safe to assume that an artist of any dignity is against his country, i.e., against the environment in which God hath placed him, as it is to assume that his country is against the artist. The special quality which makes an artist of him might almost be defined, indeed, as an extraordinary capacity for irritation, a pathological sensitiveness to environmental pricks and stings. He differs from the rest of us mainly because he reacts sharply and in an uncommon manner to phenomena which leave the rest of us unmoved, or, at most, merely annoy us vaguely. He is, in brief, a more delicate fellow than we are, and hence less fitted to prosper and enjoy himself under the conditions of life which he and we must face alike. Therefore, he takes to artistic endeavor, which is at once a criticism of life and an attempt to escape from life.

"So much for the theory of it. The more the facts are studied, the more they bear it out. In those fields of art, at all events, which concern themselves with ideas as well as with sensations it is almost impossible to find any trace of an artist who was not actively hostile to his environment, and thus an indifferent patriot."

~ H.L. MENCKEN
American journalist, essayist, magazine editor ,satirist, acerbic critic of American life and culture, and a student of American English
(1880-1956)

Freedom means choosing your burden.”

~ HEPHZIBAH MENUHIN
American pianist and human rights campaigner
(1920-1981)

I am terrified of restrictive religious doctrine, having learned from history that when men who adhere to any form of it are in control, common men like me are in peril.”

• • •

Religious hatreds ought not to be propagated at all, but certainly not on a tax-exempt basis.”

~ JAMES MICHENER
American novelist
(1907–1997)

The principle itself of dogmatic religion, dogmatic morality, dogmatic philosophy, is what requires to be booted out; not any particular manifestation of that principle.”

• • •

God is a word to express, not our ideas, but the want of them.”

~ JOHN STUART MILL
British philosopher, political economist, civil servant and Member of Parliament

(1806–1873)

"I love humanity but I hate people."

~ EDNA ST. VINCENT MILLAY
American lyrical poet and playwright;
1923 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
(1892 – 1950)

Jerusalem is ... the fabled city which for the Western mind is as much dream as stone ... a compressed symbol of our most sublime aspirations along with our most disgusting, hatefully brainless excursions into religious bigotry and fratricide.”

~ ARTHUR MILLER
American playwright and essayist
(1915-2005)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"The Old Testament is responsible for more atheism, agnosticism, disbelief—call it what you will—than any book ever written; it has emptied more churches than all the counter-attractions of cinema, motor bicycle and golf course."

• • •

EXPLAINED
.
Elizabeth Ann
Said to her Nan:

"Please will you tell me how God began?
Somebody must have made Him. So
Who could it be, 'cos I want to know?"
And Nurse said, "Well!"
And Ann said, "Well?
I know you know, and I wish you'd tell."
And Nurse took pins from her mouth, and said,
"Now then, darling, it's time for bed."

Elizabeth Ann
Had a wonderful plan:
She would run round the world till she found a man
Who knew exactly how God began.

She got up early, she dressed, and ran
Trying to find an Important Man.
She ran to London and knocked at the door
Of the Lord High Doodleum's coach-and-four.
"Please, sir (if there's anyone in),
However-and-ever did God begin?"

But out of the window, large and red,
Came the Lord High Coachman's face instead.
And the Lord High Coachman laughed and said:
"Well, what put that in your quaint little head?"

Elizabeth Ann went home again
And took from the ottoman Jennifer Jane.
"Jenniferjane," said Elizabeth Ann,
"Tell me at once how God began."
And Jane, who didn't much care for speaking,
Replied in her usual way by squeaking.

What did it mean? Well, to be quite candid,
I don't know, but Elizabeth Ann did.
Elizabeth Ann said softly, "Oh!
Thank you Jennifer. Now I know."

• • •

"The third rate mind is only happy when when it is thinking with the majority. The second rate mind is only happy when thinking with the minority. The first rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."

~ A.A. MILNE
English author, creator of the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh and for various children's poems.
(1882 – 1956)


A.A. Milne and Christopher



Christopher and “Winnie”

 

My father waited until I was twenty-four. The war was on. I was in Italy. From time to time he used to send me parcels of books to read. In one of them were two in the Thinker's Library series: Renan's The Life of Jesus and Winwood Reade's The Martyrdom of Man. I started with The Life of Jesus and found it quite interesting; I turned to The Martyrdom and found it enthralling.... One Man! Mankind! There was no God. God had not created Man in His own image. It was the other way round: Man had created God. And Man was all there was. But it was enough. It was the answer, and it was both totally convincing and totally satisfying. It convinced and satisfied me as I lay in my tent somewhere on the narrow strip of sand that divides Lake Comacchio from the Adriatic; and it has convinced and satisfied me ever since.

“I wrote at once to my father to tell him so and he at once wrote back. And it was then that I learned for the first time that these were his beliefs, too, and that he had always hoped that one day I would come to share them.”

~ CHRISTOPHER MILNE
English biographer and bookseller, son of author A. A. Milne. As a child, he was the basis of the character Christopher Robin in his father's Winnie-the-Pooh stories
(1920 - 1996)


MILNER


"To challenge my fitness, he calls his first witness,
An albatross down from Guiana.
But the bird flicks his tail and turns into a snail,
Then uncoils and becomes an iguana.

The judge is perplexed, and I say, “Don’t be vexed,
We’ve been changing since Adam’s arrival.
The monk in his cloister descends from an oyster,
The fittest have mastered survival."

~ RICHARD MILNER & JOHN WORAM

Better to reign in hell, than serve in heav'n.”

~ JOHN MILTON
English poet, author, polemicist and civil servant
(1608 – 1674)

"A well-waxed paper door slides open."

• • •

"The purest believers ... are the truest monsters."

• • •

"Oh, Descartes's methodology, Domenico Scarlatti's sonatas, the efficacy of Jesuits' bark...So little is actually worthy of either belief or disbelief. Better to strive to coexist than seek to disprove..."

• • •

"This lack of belonging, it marks us."

• • •

"Heaven is a thorny proposition, he thinks, best enjoyed at a distance."

• • •

"Hell is hell because, there, evil passes unremarked upon."

• • •

"We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love."

• • •

 

~ DAVID MITCHELL
English novelist
(b. 1969)

"How anyone can believe in eternal punishment, or in any soul which god has made being 'lost' and also believes in the love, nay, even in the justice of god is a mystery indeed."

~ C.G. MONTEFIORE
Jewish religious thinker and writer
(1858 - 1938)

A thorough reading and understanding of the Bible is the surest path to atheism.”

• • •

The certainty with which a religious belief is held is usually in direct proportion to its absurdity.”

• • •

If god existed as an all-powerful being, He would not need the money that faithful believers donate to their churches.”

• • •

Moral: A peerless maxim enumerated by god in his Holy Bible, such as that of Deuteronomy 23:1, if your testicles are crushed or your male member missing, you must never enter a sanctuary of the Lord.”

• • •

Atheist: A person who believes in one less god than you do.”

• • •

"If the Bible is telling the truth, then god is either untruthful or incompetent. If god is truthful, then the Bible is either untruthful or erroneous."

• • •

"The biblical concepts of sin and salvation are an intrinsic 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!"

