A collection of quips from the famous, the infamous, and the anonymous.
Arranged alphabetically, for your maximum jarring experience.

PLEASE NOTE: Acquisition of bon mots for the Quote Collection does not imply the Palace’s 100% agreement with or endorsement of any content, organization or individual: some very shitty people have said some seriously great things.


ltraThe abominable laws respecting [women in the Bible] . . . are a disgrace to civilization and English literature; and any family which permits such a volume to lie on their parlor-table ought to be ostracized from all respectable society. –Ella E. Gibson, 19th century American badass

Abortion is a blessing. –Anne Nicol Gaylor

Absent some countervailing pressure from what we’ll call, for short, the Left, it’s a foregone conclusion that the political system will evolve in a way that responds to the desires of the wealthy and powerful. Over time, the Democratic Party has assumed the role of ensuring that the countervailing pressure from the Left doesn’t happen. The party contains and neutralizes the Left, or what there is of it. Left voters are supposed to support the Democrat, come what may — and it’s amazing how many of us have internalized this supposed obligation — but they are not allowed to have any influence on the party’s policies. –Michael J. Smith

Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate. –Bertrand Russell

After coming into contact with a religious man, I always feel I must wash my hands. –Friedrich Nietzsche

The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life. –Robert Browning

All of the personality disorders have an inherent tendency to live in the past, or in fantasy, with too little input from the here and now. This produces a characteristic infantile quality in these individuals. (Kantor, 1992, p. 36)

All religions issue bibles again Satan, and say the most injurious things against him, but we never hear his side. –Mark Twain

A lot of times, the simple answer to the specious question, “Why would he do something like that?” is, horribly, “Because he can.” –Melissa McEwan

Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made. –Former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, May 2013

The amazing thing is that every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements —the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution— weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way they could get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today. –Lawrence Krauss

America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

The American People will take Socialism, but they won’t take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to “End Poverty in California” I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them. –Upton Sinclair (1951)

America’s political landscape is infested with many zombie ideas — beliefs about policy that have been repeatedly refuted with evidence and analysis but refuse to die. The most prominent zombie is the insistence that low taxes on rich people are the key to prosperity. –Paul Krugman

Among human beings, the subjection of women is much more complete at a certain level of civilization than it is among savages. And the subjection is always reinforced by morality. –Bertrand Russell

Another friend began to say, “Well, Quentin has a problem of adjusting himself to society and he…” This sentence was never finished. The ballet teacher expostulated, “I don’t agree. Quentin does exactly as he pleases. The rest of us have to adapt ourselves to him.” –Quentin Crisp

[A]nybody who knows politicians knows that they never do anything because of principle. The more honest among them may occasionally decline to do something because of principle; but no politician will walk up to the altar and sacrifice himself by taking an initiative on principle. People who have that kind of personality get weeded out of electoral politics very early in the game. –Michael J. Smith

Anyone who thinks that the best approach to changing the public mind about a topic is a quiet, analytical debate really needs to lean out the window of his ivory tower and look into how marketing and politics actually work. –Naked Bunny with a Whip

Any place where churches outnumber bars and bookstores has too damn many churches. –PZ Myers

Any set of values that limits the potential of half the population, that reduces the health and happiness of one gender, or race, or class, is empirically detrimental to the long-term viability of the whole. –PZ Myers

The arts put man at the center of the universe, whether he belongs there or not. Military science, on the other hand, treats man as garbage — and his children, and his cities, too. Military science is probably right about the contemptibility of man in the vastness of the universe. Still — I deny that contemptibility, and I beg you to deny it, through the creation and appreciation of art. –Kurt Vonnegut

As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. –H.L. Mencken [Note: that day was January 20, 2001. -Ed.]

[A]s for helping me in the outside world, the convent taught me only that if you spit on a pencil eraser it will erase ink. And I remember the smell of oilcloth, the smell of nuns’ garb. I was fired from there, finally, for a lot of things, among them my insistence that the Immaculate Conception was spontaneous combustion. –Dorothy Parker

As for why my sorry a** isn’t in the kill zone, lots of people think this is a searingly pertinent question. No answer I could give — I’m 35 years old, my family couldn’t afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry, are a few — ever seem to suffice. –Iraq War cheerleader Jonah Goldberg.

As has been said before, we are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.  – Richard Dawkins

As is your sort of mind,
So is your sort of search:
You will find what you desire.
Robert Browning

As it happens, no atheist should call himself or herself one. The term already sells a pass to theists, because it invites debate on their ground. A more appropriate term is “naturalist”, denoting one who takes it that the universe is a natural realm, governed by nature’s laws. This properly implies that there is nothing supernatural in the universe – no fairies or goblins, angels, demons, gods or goddesses. Such might as well call themselves “a-fairyists” or “a-goblinists” as “atheists”; it would be every bit as meaningful or meaningless to do so. –AC Grayling

As I’ve always said, combining prayer with medical treatment and insisting they share the glory when a patient recovers is like asserting that it’s singing in the shower that makes a person clean. –JT Eberhard

Ask yourself, if there was to be no blame, and if there was to be no praise, who would I be then? –Quentin Crisp

As long as one dissident is in prison, our freedom will not be true. As long as one child is hungry, our lives will be filled with anguish and shame. What all these victims need above all is to know that they are not alone; that we are not forgetting them, that when their voices are stifled we shall lend them ours, that while their freedom depends on ours, the quality of our freedom depends on theirs. –Elie Wiesel

As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality. –George Washington, first President of the United States, commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and Founding Father.

As near as I can tell, the modern Republican Party seems to be an alliance between the evil and the stupid. It is a formidable alliance. The stupid provide the numbers, while the evil provide the “moral flexibility”. –a_ray_in_dilbert_space, OM

As soon as we abandon our own reason, and are content to rely upon authority, there is no end to our troubles. –Bertrand Russell

As always with any discussion of elite immunity, it’s crucial to note that what makes this development such a particularly warped travesty is that the very same elites who enjoy this immunity have created the world’s largest, and the Western world’s most oppressive and merciless, penal state for ordinary citizens. –Glenn Greenwald

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can. –Frida Kahlo

Atheism is the vice of a few intelligent people. –Voltaire

An Atheist knows that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An Atheist knows that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An Atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. –Madalyn Murray O’Hair

Atheists in general don’t commit atrocities, and the examples they provide that do are in good company with many of the religious who do so as well. Lack of faith does not cause atrocities; faith does not prevent them. –sandlin.john

At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt. -John McCain, responding to his wife Cindy commenting that his hair was thinning, as reported by three Arizona reporters on the campaign trail in 1992.  [Via The G Spot.]

The average man, who does not know what to do with his life, wants another one which will last forever. –Anatole France

ltrbA Bacon Cheeseburger is a greater assault on religion than same sex marriage. –Avicenna

Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.” … But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

Being oppressed means the absence of choices. –bell hooks

Belonging to the Catholic Church gives your support to an organization that conceals and protects child rapists. Again, not as a few isolated incidents, but as a massive, institution-wide culture, a matter of policy even, that extends throughout the organization and reaches all the way to the top. Belonging to the Catholic Church — giving them money, letting them count you in their rolls, sending your children to their schools — gives this behavior your personal thumbs-up, and actively enables it to continue. –Greta Christina

The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy. –Friedrich Nietzsche

The biggest threat to America today is not communism. It’s moving America toward a fascist theocracy, and everything that’s happened during the Reagan administration is steering us right down that pipe. –Frank Zappa

[A] big part of the problem is the way the Democratic Party soaks up the energies of people who might otherwise be part of the environmental movement, or the anti-war movement, or the anti-globalization movement, or a band of hardy urban guerrillas spray-painting the lenses of surveillance cameras. (I strongly approve of this kind of thing but I’m a little old for it myself.) –Michael J. Smith

[T]he blossom of benevolence, of charity, is the fairest flower, no matter whether it blooms by the side of a hovel, or bursts from a vine climbing the marble pillar of a palace. I respect no man because he is rich; I hold in contempt no man because he is poor. –Robert Green Ingersoll

Books and opinions, no matter from whom they came, if they are in opposition to human rights, are nothing but dead letters. –Ernestine Rose

Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion. Both have implacable faith that they are right and the other is evil. Each believes that when he dies he is going to heaven. Each believes that if he could kill the other, his path to paradise in the next world would be even swifter. The delusional “next world” is welcome to both of them. This world would be a much better place without either of them. –Richard Dawkins

But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies. –Sarah Palin

But yours the cold heart, and the murderous tongue,
The wintry soul that hates to hear a song,
The close-shut fist, the mean and measuring eye,
And all the little poisoned ways of wrong.
Omar Khayyam

By all means, everyone, do what it takes to find your cozy place inside the margins. But don’t be surprised when those of us on the outside shoot you a middle finger instead of applauding. –ohtarzie

ltrcCapitalism is fascism plus murder. –Upton Sinclair (1944)

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathy with despised and persecuted ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences. –Susan B. Anthony.

[C]apitalism at its most ruthless is a manifestation of psychopathy. –Jon Ronson

Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. –Antonin Scalia

Children brought up in a dark box learn to live in a dark box. Children brought up in the light learn to illuminate the world. –PZ Myers

[Christianity] has reinvented itself so often, and with such breathtaking hypocrisy, in the interests of retaining its hold on the gullible, that a medieval monk who woke today, like Woody Allen’s Sleeper, would not be able to recognise the faith that bears the same name as his own. –AC Grayling

Christianity persecuted, tortured, and burned. Like a hound it tracked the very scent of heresy. It kindled wars, and nursed furious hatreds and ambitions. It sanctified, quite like Mohammedanism, extermination and tyranny. –George Santayana

The Christian resolution to find the world ugly and bad has made the world ugly and bad. –Friedrich Nietzshe

Christians talk as though goodness was their idea but good behavior doesn’t have any religious origin. Our prisons are filled with the devout. –Andy Rooney

The church has always been willing to swap off treasures in heaven for cash down. –Robert Green Ingersoll

The church says the earth is flat, but I know that it is round, for I have seen the shadow on the moon, and I have more faith in a shadow than in the church. –Ferdinand Magellan

The clergy, no less than the capitalist class, lives on the backs of the people, profits from the degradation, the ignorance and the oppression of the people. –Rosa Luxemburg

Clever tyrants are never punished. –Voltaire

Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving. –Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Communism doesn’t work because people like to own stuff. –Frank Zappa, musician

Conservatives lie when they say they are for families, liberty, and religious freedom. What they really mean is that they want to control others’ families, take away others’ liberties, and foist their religion onto others. Religious freedom means that I can be free of the murderous fraud known as Christianity just as others are free to uncritically support it. –Don Baker

