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Luther Burbank
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Luther Burbank (1849-1926)
American horticulturist who developed countless new varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers

Luther BurbankI have learned from Nature that dependence on unnatural beliefs weakens us in the struggle and shortens our breath for the race.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Joseph Lewis, Burbank the Infidel

The time has come for honest men to denounce false teachers and attack false gods.
-- Luther Burbank (attributed: source unknown)

Science, unlike theology, never leads to insanity.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted by Joseph McCabe

Nature's laws affirm instead of prohibit. If you violate her laws, you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman.
-- Luther Burbank (attributed: source unknown)

This should be enough for one who lives for truth and service to his fellow passengers on the way. No avenging Jewish God, no satanic devil, no fiery hell is of any interest to me.
-- Luther Burbank, "expressed in the pulpit of a chapel at Santa Rosa," quoted (in part) in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

The clear light of science teaches us that we must be our own saviors.
-- Luther Burbank, giving his thoughts on Jesus, "expressed in the pulpit of a chapel at Santa Rosa," quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

Science is the only savior.
-- Luther Burbank, "expressed in the pulpit of a chapel at Santa Rosa," quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

Obsolete misleading theologies bear the same relation to the essence of true religion that scarlet fever, mumps, and measles do to education.
-- Luther Burbank, "expressed in the pulpit of a chapel at Santa Rosa," quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

Children are the greatest sufferers from outgrown theologies.
-- Luther Burbank, "expressed in the pulpit of a chapel at Santa Rosa," quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

What is the use of assuring Fundamentalists that science is compatible with religion. They retort at once, "Certainly not with our religion."
-- Luther Burbank, to Joseph McCabe, quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

Justice, love, truth, peace and harmony, a serene unity with science and the laws of the universe.
-- Luther Burbank, defining his use of the word religion to Joseph McCabe, quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

Bryan -- a great friend of mine, by the way -- had a Neanderthal type of head," Burbank says. "As to Riley, he has not even the oratorical skill of Bryan. The whole movement is based on the poor whites of the south.
-- Luther Burbank, on William Jennings Bryan's anti-evolution movement, to Joseph McCabe, quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

And to think of this great country in danger of being dominated by people ignorant enough to take a few ancient Babylonian legends as the canons of modern culture. Our scientific men are paying for their failure to speak out earlier. There is no use now talking evolution to these people. Their ears are stuffed with Genesis.
-- Luther Burbank, on William Jennings Bryan's anti-evolution movement, to Joseph McCabe, quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

Of course it must, and our scientific men must be criticized boldly. They will not feel comfortable when you and I are through with them.
-- Luther Burbank, responding to McCabe's remark that William Jennings Bryan's anti-evolution movement must be fought "with both fists," quoted in Joseph McCabe, "Luther Burbank Speaks Out"

Let us read the Bible without the ill-fitting colored spectacles of theology, just as we read other books, using our own judgment and reason, listening to the voice within, not to the noisy babel without. Most of us possess discriminating reasoning powers. Can we use them or must we be fed by others like babes?
-- Luther Burbank (attributed: source unknown)

Prayer may be elevating if combined with work, and they who labor with head, hands or feet have faith and are generally quite sure of an immediate and favorable reply.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted by Joseph Lewis in "Burbank the Infidel"

Most people's religion is what they would like to believe, not what they do believe. And very few of them stop to examine its foundations.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted by Edgar Waite in "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

Nature is not personal. She is the compound of all these processes which move through the universe to effect the results we know as Life and of all the ordinances which govern that universe and that make Life continuous. She is no more the Hebrew's Jehovah than she is the Physicist's Force; she is as much Providence as she is Electricity; she is not the Great Pattern any more than she is the Blind Chance.
-- Luther Burbank, (attributed: source unknown)

Luther BurbankI have seen myself lose intolerance, narrowness, bigotry, complacence, pride and a whole bushel-basket of other intellectual vices through my contact with Nature and with men. And when you take weeds out of a garden it gives you room to grow flowers. So, every time I lost a little self-satisfaction, or arrogance, I could plant some broadness or love of my own in its place, and after a while the garden of my mind began to bloom and be fragrant and I found myself better equipped for my work and more useful to others as a consequence.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Joseph Lewis, Burbank the Infidel