• • •

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

• • •

Thank god that the Bible cannot possibly be the word of god ”

~ Rev. DONALD MORGAN
Atheologian (Atheist theologian), Author: Bible Inconsistencies
(b. 1933)

"All religions die of one disease - that of being found out.”

• • •

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
1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn
British Liberal statesman, writer and newspaper editor
(1838 -1923)

Yahweh saw that the wrongdoing of humankind was abundant on the earth, and their thoughts were only toward wrongdoing at all times.

And he regretted having made humankind on earth, and it pained his heart.

And Yahweh said, 'I will wipe out humankind from the face of the earth. Humans, animals, creatures, and birds. For I regret having made them.'”


~ MOSES
Genesis 6:5-7
According to the Hebrew Bible, a religious leader, lawgiver, and prophet,
to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed.
(b. n/a)

"If you give up the struggle, ypou give up what it's all about."

~ ROBERT MOSKOWITZ
American painter
(b.1935)

"It's not that no-kill is a better way; it's that stopping the killing is the only way.

"As long as the humane establishment accepts killing as a solution, there will never be a solution. And the sooner they take killing off the table, once and for all, the sooner the shelters will adopt the real solutions.

"And the sooner we take killing off the table as a means to relating to people whom we don't like, the sooner we'll bring an end to war as a way of bringing about peace."

~ MICHAEL MOUNTAIN
President, Best Friends Animal Society
(b. 1947)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having lost faith in all else, zealots have nothing left but a holy cause to please a warrior god. They win if we become holy warriors, too; if we kill the innocent as they do; strike first at those who had not struck us; allow our leaders to use the fear of terrorism to make us afraid of the truth; cease to think and reason together, allowing others to tell what's in God's mind. Yes, we are vulnerable to terrorists, but only a shaken faith in ourselves can do us in....

“The corporate, political and religious right converge here, led by a president who, in his own disdain for science, reason and knowledge, is the most powerful fundamentalist in American history....

“It has to be said that [the radical Christian right’s] success has come in no small part because of our acquiescence and timidity. Our democratic values are imperiled because too many people of reason are willing to appease irrational people just because they are pious.”

• • •

We're talking about a powerful religious constituency that claims the right to tell us what's on god's mind and to decide the laws of the land according to their interpretation of biblical revelation and to enforce those laws on the nation as a whole. For the Bible is not just the foundational text of their faith; it has become the foundational text for a political movement.

“True, people of faith have always tried to bring their interpretation of the Bible to bear on American laws and morals ..., encouraged and protected by the First Amendment. But what is unique today is that the radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America's great political parties - the country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is - and they are driving American politics, using god as a a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on.

“What's also unique is the intensity, organization, and anger they have brought to the public square. Listen to their preachers, evangelists, and homegrown ayatollahs: Their viral intolerance - their loathing of other people's beliefs, of America's secular and liberal values, of an independent press, of the courts, of reason, science and the search for objective knowledge - has become an unprecedented sectarian crusade for state power. They use the language of faith to demonize political opponents, mislead and misinform voters, censor writers and artists, ostracize dissenters, and marginalize the poor. These are the foot soldiers in a political holy war financed by wealthy economic interests and guided by savvy partisan operatives who know that couching political ambition in religious rhetoric can ignite the passion of followers as ferociously as when Constantine painted the Sign of Christ (the "Christograph") on the shields of his soldiers and on the banners of his legions and routed his rivals in Rome. Never mind that the Emperor himself was never baptized into the faith; it served him well enough to make the God worshipped by Christians his most important ally and turn the Sign of Christ into the one imperial symbol most widely recognized and feared from east to west.

So the Grand Old Party - the GOP - has become God's Own Party, its ranks made up of God's Own People "marching as to war."

• • •

...here we are once again, arguing over how to honor religious liberty without it becoming the liberty to impose on others moral beliefs they don't share. Our practical solution is the one Barack Obama embraced the other day: protect freedom of religion - and freedom from religion. Can't get more American than that.”

~ BILL MOYERS
American journalist and public commentator
(b. 1934)

Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts."

• • •

"The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself. "

• • •

"The liberal left can be as rigid and destructive as any force in American life. "

• • •

"Citizen participation is a device whereby public officials induce nonpublic individuals to act in a way the officials desire. "

• • •

"The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it's so rare. "

~ DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN
American politician and sociologist. A member of the Democratic Party, he was first elected to the United States Senate for New York in 1976, where he served four consecutive terms through 2000.
(1927 – 2003)

I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me personally, it comes down to integrity — theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.”

“I have served with homosexuals since 1968. ... putting individuals in a position that every single day they wonder whether today’s going to be the day, and devaluing them in that regard, just is inconsistent with us as an institution.”

~ ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN
17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
(b. 1946)

I believe in time,
matter, and energy,
which make up the whole of the world.

I believe in reason, evidence and the human mind,
the only tools we have;
they are the product of natural forces
in a majestic but impersonal universe,
grander and richer than we can imagine,
a source of endless opportunities for discovery.

I believe in the power of doubt;
I do not seek out reassurances,
but embrace the question,
and strive to challenge my own beliefs.

I accept human mortality.
We have but one life,
brief and full of struggle,
leavened with love and community,
learning and exploration,
beauty and the creation of
new life, new art, and new ideas.

I rejoice in this life that I have,
and in the grandeur of a world that preceded me,
and an earth that will abide without me.

• • •

"Blasphemy is a joyous, funny, socially progressive, and profoundly moral act."

• • •

"We’re here. And we don’t believe. And we have science and reason on our side. Get used to it."

~ PZ MYERS
American biology professor at the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM) and the author of the science blog Pharyngula; a public critic of intelligent design and of the creationist movement in general and is an activist in the American creation–evolution controversy
(b. 1957)

You show me a 50-foot wall and I’ll show you a 51-foot ladder.”

~ JANET NAPOLITANO
United States Secretary of Homeland Security
in the administration of President Barack Obama;
was the 21st Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009
(b. 1957)


Schoolchildren Sacrificed to Catholic Crocodiles


The Promised Land
Seen from the Dome of St. Peter's


Separation of Church and State

~ THOMAS NAST
German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist who is considered to be the "Father of the American Cartoon" and creator of today’s Santa Claus image.
(1840 – 1902)

Click on Images to enlarge

Their ‘newly discovered’ Catholicism makes [Lithuanians] cruel to animals, since religion separates humankind from nature and even elevates it above. I do not agree with that.”

• • •

Where is science, knowledge, education? In our so-called ‘modern’ times, with nuclear power and robots on Mars, why still religion? While driving my car I watch what I pass by - more churches than schools, obviously, and it is very scary”

• • •

"Corporate fascism is taking over everything and everywhere, killing variety, creativity and imagination.”

~ EDITA NAZARAITE
Lithuanian-American artist
(b. 1955)

"In the name of religion many great and fine deeds have been performed. In the name of religion also, thousands and millions have been killed, and every possible crime has been committed."