Consider a hypothetical world in which science had developed to something like its current state of progress, but nobody had yet thought of God. It seems unlikely that an imaginative thinker in this world, upon proposing God as a solution to various cosmological puzzles, would be met with enthusiasm. –Sean Carroll, cosmologist and physicist

Considering these two sets of circumstances — Ferguson and Cosby — there is no choosing. This is not “one or the other.” This is both and then some. Racial violence does not trump gender violence, and gender violence does not trump racial violence. Oppression is oppression. –Andrea Cambron

Contrary to what we may have been taught to think, unnecessary and unchosen suffering wounds us but need not scar us for life. It does mark us. What we allow the mark of our suffering to become is in our own hands. –bell hooks

Conventional people are roused to fury by departures from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves. –Bertrand Russell

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies. –Friedrich Nietzsche

The country is ideologically polarized, but the only place that it is polarized between centrism and conservatism is in Washington. Many Democrats around the country have an agenda too and it’s … liberal, even if they don’t know it. –digby

Cruel men believe in a cruel God and use their belief to excuse their cruelty. Only kindly men believe in a kindly God, and they would be kindly in any case. –Bertrand Russell

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. –Dorothy Parker

ltrdDarwin has done more to change human thought than all the priests who have existed. –Robert Green Ingersoll

The death penalty? Give me a break. It’s easy. Abortion? Absolutely easy. Nobody ever thought the Constitution prevented restrictions on abortion. Homosexual sodomy? Come on. For 200 years, it was criminal in every state. –Antonin Scalia

[D]ebt increases that didn’t arise either from war or from extraordinary financial crisis are entirely associated with hard-line conservative governments. –Paul Krugman

The ‘defense’ budget is three quarters of a trillion dollars. Profits went up last year well over 25%. I guarantee you: when war becomes that profitable, we’re going to see more of it. –Chalmers Johnson

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey-cage. –H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

The Democratic Party is not only a necropolis where activists decay into bureaucrats; it’s also a toxic growth poisoning the soil where activism grows — the crabgrass or milfoil that crowds out all the other species and devours all the nutrients. It is not merely an alternative to activism; it is the enemy of activism, and thus the enemy of any politics worthy of the name — by which I mean politics that goes beyond an empty, meaningless rivalry between two white-collar street gangs for the spoils of office. –Michael J. Smith

The desperate need we have for such organisations as Amnesty International has become, for me, one of the pieces of incontrovertible evidence that no divine (mystical) creator (other than the simple Laws of Nature) exists. –Sir Harold Kroto

Despite what you may have heard, free markets are, at best amoral. I’d go farther than that, but my therapist says I really need to work on making friends. –eastsidekate

A destruction only man can provoke, only man can prevent. –Elie Wiesel

The dictum that truth always triumphs over persecution, is one of those pleasant falsehoods which men repeat after one another till they pass into commonplaces, but which all experience refutes. History teems with instances of truth put down by persecution. If not suppressed for ever, it may be thrown back for centuries. –John Stuart Mill

The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community. –James A. Garfield, Republican President.

Does feminist mean large unpleasant person who’ll shout at you, or someone who believes women are human beings? To me it’s the latter, so I sign up. –Margaret Atwood

Doesn’t anything socialistic make you want to throw up? Like great public schools, or health insurance for all? –Kurt Vonnegut

The domestic NSA-led Surveillance State which Frank Church so stridently warned about has obviously come to fruition. The way to avoid its grip is simply to acquiesce to the nation’s most powerful factions, to obediently remain within the permitted boundaries of political discourse and activism. Accepting that bargain enables one to maintain the delusion of freedom — “he who does not move does not notice his chains,” observed Rosa Luxemburg — but the true measure of political liberty is whether one is free to make a different choice. –Glenn Greenwald

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that your experiences are the only correct, rational ones. Don’t drive people of minority backgrounds away by refusing to listen to them and making them feel unwelcome. Be open-minded and willing to learn from your fellow human beings. If you’re not willing to do that, then organised atheism will always be a bastion of rich, white, straight dudes who pat themselves on the back for being better than everyone else, and wonder why no one wants to join them. –Winterwind

Don’t worry so much about the next four years; they’re going to be a disaster no matter who gets into the White House. Face that fact squarely, keep a bag packed and your passport handy by way of preparation for the next President, and when you vote, think ahead a little more. –Michael J. Smith

Doubt is not an agreeable condition, but certainty is an absurd one. –Voltaire

Do we require that parents donate their organs to their children if that’s the child’s only hope for life, even if the hope is most desperate or even truly hopeless? Do we prosecute parents who fail to rush into burning buildings to save their children, who may or may not have a chance of survival anyway? … So why the double standard for “children” not yet born? Since when does the “pre-born” have the right to jeopardize the woman’s life, to suck literally dry her very precious bodily fluids, when the “post-born” most certainly doesn’t?  Of course, the real answer has something to do with Exodus 20:17… –Ben Goren

A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a license to behave like an asshole. –Frank Zappa

Dying is a very dull, dreary, affair. And my advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it. –W. Somerset Maugham

ltreEccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage which it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time. –John Stuart Mill

[E]mpathy — not squishy self-serving conflict avoidance — is the hand-maiden, not the enemy, of reason and intellectual inquiry. –Ta-Nehisi Coates

The essence of Christianity is told us in the Garden of Eden history. The fruit that was forbidden was on the tree of knowledge. The subtext is, All the suffering you have is because you wanted to find out what was going on. You could be in the Garden of Eden if you had just kept your fucking mouth shut and hadn’t asked any questions. –Frank Zappa

The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment. –Bertrand Russell

Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?
Priest: No, not if you did not know.
Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?
Annie Dillard

The ethic of conservation is the explicit abnegation of man’s dominion over the Earth. The lower species are here for our use. God said so: Go forth, be fruitful, multiply, and rape the planet — it’s yours. That’s our job: drilling, mining and stripping. Sweaters are the anti-Biblical view. Big gas-guzzling cars with phones and CD players and wet bars — that’s the Biblical view. –Ann Coulter

The Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black, the Thracians that theirs have light blue eyes and red hair. –Xenophanes (5-6th century BCE)

Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne. –Quentin Crisp

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. –Dwight D. Eisenhower, Republican President & WWII General.

Everyone in life has a purpose, even if it’s to serve as a bad example. –Carroll Bryant

Every sensible man, every honorable man, must hold the Christian sect in horror. –Voltaire

Everything is going to be unimaginably worse and is never going to get any better. ―Kurt Vonnegut

Exhibitionism is like a drug. Hooked in adolescence I was now taking doses so massive they would have killed a novice. –Quentin Crisp

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. –Carl Sagan

ltrfA fair share of anything is starvation diet to an egomaniac. –Quentin Crisp

Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence. –Richard Dawkins

Faith: not wanting to know what is true. –Friedrich Nietzsche

A famous bon mot asserts that opinions are like arse-holes, in that everyone has one. There is great wisdom in this… but I would add that opinions differ significantly from arse-holes, in that yours should be constantly and thoroughly examined. –Tim Minchin

[Fascism] was explicitly anti-democratic, anti-liberal, and corporatist, and it endorsed violence as a chief means to its ends. It was also, obviously, authoritarian, but claiming that it was oriented toward “socialism” is just crudely ahistorical, if not outrageously revisionist. Socialists, let’s not forget, were among the first people imprisoned and “liquidated” by the Nazi regime. –Dave Neiwert

Feminist rage is not a finite substance. There’s enough for all the doomed rebellions. –Jill Psmith and/or Twisty Faster

Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society. -Rush Limbaugh

Few people become assholes reluctantly. –Geoffrey Nunberg

The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenatrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment. In this sense, and in this sense alone, I rank myself amoung profoundly religious men. –Albert Einstein

First they came for the Mormons…And then, we hope, they go after the rest. –PZ Myers

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue. –Dorothy Parker

The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’ Because the wise say it aloud. –Ing

For a fact, the Christians stole Christmas. We don’t mind sharing it with them, but we don’t like this pretense of theirs that it is the birthday of Jesus. It is the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun–Dies Natalis Invicti Solis. Christmas is a relic of sun worship. –Anne Nicol Gaylor

For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. –H.L. Mencken, H.L. Mencken on Religion

For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook. –Quentin Crisp

The formula for achieving a successful relationship is simple: you should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster. –Quentin Crisp

For my part, the thing I would wish to obtain from money would be leisure with security. But what the typical modern man desires to get with it is more money, with a view to ostentation, splendour, and the outshining of those who have hitherto been his equals. –Bertrand Russell

The Founding Fathers knew the only way to insure religious freedom and to maintain democracy is to keep religion and government separate. We cannot allow our government to endorse religion even slightly for it’s a thin line from endorse to enforce.-Brian Cottle

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is-it’s to imagine what is possible. –bell hooks

The fundamental cause of the trouble is that in the modern world the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. –Bertrand Russell

ltrgA gene might be able to assist replicas of itself that are sitting in other bodies. If so, this would appear as individual altruism but it would be brought about by gene selfishness. –Richard Dawkins

The genius of America’s endless war machine is that, learning from the unpleasantness of the Vietnam war protests, it has rendered the costs of war largely invisible. –Glenn Greenwald

Give a man a fish , and you’ll feed him for a day. Give him a religion and he’ll starve to death while praying for a fish. –Timothy Jones.

God is dead; but given the way of men, there may still be caves for thousands of years in which his shadow will be shown. — And we — we still have to vanquish his shadow, too. –Friedrich Nietzsche

God is the only being who does not have to exist in order to reign. –Charles Pierre Baudelaire

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. –Richard Dawkins

Gods are answers before we had answers, before we knew the size of the questions. –Cuttlefish

‘God’s plan’ is often a front for men’s plans and a cover for inadequacy, ignorance, and evil. –Mary Daly

God, from whose territory I had withdrawn my ambassadors at the age of fourteen. It had become obvious that he was never going to do a thing I said. –Quentin Crisp

The government usually announces it killed a Big Terrorist 5 or 6 different times before they’re dead – they’re almost like cats. –Glenn Greenwald

The greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge. –Daniel J. Boorstin

ltrhHave the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. –Antonin Scalia, US Supreme Court Justice [This is a very brave man, indeed. –Ed.]