The idea that a good God would send people to a burning hell is utterly damnable to me. I don't want to have anything to do with such a God. But while I cannot conceive of such a God, I do recognize the existence of a great universal power -- a power which we cannot even begin to comprehend and might as well not attempt to. It may be a conscious mind, or it may not. I don't know. As a scientist I should like to know, but as a man, I am not so vitally concerned.
-- Luther Burbank (attributed: source unknown)

I am an infidel. I know what an infidel is, and that's what I am.
-- Luther Burbank, after rejecting agnosticism as being ignorant of the beginning of things and the power behind them and atheism as denial of the existence of God, and then having found, in Webster's New International Dictionary, that an infidel is: "1. In respect to a given religion, one who is an unbeliever; a disbeliever; especially a non-Christian or one opposing the truth or authoritativeness of the Christian Church. 2. One who does not believe (in something understood or implied); quoted by Edgar Waite in "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

The scientist is a lover of truth for the very love of truth itself, wherever it may lead.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Great Quotations, by George Seldes (1983), quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

The universe is not big enough to contain perpetually all the human souls and the other living beings that have been here for their short spans. A theory of personal resurrection or reincarnation of the individual is untenable when we but pause to consider the magnitude of the idea. On the contrary, I must believe that rather than the survival of all, we must look for survival only in the spirit of the good we have done in passing through. This is as feasible and credible as Henry Ford's own practice of discarding the old models of his automobile. When obsolete, an automobile is thrown in the scrap heap. Once here and gone, the human life has likewise served Its purpose. If it has been a good life, it has been sufficient. There is no need for another.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

The theory of reincarnation comes, like all other religious theories, from the best qualities in human nature, even if in this as in the others its adherents sometimes fail to carry out the tenets in their lives.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

Religion grows with the intelligence of man, but all religions of the past and probably all of the future will sooner or later become petrified forms instead of living helps to mankind. Until that time comes, however, if religion of any name or nature makes man more happy, comfortable, and able to live peaceably with his brothers, it is good.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

As a scientist I cannot help feeling that all religions are on a tottering foundation. None is perfect or inspired. As for their prophets, there are as many today as ever before, only now science refuses to let them overstep the bounds of common sense.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

The idea that a good God would send people to a burning hell is utterly damnable to me. The ravings of insanity! Superstition gone to seed! I don't want to have anything to do with such a God. But while I cannot conceive of such a God, I do recognize the existence of a great universal power -- a power which we cannot even begin to comprehend and might as well not attempt to. It may be a conscious mind, or it may not. I don't know. As a scientist I should like to know, but as a man, I am not so vitally concerned.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel" (though the wording "The ravings of insanity! Superstition gone to seed!" is from a different but unknown source)

As for Christ -- well, he has been most outrageously belied. His followers, like those of many scientists and literary men, have so garbled his words and conduct that many of them no longer apply to present life. Christ was a wonderful psychologist. He was an infidel of his day because he rebelled against the prevailing religions and government. I am a lover of Christ as a man, and his work and all things that help humanity, but nevertheless just as he was an infidel then, I am an infidel today.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

I do not believe what has been served to me to believe. I am a doubter, a questioner, a skeptic. However, when it can be proved to me that there is immortality, that there is resurrection beyond the gates of death, then will I believe. Until then, no.
-- Luther Burbank, quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

Although I went to college as a youth, I never considered it necessary to steep oneself in academic learning, in order to learn how to think. I welcome a fair and square, open and above-board fight on any subject, including this, but I despise a man who sneaks around under a cloak or cover of any society or clique to strike his blows.
-- Luther Burbank, in response to Rev Fred A Keast of the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa, who had stated, "Mr. Burbank, in a time when the youth of the land are jazz crazed and breaking away In large numbers from religious teachings, has voiced foolish utterances," quoted from Edgar Waite, "Luther Burbank, Infidel"

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