~ JAWAHARLAL NEHRU
First prime minister of independent India 1947 to 1964;
leading figure in the Indian independence movement
(1889 - 1964)

Religión en el Este
Religion in the East

Allí en Rangoon comprendí que los dioses
eran tan enemigos como Dios
del pobre ser humano.
Dioses
de alabastro tendidos
como ballenas blancas,
dioses dorados como las espigas,
dioses serpientes enroscados
al crimen de nacer,
budhas desnudos y elegantes
sonriendo en el coktail
de la vacía eternidad
como Cristo en su cruz horrible,
todos dispuestos a todo,
a imponernos su cielo,
todos con llagas o pistola
para comprar piedad o quemarnos la sangre,
dioses feroces del hombre
para esconder la cobardía,
y allí todo era así,
toda la tierra olía a cielo,
a mercadería celeste.

There in Rangoon I realized that the gods
were enemies, just like God,
of the poor human being.
Gods
in alabaster extended
like white whales,
gods gilded like spikes,
serpent gods entwining
the crime of being born,
naked and elegant buddhas
smiling at the cocktail party
of empty eternity
like Christ on his horrible cross,
all of them capable of anything,
of imposing on us their heaven,
all with torture or pistol
to purchase piety or burn our blood,
fierce gods made by men
to conceal their cowardice,
and there it was all like that,
the whole earth reeking of heaven,
and heavenly merchandise.

~ PABLO NERUDA
Chilean poet and diplomat

1971 Nobel Prize for Literature

(1904–1973)

We are born to die. Not that death is the purpose of our being born, but we are born toward death, and in each of our lives the work of dying is already under way.”

~ RICHARD JOHN NEUHAUS
American churchman:
first a Lutheran pastor, later a Latin Rite Catholic priest
and writer; born in Canada
(1936 – 2009)

An Electrifying Ancestor

"We do a lot of things — seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting — reasonably well but with nothing remotely resembling the acuity of creatures who do these things for a living."

EDITORIAL
An Electrifying Ancestor
Published: October 18, 2011

• • •

Neither the Constitution nor Supreme Court precedents give religiously affiliated institutions the right to be exempted from a neutral law of general applicability. The First Amendment is not authorization for religious entities or individuals claiming a sincere religious objection to the law to impose their religious beliefs on society.”

EDITORIAL
A Good Compromise on Contraception
Published: February 1, 2013

~ THE NEW YORK TIMES

"But we should be outraged at what's going on in the world. Anger is not negative. Why shouldn't I be outraged? Why shouldn't I be bitter and angry?"

~ JULIE NICHOLSON
English vicar whose daughter died in the London tube bombings of July 2005
(b. 1954)

First They Came for the Jews
1937 Original
Updated Stephen Rohde version

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

~ MARTIN NIEMÖLLER
German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor
(1892–1984)

"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him"

• • •

"Which is it, is man one of God’s blunders or is god one of man’s?"

• • •

"If you wish to aspire to peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be the disciple of the Truth, then search."

• • •

"Faith is not wanting to know what is true."

• • •

"There is not enough religion in the world to destroy the world's religions."

• • •

"I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground and too petty -- I call it the one immortal blemish of mankind."

• • •

"What the mob once learned to believe without reasons — who could overthrow that with reasons?"

• • •

Never give way to remorse, but immediately say to yourself: ‘That would merely mean adding a second stupidity to the first.’”

• • •

"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger."

~ FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
German philosopher and classical philologist;
wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science
(1844 – 1900)

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

~ SEAN NINGEN
Biographical data & image n/a

Many of us are shut up against our will and deprived of all contact with the outside world. Living with such strictness and abandoned by everyone, we have only hell, in this world and the next.”

~ A NUN FROM SANTI NABORRE E FELICE CONVENT IN BOLOGNA
1586

If you want to deny evolution and live in your world — in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe — that’s fine. But don’t make your kids do it, because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future.”

~ WILLIAM SANFORD NYE
Bill Nye the Science Guy
American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, writer, and scientist
(b. 1955)




"I could never take the idea of religion very seriously. Other Catholics thought that god really cared if they ate meat on Friday and would be upset. I never thought that god could care at all what you were eating."

~ JOYCE CAROL OATES
American author of 56 novels, 32 short-story collections, 8 volumes of poetry
and countless essays and book reviews
(b. 1938)

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers."

OP-ED
The Remaking of America
January 22, 2009
"If you know of any other sitting president who has dared to embrace atheists (Thomas Jefferson did, but not while in office), post the information on my blog, nytimes.com/ontheground)."

~ NICHOLAS KRISTOF

What our deliberative, pluralistic democracy demands is that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values.”

~ BARACK OBAMA
44th president of the United States
(b. 1961)

"Jesus may love you, but I think you're garbage wrapped in skin."

• • •

"There's no moral, Uncle Remus, just random acts of meaningless violence."

~ MICHAEL O'DONOHUGH
American writer and performer
(1940 - 1994)

"Religion has ever been anti-human, anti-woman, anti-life, anti-peace, anti-reason and anti-science.  The god idea has been detrimental not only to humankind but to the earth.  It is time now for reason, education and science to take over."

~ MADALYN MURRAY O’HAIR
American atheist, founder of American Atheists and its President for 32 years from 1963 to 1995;
best known for the lawsuit, Murray v. Curlett, which led to the Supreme Court ruling
that ended the practice of daily prayer in American public schools
(1919 – 1995)

You can run from fate, but fate will be waiting in the next town, at the next marketplace.”

~ JOHN O'HARA
American writer who earned a reputation first for short stories and became a best-selling novelist by age thirty with Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8.
(1905 – 970)

OLYMPIANS
2012

 

 

 

 

I just told myself, ‘Believe,’ ‘Don’t fear, just believe.’”

~ GABBY (GABRIELLE) DOUGLAS
American artistic gymnast, member of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics; first African-American and first woman of color in Olympic history to become the individual all-around champion.
(b. 1995)

I was surprised I wasn't too nervous.”
KYLA ROSS
"American artistic gymnast; member of the gold medal-winning US Women's Gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics. Her father is of black and Japanese ancestry, and her mother is of Filipino and Puerto Rican descent.
(b. 1996)

A big inspiration for participating in the 2012 Olympics for me is being one of the first women for Saudi Arabia to be going. It’s such a huge honor and I hope that it can really make some good strides for women over there to get more involved in the sport.

“I definitely think that my participation in this Olympic Games can increase women’s participation in sports in general. I can only hope for the best for them and that we can really get some good strides going for women in the Olympics further and just in sports in general.””

~ SARAH ATTAR
American/Saudi track and field athlete who competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics as one of the first female Olympians representing Saudi Arabia
(b. 1993)

"Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent."

• • •

"Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell."

• • •

Any life when viewed from the inside is simply a series of defeats.”

• • •

From Animal Farm

Four legs good, two legs bad.”

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy. Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.”

Never listen when they tell you that Man and the animals have a common interest, that the prosperity of the one is the prosperity of the others. It is all lies. Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”

~ GEORGE ORWELL
English author
(1903 – 1950)

"It is convenient that there be gods, and, as it is convenient, let us believe there are."

