Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotations

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William Howard Taft (1857-1930)
The 27th President of the US (1909-1913)
Tenth Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court (1921-1930)

United States Flag

President Taft: Not a ChristianThere is nothing so despicable as a secret society that is based upon religious prejudice and that will attempt to defeat a man because of his religious beliefs. Such a society is like a cockroach -- it thrives in the dark. So do those who combine for such an end.
-- William Howard Taft, address, December 20, 1914, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

President Taft: Not a ChristianI do not believe in the divinity of Christ, and there are many other of the postulates of the orthodox creed to which I cannot subscribe.
-- William Howard Taft, letter to Yale University, on turning down an offer for its presidency, quoted from James A Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996)

We, as Unitarians, may feel that the world is coming our way.
-- William Howard Taft, quoted from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

 
 

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Edwin Way Teale
American nature writer best known for books on the American seasons

Edwin Way Teale in canoeIt is morally as bad not to care whether a thing is true or not, so long as it makes you feel good, as it not to care how you got your money as long as you have got it.
-- Edwin Way Teale, Circle Of The Seasons (1953), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

You can prove almost anything with the evidence of a small enough segment of time. How often, in any search for truth, the answer of the minute is positive, the answer of the hour is qualified, and the answers of the year contradictory.
-- Edwin Way Teale, Circle Of The Seasons (1953), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

Whenever there is an organized movement to persuade people to believe or do something, whenever an effort is made to "propagate" a creed or set of opinions or convictions or to make people act as we want them to act, the means employed are called propaganda.
-- Edwin Way Teale, A Primer For Readers (1942), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

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Dr. Woolsey Teller
Astronomer

It was the psalmist who said, "The heavens declare the glory of God." They proclaim nothing of the sort. What they really reveal is nothing but extraordinary waste and futility.
-- Woolsey Teller, Atheism of Astronomy (pp. 23-24)

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Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892)
English poet laureate

Alfred, Lord TennysonWe are self-uncertain creatures, and we may, Yea, even when we know not, mix our spites and private hates with our defense of Heaven.
-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Becket (1884), from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

This round of green, this orb of flame,
     Fantastic beauty; such as lurks
In some wild poet, when he works
     Without a conscience or an aim.
     -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam

Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
     -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1854)

But the churchmen fain would kill their church,
As the churches have kill'd their Christ.
-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Maud: A Monodrama (1855), quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

What! I should call on that Infinite Love that
     has served us so well?
Infinite cruelty rather, that made everlasting hell,

  Made us, foreknew us, foredoom'd us, and does
     what he will with his own;
Better our dead brute mother who never has
     heard us groan.
     -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, quoted from John E Remsberg, The Christ, p. 284

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Gerhard Tersteengen [Gerrit ter Steegen] (1697-1769)
German hymn writer and lay theologian

Gerhard TersteengenA God comprehended is no God. (Ein begriffener Gott is kein Gott.)
-- Gerhard Tersteengen, unwittingly giving the nod to the atheistic concept of noncognitivism, quoted from Rudolf Otto, The Idea of the Holy (2nd ed., 1950)

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Tertullian [Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus] (160?-220?)
First important Christian ecclesiastical writer

     • See Tertullian's Scary Quotations

It is a fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions.
-- Tertullian, Ad Scapulam, (202), quoted from Ed and Michael Buckner, "Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church"

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Cal Thomas
American newspaper columnist, social commentator

Some reporter should have asked today's Alabama protesters how many of the Commandments they could recite. Probably not many. The protesters say American law is based on the Commandments. A reporter should have asked, "All of them?" There are only two commandments that relate to secular law (not counting the one about adultery, for which you cannot legally be deprived of life or liberty, property being a matter for divorce courts). One prohibits murder, the other outlaws stealing. The rest are about relationships between God and man and between humans. Do the protesters want laws that force people to honor their mothers and fathers, or not "covet" their neighbor's property, or "honor the Sabbath day and keep it holy," or worship only their God? Isn't state religion what we're fighting against in Iraq and Afghanistan?
     Another question a biblically literate reporter might have asked is, "Why are you proclaiming the Ten Commandments when you believe no one can live up to all of them?"
-- Cal Thomas, questions posed to the Christians protesting the removal from public prominence the 5280-pound granite advertisement of the Christian faith from the rotunda of the State courthouse in Montgomery, Alabama, which had been serreptitiously erected by former Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore, excerpted from his column, "A Moving Experience," (September 2, 2003)

