"The careful student of history will discover that Christianity has been of very little value in advancing civilization, but has done a great deal toward retarding it."
..........Matilda Joslyn Gage, "Woman, Church and State", 1893
"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians, Your Christians are so unlike your Christ"
"The world holds two classes of men: intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence."
"We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn't been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake."
"Faith is often the boast of the man who is too lazy to investigate."..........F.M. Knowles
"Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so."..........Bertrand Russell
"What was it that Adam ate that he wasn't supposed to eat? It wasn't just an apple. It was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The subtle message? 'Get smart and I'll fuck you over' sayeth the Lord. God is the smartest, and he doesn't want any Competition. Is this not an absolutely anti-intellectual religion?"
Mark Twain Quotes:
If Christ were here now there is one thug he would not be... a Christian.
"Most people can't bear to sit in church for an hour on Sundays. How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity?"
"[The Bible] has noble poetry in it... and some good morals and a wealth of obscenity, and upwards of a thousand lies."
"For we were little Christian children and early learned the value of forbidden fruit."
"In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then he made Members of Congress."
"The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out, the conservative adopts them."
"We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things and yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy for us."
"Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul."
"A man is accepted into church for what he believes and turned out for what he knows."
"Man is a Religious Animal. Man is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion -- several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven.... The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste."
The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive...but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born."..........Mark Twain, a Biography
"Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast as that, he is above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is beneath it."
..........Mark Twain, a Biography
"it is believed by everyone that when he was in heaven he was stern, hard, resentful, jealous and cruel, but that when he came down to earth, he became the opposite... sweet, gentle merciful, forgiving. He was a thousand billion times crueler than ever he was in the Old Testament... Meek and gentle? By and by we will examine that popular sarcasm by the light of the hell which he invented."
..........On Jesus Christ, in "Letters from the Earth"
"You have noticed that the human being is a curiosity. In times past he has had (and worn out and flung away) hundreds and hundreds of religions; today he has hundreds and hundreds of religions, and launches not fewer than three new ones every year. I could enlarge on that number and still be within the facts."
.........."Letters From the Earth"
"...Man is a marvelous curiosity. When he is at his very very best he is a sort of low grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm. Yet he blandly and in all sincerity calls himself the 'noblest work of God.'"
.........."Letters From the Earth"
"If I cannot smoke cigars in Heaven, I shall not go."
"There is nothing in either savage or civilized history that is more utterly complete, more remorselessly sweeping than the Father of Mercy's campaign among the Midianites. The official report deals only in masses, all the virgins, all the men, all the babies. all 'creatures that breathe,' all houses. all cities. It gives you just one vast picture ...as far as the eye can reach, of charred ruins and storm-swept desolation... Would you expect this same conscienceless God, this moral bankrupt, to become a teacher of morals, of gentleness, of meekness, of righteousness, of purity?"
.........."Letters from the Earth"
"Strange...a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man's acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!"
"During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for 800 years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry."
..........Mark Twain, Bible Teaching and Religious Practice essay, "Europe and Elsewhere", 1923
"There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one-- the pulpit. It yielded last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession-- at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery texts in the Bible remained; the practice changed; that was all."
.........."Mark Twain and the Three R's, by Maxwell Geismar, p.109
"If there is a God, he is a malign thug."
"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."
"Of the delights of this world, man cares most for sexual intercourse, yet he has left it out of his heaven"