~ OVID
Roman poet

(43 BCE – 17 CE)

"What divisions, hatreds, miseries, and dreadful physical and mental sufferings have been produced by the names of Confucius, Brahma, Juggernaut, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Perm, Joe Smith, Mother Lee, etc.! If any of these could have imagined that their names should cause the disunion, hatred and suffering which poor deluded followers and disciples have experienced, how these good or well-intentioned persons would have lamented that they had ever lived to implant such deadly hatred between man and man, and to cause so much error and false feeling between those whose happiness can arise only from universal union of mind and co-operation in practise, neither of which can any of the religions of the earth, as now taught and practised, ever produce."

• • •

"All religions are based on the same ridiculous imagination, that make man a weak, imbecile animal; a furious bigot and fanatic; or a miserable hypocrite."

• • •

"I wouldn't care about religion, but all these Conservatives keep wanting to interject their faith into governmental policy."

~ ROBERT OWEN
Welsh social reformer and one of the founders of utopian socialism
and the cooperative movement.
(1771 – 1858)

"If atheists are deaf to the word of God, then theists are blind to the ways of man."

• • •

"This is the revolution and the evolution beyond the plague,
open your eyes and march into the future,
stand tall on this new ground,
a place purged of ancient ritual and dogma,
this is the Atheist Empire."

~ MICHAEL PAIN
American Atheist poet and blogger; founder of Atheist Empire
(b. 1979)

"My own mind is my own church."

• • •

"The most detestable wickedness, the most horrid cruelties, and the greatest miseries that have afflicted the human race have had their origin in this thing called revelation, or revealed religion."

• • •

"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man."

• • •

"Priests and conjurors are of the same trade."

• • •

"Accustom a people to believe that priests, or any other class of men can forgive sins, and you will have sins in abundance."

• • •

"To argue with a man who has renouced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead."

• • •

"Prophesying is lying professionally."

• • •

"Toleration is not the opposite of intoleration, but it is the counterfeit of it. Both are despotisms. The one assumes to itself the right of withholding liberty of conscience, and the other of granting it. The one is the pope, armed with fire and fagot, and the other is the pope selling or granting indulgences."

• • •

Every national church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God - as if the way to God was not open to every man alike ”

• • •

Persecution is not an original feature in any religion ; but it is always the strongly marked feature of all religions established by law ”

• • •

"My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."

~ THOMAS PAINE
British pamphleteer, American revolutionary, radical, inventor and intellectual
(1737 – 1809)

You can't teach an old dogma new tricks.”

• • •

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

• • •

They sicken of the calm, who knew the storm.”

• • •

You can drag a horticulture, but you can't make her think.”

• • •

"A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika."

• • •

I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn.”

• • •

I don't care what anybody says about me as long as it isn't true.”

• • •

Heterosexuality is not normal, it's just common.”

• • •

I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound - if I can remember any of the damn things.”

 

~ DOROTHY PARKER
American poet and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks,
and sharp eye for 20th century urban foibles
(1893-1967)

"Men never commit evil so fully and joyfuly as when they do it for religious convictions"

• • •

Mahomet established areligion by putting his enemies to death; Jesus Christ by commanding his followers to lay down their lives ”

~ BLAISE PASCAL
French mathematician, physicist and religious philosopher
(1623-1662)

I met someone from the German side and we both shared the same opinion: we fought, we finished and we were friends. It wasn’t worth it.”

~ HARRY PATCH
Last surviving British veteran of World War I
(1898 - 2009)

"Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security."

~ JOHN ALLEN PAULOS
Professor of mathematics, writer and speaker on mathematics
and the importance of mathematical literacy

(b. 1945)

I am sorry to say that animals also exhibit faith in your sense, imagine a dog and its owner. The dog has faith that the owner will not mix in poison with the daily portion of dog food.”

~ PAVEEN
Biographical data & image n/a

"Por los hombres suceden las desgracias, no por las pobres bestias."

"By men do misfortunes occur, not by the poor beasts."

• • •

"Dios,si es que había un Dios mas allá de aquella siniestra bóveda negraque rezumaba humedad y muerte, concedía a los hombres un pequeño rincón de tierra para que ellos, a sus anchas, creasen allí el infierno."

"God,if there was a god beyond that sinister black dome oozing damkness and death, granted men a small parcell of land so that they, at their leisure, could create hell there."

~ ARTURO PÉREZ~REVERTE
Spanish novelist and journalist; war reporter, 1973 to 1994
(b. 1951)

"Against logic there is no armor like ignorance."

LAURENCE J. PETER
Canadian educator and hierarchiologist
Formulated the Peter Principle
(1919 - 1990)

When I was a kid I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realised that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me.”

~ EMO PHILIPS
American entertainer and comedian
(b. 1956)

"I don't believe in god. I don't believe in an afterlife. I don't believe in soul. I don't believe in anything. I think it's totally right for people to have their own beliefs if it makes them happy, but to me it's a pretty preposterous idea."

~ JOAQUIN PHOENIX
American film actor born in San Juan, Puerto Rico;
ventured behind the camera, directing music videos as well as producing movies and television shows, and has recorded an album, the soundtrack to Walk the Line. He is also known for his work as a social activist, particularly as an advocate for animal RIGHTS.
(b. 1974)

"It takes a long time to grow young."

~ PABLO PICASSO
Spanish painter, draughtsman, and sculptor
widely known for co-founding the Cubist movement
(1881 – 1973)

"When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion."

~ ROBERT PIRSIG
American writer and philosopher, author of
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
(b.1928)

"When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn't a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self. I had faith that I'm capable enough to handle any situation. There's peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I'm responsible."

~ BRAD PITT
American actor and film producer.
(b. 1963)

"We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."

~ PLATO
Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world
(429-347 B.C.)

"Homo homini lupus"
"Man is a wolf to man."

~ PLAUTUS
Roman playwright

(c. 254–184 BC)

What kind of insecure and cruel god murders children so that his followers will obey him, and will tell stories about him? This is the behavior of a serial killer.”

• • •

After reading about the genocides, the plagues, the murders, the mass enslavements, the ruthless vengeance for minor sins (or no sin at all) and all that smiting . . . I can only conclude that the god of the Hebrew Bible, if he existed, was awful, cruel and capricious. He gives moments of beauty — sublime beauty and grace! — but taken as a whole, he is no god I want to obey, and no God I can love.”

~ DAVID PLOTZ
American journalist
(b. 1970)

"All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry."

~ EDGAR ALLAN POE
American writer, poet, editor and literary critic
(1809 – 1849)

It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse. It is obviously much easier to find inhabitants for an inferno or even a purgatorio.”

~ EZRA POUND
American expatriate poet, critic and intellectual;
major figure of the Modernist movement
(1885 – 1972)

Well, the correct answer is, [Obama] is not a Muslim. He’s a Christian. He’s always been a Christian. But the really right answer is: What if he is?”

~ COLIN POWELL
American statesman and former four-star general in the United States Army; 65th United States Secretary of State (2001-2005), National Security Advisor (1987–1989); Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Army Forces Command (1989); Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989–1993)
(b. 1937)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I am a religious person, although I am not a believer."

• • •

"We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, tables of dos and don’ts: we need books, time, and silence. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but Once upon a time lasts forever."

