File: religion

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A casual stroll through a lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove
anything.
		-- Friedrich Nietzsche
%
A Catholic and a Methodist were carpooling to work one morning, when a brick
fell out of the sky, which startled the driver and caused him to swerve off
the road and into a telephone pole, totaling the car.
	The two stumbled out of the wreckage, both feeling quite fortunate
to be alive.  The Catholic crossed himself.  Then the Protestant crossed
himself in an accentuated manner.
	"Hey," said the Catholic, "I why did you cross yourself, you're not
Catholic!"
	"Just checking," replied his friend, crossing himself again,
"spectacles, testicles, wallet, pen."
%
A Christian is a man who feels repentance on Sunday for what he did on
Saturday and is going to do on Monday.
		-- Thomas Ybarra
%
A clever prophet makes sure of the event first.
%
A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than
he could be elected Pope of Rome.  Both high posts are reserved for men
favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter
facts of life in bandages of self-illusion.
		-- H. L. Mencken
%
A key to the understanding of all religions is that a God's idea of a
good time is a game of Snakes and Ladders with greased rungs.
%
	A man dies and is getting his tour of heaven.  His guide is pointing
out the various features and landmarks when the man asks, "What's that cliff?"
	"Oh, you don't want to look down there.  That's hell!"
	The man creeps up to the edge and looks over.  He sees lush, green
valleys, verdant farmland and trees everywhere.  "This doesn't look so bad,"
he says.
	Puzzled, the guide comes over and looks down.  "Damn!" he snaps,
"Those Mormons have been irrigating again!"
%
A man fell off a mountain and, as he fell, saw a branch and grabbed for it.
By superhuman effort he was able to get a precarious grip on it.  As he
was hanging there for dear life, he looked up and cried out,
	"Is anybody there?"
A deep majestic voice answered,
	"Yes my son, I am here.  What do you need?"
	"Help me!!" cried the man.
	"I will help you", said the voice, "Just let go of the branch and
you'll be safe.  All you have to do is trust."
The man thought for a moment and cried out:
	"Anybody ELSE up there?"
%
A man without a God is like a fish without a bicycle.
%
"A Mormon is a man that has the bad taste and the religion to do what a
good many other people are restrained from doing by conscientious
scruples and the police."
		-- Mr. Dooley
%
A myth is a religion in which no-one any longer believes.
		-- James Feibleman, "Understanding Philosophy"
%
A Puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone, somewhere, is
having fun.
%
A rabbi and a priest are sitting together on a train, and the rabbi leans
over and asks, "So, how high can you advance in your organization?"
	The priest replies, "Well, if I am lucky, I guess I could become a
Bishop."
	"Well, could you get any higher than that?"
	"I suppose that if my works are seen in a very good light that I
might be made an Archbishop."
	"Is there any way that you might go higher than that?"
	"If all the Saints should smile, I guess I could be made a Cardinal."
	"Could you be anything higher than a Cardinal?"
	Hesitating a little bit, the priest said, "I supose that I could
be elected Pope, but only if it's God's will."
	"And could you be anything higher than that, is there any way to go
up from being the Pope?"
	"What?!  I should be the Messiah himself?!"
	The rabbi leaned back and smiled.  "One of our boys made it."
%
"Acceptance without proof is the fundamental characteristic of Western
religion, Rejection without proof is the fundamental characteristic of
Western science."
		-- Gary Zukav, "The Dancing Wu Li Masters"
%
All Gods were immortal.
		-- Stanislaw J. Lem, "Unkempt Thoughts"
%
All religions issue Bibles against Satan, and say the most injurious things
against him, but we never hear his side.
		-- Mark Twain
%
All the waters of the earth are in the armpit of the Great Frog.
		-- R. Crumb
%
Already the spirit of our schooling is permeated with the feeling that every
subject, every topic, every fact, every professed truth must be submitted
to a certain publicity and impartiality.  All proffered samples of learning
must go to the same assay-room and be subjected to common tests.  It is the
essence of all dogmatic faiths to hold that any such "show-down" is
sacrilegious and perverse.  The characteristic of religion, from their point
of view, is that it is intellectually secret, not public; peculiarly revealed,
not generally known; authoritatively declared, not communicated and tested
in ordinary ways...It is pertinent to point out that, as long as religion
is conceived as it is now by the great majority of professed religionists,
there is something self-contradictory in speaking of education in religion
in the same sense in which we speak of education in topics where the method
of free inquiry has made its way.  The "religious" would be the last to be
willing that either the history of the content of religion should be taught
in this spirit; while those to whom the scientific standpoint is not merely
a technical device, but is the embodiment of the integrity of mind, must
protest against its being taught in any other spirit.
		-- John Dewey, "Democracy in the Schools", 1908
%
An atheist is a man with no invisible means of support.
%
"And Bezel saideth unto Sham: `Sham,' he saideth, `Thou shalt goest
unto the town of Begorrah, and there thou shalt fetcheth unto thine
bosom 35 talents, and also shalt thou fetcheth a like number of cubits,
provideth that they are nice and fresh.'"
		-- Dave Barry, "Getting Religion"
%
...And have you ever noticed that you never see the Father, the Son, and
the Holy Ghost partying together at the same time?  Oh, sure, everybody
talks like they aren't the same person, but I wonder...
%
	And Jesus said unto them, "And whom do you say that I am?"
	They replied, "You are the eschatological manifestation of the ground
of our being, the ontological foundation of the context of our very selfhood
revealed."
	And Jesus replied, "What?"
%
...and no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers.  No matter how assured
we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful
inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions.  This is true in religion
as it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the
naive.  As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we
might be advised to leave them to heaven.  They will not, unfortunately, do
us the same courtesy.  They attack us and each other, and whatever their
protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear
that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword.  My own belief in
God, then, is just that -- a matter of belief, not knowledge.  My respect
for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the most
virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth.  But even well-educated Christians are
frustated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure of Jesus
because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record.  Such ambiguity
is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every recognized Bible scholar
is perfectly aware of it.  Some Christians, alas, resort to formal lying to
obscure such reality.
		-- Steve Allen
%
	And on the third day, Christ arose, pushed aside the rock that had
served as the tomb door, and walked again on the earth.
	And as he departed, a passer-by pointed at the door Jesus had left
open.  "What's the matter with you?" he said. "Born in a barn?"
%
Ankh if you love Isis.
%
Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.
		-- Lazarus Long
%