 

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Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
American philosopher, writer, naturalist

It seems to me that the god that is commonly worshipped in civilized countries is not at all divine, though he bears a divine name, but is the overwhelming authority and respectability of mankind combined. Men reverence one another, not yet God.
-- Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, "Sunday" (1849), quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

Wherever a man goes, men will pursue him and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society.
-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, "The Village" (1854), quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law so much as for the right.
-- Henry David Thoreau (1849)

Our manners have been corrupted by communication with the saints.
-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, "Economy" (1854),
quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

As to conforming outwardly, and living your own life inwardly, I have not a very high opinion of that course.
-- Henry David Thoreau Journals (1906), entry in 1850, quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

Why level downward to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring.
-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden, "Conclusion" (1854), quoted from The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations

What men call social virtues, good fellowship, is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter, which lie close together to keep each other warm. It brings men together in crowds and mobs in barrooms and elsewhere, but it does not deserve the name of virtue.
-- Henry David Thoreau, Journal (1852), The Writings of Henry David Thoreau (1906), quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

I did not know that we had ever quarreled.
-- Henry David Thoreau (attributed), having been urged to make his peace with God, quoted from Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

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Baron Konstantin von Tischendorf (1815-1874)
Biblical scholar who discovered and published Codex Sinaiticus (also spelled Constantin von Tischendorf)

If the New Testament is defective the church itself is in error, and must be given up as a deception.
-- Baron von Tischendorf, quoted in John E Remsberg, The Christ, p. 272

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Gherman Stepanovich Titov (1935-2000)
Soviet cosmonaut, the first human to spend more than a few minutes in orbit

Gherman TitovI don't believe in God. I believe in man -- in his strength, his possibilities, and his reason.
-- Gherman Titov, speaking in San Francisco, quoted from Ray C Stedman, "In The Arena"

I am high in the sky, and still I do not see the face of god.
-- Gherman Titov, unconfirmed quip, a variant of which is often attributed to him as reminiscence -- after he landed and during an appearance in San Francisco (that he said something along these lines is undisputed) -- to which someone allegedly quipped, "Had he stepped out of his spacecraft, he certainly would have!"

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Alexis Charles Henri Clérel de Tocqueville (1805-1859)
French politician, traveler, and historian

Alexis de TocquevilleI questioned the faithful of all communions; I particularly sought the society of clergymen, who are the depositories of the various creeds and have a personal interest in their survival ... all thought the main reason for the quiet sway of religion over their country was the complete separation of church and state. I have no hesitation in stating that throughout my stay in America I met nobody, lay or cleric, who did not agree about that.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, writing of his travels in America in 1830, as quoted by Samuel Rabinove, "Church and State Must Remain Separate," in Julie S Bach, ed, Civil Liberties: Opposing Viewpoints, St Paul: Greenhaven Press, 1988, p. 53, quoted from Ed and Michael Buckner, "Quotations that Support the Separation of State and Church"

They all attributed the peaceful dominion of religion in their country mainly to the separation of church and state. I do not hesitate to affirm that during my stay in America I did not meet a single individual, of the clergy or the laity, who was not of the same opinion on this point.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1:308 (1835), quoted from Gene Garman, "Church and State Separation"

You need not value it yourself if you do not wish to; but you ought to allow it to us who do value it. (Ne me demandez pas d'analyser ce goût sublime, il faut l'éprouver.)
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Ancien Régime, III iii, quoted by Richard Robinson, An Atheist's Values, (p. 243)