• • •

"Even if it means oblivion, friends, I'll welcome it, because it won't be nothing. We'll be alive again in a thousand blades of grass, and a million leaves; we'll be falling in the raindrops and blowing in the fresh breeze; we'll be glittering in the dew under the stars and the moon out there in the physical world, which is our true home and always was."

• • •

"I think it's perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don't know everything, and there may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it's because he's ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they're responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I'd want nothing to do with them."

• • •

"I don't expect Christians to see God as a metaphor, but that's what he is. Perhaps it might be clearer to call him a character in fiction, and a very interesting one too: one of the greatest and most complex villains of all - savage, petty, boastful and jealous, and yet capable of moments of tenderness and extremes of arbitrary affection - for David, for example. But he's not real, any more than Hamlet or Mr Pickwick are real. They are real in the context of their stories, but you won't find them in the phone book."

• • •

"You think things have to be possible? Things have to be true!"

• • •

"I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are."

• • •

"All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity."

• • •

"Every little increase in human freedom has been fought over ferociously between those who want us to know more and be wiser and stronger, and those who want us to obey and be humble and submit."

• • •

"Religion begins in story. Yes, it does, because religion is an attempt to make sense of what is incomprehensible to us, what is inexplicable, what is awe-inspiring, what is frightening, what moves us to great wonder, and so on. That is the religious impulse, and it is part of our psychological makeup -- of everyone's psychological makeup."

• • •

"Religion is, as I say, something universal and something human, and something impossible to eradicate, nor would I want to eradicate it. I am a religious person, although I am not a believer.

Religion is at its best when it is a long way from political power. The founder of the Christian religion -- or, the founders of the Christian religion, Jesus and St. Paul -- were both clear about this. "Blessed are the meek." "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." St. Paul is perfectly clear that the highest Christian virtue is charity, not patriotism, not martial valor, not exalting your class, your group, your race above others, but charity. That's the highest virtue. When religion remembers that and acts accordingly, it does good.

But religion, at various points in human history, notably the history of western Europe and the history of some parts of the Middle East more recently, has acquired political power, and put its hands on the levers of social authority. It decides who shall live and who shall die. It decides how we shall dress, what we shall be allowed to read, whether we shall go to war, and so on. When religion acquires that power, it goes bad very rapidly."

• • •

"I'm for open-mindedness and tolerance. I'm against any form of fanaticism, fundamentalism or zealotry, and this certainty of 'We have the truth.' The truth is far too large and complex. Nobody has the truth."

• • •

"Imagination is a form of seeing."

• • •

"There are some themes, some subjects, too large for adult fiction; they can only be dealt with adequately in a children's book."

• • •

"You cannot change what you are, only what you do."

• • •

"We shouldn't live as if [other worlds] mattered more than this life in this world, because where we are is always the most important place."

• • •

"I know whom we must fight...it is the Church. For all its history, it's tried to suppress and control every natural impulse.That is what the Church does, and every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling."

~ PHILIP PULLMAN
English writer; author of, most notably, his trilogy His Dark Materials, and his fictional biography of Jesus, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ; supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society; one of England's most outspoken atheists.
(b. 1946)

"Animals share with us the privilege of having a soul."

• • •

"As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other."

~ PYTHAGORAS
Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism, often revered as a great mathematician, mystic and scientist, but he is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name.
(c.570 – c. 495 BCE)

Speak truth to power.”

~ QUAKERS/SOCIETY OF FRIENDS
A charge given to 18th century "Friends" or Quakers, founded by GEORGE FOX
(1624 – 1691), pictured at left,
concerning the sect's responsibility to question the states reasoning based on facts.
In 1955, a position paper published by the Quakers (Society of Friends) was called
"Speak Truth to Power."

Now my innocence begins to weigh me down.”

• • •

We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us.”

• • •

A habit does not a monk make.”

• • •

It is my feeling that Time ripens all things; with Time all things are revealed; Time is the father of truth.”

• • •

Nature abhors a vacuum.”

• • •

Ignorance is the mother of all evils.”


~ FRANÇOIS RABELAIS
French author and humorist
(c. 1483-1553)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Religion permeates our culture, shows up on our doorsteps with literature, scriptures and threats of eternal damnation, influences our science books, contaminates our political systems, indoctrinates our children and postulates that its doctrine must be followed, lest we be destroyed in body, in soul or both.

Religion gets carte blanche to be as vocal as it wants, to knock on our doors and accost us in our homes, in our places of work, in our personal and professional lives. Believers are charged with a life mission to preach, teach, disciple, shout it from the mountaintops and to “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature”. Religion…is everywhere.

Ask yourself. When was the last time an atheist rang your doorbell with the Good News of Humanism? How often do you find Richard Dawkins books in the dresser drawers of your hotel rooms? When was the last atheist temple erected in your neighborhood? Have you ever attended an atheist revival? Has atheism demanded 10% of your household income? How many dedicated atheist television channels come through your satellite dish? How many atheist verses were you instructed to memorize as a child? When’s the last time someone thanked a FARMER (or even the cook) at the dinner table instead of God?

On a more radical front, what’s the name of the last atheist who sawed the head off of an “infidel” or sentenced a shrouded woman to death for displeasing an oppressive husband or strapped explosives to his belt in order to kill hundreds in a public square or publicly hung a gay person for his lifestyle?

It’s everywhere. Religion is a pounding drum that has gone mostly unanswered for a long, long time and religion is not satisfied with merely existing quietly in the homes and hearts of the faithful. Its very nature compels the believer to proselytize, preach, promote, convince, convert and prevail. If you play on the team of the religious, your game plan is to stay, always on offense.

Throughout our history, those who raise a simple hand of protest against these advances have been portrayed as the real problem. Religion has attempted to marginalize and defeat legitimate questions and concerns by indignantly portraying any resistors as misguided, immoral, rudderless, angry, miserable, lost and alone.

And when skepticism challenges wildly improbable (or impossible) stories found in the bible, the Qur’an and other holy books, the religious wail “Why can’t you just leave us alone?”

The irony is thick.

~ RAF FAK
CBS News Commentator on "Billboards Promoting Atheism Causing Stir In New York And New Jersey" - March 5, 2012
(b. n/a)

"No hay Dios; los seres de la naturaleza se sostienen por sí mismos"

There is no God: the creatures of Nature support themselves."

~ IGNACIO RAMÍREZ
Mexican writer, poet, journalist, lawyer, atheist and political libertarian known as “The Voltaire of Mexico” who used the pen name, El Nigromante (The Necromancer).
(1818-1879)

"I enjoy people most when I'm away from them."

~ KELLY REICHARDT
Social realist filmmaker
(b. c1965)

"A perfectly evil Devil makes even less sense than a perfect God."

~ ANNE RICE
American author of gothic and religious-themed books
(b. 1941)

Another highly regarded poll, the General Social Survey, had an even more startling finding in its preliminary 2008 data released this month: Twice as many Americans have a ‘great deal’ of confidence in the scientific community as do in organized religion. How the almighty has fallen: organized religion is in a dead heat with banks and financial institutions on the confidence scale.”

• • •

Re the Tucson Massacare: "Of the many truths in President Obama’s powerful Tucson speech, none was more indisputable than his statement that no one can know what is in a killer’s mind. So why have we spent so much time debating exactly that?