As I argued in "Beloved Son", a book about my son Brian and the subject of
religious communes and cults, one result of proper early instruction in the
methods of rational thought will be to make sudden mindless conversions --
to anything -- less likely.  Brian now realizes this and has, after eleven
years, left the sect he was associated with.  The problem is that once the
untrained mind has made a formal commitment to a religious philosophy --
and it does not matter whether that philosophy is generally reasonable and
high-minded or utterly bizarre and irrational -- the powers of reason are
suprisingly ineffective in changing the believer's mind.
		-- Steve Allen
%
As the Catholic church becomes more and more tolerant, some day they will
have to consider the possibility of a gay pope.  Possibly the largest
issue will be having to decide whether he is "absolutely divine" or "just
simply marvelous."
%
As the recent sightings of bumper stickers reading "IN CASE OF RAPTURE, THIS
VEHICLE WILL BE UNMANNED" have created a great deal of confusion, Fortune
offers the following excerpts from the 1989 printing of the State of Maryland
Driver's Handbook:
	If you notice a glorious light in the sky, a sound as of an infinite
choir of unearthly voices, and a host of winged beings descending from the
heavens, do not panic.  If you are on the freeway, move to the shoulder as
soon as it is safe to do so, activate your hazard blinkers, and wait for the
end of the world.  If you are Saved, it is especially important that you do
this BEFORE you are carried to your Eternal Reward, in order that your vehicle
not become a hazard to others.  Remember, Rapture is the number one cause of
automobile accidents during major spiritual upheavals.  You may experience a
feeling of discorporation ("being pulled from one's body") while driving.  To
ensure the safety of your passengers and other drivers, move to the shoulder
as soon as you notice any of the following symptoms:
	-- An overwhelming sense of peace and happiness.
	-- Visions of the faces of deceased family members.
	-- A glorious figure in white, beckoning from the end of a tunnel of
white mist (do not confuse this with traffic control or maintainance officers,
who wear dark blue and safety orange.)
	Once the feeling has passed, inspect your surroundings.  If still in
your car, you have probably suffered a stroke and should have someone drive
you to a hospital at once.  If you find yourself in the Kingdom of God, consult
the local officials for information on local traffic rules and regulations.
%
As to Jesus of Nazareth... I think the system of Morals and his Religion,
as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see;
but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have,
with most of the present Dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity.
		-- Benjamin Franklin
%
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
If God won't have you, the devil must.
%
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
%
Better the prince of some inferior court,
Than second, or less, in beatific light.
		-- Lucifer, Joost van den Vondel's "Lucifer"
%
Beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies.  The
danger already exists that the mathematicians have made covenant with
the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of hell.
		-- St. Augustine
%
Brother Jim's recent appearance on the William and Mary campus this past
week was cut short by an ingenious device designed by two computer science
students.  A three-foot bar of extruded aluminum was precisely machined,
with a hole milled down the center of precisely the dimensions of one of
the small Gideon bibles.  The end capped off, a CO2 canister was connected
to provide up to 2,000 PSIG.  Prelimary estimates during field testing
revealed a muzzle velocity of approximarly 120-150 MPH for bibles exiting
the tube.  Sufficient ammunition was obtained during a previous visit to
campus by another religious organization, and the system was first used on
Brother Jim, who suffered a broken rib and numerous small bruises, in
addition to the usual humiliation.
%
Campus crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me.
%
Catholicism has changed tremendously in the recent years.  Now when
Communion is served there is also a salad bar.
		-- Bill Marr
%
Christ died for our sins, so let's not disappoint Him.
%
Christianity and Judaism aren't all that different, really.  Growing up in
a Christian family, the feeling of guilt for Man's sins comes from God.
In a Jewish family, it comes from your parents.
%
Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found
difficult and not tried.
		-- G. K. Chesterton
%
Christianity might be a good thing if anyone ever tried it.
		-- George Bernard Shaw
%
"Creation science" has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple
and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and
because good teachers understand exactly why it is false.  What could be
more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our
entire intellectualy heritage -- good teaching -- than a bill forcing
honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment
to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any
general understanding of science as an enterprise?
		-- Stephen Jay Gould, "The Skeptical Inquirer"
%
Crucifixes are sexy because there's a naked man on them.
		-- Madonna
%
Cthulhu Cthucks!
%
Cthulhu for President!
	(If you're tired of choosing the lesser of two evils.)
%
Cthulhu Saves -- in case He's hungry later.
%
David was just a shepherd who liked to get his rocks off in leather.
%
Dear Ann Landers:
	My husband watches the TV preachers every Sunday.  He claims
one minister said there are 350 different sins.  My husband wants to
know if you can get the list.  He thinks he is missing something.
		-- E. J. Mayfield
%
Dianetics is a milestone for man comparable to his discovery of
fire and superior to his invention of the wheel and the arch.
		-- L. Ron Hubbard
%
Did you ever wonder what you'd say to God if He sneezed?
%
Didja hear about the dyslexic devil worshipper who sold his soul to Santa?
%
... difference of opinion is advantagious in religion.  The several sects
perform the office of a common censor morum over each other.  Is uniformity
attainable?  Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the
introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned;
yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.
		-- Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on Virginia"
%
Driving through a Swiss city one day, Alfred Hitchcock suddenly
pointed out of the car window and said, "That is the most frightening
sight I have ever seen."  His companion was surprised to see nothing
more alarming than a priest in conversation with a little boy, his hand
on the child's shoulder.  "Run, little boy," cried Hitchcock, leaning
out of the car.  "Run for your life!"
%
During almost fifteen centuries the legal establishment of Christianity has
been upon trial.  What has been its fruits? More or less, in all places,
pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity,;
in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
		-- James Madison
%
Enemy -- SP (Suppressive Person) Order.  Fair Game.  May be deprived of
property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline
of the Scientologist.  May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.
		-- L. Ron Hubbard, "Fair Game Doctrine"
%
Ere the cock crows thrice one of you will betray me.
		-- Early Jewish Resistance Leader
%
Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God.
		-- Lenny Bruce
%
"Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company."
		-- Mark Twain
%
Go to the Scriptures... the joyful promises it contains will be a balsam to
all your troubles.
		-- Andrew Jackson