[H]aving the career of the beloved CIA Director and the commanding general in Afghanistan instantly destroyed due to highly invasive and unwarranted electronic surveillance is almost enough to make one believe not only that there is a god, but that he is an ardent civil libertarian. –Glenn Greenwald

He [Cardinal Keith O’Brien] also claimed that homosexuality is against “natural law”. Natural law seems to be very poorly enforced in this case, then, and besides, you want to know what really defies natural law? Celibacy. –PZ Myers

Health consists of having the same diseases as one’s neighbours. –Quentin Crisp

Heaven for climate, hell for company. –Mark Twain

He hasn’t a single redeeming vice. –Oscar Wilde

Here’s one atheist hoping there is a rapture. Otherwise the rest of us are truly fucked. – Rincewind’s muse.

Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common. –Dorothy Parker

Hey, you know something people? I’m not black, but there’s a whole lots a times I wish I could say I’m not white. –Frank Zappa

History is merely a list of surprises. … It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again. Please write that down. –Kurt Vonnegut

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

How can great minds be produced in a country where the test of a great mind is agreeing in the opinions of small minds? –John Stuart Mill

How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith, which today are fables to us? –Michel de Montaigne

How presumptuous of someone to think the world is interested in a half-dozen or eight or 10 of their kids. –Anne Nicol Gaylor

Human beings have a demonstrated talent for self-deception when their emotions are stirred. –Carl Sagan

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. –Robert Heinlein

Human beings hardly ever learn from the experience of others. They learn; when they do, which isn’t often, on their own, the hard way. –Robert Heinlein

I always made one prayer to God, a very short one. Here it is: “O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous!” God granted it. –Voltaire

ltriI always say, ‘I don’t believe in God, I believe in Al Pacino’ – and that’s true. –Javier Bardem

I am a deeply religious nonbeliever.… This is a somewhat new kind of religion. –Albert Einstein

I am a greedy bitch with voracious expectations, and I dream long and lustfully of a better world that is both my muse and objective. I want it like the cracked earth of the desert wants rain, and I will neither apologize for nor amend my desire because of its remove from the here and now; its distance encourages my reach. –Melissa McEwan

I am a lesbian trapped in a man’s body. –Eddie Izzard

I am convinced that some political and social activities and practices of the Catholic organizations are detrimental and even dangerous for the community as a whole, here and everywhere. I mention here only the fight against birth control at a time when overpopulation in various countries has become a serious threat to the health of people and a grave obstacle to any attempt to organize peace on this planet. –Albert Einstein

I am very fond of truth, but not at all of martyrdom. –Voltaire

I believe deeply in the power of friendship to make us better human beings. But interracial friendships, especially in adulthood, require a level of risk and vulnerability that many of us would rather simply not deal with. And that is perhaps one of racism’s biggest casualties: Beyond the level of systemic havoc that racism wreaks on the material lives of people of color, in a million and one ways every day, it reduces the opportunity of all people to be more human.-Brittney Cooper

I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind–that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.  I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious… I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect. –H.L. Mencken

I believe that there should be a very much heavier progressive tax on very large incomes, a tax which should increase in a very marked fashion for the gigantic incomes.” –Theodore Roosevelt, Republican President.

I believe that this world needs all our best efforts and earnest endeavors twenty-four hours every day. . . . I do not know the needs of a god or of another world. . . I do know that the needs of humanity and this world are infinite, unending, constant, and immediate. They will take all our time, our strength, our love, and our thoughts; and our work here will be only then begun. –Helen H. Gardener

I believe true empathy — not squishy self-serving conflict avoidance — is the hand-maiden, not the enemy, of reason and intellectual inquiry. –Ta-Nehisi Coates

I can be President of the United States, or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both. –Theodore Roosevelt, in response when a dignitary asked if he could better control his daughter.

I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that. –Donald Rumsfeld

I could just go read the Wall Street Journal, I suppose, but guzzling a potent emetic would have the same effect, and be less painful to my brain. –PZ Myers

I’d be more willing to accept religion, even if I didn’t believe it, if I thought it made people nicer to each other but I don’t think it does. –Andy Rooney

The idea that God is an oversized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying… it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity. –Carl Sagan

I decided (after listening to a ‘talk radio’ commentator who abused, vilified, and scorned every noble cause to which I had devoted my entire life that) I was both a Humanist and a liberal, each of the most dangerous and vilified type. I am a Humanist because I think humanity can, with constant moral guidance, create a reasonably decent society. I am terrified of restrictive religious doctrine, having learned from history that when men who adhere to any form of it are in control, common men like me are in peril. –James Michener
I didn’t abandon my faith. I saw through it. The conflict between my faith and my sexuality set that process in motion, but the conclusions I reached at the end of that process—there are no gods, religion is man-made, faith can be a force for good or evil—improved my life. I’m grateful that my sexuality prompted me to think critically about faith. Pushed out? No. I walked out. –Dan Savage

I didn’t really believe anything that had been demonstrated to be absurd…while anyone was watching. When nobody was watching, I believed some seriously crazy bullshit. –Greta Christina [h/t Sastra]

I distrust all generalizations about women, favourable and unfavourable, masculine and feminine, ancient and modern; all alike, I should say, result from paucity of experience. –Bertrand Russell

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do to their fellows, because it always coincides with their own desires. –Susan B. Anthony

I do not believe in loving enemies; I have pretty hard work to love my friends. –Robert Green Ingersoll

I do not have a problem with Christians: I have a problem with faith and religion in general. It didn’t grow out of bitter personal experiences, but from sincere epistemic and ethical concerns. As I see it, the problem is not Bad People distorting what ought to be a wonderful thing. It’s that the religious methodology cannot distinguish between what is good and reasonable, and what is is false and harmful. And it teaches good people not to care. –Sastra

I don’t believe in heaven and hell. I don’t know if I believe in God. All I know is that as an individual, I won’t allow this life—the only thing I know to exist—to be wasted. –George Clooney

I don’t care if religious people consider me amoral because I lack their beliefs in God. I do, however, care deeply about efforts to turn religious beliefs into law, and those efforts benefit greatly from the conviction that individually and collectively, we cannot be good without God. –Wendy Kaminer

I don’t care what is written about me so long as it isn’t true. –Dorothy Parker

I don’t have a chance [on being elected Mayor of New Orleans]. I’m running on the gay marriage, no religion, legalization and taxation of marijuana platform. –Brad Pitt

I don’t know about you, but I practice a disorganized religion. I belong to an unholy disorder. We call ourselves “Our Lady of Perpetual Astonishment.” —Kurt Vonnegut

I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations (Meeting of the “40 Committee” on covert action in Chile 27 June 1970)

I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim. –Frida Kahlo

If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style. –Quentin Crisp

If a woman or a gay person has a right, by conservative logic, then the right is not actually a right but instead an assault on rights. Women and gays: So evil that we can turn actual rights into assaults on freedom just by having them. –Amanda Marcotte

If gender roles are natural, why do you have to try to enforce them? –Angie Jackson

If God is male, then male is God. The divine patriarch castrates women as long as he is allowed to live on in the human imagination. –Mary Daly

If ignorance of nature gave birth to gods, knowledge of nature is made for their destruction. –Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism, 1811

If I had a religion, its deity would be Audysseus, the sound God, and He would be a vengeful god, dishing out eternal damnation to people with cheap stage monitors. –Tim Minchin

I find that the biggest fans of imperialism are the folks who thought of it first. Kent F. Hell-Dweller

If laughing and dancing aint a part of this revolution we’re building, then you can keep it. –Crunk Feminist Collective

If love means anything at all it means extending your hand to the unlovable. –Quentin Crisp

If one lived for ever the joys of life would inevitably in the end lose their savour. As it is, they remain perennially fresh. –Bertrand Russell

If people are good only because they fear punishment or want a reward, we’re doomed. –Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

If the decline in hands-on science educaton is not redressed, I doubt that we shall survive the 21st century. –Sir Harold Kroto

If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.” –attributed to Emma Goldman

If you are a conservative you can never get anything wrong. I was very proud of the fact that I didn’t get anything wrong that I said during the course of the debates. –Michele Bachmann

If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and no measures you want to vote for, but there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong. If this is too blind for your taste, consult some well-meaning fool (there is always one around) and ask his advice. Then vote the other way.-Robert Heinlein

if you believe in God, then intellectually you cannot believe in manmade global warming … You must be either agnostic or atheistic to believe that man controls something he can’t create. –Rush Limbaugh

If you haven’t anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me. –Alice Roosevelt Longworth

[I]f you look at United States history since World War II, you find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. –Paul Krugman

If your different-sex marriage isn’t special or “sacred” or whatthefuckever just because more people are allowed to do it, then that’s not a problem with the law; that’s a problem with your marriage. –Melissa McEwan

If you really want to talk about being dependent on government, $16 trillion for Wall Street, not one of them gone to jail involved in the criminal activity linked to predatory lending, market manipulation or insider trading. The government protects them. Jamal gets caught with a crack bag; he going to jail. But Mr. McGillicuddy gets caught on Wall Street; he’s protected by the government. Neither administration—Bush, Obama—have any investigations, no prosecutions at all. So the folk who are really dependent, they get interest-free loans from the Federal Reserve. Wouldn’t it be nice if students could get interest-free loans? –Cornell West

If you remove the fear of criminal punishment for the nation’s political and financial elites — as we have done — what possible constraint on their behavior does anyone think will remain? –Glenn Greenwald

[I]f you want instant, reflexive support for the US government’s police and military powers, MSNBC is the place to turn these days. –Glenn Greenwald

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to. –Dorothy Parker

If you wind up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest or some guy on TV telling you how to do your shit, then YOU DESERVE IT.  –Frank Zappa

Ignorance is not innocence but sin. –Robert Browning

I had been fed, in my youth, a lot of old wives’ tales about the way men would instantly forsake a beautiful woman to flock around a brilliant one. It is but fair to say that, after getting out in the world, I had never seen this happen. –Dorothy Parker

I had learnt from experience that many false opinions may be exchanged for true ones, without in the least altering the habits of mind of which false opinions are made. –John Stuart Mill

I had other priorities in the sixties than military service. –Dick Cheney on his five draft deferments.

I hate almost all rich people, but I think I’d be darling at it. –Dorothy Parker

I have a counter-theory…I believe men built most things because women were shut out of political power, job opportunities, and education for most of history, and instead forced into servitude towards men in the home. I believe my theory has a lot of evidence for it, in the form of all of history. –Amanda Marcotte.

