Positive Atheism's Big List of Quotations

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PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Alan Wolfe
Boston College political scientist, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life

Alan Wolfe (GIF and touch-up by Cliff Walker)Americans are saying, "We're willing to move pretty far on this issue, we're much more tolerant than we used to be, but don't mix it up with religion and God."
-- Alan Wolfe, describing the reaction of more than half of America's churchgoing citizens to the prospect of "blessing" a homosexual union (marriage or otherwise), while implying that legally recognized partnerships are gaining wholesale acceptance, quoted from Richard Morin and Alan Cooperman, "Majority Against Blessing Gay Unions: Sixty Percent in Poll Oppose Episcopal Decision" (The Washington Post: August 14, 2003)

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Tom Wolfe
American novelist, satirical writer, social critic

Tom WolfeA cult is a religion with no political power.
-- Tom Wolfe, In Our Time (1980), quoted from Jonathon Green, The Cassell Dictionary of Insulting Quotations

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797)
English freethinking Deist; early advocate of equality of the sexes

Mary WollstonecraftThe being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), ch. xiii, p. 291, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 17

In fact, it is a farce to call any being virtuous whose virtues do not result from the exercise of its own reason.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), ch. ii, 89-90, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 20

In this metropolis a number of lurking leeches infamously gain subsistence by practicing on the credulity of women.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, "Some Instances of the Folly Which the Ignorance of Women Generates," in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), p. 217, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 18

Slavery to monarchs and ministers, which the world will be long freeing itself from, and whose deadly grasp stops the progress of the human mind, is not yet abolished.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), ch. ii, 89-90, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 21

What, but the rapacity of the only men who exercised their reason, the priests, secured such vast property to the church, when a man gave his perishable substance to save himself from the dark torments of purgatory; and found it more convenient to indulge his depraved appetites, and pay an exorbitant price for absolution, than listen to the suggestions of reason, and work out his own salvation: in a word, was not the separation of religion from morality the work of the priests...?
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), p. 40, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 21

Mary WollstonecraftProbably the prevailing opinion, that woman was created for man, may have taken its rise from Moses's poetical story; yet, as very few, it is presumed, who have bestowed any serious thought on the subject, ever supposed that Eve was, literally speaking one of Adam's ribs, the deduction must be allowed to fall to the ground; or, only so far admitted as it proves that, from the remotest antiquity, found it convenient to exert his strength to subjugate his companion, and his invention to shew that she ought to have her neck bent under the yoke, because the whole creation was only created for his convenience or pleasure.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), p. 40, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 20-21

Men neglect the duties incumbent on man, yet are treated like demi-gods; religion is also separated from morality by a ceremonial veil, yet men wonder that the world is almost, literally speaking, a den of sharpers or oppressors.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), ch. ii, p. 107, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 22

I love my man as my fellow; but his scepter, real, or usurped, extends not to me, unless the reason of an individual demands my homage; and even then the submission is to reason, and not to man.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), ch. ii, p. 107, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 21

Man preys on man; and you mourn for the idle tapestry that decorated a gothic pillar, and the dronish bell that summoned the fat priest to prayer. You mourn for the empty pageant of a name, when slavery flaps her wing, ... Why is our fancy to be appalled by terrific perspectives of a hell beyond the grave? -- Hell stalks abroad; -- the lash resounds on the slave's naked sides; and the sick wretch, who can no longer earn the sour bread of unremitting labour, steals to a ditch to bid the world a long good night.
-- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790), p. 62, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 22

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Ian Wood
Online opponent of biblical creationism; creator of 'Buddika's 300 Creationist Lies Index'

Can you explain scientifically what is the biological or genetic mechanism which permits all manner of "variation" within a "kind" but somehow slams the door shut at the "kind barrier", preventing one "kind" from "varying" into another "kind"?
-- Ian Wood, responding to creationists who chant "micro- but not macro" (who claim that natural selection occurs withing "kinds" but will never produce new "kinds") in "Is Kent Hovind a Liar too?"