The foundations of our society and our government rest so much on the
teachings of the Bible that it would be difficult to support them if faith
in these teachings would cease to be practically universal in our country.
		-- Calvin Coolidge

Lastly, our ancestors established their system of government on morality and
religious sentiment.  Moral habits, they believed, cannot safely be trusted
on any other foundation than religious principle, nor any government be
secure which is not supported by moral habits.
		-- Daniel Webster
%
God did not create the world in seven days; he screwed around for six
days and then pulled an all-nighter.
%
God is a polytheist.
%
God is an atheist.
%
GOD is applied POWER
    which is applied GOVERNMENT
	which is applied POLITICS
	    which is applied ADVERTISING
		which is applied SOCIOLOGY
		    which is applied PSYCHOLOGY
			which is applied BIOLOGY
			    which is applied CHEMISTRY
				which is applied PHYSICS
				    which is applied MATH
					which is applied PHILOSOPHY
					    which is applied BULLSHIT
%
"God is as real as I am," the old man said.  My faith was restored, for
I knew that Santa would never lie.
%
"God is big, so don't fuck with him."
%
God is not dead -- he's been busted.
%
God is not dead!  He's alive and autographing bibles at Cody's.
%
God is not dead.  He is alive and well and working on a much less
ambitious project.
%
God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent -- it says so right here
on the label.  If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these
divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you.  No
checks, please.  Cash and in small bills.
		-- Lazarus Long
%
God isn't dead, he just couldn't find a parking place.
%
God isn't dead, He's just trying to avoid the draft.
%
God made the world in six days, and was arrested on the seventh.
%
God must love assholes -- She made so many of them.
%
God said it, I believe it and that's all there is to it.
%
God votes Republican.
%
	God wanted to have a holiday, so He asked St. Peter for suggestions on
where to go.
	"Why not go to Jupiter?" asked St. Peter.
	"No, too much gravity, too much stomping around," said God.
	"Well, how about Mercury?"
	"No, it's too hot there."
	"Okay," said St. Peter, "What about Earth?"
	"No," sighed God, "They're such horrible gossips.  When I was
there 2000 years ago, I had an affair with a Jewish woman, and they're
still talking about it."
%
God wants us to know that if we see a bumper sticker saying "Honk if you love
Jesus" it is a bad idea to honk to express an opinion about Jesus because it
will annoy the turkey who put the bumper sticker on as well as everyone else
in the vicinity.  However, it is just fine to honk to annoy the turkey simply
for being a turkey, for God told Man to be fruitful and multiply, and to rule
over the beasts of the field and the birds of the air, and that includes the
turkeys who buy such bumper stickers.  Of course, God understands that innocent
bystanders will also be annoyed, but He has wisely created traffic cops to
impose some constraint on how much we may annoy the turkeys within city limits,
for God's wisdom comprehends full well that thou shalt not make an omelette
without breaking eggs.  God only wishes they were turkey eggs, so such moral
dilemmas shall be fewer in number in the future, when the generations a-coming
(hallelujah) won't have so many turkeys to deal with.  But God knows full well
that such things take time, and the turkeys are showing more resilience than
expected, and may be with us for a long time yet.
%
He has been known by many names;  the Prince of Lies, the Director, Lucifer,
Belial, and once, at a party, some obnoxious drunk kept calling him "Dude".
		-- Stig's Inferno
%
Heaven and earth were created all together in the same instant, on October
23rd, 4004 B.C. at nine o'clock in the morning.
		-- Dr. John Lightfoot,
		Vice-chancellor of Cambridge University
%
History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion --
i.e., none to speak of.
		-- Lazarus Long
%
However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise.  There
is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs.
There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ,
or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being.  But like any
powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used
sparingly.  The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are
not using their religious clout with wisdom.  They are trying to force
government leaders into following their position 100 percent.  If you disagree
with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they
threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.  I'm frankly sick and
tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen
that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in "A," "B," "C," and
"D."  Just who do they think they are?  And from where do they presume to
claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?  And I am even more
angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group
who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll
call in the Senate.  I am warning them today:  I will fight them every step
of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans
in the name of "conservatism."
		-- Senator Barry Goldwater, Congressional Record
%
I am an atheist, thank God!
%
I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost
perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are
too venomous, too underhand, too underground and too petty -- I call it
the one immortal blemish of mankind.
		-- Fredrich Nietzsche
%
I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman
Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church,
nor by any Church that I know of.  My own mind is my own Church.
		-- Thomas Paine
%
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with
sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forego their use.
		-- Galileo Galilei
%
I don't care what star you're following, get that camel off my front lawn!
		-- Heard in Bethlehem
%
I figure that if God actually does exist, He's big enough to understand an
honest difference of opinion.
		-- Isaac Asimov
%
	"I think he said 'Blessed are the cheesemakers.'"
	"Nonsense, he was obviously referring to all manufacturers of dairy
products."
		-- The Life of Brian
%
"I'd like to start a new religion.  One that doesn't use a dead young
man as its logo."
		-- Bill Cain, "Stand Up Tragedy"
%
I'm a creationist; I refuse to believe that I could have evolved from man.
%
I'm an evolutionist; I refuse to believe that I could have been created by man.
%
If atheism is to be used to express the state of mind in which God is
identified with the unknowable, and theology is pronounced to be a
collection of meaningless words about unintelligible chimeras, then I
have no doubt, and I think few people doubt, that atheists are as
plentiful as blackberries.
		-- Leslie Stephen
%
If Christianity was morality, Socrates would be the Saviour.
		-- William Blake
%
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
		-- Voltaire, "Epitres, XCVI"
%
"If God had wanted us to use the metric system, Jesus would have had 10
apostles."
%
If God lived on Earth, people would knock out all His windows.
		-- Yiddish saying
%
If Jesus Christ came to this town, people would say, great guy; terrible
carpenter.
		-- Gene Kirkwood, on Hollywood
%
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
%
If one inquires why the American tradition is so strong against any connection
of State and Church, why it dreads even the rudiments of religious teaching
in state-maintained schools, the immediate and superficial answer is not
far to seek. ...  The cause lay largely in the diversity and vitality of the
various denominations, each fairly sure that, with a fair field and no favor,
it could make its own way; and each animated by a jealous fear that, if any
connection of State and Church were permitted, some rival denomination would
get an unfair advantage.
		-- John Dewey, "Democracy in the Schools", 1908
%
If the church put in half the time on covetousness that it does on lust,
this would be a better world.
		-- Garrison Keillor, "Lake Wobegon Days"
%
If the Lord God Almighty had consulted me before embarking upon the Creation,
I would have recommended something simpler.
		-- Alfonso the Wise, 13th Century King of Castile,
		   Commenting on the Almagest, by Ptolemy.
%
If you can believe ten impossible things before breakfast, then you
should join

		THE CHURCH OF COUNTERFACTUAL BELIEF

The Church of Counterfactual Belief has been set up to cater to all who
don't allow demonstrable truth to get in the way of their beliefs.  In
addition to creation science and the flatness of the earth, the
following beliefs have been certified by Pope Duane as Church dogma:

    --  That there is a hole in the Earth at the North Pole from which
        UFOs come.
    --  That pi equals precisely 3.000.
    --  That sex can be enjoyed only by blacks and homosexuals.
    --  That Billy Joe Wilson (Hoopla, Miss.) has successfully squared
        the circle.
    --  That Harry Truman is still president, and doing a fine job.
    --  That pi equals precisely 22/7.