I have to admit that one of my favorite fantasies is that next Sunday not one single woman, in any country of the world, will go to church. If women simply stop giving our time and energy to the institutions that oppress, they would have to cease to do so. –Sonia Johnson

I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. –Albert Einstein

I have no regrets – in fact, I am pleased to have expelled the US ambassador, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and to have closed the US military base in Bolivia. Now, without a US ambassador, there is less conspiracy, and more political stability and social stability. Without the International Monetary Fund, we are better off economically. –Evo Morales, Bolivian President

I have yet to see a successful prediction about the physical world that was inferred or extrapolated from the content of any religions document.-Neil deGrasse Tyson

I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return. –Frida Kahlo

I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace. –George W. Bush

I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out, and I wouldn’t have rescued them. –Bill O’Reilly

I know nothing of the mother of Attila, but I rather suspect that she spoilt the little darling, who subsequently found the world irritating because it sometimes resisted his whims. –Bertrand Russell

I learned something this evening that explains a lot of human phenomena. People are stupid. –PZ Myers

I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes, Supreme Court Justice (Republican appointee).

I like to watch the news, because I don’t like people very much and when you watch the news… if you ever had an idea that people were really terrible, you could watch the news and know that you’re right. –Frank Zappa

I’ll tell you what you did with Atheists for about 1500 years. You outlawed them from the universities or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy. You dehumanised them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed, or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, imprisoned them, stabbed them, disembowelled them, hanged them, burnt them alive. And you have nerve enough to complain to me that I laugh at you. –Madalyn Murray O’Hair

I love watching creationists butt heads against the evidence. They’re so cute when they’re reeling about, blood streaming down their faces, brains getting increasingly addled, as they try to deny reality. I guess it’s a kind of historical tradition in Christianity, this business of tying a blindfold on and throwing themselves to the lions. It used to be you needed a legionnaire or two poking them with a spear to get them to enter the arena, but nowadays they just do it voluntarily. –P.Z. Myers

I’m a Christian first, and a mean-spirited, bigoted conservative second, and don’t you ever forget it. –Ann Coulter

[I]magine the culture we would live in now if, instead of a dead corpse on an instrument of torture, our signifier was a child staring in wonder at the stars. –PZ Myers

I’m an atheist. . . . how unfortunate it is to assign responsibility to the higher up for justice amongst people. –Ani DiFranco

I’m offended by [evangelical leaders’] actions, but I’m not offended by their opinion. They believe in a sky god who’s going to suck them up into the sky with a vacuum cleaner. What’s there to get offended by? That’s funny! That’s hilarious! Have at it, Hoss, I’d love to see it! –Cenk Uygur

I’m sure we can count on the billionaires to be generous and give more than enough money to hospitals for the poor to adequately care for them. And gruel. I’m sure there would be gruel. –digby

I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute. –Rebecca West

[I]n America, at least, we have a pretty good record for behaving in a fiscally responsible fashion, with one exception — namely, the fiscal irresponsibility that prevails when, and only when, hard-line conservatives are in power. –Paul Krugman

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. –Quentin Crisp

The indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced … at the English Court on Friday last … It is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous intertwining of the limbs, and close compressure of the bodies … to see that it is far indeed removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females…[Now that it is] forced on the respectable classes of society by the evil example of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion. –The Times of London, 1816

In democratic countries, the most important private organizations are economic. Unlike secret societies, they are able to exercize their terrorism without illegality, since they do not threaten to kill their enemies, but only to starve them. –Bertrand Russell

Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil. –Elie Wiesel

I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it. –John Stuart Mill

In former days, men sold themselves to the Devil to acquire magical powers. Nowadays they acquire those powers from science, and find themselves compelled to become devils. There is no hope for the world unless power can be tamed, and brought into the service, not of this or that group of fanatical tyrants, but of the whole human race, white and yellow and black, fascist and communist and democrat; for science has made it inevitable that all must live or all must die. –Bertrand Russell

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

In its bleeding-heart modern form, Christianity is a recent and highly modified version of what, for most of its history, has been an often violent and always oppressive ideology – think Crusades, torture, burnings at the stake, the enslavement of women to constantly repeated childbirth and undivorceable husbands, the warping of human sexuality, the use of fear (of hell’s torments) as an instrument of control, and the horrific results of calumny against Judaism. –AC Grayling

In my judgment, the Deists were all successfully answered. The god of nature is certainly as bad as the God of the Old Testament. It is only when we discard the idea of a deity, the idea of cruelty or goodness in nature, that we are able ever to bear with patience the ills of life. I feel that I am neither a favorite nor a victim. Nature neither loves nor hates me. –Robert Green Ingersoll

I now know that if you describe things as better as they are, you are considered to be romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you are called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you are called a satirist. –Quentin Crisp

In reality, hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man’s torments. –Friedrich Nietzsche

Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. –Friedrich Nietzsche

In science it often happens that scientists say, “You know that’s a really good argument; my position is mistaken,” and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn’t happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. –Carl Sagan

“In sex ed, they told us that sex could lead to herpes, AIDS, babies, low self-esteem… but they didn’t mention backrubs.”
“Oh yes. Sometimes there are backrubs.”
“They should mention that in class. Teach the controversy.” –Cliff Pervocracy

In social justice, not all tactics that are divisive are effective, but all tactics that are effective are divisive. That doesn’t mean we should set our phasers to “divide,” but when a tactic is labeled as “divisive” or “radical”, there is a chance it might be one worth considering. Effective tactics are divisive because the majority is most comfortable with activism that is ineffective. [Emphasis in original.] –Garland Grey

In studies conducted by Princeton University researchers, white job seekers with criminal records were slightly more likely to be called back for and/or offered entry-level jobs than African American job seekers with no criminal record. According to lead researcher Devah Pager, “Even whites with criminal records received more favorable treatment (17%) than blacks without criminal records (14%). The rank ordering of (these) groups…is painfully revealing of employer preferences: race continues to play a dominant role in shaping employment opportunities, equal to or greater than the impact of a criminal record.” –Sikivu Hutchinson

Intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. You cannot build a program of discovery on the assumption that nobody is smart enough to figure out the answer to a problem. –Neil deGrasse Tyson

In the 21st century nations don’t invade other nations. –John McCain

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

In the mountains of truth you will never climb in vain: either you will get up higher today or you will exercise your strength so as to be able to get up higher tomorrow. –Friedrich Nietzsche

I paint flowers so they will not die. –Frida Kahlo

I persist in preferring philosophers to rabbis, priests, imams, ayatollahs, and mullahs. Rather than trust their theological hocus-pocus, I prefer to draw on alternatives to the dominant philosophical historiography: the laughers, materialists, radicals, cynics, hedonists, atheists, sensualists, voluptuaries. They know that there is only one world, and that promotion of an afterlife deprives us of the enjoyment and benefit of the only one there is. A genuinely deadly sin. –Michel Onfray

I recommend limiting one’s involvement in other people’s lives to a pleasantly scant minimum. –Quentin Crisp

I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him. –Albert Einstein

I should have Googled before posting, but it makes no sense to call me ignorant. –Dingbat

Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves? –Friedrich Nietzsche

Isn’t this enough? Just this world? Just this beautiful, complex wonderfully unfathomable world? How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of cheap, man-made myths and monsters? –Tim Minchin

The issues are too important to be left for the voters. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. –Elie Wiesel

It doesn’t bother me if somebody is religious. My problem is when religion is used to institutionalize other things. –Lakshmi Sahgal

I think America has the best assholes in the world. I defy the Belgians or the Japanese to produce something like a Donald Trump. –Matt Taibbi

I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability. –Oscar Wilde

I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion. –Antonin Scalia

It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics. –Robert Heinlein

It is best to keep men poor and on a permanent war footing, for this will be an antidote to the two great enemies of obedience—ambition and boredom—and the ruled will then feel in constant need of great men to lead them (the twentieth century offers us only too much evidence for this sharp insight). –Isaiah Berlin paraphrasing Machiavelli’s The Prince, in The New York Review of Books (Nov. 1971)

It is better to risk sparing a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one. –Voltaire

It is chilling to think that the same people who persecuted the wise women and men of Europe, its midwives and healers, then crossed the oceans to Africa and the Americas and tortured and enslaved, raped, impoverished, and eradicated the peaceful, Christ-like people they found. And that the blueprint from which they worked, and still work, was the Bible. –Alice Walker

It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong. –Voltaire

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. –Voltaire

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it. –Upton Sinclair (1935)

It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for any public office. –H.L. Mencken

It is not a matter of what is true that counts, but a matter of what is perceived to be true. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

It is not my intent here to make a pitch for hate crimes laws. I don’t like laws generally and I’m very much all over the map myself where free speech is concerned. What I want more than anything is a smarter conversation about it, where the participants actually seem to know things, like that historically hate speech has occupied a privileged place relative to radical speech. Like that free speech absolutism is working out particularly well for corporations. Like that many states have had hate crimes statutes since the 1980s and the sky hasn’t fallen. –ohtarzie

It is not the simple statement of facts that ushers in freedom; it is the constant repetition of them that has this liberating effect. Tolerance is the result not of enlightenment, but of boredom. –Quentin Crisp

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry. –H.L. Mencken

It is one of the superstitions of the human mind to have imagined that virginity could be a virtue. –Voltaire

It is said that God is always on the side of the big battalions. –Voltaire

It is simply an invariable truth in the history of politics, in the history of government, that whenever a new power is acquired in the name of some threat, it always — not sometimes, not often, not usually —it always extends beyond its original application, beyond its original justification. –Glenn Greenwald (VIDEO @ 36:30)

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

It’s a long, uphill fight to get back to original orthodoxy. We have two ‘originalists’ on the Supreme Court. That’s something. –Antonin Scalia

It’s an incredible con job, when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don’t try to make it posthumous. –Gloria Steinem

[I]t’s impossible to evade the fact that Endless War will inevitably degrade the citizenry of the country that engages in it. A country which venerates its military above all other institutions, which demands that its soldiers be spoken of only with religious-like worship, and which continuously indoctrinates its population to believe that endless violence against numerous countries is necessary and just — all by instilling intense fear of the minorities who are the target of that endless violence — will be a country filled with citizens convinced of the virtues and nobility of aggression. –Glenn Greenwald

It’s not the tragedies that kill us, it’s the messes. –Dorothy Parker

It’s too bad that stupidity isn’t painful. Ignorance is one thing, but out society thrives increasingly on stupidity. It depends on people going along with whatever they are told. The media promotes a cultivated stupidity as a posture that is not only acceptable but laudable. –Anton Szandor LaVey