"The answer is classic American denial. It was easier to endlessly parse Jared Lee Loughner’s lunatic library — did he favor “The Communist Manifesto” or Ayn Rand? — than confront the larger and harsher snapshot of our current landscape that emerged after his massacre. A week on, that denial is becoming even more entrenched. As soon as the president left the podium Wednesday night, we started shifting into our familiar spin-dry post-tragedy cycle of the modern era — speedy “closure,” followed by a return to business as usual, followed by national amnesia."

~ FRANK RICH
New York Times columnist who focuses on
American politics and popular culture
(b. 1949)

“Guns, hunting. The boring occupations of tyhe barbarian mind.”

• • •

“...it was important to know ehether it was better to be disobedient to do the right thing, or to be obedient and see wickedness triumph.”

• • •

Guns, hunting. The boring occupations of the barbarian mind.”

~ JUDITH MERKLE RILEY
American academic and writer of historical novels
(b. 1942)

"Gracias a dios que soy ateo."

"Thank god I'm an atheist."

• • •

"To affirm 'God does not exist', I do not have to hide behind Don Ignacio Ramírez*; I am an atheist and I consider religions to be a form of collective neurosis."

~ DIEGO RIVERA
(1886 – 1957)
Prominent Mexican painter whose large wall works in fresco
helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement.

* His mural Dreams of a Sunday in the Alameda depicted Ignacio Ramírez holding a sign which read, "God does not exist". This work caused a furor, but Rivera refused to remove the inscription. The painting was not shown for 9 years – after Rivera agreed to remove the inscription.

Area of detail

"As two of the very few working communities in Rome, artists and prostitutes had a lot in common, not least their common intimacy with men of the cloth."

~ PETER ROBB
Australian author and biographer
(b. 1946)

A sense of humor...is superior to any religion so far devised.”

~ TOM ROBBINS
American author
(b. 1936)

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 HENRY ROBERTS
Australian historian and vice-chancellor of the University of Sydney
(1901 - 1971)


God Rewards Wall Street Bankers for Doing His Work

~ MARK ROBERTSON
American artist
(b. 1959)

"We must question the story logic of having an all-knowing all-powerful god, who creates faulty Humans, and then blames them for his own mistakes."

~ GENE RODDENBERRY
American screenwriter and producer; creator of Star Trek
(1921 – 1991)

If somebody is really sick, I don't pray to God, I look for the best doctor in town.”

~ RICHARD RODGERS
American composer of musical comedy
(1902 – 1979)

"There should be no argument in regard to morality in art. There is no morality in nature."

• • •

"In art, immorality cannot exist. Art is always sacred."

~ AUGUSTE RODIN
French sculptor and draftsman
(1840 - 1917)

The man I married disappeared into this other person. He wanted a scapegoat. First it was taxes — he stopped paying. Then he turned to the church and got involved in anti-abortion.”

~ LINDSEY ROEDER
on exhusband Scott Roeder, held in the murder of Dr. George R. Tiller,
who was fatally shot at his Wichita church on May 31, 2009
(b. n/a)

If there are no Dogs in Heaven, then, when I die, I want to go where they went.”

~ WILL ROGERS
Cherokee-American comedian, humorist, social commentator,
cowboy, vaudeville performer and actor
(1879 - 1935)

Then They Came for Me (A New Twist)
Adapted from the original by Rev. Martin Niemoller (1937)

First they came for the Muslims, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Muslim.

Then they came to detain immigrants indefinitely solely upon the certification of the Attorney General, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't an immigrant.

Then they came to eavesdrop on suspects consulting with their attorneys, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a suspect.

Then they came to prosecute non-citizens before secret military commissions, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a non-citizen.

Then they came to enter homes and offices for unannounced "sneak and peek" searches, and I didn't speak up because I had nothing to hide.

Then they came to reinstate Cointelpro and resume the infiltration and surveillance of domestic religious and political groups, and I didn't speak up because I had stopped participating in any groups.

Then they came for anyone who objected to government policy because it aided the terrorists and gave ammunition to America's enemies, and I didn't speak up because...... I didn't speak up.

Then they came for me....... and by that time no one was left to speak up.

~ STEPHEN ROHDE
American constitutional lawyer
and President of the ACLU of Southern California
(b. n/a)

"Oh Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!"

• • •

"The more I see of men, the more I admire Dogs."

~ JEANNE-MARIE ROLAND
French revolutionary of the Girondin faction,
tried on trumped up charges of harbouring royalist sympathies,
convicted and guillotined
(1754 - 1793)

 

 

 

 

 

"The average Dog is a nicer person than the average person."

• • •

"Why am I an atheist? I ask you: Why is anybody not an atheist? Everyone starts out being an atheist. No one is born with belief in anything. Infants are atheists until they are indoctrinated. I resent anyone pushing their religion on me. I don't push my atheism on anybody else. Live and let live. Not many people practice that when it comes to religion."

• • •

I’m always on the lookout for something good about people; sometimes months go by.”

• • •

Nothing in fine print is ever good news.”

• • •

Bodies all float face down. The things I learned I’d rather I didn’t know.”

- from Omaha Beach after D-Day.

• • •

Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong. “

• • •

People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.”

• • •

Death is a distant rumor to the young.”

• • •

Being nice is nice but it’s not my intent.”

• • •

"Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives."

~ ANDY ROONEY
American radio and television writer most notable for his weekly broadcast "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney", a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011.
(1919 - 1011)

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”

~ FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
(with Fala)
32nd President of the United States, the only U.S. President elected to more than two terms
(1882 - 1945)

"It is an interesting and demonstrable fact, that all children are atheists and were religion not inculcated into their minds, they would remain so."

• • •

"Do you tell me that the Bible is against our rights? Then I say that our claims do not rest upon a book written no one knows when, or by whom. Do you tell me what Paul or Peter says on the subject? Then again I reply that our claims do not rest on the opinions of any one, not even on those of Paul and Peter, . . . Books and opinions, no matter from whom they came, if they are in opposition to human rights, are nothing but dead letters."

~ ERNESTINE ROSE
Russian born atheist and Individualist Feminist, and abolitionist. She was one of the major intellectual forces behind the women's rights movement in nineteenth-century America.
(1810 - 1892)


God, that dumping ground of our dreams.” 

• • •

"Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone and you are a god."

~ JEAN ROSTAND
French biologist and philosopher
(1894 - 1977)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Everything degenerates in the hands of man."

~ JEAN JACQUES ROUSSEAU
Self-described citizen of Geneva; philosopher, writer, and composer of the Enlightenment
(1712 – 1778)

"I wonder if other Dogs think Poodles are members of a weird religious cult.”

~ RITA RUDNER
American comedienne, writer and actress
(b. 1953)

"The idea of the sacred is quite simply one of the most conservative notions in any culture, because it seeks to turn other ideas -- uncertainty, progress, change -- into crimes."

• • •

"In the opinion of religious people, however, the private comfort that religion brings more than compensates for the evil done in its name."

• • •

"The wrongness of the sacred tales hasn't lessened the zeal of the devout. If anything, the sheer out-of-step zaniness of religion leads the religious to insist ever more stridently on the importance of blind faith."

