The most fanatical, the cruelest political struggles are those that have been colored, inspired, and legitimatized by religion.
                       Hans Kung, in his book Christianity and the World Religions

"I don't want to claim that God is on our side.  As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side."
     — 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry

    "...[I]t is not the province of this Government to be a patron of any particular form of religion, but recognizing the place of religion in establishing morale in the citizen and the soldier, it is the duty of the Government to encourage any religion that inspires reverence for God and makes for morality."— William D. Upshaw, our 1932 candidate for President.

“The government of the United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian religion.”
— (First) Treaty of Tripoli, 1797 (8 US at L 154)

“The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine.”
— George Washington

(The story about Washington praying alone at Valley Forge, during the winter of----, was invented by social reformer "Parson" Weems; Weems also was the source of the fable about Washington and the cherry tree. [Skeptical Enquirer magazine, _____])

"Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions,may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other Sects?” — James Madison, "Memorial and Remonstrance,” 1785.

“The number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of church and state."— James Madison, 2 March 1819.

    “That liberal catholic and equitable way of thinking as to the rights of Conscience, which is one of the Characteristics of a free people and so strongly marks the people of your province is but little known amaong the Zealous adherents to our Hierarchy.... You are happy in dwelling in a Land where those inestimable privileges are fully enjoyed and public has long felt the good effects of their religious as well as Civil Liberty. Foreigners have been encouraged to settle among you. Industry and Virtue have been promoted by mutual emulation and mutual Inspection, Commerce and the Arts have flourished and I can not help attributing those continual exertions of Gen[i]us which appear amoung you to the inspiration of Liberty and that love of Fame and Knowledge which always accompany it. Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and un[s]uits it for every noble enterprise every expanded prospect.”
James Madison, writing to William Bradford, 1 April 1774; "The Papers of James Madison" 1:111-113, R.A. Rutland and W.M.E. Rachael, et al. eds, 1962

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God; that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship; that the legislative powers of the government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” — Thomas Jefferson, writing to the Danbury Baptist Association on 1 January 1802.

“The search for truth is more precious than its possession.” — Gotthold Ephriam Lessing

“A crime perpetrated in the name of religion is the greatest crime against religion”.
Appeal of Conscience Foundation

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another”—Jonathan Swift

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.”—Blaise Pascal, theologian

“The organization or society that has smothered heretics has always declined.”
— Judge Learned Hand

I was forced to bathe as a child.
People who bathe are hypocrites; they bathe and go right out and get dirty again.
People who use soap turn up their noses at people who don't.
I used to bathe, but it became boring.
I always bathe on Christmas, Mothers' Day, and Easter.
None of my friends bathe.
The manager of the supermarket soap section never comes to call.
I'll begin bathing when I'm older.
The bathroom's not warm enough.
Soap manufacturers are always after money.


Travelling through Texas, the Bostonian stepped into an Austin saloon for refreshment.  He saw a nativity scene rendered on black velvet hanging behind the bar, and remarked, "A fine painting, but I must ask, why are the wise men each wearing a fire helmet?"  "Oh, yeah, well...." the bartender replied.  "It's in the Bible, says right in there that the wise men came from afar."

Fire Alarm

During a recent ecumenical gathering a secretary rushed in shouting "The building is on fire!"

The METHODISTS gathered in a corner and prayed.
The BAPTISTS cried "Where is the water?"
The QUAKERS quietly praised God for the blessings that fire brings.
The LUTHERANS posted a notice on the door declaring the fire was evil.
The CATHOLICS passed the plate to cover the damage.
The JEWS posted symbols on the doors hoping the fire would pass.
The CONGREGATIONALISTS shouted "Every man for himself!
The FUNDAMENTALISTS proclaimed "It is the vengeance of God!
The EPISCOPALIANS formed a procession and marched out.
The CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS concluded that there was no fire.
The PRESBYTERIANS appointed a chairperson, who was to appoint a
committee, which was to look into the matter and submit a written report.

The PENTECOSTALS shouted that the fire was a warning from God.
The TELEVANGELISTS declared that the fire was in retribution for the sins of
the church.
The MUSLIMS vowed that the fire was a declaration of Holy War.
The SECRETARY grabbed the fire extinguisher and put out the fire.