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Religious Tolerance logo


Quotes on various aspects of religion,
written by authors with names
starting with the letter Q to Z.

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Continued from a previous list

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Religious quotes, authors with names beginning with Q to Z:


Ali A. Rizvi: A Pakistani-Canadian writer, physician and musician.

  • "Human beings have rights and are entitled to respect. Books and beliefs don't and aren't."

Bertrand Russell:

  • "My conclusion is that there is no reason to believe any of the dogmas of traditional theology and, further, that there is no reason to wish that they were true. Man, in so far as he is not subject to natural forces, is free to work out his own destiny. The responsibility is his, and so is the opportunity."

  • Religion is something left over from the infancy of our intelligence, it will fade away as we adopt reason and science as our guidelines."

  • "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 the 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."

  • "And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence."

Carl Sagan:

  • "In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion."

  • "Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."
bullet Seneca: "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."

bullet Mitch Sharp, posting a comment to an article on "Religion is a construct of man created to assuage the fear of the unknown (death) and control the masses. It still serves no other purpose."

bullet Spirit Science: "If your religion requires you to hate someone, you need a new religion."

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bullet John Shelby Spong:

bullet "Religion is primarily a search for security and not a search for truth. Religion is what we so often use to bank the fires of our anxiety. That is why religion tends toward becoming excessive, neurotic, controlling and even evil. That is why a religious government is always a cruel government. People need to understand that questioning and doubting are healthy, human activities to be encouraged not to be feared. Certainly is a vice not a virtue. Insecurity is something to be grasped and treasured. A true and healthy religious system will encourage each of these activities. A sick and fearful religious system will seek to remove them." 1

bullet "True religion is not about possessing the truth. No religion does that. It is rather an invitation into a journey that leads one toward the mystery of God. Idolatry is religion pretending that it has all the answers." 2


Jon Stewart:

  • "You have confused a war on your religion with not always getting what you want."

  • "Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion... perhaps around their necks? And maybe -- dare I dream it? -- maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively."
bullet Farrell Till: "Information is religion's greatest enemy, and in an age when information is just a few keyboard strokes away from anyone with a computer, this is going to pose a greater threat to Christianity than anything it has yet 'survived.' "


Mark Twain:

  • "The altar cloth of one aeon is the doormat of the next."

  • "The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's."

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bullet Jesse Ventura: Governor of Minnesota, 1999, in an interview with Playboy: "Organized religion is a sham and a crutch for weak-minded people who need strength in numbers. It tells people to go out and stick their noses in other people's business."


Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet [1694-1778]):

  • "If there were only one religion in England, there would be danger of tyranny; if there were two, they would cut each other's throats; but there are thirty, and they live happily together in peace." from "On the Church of England"

  • "God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere."

Neal Donald Walsch:

  • "It is religion which has filled the hearts of men with fear of God, where once man loved that which is in all its splendor. It is religion which has ordered men to bow down before God where once man rose up in joyful outreach. It is religion which has burdened man with worries about God's wrath where once man sought God to lighten his burden. It is religion which told man to be ashamed of his body and its most natural functions where once man celebrated those functions as the greatest gifts of life."

  • "Everywhere religion has gone it has created disunity."

Alan Watts: from "The Essence of Alan Watts series - GOD:"

  • "Many people think that the Bible is the authentic word of God and they worship the Bible, making it an idol..."

  • "Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun."
bullet Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate: "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."

bullet "Belief without proof is faith; Belief in spite of proof is folly."

bullet Gene Wilder "I'm going to tell you what my religion is: Do onto others as you would have them do uto you. Period. Terminato. Finito."

bullet Israel Zangwill: "Scratch a Christian, and you find the pagan -- spoiled."

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References used:

  1. John Shelby Spong, "Q&A on biblical criticism," weekly mailing, 2005-JUN-15.
  2. John Shelby Spong, "Q&A on The Parliament of the World's Religions," weekly mailing, 2007-SEP-05.

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Copyright © 1996 to 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Copyrights for the individual quotations held by their creators
Last updated and reviewed: 2016-SEP-02
Compiled by: B.A. Robinson

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