• • •

"To choose unbelief is to choose mind over dogma, to trust in our humanity instead of all these dangerous divinities."

~ SALMAN RUSHDIE
British Indian novelist and essayist

(b. 1947)

"Better the rudest work that tells a story or records a fact, than the richest without meaning. "

• • •

"Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them."

~ JOHN RUSKIN
English art critic of the Victorian era; draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist
(1819 – 1900)

"At the age of eighteen, ...I read Mill's Autobiography, where I found a sentence to the effect that his father taught him the question ‘Who made me?’ cannot be answered, since it immediately suggests the further question ‘Who made God?’ This led me to abandon the ‘First Cause’ argument, and to become an atheist."

• • •

"Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing -- fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things. In this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the Christian religion, against the churches, and against the opposition of all the old precepts. Science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and I think our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a better place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it."

• • •

"My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race."

• • •

"There's a Bible on the shelf there. But I keep it next to Voltaire--poison and antidote."

• • •

"Dogma demands authority, rather than intelligent thought, as the source of opinion; it requires persecution of heretics and hostility to unbelievers; it asks of its disciples that they should inhibit natural kindliness in favor of systematic hatred."

• • •

"Religions which condemn the pleasures of sense, drive men to seek the pleasures of power. Throughout history power has been the vice of the ascetic."

• • •

"The most savage controversies are those about matters as to which there is no good evidence either way. Persecution is used in theology, not in arithmetic."

• • •

"My whole religion is this: do every duty, and expect no reward for it, either here or hereafter."

• • •

"What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite."

• • •

"I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young, and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is none the less true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting."

~ BERTRAND RUSSELL
British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, social reformist and pacifist
(1872 – 1970)

It is said that men may not be the dreams of the Gods, but rather that the Gods are the dreams of men.”

• • •

"Humans - who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals - have an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and "animals" is essential as we are to bend them to our will, wear them, eat them - without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret."

~ CARL SAGAN

"But the real departure from the Constitution is [the Catholic bishops’, leading Republicans’ and other social conservatives’] specious claim to a right to impose their religious views on millions of Americans who do not share them. In essence, the bishops and their allies are arguing that they are above the law and their beliefs should be elevated over pressing societal interests."

~ DOROTHY SAMUELS
Member of the editorial board of the New York Times,
writes Law, Civil Rights and National Affairs
(b. n/a)

I won't take my religion from any man who never works except with his mouth.”

~ CARL SANDBURG
American poet
(1878 – 1967)

"Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I am leaving you with your worries. Good luck."
(Suicide note)


~ GEORGE SANDERS
Russain-born English film, and television actor,
singer-songwriter, and music composer
(1906-1972)

"My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests."

~ GEORGE SANTAYANA

"God is absence. God is the solitude of man.
I do not believe in God; his existence has been disproved by Science."

• • •

"Hell is other people."

• • •

"All men are Prophets or else God does not exist.
She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist."

• • •

"That God does not exist, I cannot deny, That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget."

• • •

"Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat"

~ JEAN-PAUL SARTRE

We must personally and collectively declare that we very much doubt the veracity of the pope and those of church authority who are defending him or even falling on the sword on his behalf.

“It is beginning to become evident that for decades, if not centuries, church leadership covered up the abuse of children and minors to protect its institutional image and the image of priesthood.

“There surely is solid ground here for severe doubt about what the Vatican says it knew about the sexual abuse. And if by any slimmest of chance the pope and all his bishops didn’t know — they all should resign on the basis of sheer and complete ignorance, incompetence and irresponsibility.”

~ REV. JAMES J. SCAHILL
Catholic priest
St. Michael’s Parish, East Longmeadow, Mass.
(b. n/a)

"Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think."

• • •

"Religions are like fireflies. They require darkness in order to shine."

~ ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER

Any religion or philosophy which is not based on a respect for life is not a true religion or philosophy.”

• • •

Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”

• • •

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”

~ ALBERT SCHWEITZER
Franco-German (Alsatian) theologian, organist, philosopher,
and physician; 1952 Nobel Peace Prize
(1875- 1965)

"Recollect that the almighty, who gave the Dog to be companion of our pleasures and our toils, hath invested him with a nature noble and incapable of deceit."

~ SIR WALTER SCOTT
Scottish historical novelist and poet
(1771 – 1832)

"Murderers are not monsters, they're men. And that's the most frightening thing about them.”

~ ALICE SEBOLD
(b. 1963)
American writer,
in "The Lovely Bones"

~ ALEXANDER SEGERT
Swiss Public Relations Manager
(b. n/a)

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

~ SENECA


SERLIMG

"Beware the beast Man, for he is the Devil's pawn. Alone among god's primates, he kills for sport or lust or greed. Yea, he will murder his brother to possess his brother's land. Let him not breed in great numbers, for he will make a desert of his home and yours. Shun him; drive him back into his jungle lair, for he is the harbinger of death."

~ THE PLANET OF THE APES

 

"The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs, and explosions, and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, ideas, predjudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, predjudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. A thoughtless, freightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all it's own for the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, is that these things can not be confined to the Twighlight Zone.”

• • •

"We're developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won't be able to think."

• • •

“There is nothing in the dark that isn't there when the lights are on.”

• • •

“Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself.”

• • •

“Someplace between apathy and anarchy is the stance of the thinking human being. He does embrace a cause, he does take a position, and can’t allow it to become business as usual. Humanity is our business.”

• • •

"The worst aspect of our time is prejudice... In almost everything I've written, there is a thread of this: man's seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself."

• • •

"Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete."

• • •

“I think the destiny of all men is not to sit in the rubble of their own making but to reach out for an ultimate perfection which is to be had. At the moment, it is a dream. But as of the moment we clasp hands with our neighbor, we build the first span to bridge the gap between the young and the old. At this hour, it’s a wish. But we have it within our power to make it a reality. If you want to prove that God is not dead, first prove that man is alive.”

~ ROD SERLING

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”

~ DR. SEUSS
(Theodor Seuss Geisel)
American writer, poet, and cartoonist most widely known for his children's books written under the pen name Dr. Seuss
(1904 – 1991)

"Blessed is the person  who has earned the love of an old Dog."

~ SYDNEY JEANNE SEWARD
(b. n/a)

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

Hamlet, Act 1, scene 3

• • •

"Hell is empty and all the devils are here."

• • •

"The devil can site scripture for his own purpose! An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek."

• • •

"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to heaven."

• • •

It is a heretic that makes the fire, not she which burns in it.”

• • •

Immortal gods, I crave no pelf;
I pray for no man but myself:
Grant I may never prove so fond,
To trust man on his oath or bond;
Or a harlot, for her weeping;
Or a dog, that seems a-sleeping:
Or a keeper with my freedom;
Or my friends, if I should need 'em.
Amen.

~ WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
English poet and playwright
(1564 – 1616)

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

• • •

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

• • •

At present there is not a single credible established religion in the world ”

• • •

All great truths begin as blasphemies."

• • •

"The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity."

~ GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
Irish playwright
(1856-1950)

"Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can't help but think that before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East."

~ JOHN SHEEHAN, S.J.
Jesuit priest
(b. n/a)

"Don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining."

