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Interesting quotations

On topics from Abortion to Blasphemy

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Included are quotes on: abortion, art, Agnosticism & Atheism, anger, atonement, Bible, bigotry, and blasphemy

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Abortion:

bullet 'Freedom Fox' : "Annihilating abortuaries is our purest form of worship." He/she is a member of the Army of God, a fundamentalist Christian group which supports the principle of abortion clinic violence, but does not engage in direct action.

bullet 'Neo' of The Skeptic Arena: "If life begins at conception, then every year God murders about 50 million innocent fetuses through miscarriage."

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Art:

bulletLaura Schmidt, "To remind people of myths is to remind people of truth, and art is very capable of that."

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Agnosticism & Atheism:

bulletAnon:
bullet"The difference between a Christian and a strong Atheist is that a Christian rejects the existence of a few thousand Gods and Goddesses who have been devoutly worshipped and sacrificed to down through the ages. The Atheist merely rejects one more deity: the God of Christianity.

bullet"Atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby."

bullet Isaac Asimov: "Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived."

bulletFrancis Bacon: "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."

bulletAnnie Besant, in "The Gospel of Atheism:" "[N]o philosophy, no religion, has ever brought so glad a message to the world as this good news of Atheism."

bullet G.K. Chesterton (1922): "If there were no God, there would be no atheists." From:  Where All Roads Lead.

bulletAlbert Einstein: "I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egotism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in Nature."

bulletKatharine Hepburn: "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."

bullet Paul-Henri Thiry, Baron d'Holbach, (1723-1789): "If we look back at the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the gods; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worships them; that credulity preserves them; and that custom, respect and tyranny support them, in order to make the blindness of man serve their own interest. If the ignorance of nature gave birth to Gods, the knowledge of nature is calculated to destroy them."

bulletDarrell Lambert, an ex-Boy scout, who was expelled as being unfit for scouting because he is not a theist. "I think the only power higher than myself is the power of all of us combined. The interactions we do affect each others' lives. We're all in symbiosis with each other. But other than that, there's no higher power governing what I do."

bulletJames Morrow: "There are no atheists in foxholes' isn't an argument against atheism, it's an argument against foxholes."

bulletPope John Paul II: "An effective proclamation of the Gospel in contemporary Western society will need to confront directly the widespread spirit of agnosticism and relativism which has cast doubt on reason's ability to know the truth, which alone satisfies the human heart's restless quest for meaning."

bullet Pat Robertson: The 700 Club, 1981-DEC-30
"The Constitution of the United States, for instance, is a marvelous document for self-government by the Christian people. But the minute you turn the document into the hands of non-Christian people and Atheistic people they can use it to destroy the very foundation of our society. And that's what's been happening."

bullet

George Santayana: "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."

bulletHarun Yahya, Turkish philosopher, "Atheism, which people have tried to for hundreds of years as 'the ways of reason and science,' is proving to be mere irrationality and ignorance."

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Quotations by Atheists -- some humorous, others rather nasty, all believed to be genuine:

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Anger:

bullet Mahatma Gandhi: "I have learned through bitter experience the one supreme lesson: to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmitted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmitted into a power that can move the world."

bullet Bertrand Russell: "If an opinion contrary to your own makes you angry, that is a sign that you are subconsciously aware of having no good reason for thinking as you do."

bullet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: "The supreme task is to organize and unite people so that their anger becomes a transforming force.
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Atonement:

This is often referred to as the central tenet of Christianity: that sin and its punishment can be transferred from the guilty (all humanity) to the one person beleived by many Christians to be the only individual completely innocent of sin (Jesus). This central tenet is considered profoundly immoral by some skeptics.

bulletJulie M. Hopkins: "It is morally abhorrent to claim that God the Father demanded the self-sacrifice of his only Son to balance the scales of justice...A god who punished through pain, despair and violent death is not a god of love, but a sadist and despot."

bullet Robert Lowry: "What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus; What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus." From a late 19th century hymn: "Nothing but the Blood" that is still popular today.

bulletMichael Martin: "All of the historically important theories of the Atonement have serious problems. In particular, they either fail to explain why God sacrificed his son for the salvation of sinners or else make the sacrifice seem arbitrary."

bulletSt. Paul: "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Romans 5:10; King James Version

bulletEdward Santella, Amazon.com book reviewer: "...what sort of god requires his son to die to redeem others' guilt? What sort of son would submit? What sort of human being feels redeemed by such a death? Does this theology twist god into being an abuser? When a woman is sent back to her abusing husband who then kills her, how many murderers are there?" 1

bullet William W. Sasser: "There have been several theories of the Atonement developed; some by God-fearing upright men and others by servants of Satan himself."

bullet John Shelby Spong, retired Episcopal bishop:
bullet "I don't want a God that would go around killing people's little girls. Neither do I want a God who would kill his own son."

bullet "Seldom did Christians pause to recognize the ogre into which they had turned God. A human father who would nail his son to a cross for any purpose would be arrested for child abuse. Yet that continued to be said of God as if it made God more holy and more worthy of worship."

bullet Vincent Taylor: "The atonement is accomplished in the work of Christ, whose suffering is vicarious, representative and sacrificial in character; it is on behalf of men [sic], in their name, and for the purpose of their approach to God."

bullet Ralph Wilson: "All [6 atonement theories] have elements of truth in them but some are inadequate to stand alone."

