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645. We cannot hope for a society in which formal organized religion dies out. But we can stop behaving as if it was worthy of our collective respect. (Religion & Respect) A N Wilson, Against Religion
646. Every dictator uses religion as a prop to keep himself in power. (Religion & Dictator) Benazir Bhutto
647. Modern societies march towards morality in proportion as they leave religion behind. (Religion & Society & Morality) Paul Bert
648. ‘Won’t the advent of a single world religion annoy the hierarchies of all the current orthodox religions?’ I asked. ‘More than that,’ he said with a smile, ‘They will be shocked. I daresay they will be among the last to accept the Christ. But according to Kisling,’ Creme said confidently, ‘It will come, because it must. We will begin to live, he said ... as potential gods.’ (Religion & Theosophy & Gods) Constance Cumbey, The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow
649. Real people and real ceremonies. Our magician in the grave was a priest in the cult of the sun. His job was to keep the sun rising in the sky. Because in the Bronze Age magic and religion were one and the same. (Religion & Sun Magic & Bronze Age & Pagan) Professor Richard Rudgley, anthropologist, Pagans: Magic Moments, BBC
650. Christianity along with all other theist belief systems is the fraud of the age. It serves to detach the species from the natural world, and likewise each other. It supports blind submission to authority. It reduces human responsibility to the effect that God controls everything, and in turn, awful crimes can be justified in the name of divine pursuit. And most importantly, it empowers those who know the truth to use the myth to manipulate and control societies. The religious myth is the most powerful devise ever created and serves as the psychological soil upon which other myths can flourish. (Religion & God & Christianity & Control & Myth) Peter Joseph, Zeitgeist
10,368. Art would succeed where the Church had failed. (Artist & Church & Religion) Simon Schama’s Power of Art: Van Gogh
654. Vincent’s passionate belief was that people wouldn’t just see his pictures, but feel the rush of life in them. That by the force of his brush and the dazzlement of his colour they’d experience those fields, those faces, those flowers in ways nothing more polite or literal could ever possibly convey. His art would reclaim what had once belonged to Religion: consolation for our mortality through the relish of the gift of Life. (Religion & Life’s Like That & Artist) ibid.
655. When it came to Religion the Romans were not fundamentalists ... In spiritual matters the Empire was like a sponge, absorbing foreign gods as readily as it had gobbled up foreign territory. (Religion & Empire: Roman & Gods & Rome) Professor Richard Miles, The Ancient World 6/6: City of Man, City of God
656. If churches took half the money they was making and give it back to the community we’d be all right. If they took half the billions that they use to praise God and gave it to the motherfuckers who need God, we’d be all right. (Religion & Community) Tupac Shakur
657. Perhaps we have to confront the fact that we’re hardwired for religion too. That no amount of rationality or science or modernity is ever going to relieve us of it. This is what we are - most of us ... The problem I think for atheists is that there are so many very clever sane responsible people like the Archbishop of Canterbury who believe in a sky-God. And who think that gathering in a large beautiful barn on a Sunday and sending up your thoughts is actually going to influence future events. It does seem a remarkable set of beliefs to me. (Religion & God & Worship & Atheism & Belief) Ian McEwan, interview Professor Richard Dawkins
658. I suppose in the real world in which we have to rub along, the only issue here is tolerance. And who will grant tolerance to the six-thousand religions of the world? Well surely only the secular spirit is able to do this. You cannot put religious tolerance in the hands of one religion. You have to put it in the hands I think of the secular authority which either believes all of none or none of them, and says they all must thrive along with each other. They have mutually exclusive world-views ... Only the secular state, only a sort of supervening uncaring about religion, that will allow us all the freedoms to be as rational or as crazy as we want to be. (Religion & Tolerance & Secularism) ibid.
659. The religious fraud is probably the most insidious. I’ve seen more money stolen in the name of God than any other way. It’s the worst form of con-artistry that you can imagine. But think about ministers and those in the religious order – these are the folks you look up to and trust. (Religion & Cult & Money) Joe Borg, Director, Alabama Securities Commission
660. To have dominion by religion, is to have dominion over men's souls, thus over their very spiritual life, and to use the Divine things, which are in their religion, as the means. (Religion & Oppression) Emanuel Swedenborg
661. A union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion. (Religion & Government) Hugo Black
662. The recrudescence of religion as a political force: because when we were kids in the 60s there were many things that were up there that we needed to fight against. I don’t think it ever occurred to us that the power of religion, whatever religion, would once again be the thing we had to battle. We actually thought that that battle was won. (Religion & Battle & Fight) Salman Rushdie, PEN World Voice Festival, conversation with Christopher Hitchens
663. There is no Religion higher than Truth. (Religion & Truth) Madame Helena Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine
664. Never allow any innovation in religion, because the peace of the state depends on it. (Religion & State) Gaeus Cilnius Maecenas, attributed
665. The values derived from this essence offer to many people a benign, positive and progressive framework by which to live our daily lives. Tony Blair v Christopher Hitchens: Is Religion a Force for Good in the World? 2010
666. A world without religious faith would be spiritually, morally and emotionally diminished. (Religion & Faith) ibid.
984. Dear Person of Faith: Basically, I write as fundraiser for the wonderful new Tony Blair Foundation whose aim is to promote respect and understanding about the world’s major religions, and show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world. (Faith & Religion & Foundation) Tony Blair Faith Foundation, cited Professor Richard Dawkins
667. Religion, to me, is a bureaucracy between man and God that I don’t need. (Religion & Bureaucracy) Bill Maher
668. Religion is detrimental to the progress of humanity. It’s just selling an invisible product. (Religion & Humanity & Sell) Bill Maher, Religulous
669. It’s just so shamelessly invented. ibid.
670. Why is believing something without evidence good? (Religion & Belief & Evidence) ibid.
671. It’s like the Lotto: you can’t get saved if you don’t play. (Religion & Save) ibid.
672. You make up an imaginary friend. (Religion & God) ibid.
673. 16% of Americans who now say they are absolutely unaffiliated with any religion. ibid.