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Quotes on various aspects of religion, written by
authors with names starting with the letter A - P.

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Religious quotes:

bullet John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson: "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!"

bullet Abdu’l-Bahá, the eldest son of Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith: "Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth, give birth to spirituality, and bring life and light to each heart. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act. For it is clear that the purpose of a remedy is to cure; but if the remedy should only aggravate the complaint it had better be left alone. Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion."


Anon (authors unknown):

  • When two people argue about religion, they are both wrong."

  • "The worst thing you can do to a dogma is give it an empire."

  • "There is nothing wrong with believing in a God. There is everything wrong in believing in a religion."

  • "Science has taken us to the moon; religion has flown us into buildings."

Webmaster's comment:

    This is a commonly found quotation. It is intolerant and also untrue. "Religion" did not cause 9/11. Islam did not either. Nor did the Wahhabi tradition within Islam -- commonly called Salafi. It was caused by 19 racical terrorists who held an extremist interpretation of Salafi, in which human life is of little value. They flew two airplanes into the World Trade Center buildings.

  • From the Hindu holy book, Rig-Veda: "There is only one truth, only men describe it in different ways."

  • "The only difference between a religion and a superstition is the degree of social acceptance it enjoys. "


Dave Barry, columnist, (1947 -  )

  • "People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them."

  • The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.”

bullet Tony Blair: "The big issue of our time is trying to deal with extremism based on a perversion of religion and how you get peaceful coexistence between people of different faiths and cultures."

bullet Cory Booker, 1969 -   "Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people. Don't tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all His children. Don't preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell or preach or teach, as I am in how you choose to live and give."

bullet Lenny Bruce: "I think it's about time we gave up religion and got back to God."

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bullet Bruce Buursma: The Chicago Tribune: "Almost every story around the world has a religion sub-plot"

bullet Sebastian Castellio, a French reformer: "I have carefully examined what it means to be a heretic, and I cannot make it mean more than this: 'A heretic is a man with whom you disagree'."

bullet G.K. Chesterton: "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried."

bullet Tom Clancy: In "The Sum of all Fears:" "I just finished reading the Koran, and there's nothing in there I didn't hear in Sunday school."

bullet William O. Douglas: Supreme Court Justice, 1952: "We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being."


Albert Einstein:

  • " without religion is lame; religion without science is blind."

  • "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself (or herself) in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds."

bullet Ann Emerson: "The essences of all religions speak of peace, compassion, justice and the interconnection of all life."

bullet Benjamin Franklin, from "Articles of Belief and Acts of Religion", 1728-NOV-20: "I cannot conceive otherwise than that He, the Infinite Father, expects or requires no worship or praise from us, but that He is even infinitely above it."


Mahatma Ghandi:

  • "If it weren't for Christians, I'd be a Christian."

  • "The need of the moment is not one religion, but mutual respect and tolerance of the devotees of the different religions."

  • "I came to the conclusion long ago that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them. Whilst I hold by my own, I should hold others as dear as Hinduism. So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become Hindu.  But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.
bullet Guy Harrison: "... religions, even the seemingly benign versions that warm so many souls around the world, are responsible for producing hell on Earth for far too many people. Despite all the chatter about love, religion encourages and supports evil. It always has. It always will." 1

bullet Robert Heinlein: "One person's theology is another's belly laugh."

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Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States:

  • In A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1777: "God who gave us life gave us liberty.  Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are a gift  of God.  Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is  just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."

  • From his book "Notes on Virginia" 1784: "Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites."

  • In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, 1800-SEP-23: "I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

  • In a letter to S. Kercheval, 1810: "But a short time elapsed after the death of the great reformer of the Jewish religion, before his principles were departed from by those who professed to be his special servants, and perverted into an engine for enslaving mankind, and aggrandizing their oppressors in Church and State."

  • In a letter to Baron von Humboldt, 1813: "History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose."

  • In a letter to H. Spafford, 1814: "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."

  • In a letter to Thomas Whittemore, 1822-JUN-05: "Christian creeds and doctrines, the clergy's own fatal inventions, through all the ages has made of Christendom a slaughterhouse, and divided it into sects of inextinguishable hatred for one another."

  • In a letter to John Adams, 1823-APR-11: "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."

bullet Charles Kimball Baptist minister, Middle East expert, and author of a phenomenally important book: When Religion Becomes Evil. "Whatever religious people may say about their love of God or the mandates of their religion, when their behavior toward others is violent and destructive, when it causes suffering among their neighbors, you can be sure the religion has been corrupted and reform is desperately needed."


His Holiness the Dalai Lama:

  • "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."

  • "All religion teaches the virtues of love, altruism and patience, while showing us how to discipline and transform ourselves to achieve inner peace and a kind heart. Therefore, they are worthy of our respect."

bullet David Liepert: "All of us think that our religion is 'good' and that those in apparent (and often politically motivated) opposition to it are 'bad.' But the real truth is that all of our religions are equally guilty of being used to promote violence, and -- thanks to centuries of political manipulation that have distorted the way we read our holy books -- all of us are equally guilty of not following what our religions really say."

bullet James Madison, From "A Memorial and Remonstrance", 1785: "What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not."

bullet Richard Nilsen: Arizona Republic columnist: "We have reached an uncomfortable impasse. We need belief to make life meaningful, yet we cannot allow ourselves to believe in anything. Every faith, institution, political faction and ideal has proved at some level to be a tissue of hypocrisy. We decry our own cynicism, but recognize that, at some level, it is merely realism. Some [people] retreat into conventional orthodoxies; others free-float, aimless in an increasingly valueless society. But there is another alternative: starting from scratch to see if we may discover for ourselves something like universal truth and build the whole thing over again."

bullet President Barack Obama: "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers."

bullet Thomas Paine: "Of all of the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny of religion is the worst."

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This topic is continued in the following list

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Reference used:

  1. Guy Harrison, "The day religion died," Free Inquiry magazine, Vol. 23, #4, at:

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Copyright © 1996 to 2015 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Copyrights for the individual quotations held by their creators
Last updated and reviewed: 2015-FEB-07
Compiled by: B.A. Robinson

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