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

James E Wood, Jr.
Director of JM Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies, Baylor University

The secular state stands as a bulwark for religious liberty in its denial of the state's giving religious means for the accomplishment of political ends.... The secular state is one which the church should welcome, since the secular state is not an enemy of religion, but a protector of religious liberty.
-- James E Wood, Jr., Nationhood and the Kingdom (1977), from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

Today religious liberty has become an international necessity. The international dimension of contemporary life inevitably requires all world faiths to espouse religious liberty for all men everywhere since an international community could not prosper without some minimum assurances of tolerance and religious liberty. Special privileges have become a practical impossibility. The growing interrelatedness among all nations has underscored in the modern world that if peace and harmony are to be established and maintained among mankind, it is essential that guarantees of religious liberty be constitutionally provided everywhere. Hence, religious liberty has become a practical necessity.
-- James E Wood, Jr., Church & State, February 1977, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

The present trend to repudiate the concept of America as a secular state and officially to identify this nation with God and certain sectarian religious views does not bode well for religious pluralism in the United States, in which virtually all of the world's religions are represented among its citizens, along with new religious movements that are making substantial gains. America is a state in which church and synagogue, religion and irreligion are equal before the law and where citizens are neither to enjoy any advantages nor to suffer any disadvantages because of their religion. America is a state which seeks neither to promote nor to hinder the free exercise of religion, in which neither religion nor irreligion is to enjoy any official status or support on the part of the government.
-- James E Wood, Jr., "Religious Pluralism and American Society," in Ecumenical Perspectives on Church and State, edited by James E Wood, Jr., p. 16, from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

As a secular state America is a nation in which neither religion nor irreligion enjoys any official status and where no church or religion is to enjoy any advantages or to suffer any disadvantages because of an establishment of religion. Religious identity is made irrelevant to one's right of citizenship, e.g., the right to vote and to hold public office. One's religion or irreligion may not be made the basis of political privilege or discrimination.
-- James E Wood, Jr., editorial, Journal of Church and State, Spring 1987

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Frances Wright (1795-1852)
Pioneering advocate of women's equality; first US woman to question the utility of religion; antislavery activist; advocate of free public schools; editor of Free Enquirer

Frances WrightThe hired preachers of all sects, creeds, and religions, never do, and never can, teach any thing but what is in conformity with the opinions of those who pay them.
-- Frances Wright, "Divisions of Knowledge" (1828), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 40

We have seen that no religion stands on the basis of things known; none bounds its horizon within the field of human observation; and, therefore, as it can never present us with indisputable facts, so must it ever be at once a source of error and contention.
-- Frances Wright, "Morals" lecture, from Life, Letters and Lectures, p. 70, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 37

I am not going to question your opinions. I am not going to meddle with your belief. I am not going to dictate to you mine. All that I say is, examine, inquire. Look into the nature of things. Search out the grounds of your opinions, the for and against. Know why you believe, understand what you believe, and possess a reason for the faith that is in you.
-- Frances Wright, "Divisions of Knowledge" (1828), quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 33

I am neither Jew nor Gentile, Mahomedan nor Theist; I am but a member of the human family, and would accept of truth by whomsoever offered -- that truth which we can all find, if we will but seek -- in things, not in words; in nature, not in human imagination; in our own hearts, not in temples made with hands.
-- Frances Wright, Life, Letters and Lectures, p. 101, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 34

It was in this year, 1828, that the standard of "the Christian Party in Politics" was openly unfurled.... This was an evident attempt, through the influence of the clergy over the female mind -- until this hour lamentably neglected in the United States -- to effect a union of Church and State.
-- Frances Wright, in a short autobiography, from Life, Letters and Lectures, p. 34, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 35

Instead of establishing facts, we have to overthrow errors; instead of ascertaining what is, we have to chase from our imaginations what is not.
-- Frances Wright, calling churches the most formidable enemy of human progress, third lecture at the Cincinnati, Ohio, Courthouse, August 24, 1828, from Life, Letters and Lectures, pp. 39, 44, quoted from Annie Laurie Gaylor, Women Without Superstition, p. 36-7

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

Sally Wright
Great-granddaughter of Francis Bellamy, author of the original Pledge of Allegiance

As a regular churchgoer who has voted both Democratic and Republican, I believe that my great-grandfather got it right. A Pledge of Allegiance that does not include God invites the participation of more Americans.
-- Sally Wright, explaining in a 2002 letter to The New York Times what she knew of the author's intentions for the Pledge of Allegiance, quoted in Kate Santich, "Writer was protective of his 'poetic' Pledge" (The Orlando [Florida] Sentinel: October 25, 2003)

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James Claude Wright, Jr. (b. 1922)
United States congressman; Speaker of the House (1987-1989)

Self-righteousness and presumptive moral judgments pose a great danger in the political arena. To become convinced of the divine infallibility of one's personal predilections on a secular political issue is to play God, to assume to oneself the attributes of deity. It cultivates an arrogant intolerance of dissenting viewpoints and relegates one's political adversaries to the category of evil per se.
-- Jim Wright, The New Age (October, 1987), quoted from Albert J Menendez and Edd Doerr, The Great Quotations on Religious Freedom

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!

 

The Subtle Fulmination of the Encircled Sea

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PAMBLOQ Rules! Yesss!!