• • •

"Iwould say that there must be a special place in hell reserved for people who torture animals.  Until you get there, you'll deal with me."

• • •

"I really feel sorry for people who become involved in the meshed minutia that ruin their lives."

• • •

"You’re not supposed to beat your own chest. You’re always better off letting somebody else say nice things about you."

~ JUDGE JUDITH SHEINDLIN

"If God has spoken, why is the world not convinced?"

• • •

"It is easier to suppose that the universe has existed for all eternity than to conceive a being beyond its limits capable of creating it."

• • •

"If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature is made for their destruction."

• • •

"Religion! but for thee, prolific fiend, Who peoplest earth with demons, hell with men, And heaven with slaves!"

~ PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY
English Romantic poet
(1792 – 1822)

"Terrorize the civilian population, assuring maximal destruction of property and cultural resources... The daily life of the Palestinians must be rendered unbearable: They should be locked up in cities and towns, prevented from exercising normal economic life, cut off from workplaces, schools and hospitals, This will encourage emigration and weaken the resistance to future expulsions."

~ UR SHLONSKY
Israeli activist

~ KEVIN SIERS
Editorial cartoonist for The Charlotte Observer
(b. n/a)

"The higher power is lower to the ground and walks on four feet."

~ ELENA SIGMAN
American writer, journalist
(b. n/a)

"Nobody has ever cared if we [Atheists] would be offended."

• • •

"Millions of atheists are closeted, choosing to go along to get along, and feigning religion to their friends, family, and coworkers."

• • •

Attack the myth that Christianity owns the solstice season.”

• • •

I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people. Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”

~ DAVID SILVERMAN
President of American Atheists
(b. n/a)

It’s not about carrying banners or protesting. The most important thing is coming out of the closet.”

• • •

"Respect for religious faith, whatever that faith might be, plays an important role in perpetuating human conflict."

• • •

"I don’t think of us as non-believers. We believe in a lot of things. We just don’t believe in any gods."

~HERB SILVERMAN
Professor of mathematics at the College of Charleston
President of the Secular Coalition for America
(b. n/a)

"Suppose we've chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we're just making him madder and madder."

• • •

"I'm not a bad guy! I work hard, and I love my kids. So why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?”

~ HOMER SIMPSON
Main character in the animated television series The Simpsons
(b. 1987)

Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I'll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well.”

• • •

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

~ FRANK SINATRA
American singer and actor
(1915 – 1998)


SINGER



JOHNSON

"We found it easier to agree on religion, for neither of us had any."

~ PETER SINGER on HARRIET McBRYDE JOHNSON

• • •

"An animal experiment cannot be justifiable unless the experiment is so important that the use of a brain-damaged human would be justifiable."

• • •

"All the arguments to prove man's superiority cannot shatter this hard fact: in suffering the animals are our equals."

• • •

"The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval."

• • •

"We are fighting on behalf of tens of billions of animals around the world. But we are making progress. One day, if we all keep working hard for the cause, we will end this vast universe of suffering that we humans inflict on animals."

~ PETER SINGER

I wonder who got the shit job of scouring the planet for the 15000 species of butterfly or the 8800 species of ant they eventually took on board Noah’s Ark. But at least we got that magical rainbow for all their trouble.”

~ AZURA SKYE
American actress
(b. 1981)

God has a plan. Our pathetic, puny human minds cannot comprehend the utter and sheer brilliance of God's plan (and God made sure of that by only equipping us with pathetic, puny human minds), but rest assured that God does indeed most certainly have a plan. And here's one thing we can know about God's plan: it involves torture. Lots and lots of torture.”

~ THE REV. BRENDAN POWELL SMITH
The Brick Testament is a project created by Brendan Powell Smith in which Bible stories
are illustrated in parody using still photographs of dioramas constructed entirely out of Lego bricks.
The project began as a website in October 2001.

Click on image above right for The Brick Testament

Whenever somebody says, ‘So and so is a big star,’ I say, ‘Have they been condemned by the Vatican?’ ”

~ LIZ SMITH
American gossip columnist
(b. 1923)

"All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn't a Dog.”

~ SNOOPY
Beagle philosopher
(b 1950)

Animals do not have gods, they are smarter than that.”

~ RONNIE SNOW

The unexamined life is not worth living.”

• • •

Nature has given us two ears, two eyes, and but one tongue-to the end that we should hear and see more than we speak.”

• • •

And in knowing that you know nothing, that makes you the smartest of all.”

• • •

I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.”

• • •

To find yourself, think for yourself”

• • •

Do not be angry with me if I tell you the truth”

• • •

How much there is in the world I do not want.”

• • •

"The fewer our wants the more we resemble the Gods."

• • •

Be as you wish to seem.”

• • •

It is not living that matters, but living rightly.”

~ SOCRATES
Classical Greek Athenian philosopher credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics
(c. 469 BC–399 BC)

Stop worrying where you’re going, move on.”

~STEPHEN SONDHEIM
American composer and lyricist for stage and film
(b. 1930)

The simplistic view ... devalues our aspirations, and attacks our confidence, and diminishes us.”

~ DAVID SOUTER
American jurist; served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
of the United States from 1990 until his retirement on June 29, 2009
(b. 1939)

GAMES PEOPLE PLAY
Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now
Never meaning what they say now
Never saying what they mean

And they wile away the hours
In their ivory towers
Till they're covered up with flowers
In the back of a black limousine

People walking up to you
Singing glory hallelulia
And they're tryin to sock it to you
In the name of the Lord

They're gonna teach you how to meditate
Read your horoscope, cheat your faith
And further more to hell with hate
Come on and get on board

Look around tell me what you see
What's happening to you and me
God grant me the serenity
To remember who I am

Cause you've given up your sanity
For your pride and your vanity
Turns you sad on humanity
And you don't give a da da da da da

~ JOE SOUTH
American singer-songwriter and guitarist
(b. 1940)

"I call him free who is led solely by reason."

• • •

"Whatsoever is contrary to nature is contrary to reason, and whatsoever is contrary to reason is absurd. "

• • •

"I would warn you that I do not attribute to nature either beauty or deformity, order or confusion. Only in relation to our imagination can things be called beautiful or ugly, well-ordered or confused. "

• • •

"If men were born free, they would, so long as they remained free, form no conception of good and evil."

• • •

"One and the same thing can at the same time be good, bad, and indifferent, e.g., music is good to the melancholy, bad to those who mourn, and neither good nor bad to the deaf."

• • •

"I do not know how to teach philosophy without becoming a disturber of established religion."

• • •

"Those who wish to seek out the cause of miracles, and to understand the things of nature as philosophers, and not to stare at them in astonishment like fools, are soon considered heretical and impious, and proclaimed as such by those whom the mob adores as the interpreters of nature and the gods.  For these men know that, once ignorance is put aside, that wonderment would be taken away, which is the only means by which their authority is preserved."

~ BARUCH SPINOZA

~ SCOTT STANTIS
American editorial cartoonist;
former president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists
(b. 1959)

"I am I because my little Dog knows me."

~ GERTRUDE STEIN

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

~ STENDHAL

Ignorance — that is to say, fear of the unknown — is the source of most invidious prejudice.”