Several other important counterfactual beliefs are presently being
studied, including Reaganomics, A.I., and that the moon landings were
done in a Hollywood special effects studio.  These will be the subject
of a forthcoming Papal Bull ...
%
If you don't count some of Jehovah's injunctions, there are no humorists
in the Bible.
		-- Mordecai Richler
%
If you liked the Earth you'll love Heaven.
%
Imagine there's no heaven... it's easy if you try.
		-- John Lennon, "Imagine"
%
"In Christianity neither morality nor religion come into contact with
reality at any point."
		-- Friedrich Nietzsche
%
In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.
		-- Thomas Jefferson
%
In regards to Oral Roberts' claim that God told him that he would die unless
he received $20 million by March, God's lawyers have stated that their client
has not spoken with Roberts for several years.  Off the record, God has stated
that "If I had wanted to ice the little toad, I would have done it a long time
ago."
		-- Dennis Miller, SNL News
%
	In the begining, God created the Earth and he said, "Let there be mud."
	And there was mud.
	And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud
can see what we have done."
	And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was
man.  Mud-as-man alone could speak.
	"What is the purpose of all this?" man asked politely.
	"Everything must have a purpose?" asked God.
	"Certainly," said man.
	"Then I leave it to you to think of one for all of this," said God.
	And He went away.
		-- Kurt Vonnegut, Between Time and Timbuktu"
%
"Is it just me, or does anyone else read `bible humpers' every time
someone writes `bible thumpers?'
		-- Joel M. Snyder, jms@mis.arizona.edu
%
It is convenient that there be gods, and, as it is convenient, let us
believe there are.
		-- Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid)
%
	It is either through the influence of narcotic potions, of which all
primitive peoples and races speak in hymns, or through the powerful approach
of spring, penetrating with joy all of nature, that those Dionysian stirrings
arise, which in their intensification lead the individual to forget himself
completely. ... Not only does the bond between man and man come to be forged
once again by the magic of the Dionysian rite, but alienated, hostile, or
subjugated nature again celebrates her reconciliation with her prodigal son,
man.
		-- Fred Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy
%
"It says he made us all to be just like him.  So if we're dumb, then
god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side."
		-- Frank Zappa
%
It seems that a rabbi, a priest and a minister decided to go fishing one
sunny afternoon.  All three climbed into the boat and headed for the middle
of the lake.  After several hours of relaxation, the minister decided that
"nature was calling", and climbed out of the boat and walked ashore.  In
a few moments, he walked back out to the boat and climbed back in.
	The rabbi was absolutely astonished, but decided not to mention
the apparent miracle.
	A few minutes later, the priest also decided to go ashore for a
moment, and climbed out of the boat, walked to shore, and a few minutes
later came back.
	By now the rabbi was in great distress and had begun to doubt his
beliefs and wonder if there might be some validity to the Christian
teachings.  But he immediately reaffirmed the fact that his faith WAS JUST
AS STRONG as either the priest's or the minister's and decided that anything
they could do, with God's help, he could do as well.
	The rabbi then announced that he needed relief and would walk to
shore.  He climbed out of the boat and went straight to the bottom of the
lake.  While the rabbi was thrashing about in the water, the priest turned to
the minister and said, "So... do you think we ought to tell him where the
rocks are?"
%
It seems that there was this Christian about to be thrown to the lions.  He
was shoved into the middle of the arena and the lion was released.  Being
a good Christian, as the lion approached he knelt and prayed, asking God for
forgiveness for his (few) sins, and begging that the lion might be dissuaded
from eating him for its breakfast.  Much to his dismay, the lion didn't stop
but kept coming, getting faster and faster, now almost running, so the
Christian took off too.  There they were, running around and around the arena,
the lion getting closer and the Christian praying harder and harder between
gasps for breath.  The lions breath was now hot upon his heels and he could
even feel droplets of the lions saliva splashing on his bare feet.  So he
pulled out all the stops, promising God that if the lion will only spare him,
he will devote the rest of his life to spreading the Christian faith,
forsaking all temptation and possessions.  Suddenly he no longer felt the
lions breath, no longer heard the great beast's snarls close behind him.
Slowing to a stop, he turned around and saw the lion on its knees, eyes rolled
upward, paws held together.  The lion appeared to be muttering something so
the Christian approached until he could make out what the lion was saying.

"Dear Lord, for what I am about to receive..."
%
... it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the
existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great
systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative
hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.
		-- Sidney Hook
%
Jehovah is an alien and still threatens this planet!
%
Jesus died for your sins.  Make it worth his time.
%
Jesus has just stopped the crowd from stoning Mary Magdalene to death
and is berating the self-pious with the famous speech, "Let the one
among you who is without sin cast the first stone..."
	Right about then, a rock comes winging through the air and hits
Jesus upside the head.  He whirls around and shouts "Alright, Mom, c'mon!
I'm trying to make a point, here!"
%
Jesus Never Fails

(He's never taken the Massachusetts Bar Exam, either.)
%
Jesus Saves!

(And Esposito scores on the rebound!)
%
Jesus Saves,
Moses Invests,
But only Buddha pays Dividends.
%
Jesus Saves,
Moses Invests,
But only Buddha pays Dividends.
%
"Jesus saves...but Gretzky gets the rebound!"
		-- Daniel Hinojosa
%
Jesus was killed by a Moral Majority.
%
John Paul II is famous for his touring, and his quaint habit of pressing
his lips to foreign soil on his arrival.  This sparked some wit to remark:
	"The Pope has it backwards: he kisses the ground, and walks on
the women!"
%
LET Jesus be YOUR anchor!