It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it. –Albert Einstein

It was while I was studying philosophy that I came to understand. . . that it is no sign of moral or spiritual strength to believe that for which one has no evidence, neither a priori evidence as in math, nor a posteriori evidence as in science. . . . It’s a violation almost immoral in its transgressiveness to shirk the responsibilities of rationality. –Rebecca Newberger Goldstein

It would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. –Ann Coulter

I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, “If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” –Kurt Vonnegut

I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you. –Frida Kahlo

I’ve always believed in the adage that the secret of eternal youth is arrested development. –Alice Roosevelt Longworth

I’ve been pulled aside in foyers and they always say the same thing those people, they always have the same defense, they always say, ‘but evolution is only a theory’…which is true…I guess…I mean, evolution is a theory and it’s good that they say that, I think, don’t you?  Because it gives you hope that maybe they feel the same way about the theory of gravity…and they might just float the fuck away. –Tim Minchin

I’ve got to tell you — church services are goddamned boring. I think that’s how the tediously dull game of football got to be such a big sport in this country — they only had to be less boring than church. –PZ Myers

I’ve learned throughout my journey that perfection is the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes others uncomfortable. –Janelle Monáe

I wanted to be cute. That’s the terrible thing. I should have had more sense. –Dorothy Parker

I was once asked if I had any ideas for a really scary reality TV show. I have one reality show that would really make your hair stand on end: “C-Students from Yale”. –Kurt Vonnegut

I well knew that to propose something which would be called extreme, was the true way not to impede but to facilitate a more moderate experiment. –John Stuart Mill

I went to the librarian [at age 5] and asked for a book about stars …And the answer was stunning. It was that the Sun was a star but really close. The stars were suns, but so far away they were just little points of light …The scale of the universe suddenly opened up to me. It was a kind of religious experience. There was a magnificence to it, a grandeur, a scale which has never left me. Never ever left me. –Carl Sagan

I wish to argue that religious belief necessarily entails certain statements about how the universe works, that these statements can be judged as scientific hypotheses, and that as such they should be rejected in favor of alternative ways of understanding the universe. –Sean Carroll

I would never underestimate a combination of wealthy plutocrats, churches, right wingers with an ax to grind and a willingness among all of them to cheat their way to victory. That’s an American success story in the making. –digby

I would remind you the real war on women are the abortionists, the slayers of those young babies, the young girls in the mother’s womb who take their lives. That is the real war on women. –Rep. Lynn Watchmann (R-Ohio), author of Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill.”

ltrjJoy of life… depends upon a certain spontaneity in regard to sex. Where sex is repressed, only work remains, and a gospel of work for work’s sake never produced any work worth doing. –Bertrand Russell

Just because science so far has failed to explain something, such as consciousness, to say it follows that the facile, pathetic explanations which religion has produced somehow by default must win the argument is really quite ridiculous. –Richard Dawkins

The justification for every religious atrocity ever perpetrated, or that ever will be perpetrated, ultimately boils down to “God wants this”. It’s no good countering this with “No, actually, God wants something else” — you have to come right out and say “There is no God”, and mean it.  –AJS

ltrkKilling people is wrong because it destroys their hopes, cuts short their enjoyment of life, and traumatizes their loved ones; not because it’s against the rules of your Dungeons and Dragons for Dimwits game.  –hyperdeath

KILL THE “($;&(:#* LIBERAL HECKLERS! –Ann Coulter

The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic. –H.L. Mencken

Keeping up with the Joneses was a full-time job with my mother and father. It was not until many years later when I lived alone that I realized how much cheaper it was to drag the Joneses down to my level. –Quentin Crisp

Keep opening your mouths, you privileged coddled rich fuckwads. Marie Antoinette had nothing on the American upper class. If there is a revolution, what’s going to drive it is the arrogance of these parasites. –PZ Myers

ltrlLabor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” –Abraham Lincoln, Republican President.

Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Leaders who forbid their followers to use effective contraceptive methods … express a preference for “natural” methods of population limitation, and a natural method is exactly what they are going to get. It is called starvation. –Richard Dawkins

Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson. –Voltaire

Let there be no doubt that as they are currently practiced, there is no common ground between science and religion. –Neil deGrasse Tyson

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world. –Voltaire

Liberalism is clinical insanity and moral syphilis.-Some d00d on some blog comment.

[L]ook, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue for the Nixon White House that we couldn’t resist it. –John Ehrichman

The long arc of history does not bend towards justice, because the bad guys get to use tactics we couldn’t get away with and couldn’t justify to ourselves, what with the whole conscience thing. It takes shitloads of effort and resources and ingenuity to just stay in place, and the US has not been doing so well even with that. –Jadehawk

Los Angeles is just New York lying down. –Quentin Crisp

Lots of people reach for “crazy” when what they really mean is cruel, indecent, abusive. Harm is not unfathomable; it’s just ugly to fathom. –Melissa McEwan

“Love is the magician, the enchanter,
That changes worthless things to joy,
And makes right royal kings and queens of common clay.
Love is the perfume of that wondrous flower, the heart;
And without that sacred passion,
That divine swoon, we are less than beasts;
But with love, earth is heaven, and we are gods.”
Robert Green Ingersoll

ltrmThe magical thinking encouraged by any belief in the supernatural, combined with the vilification of rationality and skepticism, is more conducive to conspiracy theories than it is to productive political debate. –Wendy Kaminer

Man is a rational animal — so at least I have been told. Throughout a long life, I have looked diligently for evidence in favor of this statement, but so far I have not had the good fortune to come across it, though I have searched in many countries spread over three continents. –Bertrand Russell

Man is certainly stark mad. He cannot make a flea, and yet he will be making gods by the dozen. –Michel de Montaigne, Essays (1580)

A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death. It is therefore easy to see why the churches have always fought science and persecuted its devotees. –Albert Einsten

Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal. –Robert Heinlein

A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. –John Stuart Mill

Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive. –Antonin Scalia

Mass gun killings, which capture widespread media attention for a few days, account for just a small portion of gun-related deaths. The four worst events in the past 15 years resulted in a combined 84 homicides, according to the report —about the same number of people who have been killed by guns in the United States every day between 2003 and 2012. –Jason Millman

Meeting half way is a great way to compromise, but a terrible tactic if the other side is playing tug-of-war. It just makes half way your starting position so they can drag you further. –Gordon

Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. –Blaise Pascal

Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. –Susan Ertz

Modern science has been a voyage into the unknown, with a lesson in humility waiting at every stop. Many passengers would rather have stayed home. –Carl Sagan

More and more of our imports come from overseas. –George W. Bush

The more fear confrontational activism can put into the heart of the political class, the better. –Glenn Greenwald

The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshipped anyone but himself. –Sir Richard F. Burton

The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody. –Frida Kahlo

The most important thing to do in your life is to not interfere with somebody else’s life. –Frank Zappa

The most obvious way of reducing abortions is to increase contraceptive use and education, but Christians have worked overtime against these obvious and proven techniques. They have worked overtime to close down Planned Parenthood, an organization that has actually prevented more abortions than any Christian organization has ever done. –Don Baker

Most people, I believe, think that you need a God to explain the existence of the world, and especially the existence of life. They are wrong, but our education system is such that many people don’t know it. –Richard Dawkins

Mothers, wives, and maids,
There be the tools wherewith priests manage men.
Robert Browning

Mr. None-Of-The-Above received more votes in the 2004 election than either Bush or Kerry, so his supporters constitute a very substantial plurality. – Michael J. Smith

My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. –Dick Cheney, March 16, 2003

My best advice to anyone who wants to raise a happy, mentally healthy child is: Keep him or her as far away from a church as you can. Children are naive — they trust everyone. School is bad enough, but, if you put a child anywhere in the vicinity of a church, you’re asking for trouble. –Frank Zappa

My parents were not scientists. They knew almost nothing about science. But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method. –Carl Sagan

My point is not that religion itself is the motivation for wars, murders and terrorist attacks, but that religion is the principal label, and the most dangerous one, by which a ‘they’ as opposed to a ‘we’ can be identified at all. –Richard Dawkins

Mystical explanations are considered deep; the truth is, they are not even shallow. –Friedrich Nietzsche

The mythology of the Reagan presidency is that he induced the collapse of the Soviet Union by luring it into unsustainable military spending and wars: should there come a point when we think about applying that lesson to ourselves? –Glenn Greenwald

ltrnA nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, like the old Roman Republic, it will lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship. –Chalmers Johnson

Need of money, dear. –Dorothy Parker, in response to an interviewer’s question, “What, then, would you say is the source of most of your work?”

Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity. –Robert J. Hanlon

Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

[T]he next time you hear serious-sounding people explaining the need for fiscal austerity, try to parse their argument. Almost surely, you’ll discover that what sounds like hardheaded realism actually rests on a foundation of fantasy, on the belief that invisible vigilantes will punish us if we’re bad and the confidence fairy will reward us if we’re good. And real-world policy — policy that will blight the lives of millions of working families — is being built on that foundation. –Paul Krugman

[T]he Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar Left, and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did. –John Ehrichman

Nobody really even knows with whom the US is at war, or where. Everyone just knows that it is vital that it continue in unlimited form indefinitely. –Glenn Greenwald

No, entitled violent douchebaggery is not a mental illness. People WITH mental illness generally are better behaved and don’t deserve being blamed and diminished by conflation with assholes. –Pteryxx

No god ever described, when compared to the Hubble photos, or to our modern understanding of the depths of time in our cosmic and biological histories, or to our emerging understanding of the development of individuals from strands of protein, no god ever described deserves the word “awe”. Gods are simply too small. Gods are answers before we had answers, before we knew the size of the questions. –Cuttlefish

No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. –Oscar Wilde

No human being is illegal. –Elie Wiesel

No institution in modern civilization is so tyrannical and so unjust to woman as is the Christian Church. It demands everything from her and gives her nothing in return. –Josephine K. Henry (1897)

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks. –Mary Wollstonecraft

None of us is in a position to eliminate war, but it is our obligation to denounce it and expose it in all its hideousness. War leaves no victors, only victims. –Elie Wiesel [Not so: America’s Owners are the victors. –Ed.]