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John Toland (1670-1722)
Irish philosopher; leading exponent of Deism, teaching that nature is in itself proof of God's existence, that the formal and supernatural elements of religion are superfluous

Nor will I here desist: all holy Cheats
Of all Religions shall partake my Threats,
Whether with sable Gowns they show their
Pride, Or under Cloakes their Knavery hide,
Or whatsoe'er disguise they chuse to wear,
To gull the People, while their Spoils they share.
-- John Toland, describing the figure Adeisdaemon (without superstition), who asks whether Eloquence can speak the truth in religious topics, in Clito, a Poem on the Force of Eloquence, quoted from Jim Herrick, Against the Faith (1985), p. 49

[Be] cheerful, sober, temperate and free from Superstition.
-- John Toland, the president urging members of a philosophical society in The Pantheisticon (1720), quoted from Jim Herrick, Against the Faith (1985), p. 50

[Hypatia was] a most beautiful, most virtuous, most learned, and every way accomplish'd Lady; who was torn to pieces by the Clergy of Alexandria, to gratify the pride, emulation, and cruelty of their Archbishop Cyril, commonly but undeservedly styled Saint Cyril.
-- John Toland, eulogizing the noted fifth-century woman philosopher Hypatia who was torn apart by a mob of Christians during one of the many riots sparked by the vengeful Cyril of Alexandria, quoted from Jim Herrick, Against the Faith (1985), p. 50

People ought to be very tender and reserv'd in accusing a Man of any Thing that manifestly turns to his Disadvantage: but making one pass for a Traitor, a Parricide, or Murderer, are nothing, even in the Eys of the World, to charging him with Atheism: for such a Person is not only justly lookt upon as one that has no Reason or Reflection, but likewise as under no Tyes of Conscience, of Obligations or Oaths, when he has an Opportunity of doing Mischief; and so not to be trusted in any private or public Capacity....
     I could produce many Instances to this purpose from the antient Philosophers; the Heathen Priests represented the primitive Christians as Atheists both in Doctrine and Practice, and the People at their Instigation treated 'em as such; the first Reformers, with their followers, met with the same unjust Measures from the Papists; and, at this present Time, when the Inquisitors can make no other accusation good against their Prisoner, they take Care to Charge him with Atheistical Notions and the most enormous crimes, whereby he's straight condemn'd by the public Voice, and all Men's Ears are stops against any Thing that can be said for one they conceive to be such a wicked Wretch....
-- John Toland, in "one of the clearest indications of the extent to which deists wished to distance themselves from atheists and to which 'atheism' was seen as a term of abuse," in his Vindicius Liberius, or Mr. Tolands's Defense of Himself, Against the late Lower House of Convocation and Others, quoted from and citation quip by Jim Herrick, Against the Faith (1985), p. 51

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Anonymous: Had He Lived to Banish Dreams

"O hadst thou liv'd to banish all the Dreams
Of fab'lous Ages and the Monkish Themes
Of Miracles, of Mysteries, and Tales,
(Where fancy over common sense prevails)
Then might we mourn thy fate with less concern,
With less regret behold thy sacred Urn.
"
-- Anonymous, "Elegy on Mr Toland," quoted from Jim Herrick, Against the Faith (1985), p. 51

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Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
Russian novelist

To regard Christ as God, and to pray to him, are to my mind the greatest possible sacrilege.
-- Leo Tolstoy, letter April 4, 1901, to the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, in response to his excommunication, in Henri Troyat, Tolstoy (1967), p. 591, in Nathan Haskell Dole, The Life of Lyof N Tolstoi (1923), p. 371-2, quoted from James A Haught, "Breaking the Last Taboo" (1996)

Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking; where it is absent, discussion is apt to become worse than useless.
-- Leo Tolstoy (attributed: source unknown)

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Linus Torvalds
Coordinator of the Linux development project

Linus TorvaldsHmmm, completely a-religious -- atheist. I find that people seem to think religion brings morals and appreciation of nature. I actually think it detracts from both.
-- Linus Torvalds, Linux Journal, November, 1999