So when Satan rocks your boat, THROW Jesus overboard!
%
Little Herbie had been blind since birth.  One day at bedtime, his mother
told him that the next day was a very special one.  If he prayed extra
hard, he'd be able to see when he woke up the next morning.  The next
morning she came into Herbie's room and asked him if he'd prayed hard
the night before.
	"Yes, Mommie," was his reply, "all night long!"
	"Well, then," she said, "open your eyes and you'll know that
your prayers have been answered."
Little Herbie opened his eyes, only to cry out,
	"Mother! Mother! I still can't see!"
	"I know, dear," said his mother, "April Fool."
%
Man proposes, God disposes.
		-- Thomas `a Kempis
%
Many a long dispute between divines may thus be abridged: It is so.  It
is not so.  It is so.  It is not so.
		-- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanack"
%
Many a sober Christian would rather admit that a wafer is God than that God
is a cruel and capricious tyrant.
		-- Edward Gibbon
%
Militant agnostic: I don't know, and you don't either.
%
My daddy's brains was so scrambled he thought he was Jesus.  They put him
in a nut house for 5 years and when he got out, he didn't think he was
Jesus, he thought he was *God*! ... Which made me Jesus.
		-- T. Bywater
%
Newsflash:
	Apparently the rapture did occur last Tuesday as was originally
predicted.  All true believers were transported to heaven while the rest
of us were left behind to await the Anti-Christ and the end of the world.
	Widespread reports that the rapture had not occurred stemmed from
expectations that the effect would be more widespread than it turned out
to be.  The definition of "true believer" was apparently more restrictive
than expected, however, and the only qualifiers were a family of five,
living in Stenton, North Dakota.
%
"Not only is God dead, but just try to find a plumber on weekends."
		-- Woody Allen
%
Now it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-
bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some thinkers
have chosen to see it as a final and clinching proof of the non-existence
of God.  The argument follows:  "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God,
"for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing."  "But," says Man,
"the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it?  It could not have evolved
by chance, thus proving that you exist, therefore by your own arguements,
you don't.  QED."  "Oh, dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and
promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
		-- D. Adams
%
Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each
of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.

In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called
it "Christmas" and went to church; the Jews called it "Hanukka" and went to
synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank.  People passing each
other on the street would say "Merry Christmas!" or "Happy Hanukka!" or (to
the atheists) "Look out for the wall!"
		-- Dave Barry, "Christmas Shopping: A Survivor's Guide"
%
Once I belonged to a group that really had THE WORD.  I fought like hell
for them.  But another group came along and exposed the word of my group
as shallow and degenerate.  They had a better word.  So I quit the first
group and lost all the friends I had made and I joined up with this new
group.  I fought like hell for them.  But another group came around.  They
exposed the word of my group as false and materialistic.  Their word was
very much better.  So I quit the second group and lost all the friends I
had made.  And I joined up with this new group.  I fought like hell for them.
Till this one guy came along and proved that there wasn't any word at all.
That I should go off as an individual and grow!  So I quit the last group
and lost all the friends I had made.  And now I sit home alone all day and
all I do is grow.  It would be nice to join up with some others who feel
the way I do.
		-- J. Feiffer
%
One man's theology is another man's belly laugh.
%
One of my less pleasant chores when I was young was to read the Bible
from one end to the other.  Reading the Bible straight through is at
least 70 percent discipline, like learning Latin.  But the good parts
are, of course, simply amazing.  God is an extremely uneven writer, but
when He's good, nobody can touch Him.
		-- John Gardner, NYT Book Review, Jan 1983
%
One thing I have no worry about is whether God exists.  But it has
occurred to me that God has Alzheimer's and has forgotten we exist.
		-- Jane Wagner, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent
		   Life in the Universe"
%
One, with God, is always a majority, but many a martyr has been burned at
the stake while the votes were being counted.
		-- Thomas B. Reed
%
Pain is just God's way of hurting you.
%
Paster Crosstalk:	What items are specifically mentioned by GOD as being
	unclean?  Now did you know... preying birds... praying mantises...
	All birds of prey, all carrion eaters, fish eaters -- no good, can't
	eat those.  Nothing that does not have both fins and scales.  Most
	CREEPING things...
Alvarado:	How 'bout caterpillars?
P:	A caterpillar doesn't have a backbone.  Nothing without a backbone
	can get in.
A:	How do you know?  You char a caterpillar, it gets real stiff!
P:	Well, I don't think that the Lord meant us to eat CHARRED
	CATERPILLARS!
[...]
P:	The hog, the squirrel... little squirrels.  Who would want to eat
	a LITTLE SQUIRREL?
A:	If you're starving.  If you're starving in the park one day.
P:	You'd probably just CHAR 'em to get 'em stiff, wouldn't ya?
A:	No, you SINGE 'em.  You SINGE 'em and eat 'em.  *I* read about the
	Donner Pass, I know what man does when he's hungry.
P:	Squirrels eating squirrels -- my GOD, that's sick!
A:	That's sick, SURE.  But a MAN eating a squirrel -- that's (heh, heh)
	par for the course, Charlie.
		-- Firesign Theatre
%
Pope Goestheveezl was the shortest reigning pope in the history of the
Church, reigning for two hours and six minutes on 1 April 1866.  The
white smoke had hardly faded into the blue of the Vatican skies before it
dawned on the assembled multitudes in St. Peter's Square that his name
had hilarious possibilities.  The crowds fell about, helpless with
laughter, singing
	Half a pound of tuppenny rice
	Half a pound of treacle
	That's the way the chimney smokes
	Pope Goestheveezl
The square was finally cleared by armed carabineri with tears of laughter
streaming down their faces.  The event set a record for hilarious civic
functions, smashing the previous record set when Baron Hans Neizant
B"ompzidaize was elected Landburgher of K"oln in 1653.
		-- Mike Harding, "The Armchair Anarchist's Almanac"
%
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.
		-- Stephen Coonts, "The Minotaur"
%
Prisons are built with stones of Law, brothels with bricks of Religion.
		-- Blake
%
Religion has done love a great service by making it a sin.
		-- Anatole France
%
Religion is a crutch, but that's okay... humanity is a cripple.
%
Religion is fine, Churchianity sucks.
%
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
		-- Napoleon
%
Religions revolve madly around sexual questions.
%
Seems like these four rabbis had a series of theological arguments, and three
were always in accord against the fourth.  One day, the odd rabbi out, with
the usual "3 to 1, majority rules" statement that signified that he had lost
again, decided to appeal to a higher authority.  "Oh, God!" he cried.  "I
know in my heart that I am right and they are wrong!  Please show me a sign,
so they too will know that I understand Your laws."
	It was a beautiful, sunny day.  As soon as the rabbi finished his
plaint, a storm cloud moved across the sky above the four.  It rumbled once
and dissolved.  "A sign from God!  See, I'm right, I knew it!"  But the other
three disagreed, pointing out that stormclouds form on hot days.
	So he asked again: "Oh, God, I need a bigger sign to show that I am
right and they are wrong.  So please, God, a bigger sign."
	This time four stormclouds appeared, rushed toward each other to form
one big cloud, and a bolt of lightning knocked down a tree ten feet away from
the rabbis.  The cloud dispersed at once.  "I told you I was right!" insisted
the loner, but the others insisted that nothing had happened that could not
be explained by natural causes.
	The insisting rabbi is all ready to ask for a *very big* sign when
just as he says "Oh God..." the sky turns pitch black, the earth shakes, and
a deep, booming voice intones, "HEEEEEEEE'S RIIIIIIIGHT!"
	The sky returns to normal.  The one rabbi puts his hands on his hips
and snarls, "Well?"  "Okay, okayyyy," replied another, "so now it's 3 to 2!"
%
Seems like this farmer purchased an old, run-down, abandoned farm with plans
to turn it into a thriving enterprise.  The fields are grown over with weeds,
the farmhouse is falling apart, and the fences are collapsing all around.
During his first day of work, the town preacher stops by to bless the man's
work, praying, "May you and God work together to make this the farm of your
dreams!"
	A few months later, the preacher stops by again to call on the farmer.
Lo and behold, it's like a completely different place -- the farm house is
completely rebuilt and in excellent condition, there is plenty of cattle and
other livestock happily munching on feed in well-fenced pens, and the fields
are filled with crops planted in neat rows.  "Amazing!" the preacher says.
"Look what God and you have accomplished together!"
	"Yes, reverend," replies the farmer, "but remember what the farm was
like when God was working it alone!"
%
She say, Miss Colie, You better hush.  God might hear you.  Let 'im hear me,
I say.  If he ever listened to poor colored women the world would be a
different place, I can tell you.
		-- Alice Walker, "The Color Purple"
%
Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer.
	[If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.]
		-- Voltaire
%
Sixtus V, Pope from 1585 to 1590 authorized a printing of the Vulgate
Bible.  Taking no chances, the pope issued a papal bull automatically
excommunicating any printer who might make an alteration in the text.
This he ordered printed at the beginning of the Bible.  He personally
examined every sheet as it came off the press.  Yet the published
Vulgate Bible contained so many errors that corrected scraps had to be
printed and pasted over them in every copy.  The result provoked wry
comments on the rather patchy papal infallibility, and Pope Sixtus had
no recourse but to order the return and destruction of every copy.
%
Smile, Cthulhu Loathes You.
%
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of
intelligence.
		-- Bertrand Russell
%
So, if there's no God, who changes the water?
		-- New Yorker cartoon of two goldfish in a bowl
%
So, what's with this guy Gideon, anyway?  And why can't he ever remember
his Bible?
%
So... how come the Corinthians never wrote back?
%
Some people seem to think that "damn" is God's last name.
%
Some things have to be believed to be seen.
%
Such evil deeds could religion prompt.
		-- Titus Lucretius Carus
%
Sure banking is Biblical!