No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby. –H.L. Mencken

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

[N]othing is less reliable than unchecked claims from political officials that their secret conduct is justified by National Security Threats and the desire to Keep Us Safe. –Glenn Greenwald

Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. –Frida Kahlo

Nothing fails like prayer. –Anne Nicol Gaylor

Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know. –Michel de Montaigne

Now the haters and atheists are coming out of the woodwork, attempting to hammer your good work (they rallied to drop your rating super low). They are attempting, once again, to ruin Saving Christmas for everyone. –Kirk Cameron [Great work, everyone. -Ed.]

ltroThe Obama administration already claims the power to wage endless and boundless war, in virtually total secrecy, and without a single meaningful check or constraint. No institution with any power disputes this. To the contrary, the only ones which exert real influence – Congress, the courts, the establishment media, the plutocratic class – clearly favor its continuation and only think about how further to enable it. –Glenn Greenwald

Of all learned men, the clergy show the lowest development of professional ethics. Any pastor is free to cadge customers from the divines of rival sects, and to denounce the divines themselves as theological quacks. –H.L. Mencken

Of all the views that are detached from reality, the most delusional is that Christians are persecuted in the U.S. –Glenn Greenwald

Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically – for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking to a moralist – but then what isn’t? –Quentin Crisp

Of course, ministers look upon theaters as rival attractions, and most of their hatred is born of business views. They think people ought to be driven to church by having all other places closed. In my judgment the theater has done good, while the church has done harm. The drama never has insisted upon burning anybody. Persecution is not born of the stage. –Robert Green Ingersoll

Oh, that the wise from their bright minds would kindle
Such lamps within the dome of this dim world
That the pale name of priest might shrink and dwindle
Into the Hell from which it first was furled.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Once a nation’s population becomes prosperous and secure, for example through economic security and universal health care, much of the population loses interest in seeking the aid and protection of supernatural entities. This effect appears to be so consistent that it may prevent nations from being highly religious while enjoying good internal socioeconomic conditions. –Gregory S. Paul

[O]nce you reject evidence as a source of knowledge, you don’t gotta believe nothin’ you don’t like. –Tim Minchin

One must choose between God and Man, and all ‘radicals’ and ‘progressives,’ from the mildest liberal to the most extreme anarchist, have in effect chosen Man. –George Orwell

One person with a belief is a social power equal to ninety-nine who have only interests. –John Stuart Mill

One should respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny. –Bertrand Russell

One will rarely err if extreme actions be ascribed to vanity, ordinary actions to habit, and mean actions to fear. –Friedrich Nietzsche

One world at a time. –Robert G. Ingersoll

The only difference between Bush and Hitler is that Hitler was elected. —Kurt Vonnegut

Only Puritans think of the Devil as the most fascinating figure in the universe. –Heywood C. Broun

The only points in which I differ from all ecclesiastical teaching is that I do not believe that any man ever saw or talked with God, I do not believe that God inspired the Mosaic code, or told the historians what they say he did about woman, for all the religions on the face of the earth degrade her, and so long as woman accepts the position that they assign her, her emancipation is impossible. –Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Only Puritans think of the Devil as the most fascinating figure in the universe. –Heywood C. Broun

Only the shallow know themselves. –Oscar Wilde

[T]he only thing that will make the Democrats change is the prospect of annihilation if they don’t. And the only way to raise that specter before their eyes is for their captive constituencies to desert them in droves. As long as they think you have nowhere else to go, they will take you for granted. And the only way to convince them you have somewhere else to go is… to go there. –Michael J. Smith

The only thing the invisible hand of the market does is give the middle finger to 90% of the population. –Aquaria

Opinions have caused more ills than the plague or earthquakes on this little globe of ours. –Voltaire

Organized religions in general, in my opinion, are dying forms. They were all very important when we didn’t know why the sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened. Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. –Bruce Willis

Other things being equal, it is better to be smart than to be stupid. –Carl Sagan

Our president is a Christian? So was Adolf Hitler. What can be said to our young people, now that psychopathic personalities, which is to say persons without consciences, without senses of pity or shame, have taken all the money in the treasuries of our government and corporations, and made it all their own? –Kurt Vonnegut

ltrpPeople are always studying successful political movements in America hoping to learn how to make it happen for their own cause. For my money, there is nobody who has done it better than the NRA. They’ve made mass murder as common as the weather and they’re so powerful they’ve completely dismantled any opposition. Who else can claim such success? –digby

People who believe in a divine creator, trying to live their lives in obedience to his supposed wishes and in expectation of a supposed eternal reward, are victims of the greatest confidence trick of all time. –Barbara Smoker

People who routinely wear clothes and post on the Internet don’t get to complain about “unnatural acts”. –Naked Bunny with a Whip

Perhaps the best hope for the future of mankind is that ways will be found of increasing the scope and intensity of sympathy. –Bertrand Russell

Philosophy is doubt. –Michel de Montaigne

Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. –Tom Leher

Politics is concerned with herds rather than with individuals, and the passions which are important in politics are, therefore, those in which the various members of a given herd can feel alike. –Bertrand Russell

Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

Rome lived upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face. Industry is the only true source of wealth, and there was no industry in Rome. By day the Ostia road was crowded with carts and muleteers, carrying to the great city the silks and spices of the East, the marble of Asia Minor, the timber of the Atlas, the grain of Africa and Egypt; and the carts brought out nothing but loads of dung. That was their return cargo. –Winwood Reade, The Martyrdom of Man (1871)

Privilege means you can walk away from the conversation whenever you like because the issues being raised aren’t important to you, and you can always imagine that the marginalized people you are walking away from don’t matter. –Garland Grey

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. –H.L. Mencken

ltrqQuestion with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. . . . Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find inducements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. –Thomas Jefferson

ltrrRarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

Rarely is the question asked,… our… is our children learning? –George W. Bush

Reality is a harsh mistress. She demands our honesty. She demands our work. She demands that we give up comforts, that we let ourselves feel pain, that we accept how small we are and how little control we have over our lives. And she demands that we make her our top priority. But she is more beautiful, and more powerful, and more surprising, and more fascinating, and more endlessly rewarding, than anything we could ever make up about her. –Greta Christina

The reasons and purposes for habits are always lies that are added only after some people begin to attack these habits and to ask for reasons and purposes. At this point the conservatives of all ages are thoroughly dishonest: they add lies. –Friedrich Nietzsche

Religion does a lot of good, especially the loving kind, like at Grace Church.  I know people who went to a more liberal kind of Christianity and were happy with that. The problem is, for me, there was a process involved in moving from Pentecostalism to a more liberal theology, like Grace Church. What makes me different is that process didn’t stop, and it took me all the way. In the end, I couldn’t help feeling that all religion, even the most loving kind, is just a speed bump in the progress of the human race. –Jerry DeWitt, former pastor

Religion is, and always has been a tool for authoritarianism. By its very nature it imposes a vision of our interactions with each other and the world that is hierarchical and ordered and linear — the orders come from above. You will obey them. –PZ Myers

Religion is the diaper of humanity’s childhood; it’s OK to grow out of it. –PZ Myers

Religion’s greatest “sin” lies in displacing human endeavor, thought, time, resources and efforts from this world, our only world, in order to exalt a highly unlikely, unknowable, unseeable, unprovable and unbelievable pretend afterworld. The only afterlife that ought to concern us is leaving our descendants (along with the other animals and life we share our planet with) a secure and pleasant future. –Annie Laurie Gaylor

Religious mysticism is intellectual garbage. It’s a vestige of the old superstitious Dark Ages when nobody knew anything and the whole world was sinking deeper and deeper into filth and disease and poverty and ignorance. It is one of those delusions that isn’t called insane only because there are so many people involved. –Robert M. Pirsig

The richest people in the world aren’t particularly smart or happy. And the happiest people in the world aren’t particularly smart or rich. –Frank Zappa

ltrsSchrodinger’s douchebag: A guy who says offensive things & decides whether he was joking based upon the reaction of people around him. –Sally Strange

Science is the poetry of reality. –Richard Dawkins

Science is the record of dead religions. –Oscar Wilde

The second term of the Bush administration and first five years of the Obama presidency have been devoted to codifying and institutionalizing the vast and unchecked powers that are typically vested in leaders in the name of war. Those powers of secrecy, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, and due-process-free assassination are not going anywhere. They are now permanent fixtures not only in the US political system but, worse, in American political culture. –Glenn Greenwald

The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.Voltaire

Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith. –Adolf Hitler

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. –Oscar Wilde

Sensible Catholics have for generations been ignoring the views on contraception held by reactionary old men in the Vatican, but alas, since it is the business of all religious doctrines to keep their votaries in a state of intellectual infancy (how else do they keep absurdities seeming credible?), insufficient numbers of Catholics have been able to be sensible. –AC Grayling

Shakespeare has done far more for the world than the Bible. –Robert Green Ingersoll

Significant and seemingly impossible social and political change happens more often than we think, and it happens more rapidly than we realize. Even the most momentous change is always possible if one finds the right way to make it happen. –Glenn Greenwald.

Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. –bell hooks

So Australia is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into propping up creationism? I’m not buying beer for any Australians ever again, until you stop. –PZ Myers

So, fall asleep love, loved by me…for I know love, I am loved by thee. –Robert Browning

Some of us are adults. Others just grew tall. –Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

Some people might look at my patchwork self of hormone pills and mix-and-match anatomy, and call it monstrous, freakish, an abomination. You know what I call this? Upgrades. –Zinnia Jones

Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe. –Frank Zappa

Stupidity is much the same all the world over. A stupid person’s notions and feelings may confidently be inferred from those which prevail in the circle by which the person is surrounded. –John Stuart Mill

A sufficiently advanced civility is indistinguishable from condescension. –anteprepro

Sunday School: A prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents. –H.L. Mencken

Supernaturalists are fond of claiming that some irreligious people turn to prayer when in mortal danger, but naturalists can reply that supernaturalists typically repose great faith in science when they find themselves in (say) a hospital or an aeroplane – and with far greater frequency. –AC Grayling

The supreme duty of the Nation is the conservation of human resources through an enlightened measure of social and industrial justice. We pledge ourselves to work unceasingly in State and Nation for … the protection of home life against the hazards of sickness, irregular employment and old age through the adoption of a system of social insurance adapted to American use. –Theodore Roosevelt, Republican President.