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The Bible:

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Joseph Campbell: "The major problem of all religions has been and continues to be, to mistake the the literal or historical fact for the metaphor. Much of what is written is meant to be read and interpreted as metaphor, not fact." (Paraphrased)

bulletRobert Green Ingersoll: "Every sect is a certificate that God has not plainly revealed his will to man. To each reader the Bible conveys a different meaning."

bulletMartin Luther: "Moses' law cannot be valid simply and completely in all respects for us. We have to take into consideration the character and ways of our land when we want to make or apply laws or rules, because our rules and laws are based on the character of our land and its ways and not on those of the land of Moses, just as Moses' laws are based on the ways and character of his people and not those of ours." Martin Luther's Works, Volume 46, p. 291.

bulletVaughn Roste:
bullet"The Bible, more often than many would like to believe, is often just that: metaphor. This does not make it any less true ... I believe the Bible is absolutely 100% true. Some of it even actually happened."

bullet"If we apply 'sola scriptura' to slavery, I'm afraid the abolitionists are on relatively weak ground. Nowhere is slavery in the Bible lambasted as an oppressive and evil institution."

bulletBrian Robertson: "... the Bible, taken as a whole, is not the story of God's changing attitude, but is a story - warts and all - of the human attempt to better understand that which we call God."

bulletJohn Shelby Spong:
bullet"The sad truth is that the scholarship present in the Christian Academy for at least 200 years has not been shared with the people sitting in the pews. This conspiracy of silence has been carried out quite consciously for fear that these biblical insights might destroy the faith of lay people and make the minister's task more difficult. I have always believed that any god who can be destroyed ought to be destroyed. If one's faith has to be protected from truth, it has already died." 4

bulletI am always amazed at how the Bible, that portrays my Lord embracing the outcasts, touching the lepers, welcoming the Samaritans, not judging the woman taken in the act of adultery, and inviting "all of ye," not "some of ye," to "come unto me," can, in the hands of a few distorted people be turned into a book of hatred, violence and judgment. 5

bullet Joe Wenke: author of "You Got to be Kidding: "... about Mosaic Law, Old Testament morality? It’s not really morality at all. It’s more like tribal code. When I think of who today best embodies the values of Old Testament morality, it’s really the Taliban." 6

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Bigotry:

bullet Anon: "Bigotry wrapped in a prayer is still bigotry." From a Congregational Church sign

bulletPat Robertson, in an interview with Molly Ivins in 1993: "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians. It's no different. It is the same thing. It is happening all over again. It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians. Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed toward any group in America today. More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history."

bulletParaphrased exchange on a discussion board:

bulletLiberal Christian: "In the U.S. persons with a homosexual orientation are discriminated against: they cannot marry; they have no job security; they have no protection under hate crimes legislation. Is this bigotry?"

bulletConservative Christian: "No, because the country is Christian and follows the true rules of the one true God."

bulletLiberal Christian: "In Saudi Arabia, persons who are female are denied admission to many professions, are not allowed to drive cars and are discriminated against in many other ways. Is this bigotry?"

bulletConservative Christian: "Yes, because the country is Islamic and does not follow the true rules of the one true God."

bulletSydney Smith: "Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out."

bulletHenry David Thoreau: "It is never too late to give up your prejudices."

bulletGeorge Washington, in response to a speech by Moses Seixas (1744-1809) referring to past persecutions of the Jews and the new nation's commitment to religious liberty:  "...the government of the United States...gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance...." George W Bush, quoted Washington's words in a speech at the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in 2002." 2

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Blasphemy:

bulletGeorge Bernard Shaw: "All great truths begin as blasphemies."

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References used:

  1. From a review of Rita Nakashima Brock & Rebecca Ann Parker, "Proverbs of Ashes : Violence, Redemptive Suffering, and the Search for What Saves Us," Beacon Press, (2002). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
  2. "To Bigotry No Sanction," Library of Congress, at: http://www.loc.gov/
  3. Stephen G. Post, in "Works of Love," a newsletter from the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, 2003-OCT-21. Dr. Post is its president.
  4. "Bishop Spong Q and A," 2006-JUL-26.
  5. J.S. Spong, "Dallas, Texas: A new vision," A new Christianity for a new world, 2006-OCT-18. Bishop Spong described an event at a gay pride parade where "... a group of Bible-wielding counter demonstrators ... with voices screaming and faces contorted by anger promised us the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah."
  6. From an interview of the author by Examiner.com at: https://www.examiner.com/

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Copyright © 1996 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Copyrights for the individual quotations held by their authors
Last updated: 2012-DEC-26
Compiled by: B.A. Robinson

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