How about when Onan received a substantial penalty for early withdrawal?
Or when Pharaoh's daughter went into the bulrushes and came out with a
little prophet?  And it was Moses who led the Children of Israel to the
Banks of the Jordan!
%
Taoism: Shit Happens.
Confucianism: Confucious say, "Shit Happens".
Buddhism: If shit happens, it isn't really shit.
Hinduism: This shit has happened before.
Protestantism: Shit happens, but it happens to someone else.
Catholicism: Shit happens, but you deserved it.
Judaism: Why does shit always happen to US?
%
Termiter's argument that God is His own grandmother generated a surprising
amount of controversy among Church leaders, who on the one hand considered
the argument unsupported by scripture but on the other hand were unwilling
to risk offending God's grandmother.
		-- Len Cool, "American Pie"
%
Tertullian was born in Carthage somewhere about 160 A.D.  He was a pagan,
and he abandoned himself to the lascivious life of his city until about
his 35th year, when he became a Christian. [...]  To him is ascribed the
sublime confession: Credo quia absurdum est (I believe because it is absurd).
This does not altogether accord with historical fact, for he merely said:
	"And the Son of God died, which is immediately credible because it
	is absurd.  And buried he rose again, which is certain because it
	is impossible."
Thanks to the acuteness of his mind, he saw through the poverty of
philosophical and Gnostic knowledge, and contemptuously rejected it.
		-- C. G. Jung, "Psychological Types"
	[Tertullian was one of the founders of the Catholic Church.  Ed.]
%
"That's no answer," Job said, "And for someone who's supposed to be
omnipotent, let me tell you 'tabernacle' has only one l."
		-- Woody Allen, "Without Feathers"
%
The Bible is not my Book and Christianity is not my religion.  I could
never give assent to the long complicated statements of Christian dogma.
		-- Abraham Lincoln
%
The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity;
the active virtues of society were discouraged; and the last remains of a
military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and
private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion;
and the soldiers' pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes
who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity.
		-- Edward Gibbons, "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"
%
The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being
as his Father, in the womb of a virgin will be classified with the fable of
the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.  But we may hope that the
dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with
this artificial scaffolding and restore to us the primitive and genuine
doctrines of this most venerated Reformer of human errors.
		-- Thomas Jefferson
%
	The devout Jew was beside himself because his son had been dating
a shiksa, so he went to visit his rabbi.  The rabbi listened solemnly to
his problem, took his hand, and said, "Pray to God."
	So the Jew went to the synagogue, bowed his head, and prayed, "God,
please help me.  My son, my favorite son, he's going to marry a shiksa, he
sees nothing but goyim..."
	"Your son," boomed down this voice from the heavens, "you think
you got problems.  What about my son?"
%
The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity.  Nowhere in
the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines,
and whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity.
		-- John Adams
%
"The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly
teaches me to suspect that my own is also."

"I would not interfere with any one's religion, either to strengthen it
or to weaken it.  I am not able to believe one's religion can affect his
hereafter one way or the other, no matter what that religion may be.
But it may easily be a great comfort to him in this life -- hence it is a
valuable posession to him."

"I do not see how eternal punishment hereafter could accomplish any good
end, therefore I am not able to believe in it. To chasten a man in order
to perfect him might be reasonable enough; to annihilate him when he shall
have proved himself incapable of reaching perfection mught be reasonable
enough; but to roast him forever for the mere satisfaction of seeing him
roast would not be reasonable -- even the atrocious God imagined by the Jews
would tire of the spectacle eventually."
		-- Mark Twain
%
The ecumenical movement has reached a milestone with the agreement on the
text of the first Jewish-Catholic prayer -- one that begins "Oy vay, Maria".
%
... The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost would never throw the Devil
out of Heaven as long as they still need him as a fourth for bridge.
		-- Letter in NEW LIBERTARIAN NOTES #19
%
The first and almost the only Book deserving of universal attention is
the Bible.
		-- John Quincy Adams

All the good from the Saviour of the world is communicated through this Book;
but for the Book we could not know right from wrong.  All the things desirable
to man are contained in it.
		-- Abraham Lincoln

