Saturday Quotathon: Religion

>> Saturday, December 5, 2009

I'm over halfway through my 127 pages of quotes. That's quite a few. I have a number of quotes dealing with religion. I'm a firm believer that everyone is entitled to believe however they choose as long as those beliefs don't lead to harm for others or imposing those beliefs on the unwilling. I'm also an advocate for thinking about one's beliefs. And recognize the dangers in blind faith where one's conscience is a casualty. You'll notice Mahatma Gandhi is well represented; we share many views on religion.

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
- Blaise Pascal

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

Man is free, but his freedom ceases when he has no faith in it; and the greater power he ascribes to faith, the more he deprives himself of that power which God has given to him when He endowed him with the gift of reason. Reason is a particle of the Creator's divinity. When we use it with a spirit of humility and justice we are certain to please the Giver of that precious gift.
-Giacomo Casanova

I'm not against God. I'm against the misuse of God.
- Marilyn Manson

The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.
-William Osler, M.D.

I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Most people live in a myth and grow violently angry if anyone dares to tell them the truth about themselves.
-Robert Anton Wilson

Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last.
- Charlotte Brontë

Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of the truth.
-Mahatma Gandhi

Hinduism is like the Ganga, pure and unsullied at its source but taking in its course the impurities in the way. Even like the Ganga it is beneficent in its total effect. It takes a provincial form in every province, but the inner substance is retained everywhere.
-Mahatma Gandhi

My effort should never be to undermine another's faith but to make him a better follower of his own faith.
-Mahatma Gandhi

It is impossible for me to reconcile myself to the idea of conversion after the style that goes on in India and elsewhere today. It is an error which is perhaps the greatest impediment to the world’s progress toward peace … Why should a Christian want to convert a Hindu to Christianity? Why should he not be satisfied if the Hindu is a good or godly man?
-Mahatma Gandhi

I came to the conclusion long ago … that all religions were true and also that all had some error in them, and 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 a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.
-Mahatma Gandhi

God has no religion
-Mahatma Gandhi

We must respect other religions, even as we respect our own. Mere tolerance thereof is not enough.
-Mahatma Gandhi

A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.
-Mahatma Gandhi

(When asked if he was a Hindu) Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.
-Mahatma Gandhi

The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.
-Mahatma Gandhi

It is my firm opinion that Europe does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan’s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips.
-Mahatma Gandhi

I consider western Christianity in its practical working a negation of Christ’s Christianity.
-Mahatma Gandhi

If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up.
-Woody Allen

If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.
-Thomas Carlyle

A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world. It was a perfect act.
-Mahatma Gandhi

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.
-Robert Green Ingersoll

We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. And history is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate.
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through.
--Paul Valery

And lo, God said: Let there be Satan, so people don't blame everything on me, and let there be lawyers, so people don't blame everything on Satan.
-John Wing

It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.
-Helen Keller

Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense.
-Robert Heinlein “Time Enough for Love”

Looking back at the worst times, it always seems that they were times in which there were people who believed with absolute faith and absolute dogmatism in something. And they were so serious in this matter that they insisted that the rest of the world agree with them. And then they would do things that were directly inconsistent with their own beliefs in order to maintain that what they said was true.
-Richard Feynman

The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it, seems to me the deepest root of all that is evil in the world.
- Max Born

Going to church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car.
-Garrison Keillor


  • Roy

    Interestingly enough, I was watching Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven tonight. At one point Balian, played by Orlando Bloom, is talking with the Hospitaler who had been his father's doctor and confessor, and, being in Jerusalem, the nature of religion comes up. The Hospitaler is a monk and priest (the Order of the Knights of St. John Hospitaler), yet he says:

    "I put no stock in religion. By the word religion I have seen the lunacy of fanatics of every denomination be called the will of God. I have seen too much religion in the eyes of too many murderers."

    Later, near the end, Balian is negotiating the terms of the surrender of Jerusalem with Salah'u'd-Din (Saladin). Saladin says: "Will you yield the city?" And Balian replies: "Before I lose it, I will burn it to the ground. Your holy places - ours. Every last thing in Jerusalem that drives men mad." And Saladin replies thoughtfully: "I wonder if it would not be better if you did."

    I love that movie!

  • Stephanie B

    I have never seen it. Perhaps I should.

  • Jeff King

    "Going to church no more makes you a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car.
    -Garrison Keillor"


  • Shakespeare

    I think I like Jeff's quote best!

    Honestly, though, I agree with every single one of Ghandi's... that guy really had a keen understanding of human nature. He seemed most intent on working on HIMSELF, too, not pushing others around.

    That is my goal: working on myself.

  • The Mother

    I enjoyed Kingdom of Heaven, but its historical accuracy (as with so many "historical" movies, is,well, questionable.

    True, though, that holy places are inherently scenes of religious atrocities and anguish.

    Love the Ghandi quotes. Superlative intellect explains what is wrong with religion.

  • Eric

    Maury, a character in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Beautiful and Dammed" posits that most people are too dumb to choose their own religion:

    MAURY: No, sir! I believe that every one in America but a selected thousand should be compelled to accept a very rigid system of
    morals--Roman Catholicism, for instance. I don't complain of conventional morality. I complain rather of the mediocre heretics who
    seize upon the findings of sophistication and adopt the pose of a moral freedom to which they are by no means entitled by their intelligences.

    (Here the soup arrives and what MAURY might have gone on to say is lost
    for all time.)

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