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Quotes

I can’t see (or feel) the conflict between love and religion. To me they’re the same thing.

—Elizabeth Bowen, c. 1970

The important thing, I think, is not to be bitter. You know, if it turns out that there is a God, I don’t think that he’s evil. I think that the worst thing you could say about him is that basically he’s an underachiever. After all, you know, there are worse things in life than death.

—Woody Allen, 1975

God is a complex of ideas formed by the tribe, the nation, and humanity, which awake and organize social feelings and aim to link the individual to society and to bridle the zoological individualism.

—Maxim Gorky, 1913

Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

—George Washington, 1796

I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no Catholic prelate would tell the president (should he be a Catholic) how to act and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote.

—John F. Kennedy, 1960

Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.

—C.S. Lewis, 1961

Kill a man, and you are an assassin. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone, and you are a god.

—Jean Rostand, 1939

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

—Jonathan Swift, 1706

If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.

—Voltaire, 1764

An irreligious man is not one who denies the gods of the majority, but one who applies to the gods the opinions of the majority. For what most men say about the gods are not ideas derived from sensation, but false opinions, according to which the greatest evils come to the wicked, and the greatest blessings come to the good from the gods.

—Epicurus, c. 250 BC

God is a concept by which we measure our pain.

—John Lennon, 1970

The freedom or immunity from coercion in matters religious, which is the endowment of persons as individuals, is also to be recognized as their right when they act in community. Religious communities are a requirement of the social nature both of man and of religion itself.

—Pope Paul VI, 1965

Religion! How it dominates man’s mind, how it humiliates and degrades his soul. God is everything, man is nothing, says religion. But out of that nothing God has created a kingdom so despotic, so tyrannical, so cruel, so terribly exacting that naught but gloom and tears and blood have ruled the world since gods began.

—Emma Goldman, 1910