Sure, science arose out of Catholicism…in the same sense that plumbing, sanitation systems, and public health policies arose out of sewage. –PZ Myers

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently. –Friedrich Nietzsche

The system operates in one direction only; and it is crucial for Democratic voters to understand that their “lesser evil” votes are actively promoting this process, not retarding it. –Michael J. Smith

Tltrtake away love and our earth is a tomb. –Robert Browning

Take the Kama Sutra. How many people died from the Kama Sutra, as opposed to the Bible? Who wins? –Frank Zappa

The tax which will be paid for the purpose of education is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people in ignorance. –Thomas Jefferson, Democratic-Republican President, Founding Father & principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

Tell him I was too fucking busy—or vice versa. –Dorothy Parker

That fear first created the gods is perhaps as true as anything so brief could be on so great a subject. –George Santayana

That kind of skeptical, questioning, “don’t accept what authority tells you” attitude of science — is also nearly identical to the attitude of mind necessary for a functioning democracy. Science and democracy have very consonant values and approaches, and I don’t think you can have one without the other. –Carl Sagan

[T]hat no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief: but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil
capacities. –Thomas Jefferson

That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do the right thing. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

[T]hat’s what Democrats do. They may run to the left, or even govern to the left, if they have to; but they govern to the right whenever they can, because they want to. If you don’t hold their feet to the fire every minute, they’ll sell you down the river every time. –Michael J. Smith

That would be a good thing for them to cut on my tombstone: Wherever she went, including here, it was against her better judgment. –Dorothy Parker

The theory that religion is a force for peace… does not fit the facts of history. –Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature

There are and will be those who think I have gone overboard. Let them rest assured that this assessment is correct, probably beyond their wildest imagination, and that I will continue to do so. –Mary Daly

There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell. There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.  –Anne Nicol Gaylor

There are those who believe something, and therefore will tolerate nothing; and on the other hand, those who tolerate everything, because they believe nothing. –Robert Browning

There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can’t think what to do with the long winter evenings. –Quentin Crisp

There is also the phenomenon of the self-identified “centrist” or “independent”, who “sits on the fence” complaining about “both sides” all the time, even though the regressives’ conduct involves strawmen, silencing tactics, lies, threats and overall dishonesty and bullying while the liberals’ involves calling out that conduct.-Setár, self-appointed Elf-Sheriff of the FreethoughtBlogs Star Chamber

There is a mass delusion in whitebread suburban America that they are the real America, and that they are being oppressed by high taxes to pay for poor minorities, even though the reality is actually the reverse: urban centers pay the bills for parasitic suburban lifestyles, which are ultimately unsustainable socially, fiscally and environmentally. –David Atkins (“thereisnospoon”)

[T]here is, I am certain, among the Iraqi people a respect for the care and the precision that went into the bombing campaign. –Donald Rumsfeld

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along. –Elizabeth Warren

There is no horror, no amount of evil in the world, that a true believer can’t rationalize as consistent with a loving God. It’s the ultimate way of fooling yourself. –Jerry Coyne

There is no necessity for going to the church and hearing the same story forever. Let the minister write what he wishes to say. Let him publish it. If it is worth buying, people will read it. It is hardly fair to get them in a church in the name of duty and there inflict upon them a sermon that under no circumstances they would read…the idea of going fifty-two days in a year to hear anybody on the same subject is absurd. –Robert Green Ingersoll

There is no prize for being the most world’s most accommodating person. And if there were a prize, it would be “hanging out with people who walk all over you, being afraid to speak up, and silently seething at them, forever.” –Captain Awkward

There is no sin except stupidity. –Oscar Wilde

There is not sufficient love and goodness in the world to permit us to give some of it away to imaginary beings. –Friedrich Nietzsche

There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. -Oscar Wilde

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. –Elie Wiesel

There’s no such thing as political neutrality. Silence is an argument in favor of the status quo. –PZ Myers

There’s peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I’m responsible. –Brad Pitt

There was a time when religion ruled the world. It is known as the Dark Ages. –Ruth Hurmence Green

There was no need to do any housework at all. After four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse. –Quentin Crisp

There were many groups working for women’s rights, but none of them dealt with the root cause of women’s oppression–religion. –Anne Nicol Gaylor

They say I’m un-American. –Cornell West referring to the Obama Administration.

[T]hey want the federal government controlling Social Security, like it’s some kind of federal program. –George W. Bush

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. –Oscar Wilde

Think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of them are stupider than that. –George Carlin

This is an impressive crowd — the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elites; I call you my base. –George W. Bush

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. –Dorothy Parker

This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here [in Congress]. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today. – Sen. Angus King of Maine after listening to how the Obama administration interprets its war powers under the AUMF, May 2013

Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities. –Voltaire

Thus the creationist’s favourite question “What is the use of half an eye?” Actually, this is a lightweight question, a doddle to answer. Half an eye is just 1 per cent better than 49 per cent of an eye. –Richard Dawkins

Time and again—from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the events of 9/11 to the onset of the Arab Spring—events have caught the experts, whether in government or on the outside, completely by surprise. Business owners with comparable performance records go bust. Brokers lose their clients. Physicians get sued for malpractice. Yet think-tankers and policy wonks continue to opine, never pausing to reflect on—or apologize for—their spotty records. –Andrew J. Bacevich

Time doth flit; oh shit. –Dorothy Parker

To blame the poor for subsisting on welfare has no justice unless we are also willing to judge every rich member of society by how productive he or she is. Taken individual by individual, it is likely that there’s more idleness and abuse of government favors among the economically privileged than among the ranks of the disadvantaged. –Norman Mailer

[T]o confuse lack of “bad” words with not just civility but intelligence is a sign that you’re probably neither civilized nor intelligent, since you confuse form for substance. –Jadehawk

Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all. –Barry Goldwater, Republican presidential candidate.

To divine the course of world events, you’d do as well to probe the entrails of dead animals. Better still, ask your hairstylist. She will be at least as insightful and probably more entertaining a prophet than anyone you can read in Foreign Affairs or the op-ed page of the Washington Post.Andrew J. Bacevich

To hold a pen is to be at war. This world is one vast temple consecrated to discord.Voltaire

To know much is often the cause of doubting more. –Michel de Montaigne

To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance. –Oscar Wilde

To my disappointment I now realized that to know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody. –Quentin Crisp

To pray to God is to flatter oneself that with words one can alter nature. –Voltaire

To put it bluntly American political opportunities are heavily loaded against those who are simultaneously intelligent and honest. –Richard Dawkins

To put it simply, large-scale corruption and violence are the result of greed minus intelligence and humanity, not greed plus calculation and sophistication. –Mark Morford

Totalitarianism is neither left nor right, and within its empire both will perish. I was never a believer, but after seeing Czech Catholics persecuted during the Stalinist terror, I felt the deepest solidarity with them. What separated us, the belief in God, was secondary to what united us. In Prague, they hanged the Socialists and the priests. Thus a fraternity of the hanged was born. –Milan Kundera

The total number of stars in the Universe is larger than all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the planet Earth. –Carl Sagan

The tragedy is that every brain cell devoted to belief in the supernatural is a brain cell one cannot use to make life richer or easier or happier. –Kay Nolte Smith

The trouble with a lot of so-called “Nice Guys” isn’t that they don’t understand when a woman has rejected them — our creepy Romeo in the screenshots here was aware that he was probably “bothering” her only a few messages in. It’s that they refuse to accept these clear if implicit “no’s” as real” no’s.” Because, on some level, no matter how lonely and desperate and “ünterbeta” they may feel, they still feel entitled to sex with a “pretty lady.” I rather doubt that many “Nice Guys” show up for work at companies that have interviewed them and hired someone else. The solution isn’t for these guys to learn “game”; it’s for them to learn to respect a “pretty lady’s” no as they would anyone else’s. –David Futrelle

The truth may be puzzling. It may take some work to grapple with. It may be counterintuitive. It may contradict deeply held prejudices. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what’s true. –Carl Sagan

Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived. –Oscar Wilde

Turns out I’m really good at killing people. Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine. –President Barack Obama

Two hands working can do more than a thousand clasped in prayer. –Madalyn Murray O’Hair

Tyranny is always better organized than freedom. –Anne Nicol Gaylor

ltruUgh “what if you aborted the person who’d have cured cancer?”
“No, what if you made her raise a baby at 15 instead of going to med school?”
-Beatrice (@MissObdurate) via Sally Strange

The unending election dog-and-pony shows and Lesser Evilism aren’t the root of these political indoctrination campaigns. They’re the cover for them. We should quit pretending that an oligarch-controlled system and the people who serve it can produce anything else. –ohtarzie

The universe is as fine tuned for life as humans are fine tuned for syphilis. –Ing: Od Wet Rust

The Universe revealed by science is one of far more awesome grandeur than any religion has ever posited. –Ann Druyan

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent to the concerns of such puny creatures as we are. –Carl Sagan

The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. –Richard Dawkins

[U]nless oppressed groups stick together, and on alliances of self interest rather than do-goodism; nothing can be accomplished in the long run to dismantle the apparatus of oppression. –Shulamith Firestone

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. –H. L. Mencken

Use, do not abuse; as the wise man commands. I flee Epictetus and Petronius alike. Neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy. –Voltaire

Usually after I educate an evangelical about Black eugenicists, they are either stunned into silence, or they say, “But how can you like Planned Parenthood when its founder Margaret Sanger was racist?” To which I respond, “But how can you like the Constitution when the Founding Fathers owned slaves?” To be clear, I am far from an apologist for white supremacy; the point is that I cannot think of one long-standing American institution in this country that does not have racist roots. –Tamika Franklin

ltrvThe very purpose of existence it to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think of us. –Quentin Crisp

Vice is its own reward. –Quentin Crisp

Violence by those with mental illness is so small that even if you could somehow cure it all, 95 percent of violent crime would still exist. –Paolo del Vecchio, of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

[V]ote for the Green anytime the Democrat isn’t up to snuff, even if the Republican is a wild-eyed berserker who wants to pave the world. It’ll take a few more losses like Gore’s in Florida in 2000 before the Democrats will get the message – if then — and you have to be willing to stay the course until they do get it. Just remember that the only difference between a pave-the-world Republican and an “environmentalist” Democrat is – well, none, really; the Republican means what he says, but the Democrat means what the Republican says, too. –Michael J. Smith

ltrwThe war is just when the intention that causes it to be undertaken is just. The will is therefore the principle element that must be considered, not the means… He who intends to kill the guilty sometimes faultlessly shed the blood of the innocents…In short, the end justifies the means. –Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State under the Nixon and Ford administrations

War is murder writ large.Carl Sagan

[T]he “war on terror” cannot and will not end on its own for two reasons: (1) it is designed by its very terms to be permanent, incapable of ending, since the war itself ironically ensures that there will never come a time when people stop wanting to bring violence back to the US (the operational definition of “terrorism”), and (2) the nation’s most powerful political and economic factions reap a bonanza of benefits from its continuation. –Glenn Greenwald

War dehumanizes, war diminishes, war debases all those who wage it. –Elie Wiesel

The War on Terror has been and continues to be, above all, a war on the most basic liberties and political safeguards that we’re all taught are what distinguishes the US and keeps it free. –Glenn Greenwald

The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous. Is it, perchance, cherished by persons who should know better? Then their folly should be brought out into the light of day, and exhibited there in all its hideousness until they flee from it, hiding their heads in shame. –H.L. Mencken

We all agree that neither the Government nor political parties ought to interfere with religious sects. It is equally true that religious sects ought not to interfere with the Government or with political parties. We believe that the cause of good government and the cause of religion suffer by all such interference. –Rutherford B. Hayes, Republican President.