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Robert L Trivers (b. 1943)
American Anthropologist, Rutgers University

The chimpanzee and the human share about 99.5 percent of their evolutionary history, yet most human thinkers regard the chimp as a malformed, irrelevant oddity, while seeing themselves as stepping stones to the Almighty.
-- Robert L Trivers, in the Foreword to The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins , quoted from Victor J Stenger, Physics and Psychics

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George W Truett (1867-1944)
Texas Baptist statesman and longtime pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas

George W. TruettChrist’s religion needs no prop of any kind from any worldly source, and to the degree that it is thus supported is a millstone hanged about its neck.
-- George W Truett, spoken from the steps of the United States Capitol in 1920, "Baptists and Religious Liberty"

Our contention is not for mere toleration, but for absolute liberty. There is a wide difference between toleration and liberty. Toleration implies that somebody falsely claims the right to tolerate. Toleration is a concession, while liberty is a right. Toleration is a matter of expediency, while liberty is a matter of principle.
-- George W Truett, "Baptists and Religious Liberty" (1920)

The right to private judgment is the crown jewel of humanity, and for any person or institution to dare to come between the soul and God is a blasphemous impertinence and a defamation of the crown rights of the Son of God.
-- George W Truett, "Baptists and Religious Liberty" (1920)

That utterance of Jesus, "Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's," is one of the most revolutionary and history-making utterances that ever fell from those lips divine. That utterance, once and for all, marked the divorcement of church and state. It marked a new era for the creeds and deeds of men. It was the sunrise gun of a new day, the echoes of which are to go on and on and on until in every land, whether great or small, the doctrine shall have absolute supremacy everywhere of a free church in a free state.
-- George W Truett, "Baptists and Religious Liberty" (1920)

Constantine, the Emperor, saw something in the religion of Christ's people which awakened his interest, and now we see him uniting religion to the state and marching up the marble steps of the Emperor's palace, with the church robed in purple. Thus and there was begun the most baneful misalliance that ever fettered and cursed a suffering world.... When ... Constantine crowned the union of church and state, the church was stamped with the spirit of the Caesars.... The long blighting record of the medieval ages is simply the working out of that idea.
-- George W Truett, "Baptists and Religious Liberty" (1920)

And not only did this great consolidated ecclesiasticism assume to lord it over men's earthly treasures, but they lorded it over men's minds, prescribing what men should think and read and write.
-- George W Truett, "Baptists and Religious Liberty" (1920)

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Harry S Truman (1884-1972)
The 33rd President of the United States (1945-1953)

United States Flag

Harry S. Truman receiving a cake for his 67th birthday, May 8, 1951,;Truman Library 73-3676 · (Color by CW)We have gone a long way toward civilization and religious tolerance, and we have a good example in this country. Here the many Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church and the Greek Orthodox Church do not seek to destroy one another in physical violence just because they do not interpret every verse of the Bible in exactly the same way. Here we now have the freedom of all religions, and I hope that never again will we have a repetition of religious bigotry, as we have had in certain periods of our own history. There is no room for that kind of foolishness here.
-- Harry Truman, Mr. Citizen, 1960, pp. 98-99, quoted from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

Harry TrumanThe Jews, I find are very, very selfish. They care not how many Estonians, Latvians, Finns, Poles, Yugoslavs or Greeks get murdered or mistreated as D[isplaced] P[ersons] as long as the Jews get special treatment. Yet when they have power, physical, financial, or political, neither Hitler nor Stalin has anything on them for cruelty or mistreatment to the underdog. Put an underdog on top and it makes no difference whether his name is Russian, Jewish, Negro, Management, Labor, Mormon, or Baptist he goes haywire. I've found very, very few who remember their past condition when prosperity comes.
-- Harry Truman, from his private diary (1947)

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.
-- Harry Truman, message to Congress (August 8, 1950), quoted from Floyd College, Rome, Georgia, "Banned Books -- Quotes"

Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day.
-- Harry Truman, from Merle Miller, Plain Speaking : An Oral Biography of Harry S Truman (1974)

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General M M Trumbull
Publicist

The religion that begs the patronage of Presidents doubts its own theology, for the true God needs not the favor of men... Some of his [Abraham Lincoln's] tributes to Deity are merely rhetorical emphasis, but others were not. Cicero often swore 'By Hercules,' as in the oration against Cataline, although he believed no more in Hercules than Abraham Lincoln believed in any churchmade God.
-- M M Trumbull, in the Open Court for December 3, 1891, quoted in Franklin Steiner, The Religious Beliefs of Our Presidents, p. 140

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Barbara W Tuchman
Two-time Pulitzer winning author

Barbara TuchmanIn the search for meaning we must not forget that the gods (or God, for that matter) are a concept of the human mind; they are the creatures of man, not vice versa. They are needed and invented to give meaning and purpose to the struggle that is life on Earth, to explain strange and irregular phenomena of nature, haphazard events and, above all, irrational human conduct. They exist to bear the burden of all things that cannot be comprehended except by supernatural intervention or design.
-- Barbara Tuchman, The March of Folly, pp. 45-46 (paperback edition)

It is wiser, I believe, to arrive at theory by way of evidence rather than the other way around.... It is more rewarding, in any case, to assemble the facts first and, in the process of arranging them in narrative form, to discover a theory or a historical generalization emerging of its own accord.
-- Barbara Tuchman, Practicing History, thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

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Kurt Tucholsky (1890-1935)

Kurt TucholskyNothing is more difficult and nothing requires more character than to find oneself in open opposition to one's time (and those one loves) and to say loudly: NO!
(Nichts ist schwerer und nichts erfordert mehr Charakter, als sich in offenem Gegensatz zu seiner Zeit zu befinden und laut zu sagen: Nein!)
-- Kurt Tucholsky, Germany, 1933

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Ivan Turgenev (1818-1883)
Russian novelist

Ivan TurgenevWhatever a man prays for, he prays for a miracle. Every prayer reduces itself to this: "Great God, grant that twice two be not four."
-- Ivan Turgenev, from James A Haught, ed, 2000 Years of Disbelief

Nature is not a temple, but a workshop, and man's the workman in it.
-- Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (1861)

Most people can't understand how others can blow their noses differently than they do.
-- Ivan Turgenev (attributed: source unknown)

The temerity to believe in nothing.
-- Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (1862), Encarta Book of Quotations (1999)

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Austin T Turk
American sociologist, criminologist; professor, University of California, Riverside

At the extreme, the process of stereotyping eventuates in dehumanization: the enemy is judged to be so inhumanly evil or contemptible that anything may be done to "it" without subjectively compromising one’s own humanity and sense of loyalty.
-- Austin T Turk, Political Criminality: The Defiance and Defense of Authority (1982), thanks to Laird Wilcox, ed, "The Degeneration of Belief"

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Mark Twain [Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)
American author, master of humor and sarcasm

Mark TwainOne of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed in it. They have also believed the world was flat.
-- Mark Twain, Notebook (1900)

The gods offer no rewards for intellect. There was never one yet that showed any interest in it.
-- Mark Twain, Notebook

You can never find a Christian who has acquired this valuable knowledge, this saving knowledge, by any process but the everlasting and all-sufficient "people say."
-- Mark Twain, Autobiography

The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example.
-- Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad

Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those I do understand.
-- Mark Twain, quoted from Barbara Schmidt, ed, "Mark Twain Quotations, Newspaper Collections, & Related Resources"

When one reads Bibles, one is less surprised at what the Deity knows than at what He doesn't know.
-- Mark Twain, Notebook

It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies.
-- Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth (1909?; published in 1962)

The two Testaments are interesting, each in its own way. The Old one gives us a picture of these people's Deity as he was before he got religion, the other one gives us a picture of him as he appeared afterward.
-- Mark Twain, Letters From the Earth (1909?; published in 1962)