... the Bible ... is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of
life, the nature of God and spirtual nature and need of men.  It is the only
guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation.
		-- Woodrow Wilson
%
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty
prophecies.  The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant
with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.
		-- St. Augustine
%
The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists.
That is why they invented hell.
		-- Bertrand Russell
%
The Israelites were all waiting anxiously at the foot of the mountain,
knowing that Moses had had a tough day negotiating with God over the
Commandments.  Finally a tired Moses came into sight.
	"I've got some good news and some bad news, folks," he said.  "The
good news is that I got Him down to ten.  The bad news is that adultery's
still in."
%
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Indian Giver be the name of the Lord.
%
The Messiah will come.  There will be a resurrection of the dead -- all
the things that Jews believed in before they got so damn sophisticated.
		-- Rabbi Meir Kahane
%
The Most Unsuccessful Version Of The Bible
	The most exciting version of the Bible was printed in 1631 by Robert
Barker and Martin Lucas, the King's printers at London.  It contained
several mistakes, but one was inspired -- the word "not" was omitted from
the Seventh Commandment and enjoined its readers, on the highest authority,
to commit adultery.
	Fearing the popularity with which this might be received in remote
country districts, King Charles I called all 1,000 copies back in and fined
the printers L3,000.
		-- Stephen Pile, "The Book of Heroic Failures"
%
The nearer to the church, the further from God.
		-- John Heywood
%
The new priest was so nervous about performing his first mass that he could
hardly speak.  He asked his Monsignor how he could relax.  The Monsignor
replied that it might help relax him to add just a bit of vodka to the water
pitcher.  The next Sunday, after following the Monsignor's advice, the priest
returned to the rectory to find a note from that worthy.

	(1) Next time sip rather than gulp.
	(2) There are ten commandments, not 12.
	(3) There are 12 disciples, not 10.
	(4) We do not refer to the cross as the "Big T".
	(5) The recommended grace before meals is not,
		"Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, Yaaaay, God!"
	(6) Do not refer to our Saviour, Jesus Christ, and his
		Apostles as "J.C. and the Boys".
	(7) David slew Goliath, he did not kick the shit out of him.
	(8) The Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are never referred
		to as, "Big Daddy, Junior, and the Spook".
	(9) It is always the Virgin Mary, never The Mary with the Cherry.
	(10) Last, but not least, next Wednesday there will be a
		Taffy-Pulling Contest at St.Peter's, not a Peter-Pulling
		Contest at St. Taffy's.
%
The only excuse for God is that he doesn't exist.
		-- Stendhal
%
The only thing that stops God from sending a second Flood is that
the first one was useless.
		-- Nicolas Chamfort
%
The priest at Sunday mass noticed that Michael took a ten-dollar bill and two
one-dollar bills from the collection plate, instead of putting something in.
He thought to himself, I'd better watch out for Michael.  The next week he
noticed the same thing.  So he waited outside church when mass was over, and
as Michael came out, he accosted his and said,
	"Michael, tell me -- why did you take out a ten-dollar bill and two
singles two weeks in a row, instead of putting money into the collection?"
	Michael replied, "Father, I'm embarrassed, but I did it because I
wanted to go downtown for a blow job."
	The priest looked suprised but said to Michael, "Listen, don't do
that anymore.  I'll be watching you from now on."
	When he got back to the rectory, the priest was still perplexed.
Finally he decided to call Mother Agatha at the convent.  He said, "Mother,
you've been such a great friend of mine, I have a question I need to ask you.
What is a blow job?"
	Mother Agatha replied, "Oh, twelve dollars, same as downtown."
%
The reason Roman Catholics are allowed to use the rhythm method of birth
control is that it doesn't work.
%
The somewhat old and crusty vicar was taking a well-earned retirement from
his rather old and crusty parish.  As is usual in these cases, a locum was
sent to cover the transition period.  This particular man was young and
active, and had the strange notion that church should also be active and
exciting.  As a consequence he was more than a little dissapointed with the
dull and tradition-bound church.  He decided to do something about it.
	For his first Sunday, he didn't wear the traditional robes and
vestments, but lead the service wearing a nice 2-piece suit.  The congregation
was horrified!  He changed the order of the service.  The congregation was
horrified!  Then came the children's lesson.
	For this he came out of the pulpit, and sat on the communion table.
The congregation was mortified!  He sat there swinging his legs against
the table as the children gathered around him.
	He asked the children, "What's small, brown, furry and eats nuts?"
	There was total silence.
	He asked again, "What's small, brown, furry and eats nuts?"
	Total silence.
	Eventually, one timid youngster put up his hand and said, "Please,
sir, I know the answer is Jesus, but it sure sounds like a squirrel to me."
%
The Unitarians are really just a bunch of atheists who really like going to
church.
%
The Utah version of this joke goes:
	One of the Council of the Twelve runs breathlessly into the Presidents'
office one day.  The President looks up and says "Brother, what is so important
that you ran all the way here, losing your breath?"
	The Council member finally regains his breath, and says "The Savior is
in the lobby!!"
	The President immediate starts for the door, crying "It has come!  The
prophecies are fullfilled!  We are all about to be uplifted!"
	The Council member says "Wait!  You didn't let me finish!  She's...
black, and SHE IS PISSED!"
%
The wages of sin are high -- unless you know someone who does it for nothing.
%
The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence
from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.
		-- Havelock Ellis
%
Theology is an attempt to explain a subject by men who do not understand
it.  The intent is not to tell the truth but to satisfy the questioner.
		-- Elbert Hubbard
%
There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence
of a "hottest part" implies a temperature difference, and any marginally
competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make
some other part of hell comfortably cool.  This is obviously impossible.
		-- Richard Davisson
%
"There is a God, but He drinks"
		-- Blore
%
There is a limit to the admiration we may hold for a man who spends
his waking hours poking the contents of chickens with a stick.
		-- Tom Robbins, "Jitterbug Perfume"
%
There is no ox so dumb as the orthodox.
		-- George Francis Gillette
%
This story concerns a man who, after putting his son to bed each night, would
stand by his boy's door and listen to his son saying his prayers.  One night,
the boy ended his prayers with, "God specially bless Granddad, who won't be
with us much longer."  The man thought this was rather curious, but passed it
off as childish whimsy.  The next day, however, he received a call from his
mother, informing him that his father had passed away early that morning.
During the next few weeks, he listened particularly closely to his son's
prayers, but noticed nothing unusual.  Then, one night, the boy ended his
prayers with, "God specially bless Grandmom, who won't be with us much longer."
Although the shock of the original incident had worn off during the intervening
weeks, he nontheless phoned his mother to inquire as to her health.  He went to
bed reassured, only to be awakened in the night by his sister calling with the
news that their mother had died suddenly in the night.  The father had a series
of psychological tests done; nothing unusual was uncovered.  About a month
later, the boy ended his prayers with, "God specially bless Daddy, who won't
be with us much longer."  The man was panic-stricken, certain that he was
going to die during the night.  He resolved to stay awake all night; if awake
and alert he should be able to prevent any tragedy.  Morning came.  Breathing
a huge sigh of relief, he went to get the paper off the porch.  There, lying
dead on the doorstep, was the milkman.
%
To be patriotic, hate all nations but your own; to be religious, all sects
but your own; to be moral, all pretenses but your own.
		-- Lionel Strachey
%
To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs.
		-- Sri Aurobindo
%
TO THOSE OF YOU WHO DESIRE IT, I GRANT YOU MADRAK'S BLESSING:

	Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care
what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you
may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness.
	Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else be required
to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the
destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted
or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your
receving said benefit.
	I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between
yourself and that which may have an interest in the matter of your receving
as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may
in some way be influenced by this ceremony.
	Amen.
		-- Roger Zelazny, "Creatures of Light and Darkness"
%
"To YOU I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the Loyal Opposition."
		-- Woody Allen
%
Unitarians pray "To whom it may concern".
%
Vatican upholds ban on contraceptives: "To heir is humane," claims the Pope.
%
We ... make the modern error of dignifying the Individual.  We do everything
we can to butter him up.  We give him a name, assure him that he has certain
inalienable rights, educate him, let him pass on his name to his brats and
when he dies we give him a special hole in the ground ... But after all, he's
only  a seed, a bloom and a withering stalk among pressing billions.  Your
Individual is a pretty disgusting, vain, lewd little bastard ... By God,
he has only one right guaranteed him in Nature, and that is the right to die
and stink to Heaven.
		-- Ross Lockridge, quoted in "Short Lives" by Katinka Matson
%
We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should govern
their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the center of
their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major prohpet, nor
Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual concerns, to say
nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get Christians to agree among
themselves about their relationship to God.  But all will agree on a
proposition that they possess profound spiritual resources.  If, in addition,
we can get them to accept the further proposition that whatever form the Deity
may have in their own theology, the Deity is not only external, but internal
and acts through them, and they themselves give proof or disproof of the
Deity in what they do and think; if this further proposition can be accepted,
then we come that much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.
		-- Norman Cousins, from his book "Human Options"
%
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to
the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his
children smart.
		-- H. L. Mencken, "Minority Report"
%
"Well, we've come full circle, Lord; I'd like to think there's some
higher meaning to all this.  It would certainly reflect well on you."
%
Well, you see there was this neighborhood that had a priest, a minister, and
a rabbi who lived near each other.  One summer afternoon the priest went out
and bought himself a new car, and the minister and rabbi, not to be outdone,
did the same.
	The next day the priest went out and blessed his car.  The minister
hired a crane and baptized his car in a swimming pool.  The rabbi, after
thinking seriously for a bit, got a hacksaw and cut three inches off the end
of the tail pipe.
%
	"What are you doing?"
	"Examining the world's major religions.  I'm looking for something
that's light on morals, has lots of holidays, and with a short initiation
period."
%
What good is having someone who can walk on water if you don't follow
in his footsteps?
%
What if there had been room at the inn?
		-- Linda Festa on the origins of Christianity
%
What is good?  Everything that heightens the feeling of power in man, the
will to power, power itself.  What is bad?  Everything that is born of
weakness.  Not contentedness but more power; not peace but war; not virtue
but fitness.  The weak and the failures shall perish: first principle of
our love of man.  And they shall even be given every possible assistance.
What is more harmful than any vice?  Active pity for all the failures and
all the weak: Christianity.
		-- Friedrich Nietzsche
%
	"What the hell are you getting so upset about?  I thought you didn't
believe in God."
	"I don't," she sobbed, bursting violently into tears, "but the God I
don't believe in is a good God, a just God, a merciful God.  He's not the
mean and stupid God you make Him out to be."
		-- Joseph Heller, "Catch-22"
%
When Cthulhu calls, He calls collect!
%
When somebody protested at [Pope Alexander VI's] wholesale distribution of
pardons for the most heinous crimes -- one of which included the murder of
a daughter by the father -- he retorted easily, "It is not God's will that
a sinner should die, but that he should live -- and pay."
		-- E. R. Chamberlin, "The Bad Popes"

Judas sold Christ for 30 denari, this man [Pope Alexander VI] would sell
him for 29.
		-- Ottaviano Ubaldini, chamberlain to Pope Alexander VI
%
Why attack God?  He may be as miserable as we are.
		-- Erik Satie
%
Why I am an atheist:

1. Atheists do not believe in higher powers.
2. God is the highest power.
3. Therefore, God must be an atheist.
4. We should all strive to be like God.
5. We should all be atheists.
%
Why, when no honest man will deny in private that every ultimate problem is
wrapped in the profoundest mystery, do honest men proclaim in pulpits that
unhesitating certainty is the duty of the most foolish and ignorant?  Is it
not a spectacle to make the angels laugh?  We are a company of ignorant
beings, feeling our way through mists and darkness, learning only be
incessantly repeated blunders, obtaining a glimmering of truth by falling
into every conceivable error, dimly discerning light enough for our daily
needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt to describe the ultimate
origin or end of our paths; and yet, when one of us ventures to declare that
we don't know the map of the universe as well as the map of our infintesimal
parish, he is hooted, reviled, and perhaps told that he will be damned to all
eternity for his faithlessness.
		-- Leslie Stephen, "An Agnostic's Apology",
		   Fortnightly Review, 1876
%
Yeah, God is dead, he laughed himself to death.
%
	"You little (such a one who, while wearing a copper nose ring,
stands in a footbath atop Mount Raruaruaha during a heavy thunderstorm and
shouts that Alohura, Goddess of Lightning, has the facial features of a
diseased uloruaha root)!"
		-- Terry Pratchett, "The Colour of Magic"
%
Your chances of getting hit by lightning go up if you stand under a tree,
shake your fist at the sky, and say, "Storms suck!"
		-- Johnny Carson
%
Cold is God's way of teling us to burn more Catholics.
		-- Lady Whiteadder, "Blackadder II"
%
"It don't matter, Sail, ... Could be worse.  The fam'ly might be
donatin' the proceeds to the Cath'lic Church, or the Mormons or
somethin'.  One cult's the same another."
		-- Lula Pace Ripley, "Consuelo's Kiss"
%
"I don't know whether God exists or not, but it makes no difference to me."
"It's not like He's passing out free money or anything."
		-- Townsperson in Estard, Dragon Warrior VII
%
"I've recently noticed "as if for the first time" that when people pray
they always look "upward" -- i.e. perpendicular to whatever place they're
standing -- or kneeling or groveling. I deduce that they conceive of their
"god" as topologically isomorphic to a huge donut, about a thousand miles
wider than Earth."
		-- Robert Anton Wilson
%