We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a ‘higher answer’–but none exists. –Stephen J. Gould

We are looking for a complete, coherent, and simple understanding of reality. Given what we know about the universe, there seems to be no reason to invoke God as part of this description. –Sean Carroll, cosmologist and physicist

We are on the earth, and they tell us of heaven; we are human beings, and they tell us of angels and devils; we are matter, and they tell us of spirit; we have five senses whereby to admit truths, and a reasoning faculty by which to build our belief upon them; and they tell us of dreams dreamed thousands of years ago, which our experience flatly contradicts. –Frances Wright

We can never be sure that the opinion we are endeavouring to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still. –John Stuart Mill

We can refuse to dignify idiocy with solemnity. Instead, we should laugh, we should mock, we should denounce. I’m not suggesting we ignore the rightwing. I’m suggesting we sneer a lot more than we are, and only engage when the ideas rise to a level of seriousness where they actually deserve a debunking. –tristero

We do Him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies. There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution. –Antonin Scalia

We establish no religion in this country. We command no worship. We mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are and must remain separate. –Ronald Reagan, Republican President.

We live in a society absolutely dependent on science and technology and yet have cleverly arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. That’s a clear prescription for disaster. –Carl Sagan

We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both. –U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the positive affirmation of peace. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

We needed to have the press be our friend… We wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported. –Sharron Angle, Tea Party candidate for U.S. Senate

We need to care about reality more than we care about what we want to be true about it. –Greta Christina

We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us. –Friedrich Nietzsche

We’re terrible animals. I think that the Earth’s immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should. –Kurt Vonnegut

[W]e should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. –Friedrich Nietzsche

We should keep in mind that Revolutions anywhere are always glad to use any help they can get, even from women. But unless women also use the Revolution to further their own interests as well as everyone else’s, unless they make it consistently clear that all help given now is expected to be returned, both now and after the Revolution, they will be sold out again and again… –Shulamith Firestone

We were convinced that the people needs and requires this faith. We have therefore undertaken the fight against the atheistic movement, and that not merely with a few theoretical declarations: we have stamped it out. –Adolf Hitler

We who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security. –Dwight D. Eisenhower, Republican President & WWII General.

We would be 1,500 years ahead if it hadn’t been for the church dragging science back by its coattails and burning our best minds at the stake. –Catherine Fahringer

What a burden to think one is conceived in sin rather than in pleasure; that one is born into evil rather than into joy. –Alice Walker

What can they do to me? It’s even better than academic tenure — I get life tenure! Antonin Scalia

What do you think science is? There’s nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic? –Dr. Seven Novella

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

What is the evidence for the existence of any god? What is the source for your information about the nature of this god, as well as all the specifics about what he wants right now? Why have the prophets and priests of your god, who apparently have a communications line to an omniscient being, done such a poor job of describing the world and how it works? If god’s will is the fundamental arbiter of moral behavior, how do we determine god’s will? Why is it that when the defenders of this god-centric view sit down to write books that should answer these kinds of questions, they always, without fail, write such vapid tripe? –PZ Myers

What religion a man shall have is a historical accident, quite as much as what language he shall speak. –George Santayana

What’s that, sir? An angry woman makes you feel weird? How terrible that must be for you, having someone of the opposite sex make you uncomfortable with their behavior. –rebeccabrinson

What’s the earth
With all its art, verse, music, worth —
Compared with love, found, gained, and kept?
Robert Browning

When I try to convert you, I’m being nice. When you show me scientific evidence my religious book makes no sense, you’re being hostile. –Privilege Denying Dude.

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion. –Robert M. Pirsig

When the United States was in control of counternarcotics, the US governments used drug trafficking for purely geopolitical purposes …. The US uses drug trafficking and terrorism for political control …. We have nationalised the fight against drug trafficking. –Evo Morales, Bolivian President

When someone who wields political power does something you dislike or disagree with, it’s incumbent upon you to object, criticize, and demand a different course. Those who refuse to do so are abdicating the most basic duty of citizenship and rendering themselves impotent. –Glenn Greenwald

When virtue has slept, she will get up more refreshed. –Friedrich Nietzsche

When we hear news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation. –Voltaire

When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: Is it really possible! This, for a Jew, crucified two thousand years ago, who said he was God’s son? The proof of such a claim is lacking. Certainly the Christian religion is an antiquity projected into our times from remote prehistory; and the fact that the claim is believed — whereas one is otherwise so strict in examining pretensions — is perhaps the most ancient piece of this heritage. A god who begets children with a mortal woman; a sage who bids men work no more, have no more courts, but look for the signs of the impending end of the world; a justice that accepts the innocent as a vicarious sacrifice; someone who orders his disciples to drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god, atoned for by a god; fear of a beyond to which death is the portal; the form of the cross as a symbol in a time that no longer knows the function and ignominy of the cross — how ghoulishly all this touches us, as if from the tomb of a primeval past! Can one believe that such things are still believed? –Friedrich Nietzsche

When will we learn? We’re constantly told that this book or that book is the very best argument for god ever made, and then we read it, and it’s awful and the same old noise. –PZ Myers

When you find people who not only tolerate your quirks but celebrate them with glad cries of “Me, too!” be sure to cherish them. Because those weirdos are your tribe. -Sweatpants&Coffee (via)

Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost. –Ronald Reagan, Republican President.

Where some seek balms for a troubled soul, I seek irritants. –PZ Myers.

Whether a country is actually free is determined not by how well-rewarded its convention-affirming media elites are and how ignored its passive citizens are but by how it treats its dissidents, those posing authentic challenges to what the government does. –Glenn Greenwald

While I am a great believer in the free enterprise system and all that it entails, I am an even stronger believer in the right of our people to live in a clean and pollution-free environment. –Barry Goldwater, Republican presidential candidate.

While I am as convinced a Socialist as the most ardent Marxian, I do not regard Socialism as a gospel of proletarian revenge, nor even, primarily, as a means of securing economic justice. I regard it primarily as an adjustment to machine production demanded by considerations of common sense, and calculated to increase the happiness, not only of proletarians, but of all except a tiny minority of the human race. –Bertrand Russell

Who hears music, feels his solitude
Peopled at once. –Robert Browning

Who knows most, doubts most. –Robert Browning

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. –H.L. Mencken

Why the archaic natterings of diaspora Jews negotiating a new orientation to a larger culture dominated by pagan religious expression should concern you, or any modern person, as anything other than an interesting historical question, is completely baffling to me. But I guess that’s why I’m an atheist. –CJO

Why do so many people on the left keep insisting that capitulation and brownnosing will produce something  new and desirable? –ohtarzie

The wild-eyed Bible-humper living in a shotgun shack who advocates stoning homosexuals in accordance with Leviticus is not the biggest threat to gay rights or reproductive freedom. It’s the calm, neighborly, moderate Christian who lives next door and turns out on election day to vote on his principles who you have to worry about. –Akira MacKenzie

Wisdom comes from disillusionment. –George Santayana

A wise man once said, “never discuss philosophy or politics in a disco environment.” –Frank Zappa

Without music, life would be a mistake. –Friedrich Nietzsche

With soap, baptism is a good thing. –Robert Green Ingersoll

A woman’s asking for equality in the church would be comparable to a black person’s demanding equality in the Ku Klux Klan. –Mary Daly

Women are described in animal terms as pets, cows, sows, foxes, chicks, serpents, bitches, beavers, old bats, old hens, mother hens, pussycats, cats, cheetahs, bird-brains, and hare-brains…‘Mother Nature’ is raped, mastered, conquered, mined; her secrets are ‘penetrated,’ her ‘womb’ is to be put into the service of the ‘man of science.’ Virgin timber is felled, cut down; fertile soil is tilled, and land that lies ‘fallow’ is ‘barren,’ useless. The exploitation of nature and animals is justified by feminizing them; the exploitation of women is justified by naturalizing them. -Karen J. Warren, Ecological Feminism (via agentmaya) [h/t Vanina]

Women cannot choose the “I’m-not-a-victim” choice. Not even the funfeminists can choose it, not really, because when stuff like “you cannot rape me” or “my appearance is meaningless” or “the state cannot interfere with the contents of my own personal uterus” is not on the menu of choices, no real agency exists. –Jill Psmith and/or Twisty Faster

Women have always been an equal part of the past. They just haven’t been part of history. –Gloria Steinem

The words ‘In God WE trust’ are not only unconstitutional, they aren’t even accurate. –Anne Nicol Gaylor

Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth’s surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so. The first one is unpleasant and ill paid; the second is pleasant and highly paid. –Bertrand Russell

The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides. –Carl Sagan

The world now seems a stunningly ignoble place. It has not really grown all that much worse but appears to have done so because we know so much more about it than we did. –Quentin Crisp

The worst part of being gay in the twentieth century is all that damn disco music to which one has to listen. –Quentin Crisp

ltryYou can be a tolerant, liberal, generous, kind-hearted Christian who rejects fundamentalism, and that does not grant your goofier beliefs protection from criticism. –PZ Myers

You can offer the ability to citizens to choose from one of the two parties and elect their leaders as much as you want. But “democracy” is an illusion — a sham — if the most significant acts taken by those leaders are kept concealed from the citizenry. –Glenn Greenwald

You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic. –Robert A. Heinlein

You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth. –H.L. Mencken

You could give Aristotle a tutorial. And you could thrill him to the core of his being. Aristotle was an encyclopedic polymath, an all time intellect. Yet not only can you know more than him about the world. You also can have a deeper understanding of how everything works. Such is the privilege of living after Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Planck, Watson, Crick and their colleagues. –Richard Dawkins

You don’t change the world by placidly finding your bliss — you do it by focusing your discontent in productive ways. –PZ Myers

You don’t owe anyone a performance of being okay when you are not feeling okay so that they can feel better about themselves. –Captain Awkward

You know what they call alternative medicine that’s been proved to work? – Medicine. –Tim Minchin

You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror. –George W. Bush

You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty. –Jessica Mitford

You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My god! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the devil! Most of mankind has believed in the devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the devil. –Antonin Scalia, US Supreme Court Justice

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