I purpose publishing these Letters here in the world before I return to you. Two editions. One, unedited, for Bible readers and their children; the other, expurgated, for persons of refinement.
-- Mark Twain: Satan, writing back to his friends in Heaven upon visiting Earth, in Letters from the Earth (1909?; published in 1962)

The citizen who thinks he sees that the commonwealth's political clothes are worn out, and yet holds his peace and does not agitate for a new suit, is disloyal; he is a traitor.
-- Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either.
-- Mark Twain, Following the Equator, "Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar"

Against a diseased imagination demonstration goes for nothing.
-- Mark Twain, "The Private History of a Campaign that Failed," from Merry Tales (1892)

Nevertheless we have this curious spectacle: daily the trained parrot in the pulpit gravely delivers himself of these ironies, which he has acquired at second-hand and adopted without examination, to a trained congregation which accepts them without examination, and neither the speaker nor the hearer laughs at himself. It does seem as if we ought to be humble when we are at a bench-show, and not put on airs of intellectual superiority there.
-- Mark Twain, "Thoughts of God" (last paragraph) from Fables of Man, quoted from John S Tuckey, ed, The Devil's Racetrack: Mark Twain's Dark Writings (p. 22)

Custom is custom: it is built of brass, boiler-iron, granite; facts, reasonings, arguments have no more effect upon it than the idle winds have upon Gibraltar.
-- Mark Twain, from Albert Bigelow Paine, Mark Twain, a Biography (1912), quoted from Barbara Schmidt, ed, "Mark Twain Quotations, Newspaper Collections, & Related Resources"

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John Tyler (1790-1862)
The tenth President of the United States (1841-1845)

United States Flag

John TylerLet it be henceforth proclaimed to the world that man's conscience was created free; that he is no longer accountable to his fellow man for his religious opinions, being responsible therefore only to his God.
-- John Tyler, from Caroline Thomas Harnsberger, Treasury of Presidential Quotations (1964) p. 38, quoted from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

John TylerWhen the happy era shall arrive for the emancipation of nations, hastened on as it will be by the example of America, shall they not resort to the Declaration of our Independence as the charter of their rights, and will not its author be hailed as the benefactor of the redeemed?
-- John Tyler, A Funeral Oration on the Death of Thomas Jefferson, Delivered at the Request of the Citizens of Richmond, on the 11th of July, 1826

The United States have adventured upon a great and noble experiment, which is believed to have been hazarded in the absence of all previous precedent -- that of total separation of Church and State. No religious establishment by law exists among us. The conscience is left free from all restraint and each is permitted to worship his Maker after his own judgement. The offices of the Government are open alike to all. No tithes are levied to support an established Hierarchy, nor is the fallible judgement of man set up as the sure and infallible creed of faith. The Mahommedan, if he will to come among us would have the privilege guaranteed to him by the constitution to worship according to the Koran; and the East Indian might erect a shrine to Brahma if it so pleased him. Such is the spirit of toleration inculcated by our political Institutions.... The Hebrew persecuted and down trodden in other regions takes up his abode among us with none to make him afraid.... and the Aegis of the Government is over him to defend and protect him. Such is the great experiment which we have tried, and such are the happy fruits which have resulted from it; our system of free government would be imperfect without it.
-- John Tyler, letter dated July 10, 1843

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John Tyndall (1820-1893)
Irish physicist

John TyndallThe feeling which prompts prayer ... I should like to see guided, not extinguished -- devoted to practicable objects instead of wasted upon air.
-- John Tyndall, Fragments of Science for Unscientific People, (1871)

We claim, and we shall wrest from theology, the entire domain of cosmological theory.
-- John Tyndall, The Belfast Address

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Biographical sketches, source citations, notes, critical editing, layout, and HTML formatting are copyright ©1995–2008, by Cliff Walker, except where noted.

 
 

AndCopy Graphic Rule

 

There's something to be said
for doing your own work.

 

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!